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rality any further, or to load the would it appear! And yet we see public treasury with any additional that, at present, this very sum, inincumbrances.
deed, ten times this sum, is divided To give them their due, howe- between half a dozen noble and ver, we must admit of two excep- worthless idlers, whose claim, and tions to this observation. Doctor that is only nominal, consists in their Johnson, after struggling with dis- superintendence of a pack of hounds, ease and poverty for sixty years, or something of equal dignity and was presented with a most magnifi- usefulness! cent annuity of two hundred pound: This is not a censure intended per annun. When travelling was particularly for England, or for prescribed by his physicians, an kings. This abuse of the public application was made for a small revenue, in a greater or less degree, augmentation, but it was impossible is incident to all nations, and to to obtain it. Cowper, a glory and every form of government. blessing to humanity, struggled with narrow circumstances, and with the most horrible of maladies, for upwards of sixty years, when his majesty was graciously pleased to secure to him three hundred pounds A JAUNT TOROCKAWAY, IN LONGper annum. These salaries toge
ISLAND. ther were equal to one fourth of the wages of the master of the fox- MY DEAR R...... hounds; which, after all, is only a nominal office, and which is always What possible amusement can possessed by those who have vast you expect from my recital of a patrimonies of their own.
jaunt to Rockaway? I cannot digIt is astonishing that kings and nify trifles, or give to vulgar sights nobles are not more beneficent to a novelty, by making them pass men of genius, even from a mere through my fancy. That fancy, you selfish passion for praise. The gra- well know, has no particle of kintitude excited by such gifts, is al- dred to that of poet or painter, and ways in proportion to the benefits nobody should pretend to describe, they confer on the receiver, not to who does not look through the opthe generosity of the donor: and tics of either painter or poet. Bewhat eloquent eulogies will the king sides, my ignorance circumscribes receive, who, with one hand, be- my curiosity. I have few objects stows three hundred a year on a su- of remembrance with which to comperannuated poet, though, with the pare the objects that I meet with. other, he confers seven times the Hence, as the carriage whirls along, sum on the master of his fox- faces, fences, houses, barns, cultihounds.
vated fields, pass rapidly across my Suppose the aforesaid eight thou- eye, without leaving a vestige besand pounds were distributed, in hind them. You will of course ask lite annuities of two hundred each, me, how the fields are inclosed? to men, whose forlorn situation, How they are planted? What porjoined with intellectual merit, laid tion is tilled; what is wood, and indisputable claim to so merc a what is waste? Of what number, competence, there would be no less materials, dimensions, and form, than forty persons enlisted in the are the dwellings, the granaries, service of the giver's glory. How the churches, the bridges, the carwould such munificence have sound- riages? What is the countenance, ed through the world: how rich, in the dress, the deportment of the the ornaments of public gratitude, passengers, and so forth? through would it go down to posterity! an endless catalogue of interrogawhat a mighty and expensive effort tories.
Now I cannot answer a word to travel into the mind of a plowman, all these questions. Your attention, than into the interior of Africa. I on the contrary, during such a jour- confess myself of your way of thinkDey, would be incessantly alive: ing; but from very different moyou would take exact note of all tives. I must needs say I would these particulars, and draw from rather consort forever with a plowthem a thousand inferences as to man, or even with an old Bergen the nature of the soil, the state of market woman, than expose myagriculture, and the condition of the self to an hundredth part of the people. While your companions perils which beset the heels of a were beguiling the time by a map: Ledyard or a Parke. by looking eagerly forward to the You see how ingeniously I put off bating place, and asking the driver this unpleasant task: but since you now and then, how many miles he will not let me off, I must begin. had to go to dinner, or cursing the Remember, it is a picture of myself, dust, the heat, the jolting, and the and not of the island, that you want: hard benches, or conversing with and such, how disreputable soever each other, all your senses, and it may be to the painter, you shall your whole soul would be chained have. I have some comfort in to passing objects. Not a stone thinking, that most of the travelwould you meet with, but should lers to Rockaway, are but little instantly pass through your cruci. wiser and more inquisitive than ble; not a tree or a post, but would myself. serve as a clue to the knowledge of In the first place, then, we left the soil, climate, and the industry of I........'s at one o'clock. The day the island. You would count the pas- was extremely fine, and promised a sengers, take an inventory of their most pleasant ride. You may supdress, mark their looks and their pose that we were most agrecably steps; you would calculate the length, occupied in the prospect of a jourbreadth, and height of all the build- ney which neither of the three had ings; and compare every thing you ever made before: but no such thing. saw, from the church to the pig-pen, We thought and talked of nothing and from the parson to the plow- but the uncertainty of getting seats boy, with all that you had seen in the stage, which goes at that elsewhere.
hour from Brooklynn, and the reaSuch is the traveller, my friend, sonable apprehension of being misethat you would have made; and you rably crowded, even if we could have known more of Long Island get seats. Such is my aversion to in a few hours, than many who have being wedged with ten or twelve in lived within sight of it these fifty a stage coach, that I had previously years: I, alas) am one of those resolved to return, in case of any whom fifty years of observation such misfortune. So I told my would leave in the same ignorance friends, but in this I fibbed a little, in which they found me.
