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youth, and having awakened him from his revery by the application, exclaimed, “ Well, Doleton, what news?”
“ Newsmeh ?" asked the poor youth, gazing round him like a person suddenly awakened from a sound sleep; “news-eh?-I don't know, I've got a letter from my father.”
6 You're in luck.” said Julian; “ I wish I had."
“Luck,” repeated Doleton—" what's that? Ah ! true, I suppose I am lucky—my father's on leave at Calcutta.”
“ You lucky dog, I wish mine were," ejaculated Julian, with much fervour.
“ And so do I,” exclaimed Peregrine Pultuney; “ but I am in luck's way too I've got an old aunt at the Presidency, and she's better than nothing."
“ Has she sent you an invite?" asked Julian.
“Of course she has," returned Peregrine; " and the best of it is, she has got a daughter."
“ Heigh!" ejaculated Julian Jenks, with a most exquisitely humorous wink of the eye, " a charming woman of course,
With a dozen of tall Irish cousins
Whom she loves in a sisterly way.'” Peregrine replied to this sally of facetiousness, by poking his friend in the ribs, and after a slight interchange of practical civilities, the two young men repaired again to the poop to continue their observations upon Indian scenery.
In the absence of steam, a good south-west monsoon is not such a very contemptible thing to help a ship up the river ; so being in the full enjoyment of this advantage, the Hastings, made what would be considered very tolerable progress even in these steam-tugging days. We have ourselves sailed from Saugor point to the Calcutta Mint in one morning, as mornings are generally computed in genteel society, meaning thereby, that we were opposite to the only “ Pagoda Tree," whose existence we are aware of in this country, before three o'clock P. M., Baron Monkhausen, or Colonel - , may have done it in less time, but we can name our ship.
But to return from this little digression to our friends, Peregrine Pultuney and Julian Jenks, who are still upon the poop of the Hastings, making, like Dr. Syntax, their notes on the picturesque, or rather the unpicturesque ; for it must be acknowledged that Diamond Harbour and Mud Point are not the fittest subjects in the world for the sketcher. But there was the Semanhore at the former place, tossing about its arms, and there was an alligator at the latter, which Major Lackywell was pleased to point out as a mosquito, thinking in his innocence, that he was most elaborately witty, in thus re-animating a deceased joke. As the river narrowed, the banks grew a little more interesting, if any interest can possibly be attached to a few stunted trees and an occasional mud hut, into which no gentleman farmer in England would be cruel enough to turn his pigs. Still they were objects, and that is something after a long voyage, where the only objects are the masts of your ship, the sky, the sea, and the horizon.
Wind and tide being favourable, and plenty of water, the Hastings reached Fultah about five o'clock on the evening of the second day after the pilot took command of the vessel, and as the tide failed them about this time, they cast anchor opposite the Fultah Hotel, now a melancholy and unsightly ruin, though were its windows so many mouths instead of eyes, it might tell of many a joyous carousal, of many orgies, and some perhaps unhallowed ones, of which that tumbling pile, in days of yore, was the chosen seat and the silent witness. The old hands of course were full of it, as they always are, whenever they approach it, and volunteered a vast deal of information to the youngsters, beginning with, “I remember when that place," and ending with a personal anecdote, which said anecdotes in general, and Colonel Coteloll's in particular, had such an effect upon Peregrine Pultuney and Julian Jenks, that they insisted on going ashore in a native boat and exploring the old ruin.
This they did considerably to their own improvement and satisfaction, as they afterwards informed everybody; and having gone over the skeleton hotel, and moralized amongst its ruins, like
Marius at Carthage, they made a little diversion into the bazaar, with the laudable purpose of gaining some knowledge of the manners and customs of the natives, in which attempt, however, though perfectly well intended, they did not meet with the success they anticipated, for as the only Hindustani words they knew were brandy paunie and jou, they did not make much way with the inhabitants of Fultah, who clamoured very loudly for burees, a word which Peregrine Pultuney and Julian Jenks took for a term of respect, but which in reality implied that they had a very high opinion of nothing at all but the young gentlemen's griffinism.
However, they returned to the ship without any particular adventure, took a pretty stiff tumbler of "hot with," and then turned into bed with the delightful prospect before them of being awakened before daylight by those Tartarean sounds which the joint efforts of the capstan and the chain cable, call into being, whenever they are excited.
But it was the last day, that was a comfort; and in a few hours after turning out of his cot, our hero passed the many-windowed factory at Fort Gloster—then, in a little while, doubled the Cape, which goes by the name of Point Melancholy, because a young lady is said to have chosen that spot to do a bit of Sterne's Maria in, with a favourite young crocodile in blue ribbands for her companion—then on to the Botanical Gardens, where
ladies and gentlemen go in the cold weather to drink champagne and talk nonsense al fresco then, on passing Garden Reach, where the river begins to wear a more earthly aspect, and to remind one a little of Putney or Kew-pass the Fort, where an artillery sergeant boarded the Hastings, to the great dismay of Cadet Doleton, who thought that he was coming to take charge of the cadets along the side of the strand, now deserted and forlorn-on, on: every passenger on deck, whether griffin or old Indian, gazing intently on the noble abodes of the city of palaces, that had now unfolded themselves to the view-on, still on, till a comfortable berth for the vessel was found near Chandpaul ghaut; and then was heard the welcome cry, in accents becoming it, of " let go the anchor," and tearing, and dragging, and creaking, and wrenching, the anchor was “ let go" for the last time, and the voyage of the Hastings was ended.