for the naked truth was that I want'Tis true, as you say, that such an ed a pretext for staying behind; unobservant wretch as I represent having left society in New York, the myself to be, may yet amuse by re- loss of which all the pleasures of lating his own sensations, and his Rockaway would poorly compennarrative, if it give no account of sate. the scene of his journey, will, at We passed the river, and after least, comprise a picture of his own dining at the inn, were seated in character. An accurate history the coach, much more at our ease of the thoughts and feelings of any than we had any reason to expect. mad, for one hour, is more valuable We rodie through a country altogeto some minds, than a system of ther new to me, twelve or fourteen geography; and vou, you tell me, miles (I forgot which) to Jamaica. 'are one of those who would rather Shall I give you a peep into my thoughts? I am half ashamed to with B..... in a church-yard oppe. admit you, but I will deal sincerely site the inn, were all the surpriswith you. Still, say I, my conso- ing events which distinguished this lation is, that few travellers, if hour. This island is one of the oldtheir minds were laid as completely est of European settlements in North open to inspection, would come off America, and we therefore expectfrom their trial with more credited to find in this churchyard some than myself.
memorial of ancient days, but we I confess to you then that my were disappointed. There were mind was much more busily enga- many grave-stones, broken or half ged in reflecting on the possible sunken, or blackened by age, but consequences of coming off without the oldest date was within forty several changes of clothes in my years. The church, though painthandkerchief, and without an um- ed anew and furbished up lately, brella to shelter me from sunshine was about seventy years old, as an and rain, than with the fields and inscription on the front informed us. woods which I passed through. My There was another of a much more umbrella I had the ill-luck to break antique cast within view, but we as we crossed the river, and as to did not approach it clothes, I had the folly, as usual, to I hope you will be sparing of your forget that Rockaway was a place questions respecting Jamaica, for I of fashionable resort, and that ma- can answer none of them. I asked ny accidents might happen to pro- not a single question statistical or long our stay there four or five days, topographical of our hostess. I did instead of a single day; and yet not count the houses, and therefore think not that I was totally insen- can form no notion of the populasible to passing objects. The sweet tion. It is a spacious, well-looking pure country air, which was brisk, village, many of whose houses apcool and fresh enough to make sup- pear to be built as summer retreats portable the noon-tide rays of a July for wealthy citizens, and that is all sun, to the whole force of which my I can say of it. seat beside the driver exposed me, Daring our second stage, I was I inhaled with delight. I remem- placed much more at my ease than ber little, however, but a country, during the first. I was seated bepretty much denuded of its woods, side a pretty little girl, whom all (as Sam. Johnson would say) a the company took care to inform, sandy soil; stubble fields, houses that they thought hier pretty. For fifty years old, a couple of miles my part, her attractions made little from each other, and most of them, impression on my fancy. To be inespecially those furthest on the firmly delicate in form, to have a road, exact counterparts of such baby-like innocence of aspect, and as we see in Dutch and Flemish a voice so very soft that it can landscapes ; four-wheeled rustic scarcely be heard, are no recomcarriages, of a most dispropor- mendations to me. She prattled a tioned length, crazy and uncouth, good deal about a squirrel and cawithout springs, entered from be- nary-bird which she had at home, hind, and loaded with women and and that respectful attention was children, pigs and chickens; not a paid to a pair of very sweet lips, single carriage of elegance or which the words that fell from them pleasure to be met with, though would never have obtained. The overtaken by half a dozen gigs, rest of our company were men, and going to the same place with our- I have not witenough to extract any selves.
oddity or singularity from their conWe reached Jamaica at five versation or appearance. Two of o'clock, and here we staid one hour. them, you know, were my compaA glass of lemonade, a plentiful ab. nions, and the other two cheerful lution in cold water, and a walk and well-bred strangers.
1, for the most part, was mute, my friend B.... this novelty was ab-' as I usually am, in a stage-coach and solute. He never before saw the among strangers. Not so my two ocean; but to me it was new only as friends. B.... finds a topic of talk I now saw it, at night. Seven years and good humour in every thing, ago I found my way to the margent and J....'s amenity is always ready of the sea, between Sandyhook and to pursue the other's lead. I forget the mouth of the Raritan. I took a all their topics, except a very earn- long peregrination on foot, in comest discussion of the merits of differ- pany with two friends, and shall neent lodging-houses, at the sea-side, ver forget the impression which the and many sympathetic effusions, boundless and troubled ocean, scen drawn forth by the shipwreck of for the first time, from an open another coach. On the first head beach, in a clear day, and with a we concluded to go to the house strong wind blowing landward, nearest the sea, one Ben Cornwall's, made upon me. It was flood-tide, our purpose being as much to gra- and the sandy margin formed a prettify the eye as the touch, and there ty steep shelf. The billows, therewe accordingly arrived, pretty late fore, rose to a considerable height, on a chill, moist and cloudy even- and brake with great fury against it;
and my soul was suspended for half There are few men who are al- an hour, with an awe, a rapture ways masters of their spirits, and which I never felt before. Far difmine, which had not been high ferent were my feelings on this octhrough the day, fell suddenly some casion, for the scene was no longer degrees lower, on stepping out of new to me, and the scene itself was the carriage into the piazza of the far less magnificent. There was kouse. This place appeared, at the scarcely any wind, the tide was first glance, to want at the same ebb, and the shore declined almost time the comforts and seclusion of a imperceptibly. private house, and the order and As we came to this place for the plenty of a public one. The scene purpose of bathing, and had so without was extremely dreary, and short a time to stay, we thought we the vicinity of the sea, not being a could not begin too early, and therequarter of a mile distant, gave us fore stript immediately, notwithvery distinctly the music of his mul- standing the freshness of the air, titudinous waves.
and what is of greater moment, our Our curiosity would not allow us ignorance of the shore. to go to bed, till we had touched the Up, pretty high upon the shore, ocean-wave. We, therefore, after is an house, no better than a fisha poor repast, hastened down to the erman's hut. Tis a mere frame of beach. Between the house and the wood, boarded at the sides and top, water, is a wide and level expanse with no window, and a door-way. of loose white sand, which is a pretty The foor is sand, and there are good sample of Arabia or Zaara, as pegs against the wall to hang clothes I have heard them described. Tell upon. There is a tub provided for me, you who have travelled, when cleansing the feet from the sand, ther every country, in the temperate which when wet clings to the skin zone, of moderate extent and some like bird-line. Towels, which are what diversified, contains not sam- furnished at the house, we brought . ples of every quarter of the globe? not with us.
The air was wet to the touch and Is there any thing, the advansaline to the taste, but the novelty tages of which are more universally of the scene, to which a canopy of and constantly manifested, than ordark clouds, with a pale star gleam- der? Its value is seen in the most ing now and then through the ere- trivial matters, as in the most movices, tended to increase, buoyed up mentous. This room was pitch, my spirits to their usual pitch. To dark, and we were wholly unac,
VOL. I. NO. I.
quainted with it: and yet by the me with heat, and I felt as if unsimple process of hanging our qualified for the least exertion. I clothes, as we take them off, on a was sorry to have lost the opportupeg, and putting them on in the same nity, and rose, when the sun was order reversed, there is no difficul- high in the heavens, with some dety. Some of us were not so wise as gree of regret. But, more lucky to practise this order, and, of con- than I deserved to be, I found a sequence, were condemned to grope country waggon at the door, ready about half an hour longer than to carry down any one that chose, others, in the dark, for stockings, to the strand. I went down with sleeve-buttons, hats, and handker- another. chiefs.
This was a far different bathing What would physicians say to from that of the night before. The standing naked on a bleak night, waggon carries us to the water's with the wind at east, while the edge, and there we may undress at billows broke over you for ten min our leisure amidst a footing of clean nutes? There is an agreeable tre- straw, convenient seats and plenty pidation felt, while the scene is of napkins. The waggon receives new, and the sudden effusion of cold us directly from the water and carwater must, methinks, produce ries us home, without trouble or depowerful effects of some kind or lay. On this occasion the sun was another.
just warm enough to be comfortable, As we were early comers to this and the time o'day exactly suited house, we were honoured each with to the bath. Such is my notion of a room to himself. There were the matter, but I doubt whether any twenty or thirty persons to be ac- body else will agree with me. Suncommodated, besides a numerous rise and sun-set are the usual bathfamily, in a wooden house of two ing-times. stories; so that we could not but After breakfast, we took a walk congratulate ourselves on the privi- along the strand. My pastime conlege thus secured to us. The cham- sisted in picking up shells; in siftber, however, allotted to me was ing and examining the fine white a little nook, about seven feet long sand; in treading on the heels and and three wide, only large enough toes of the wave, as it fell and rose, to admit the bedstead and him that and in trying to find some music in slept in it. In such excursions its eternal murmur. Here could as these, however, hardships and I give you long descants on all these privations, are preferable to ease topics, but my vague and crude reand luxury. There is something veries would only make my dull like consciousness of merit in en- epistle still more dull. The sun at countering them voluntarily and last broke out with the full force of with chearfulness. There is a ri- midsummer, and we panted and valship in hardihood and good hu- waded through the sand, homemour, more pleasurable than any ward, with no small regret that we delights of the senses. A splenetic had ventured so far. We Amerior fastidious traveller is a great cans in general have feeble heads: burden to himself and to his com- those of us, I mean, who were not pany,and ought, through mere gene- born to dig ditches and make hay. rosity, to keep himself at home. In A white hat, broad-brimmed, and saying this, I am conscious, that in light as a straw, is an insufficient some degree, I pronounce my own shelter against the direct beams of condemnation, but I hope I am not the sun. What must we have sufvery culpable.
fered on this occasion when the My friends rose at day-light next vertical rays fell on a surface of morning, and went to bathe. They smooth white sand: We were algave me warning, but I heeded it most liquefied before we reached not. My little nook had half melted the house.