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An Afternoon Upon The Brine

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To the hungry Atlantic voyager, coming towards the setting sun, it is a surprise, and I may say an amioyance, tbat it is about an hour between 11:30 a. m., and noon, the hour for lunch. On the ocean he has nothng to do, and gets very hungry, so he has his breakfast at eight, liis lunch at twelve, lii.s tublr éTkote at five, his tea at eight in the evening, and if he isespecially desirous of getting the worth of his money from the steamship company, he gets up at five in the morning and has his ante-breakfast froui the pantry. It may be that in doinit this he is actuated by economie principies in dosiring to save some of the food where he sees so much rcastcd. After te captain bas found out when it is noon, we all- that is, " all that is left of tbein" - go down to lunch, and then ascend to the deck to play shuffle-board, sit around and gossip, or wonder how many knots we are making, and especially how many we have still to make. Many resolve to do considerable reading on the passage, but by far the greater number so catch the restless, uneasy spirit of the waves about theui, as to find it impossible to comuiand their thoughts as they should to read ffcfitably. Instead of reading, then, let us descend into the engine-room, undcr the guidanoe of the mate. He tirst shows us tlie ïnas.-in: Clyde engines and the long passage between the eight boilers, where twenty-seven modern Cyclops are toiling to keep up sixty pounds of' steam with tho help of sixteen furiiaees. He shows us a dial which in a comnion voyage will register one niillion revolutions of the screw, and fairly takes away our breath by informing us that nine hundred and forty tons of coal werc taken on at Hamburg, and that the pilè is decreased by forty-fivc tons every day. When we recover our breath, we go to our sevenby-nine state-room, and prepare for the great event of the day. It is the table d'hote. It is composed of from eight to thirteen courses, with a fourteen minutes recess between each course for digestión. The first course, of course, is soup - uoodle, turtle or macaroni. This is succeeded in turnby mushrooni?, beef steeped in vinegar and roasted, flanked by asparagus and potatoes, veal cutlets, roast goose with preseryed pears, blano mange and jelly cake, meions or berries, coffee, and at last, olfactory cheese. After all this, with many side dishes added, wo struggle to our feet and diligently pace tb deck for about an hour in order to settle the previous program and prepare for the eight o'clock tea. In the meautime we will sauntcr foward to take a gliinpse of the steerage passenger, who are waltzing on the sloping deck to the musió of a whcezy hand organ. Suddenly the boat lnrches. The waltzers fall over each other, all in a heap, the hand-organ man picks himself up out of the scuppers, and the fun goes on with other dancers, leaving the former ones trj'ing to find out what hit them. Later in the evening, if' it be a quiet one, the breeze bearg back to us the swelling chorua of Die Wacht am Rhein, which is answered by the old f'olks, who are inquiring whetber they will "Qather at the Kiver," and by colloge boys, who are trying gravely to II nrrali for Mary, hurrah for the larab, Hurrah for the teacher who dldn't gl ve a - cent. Kather late in the eveninir we go to our rooms and get into our coffin-like berthn, wondering why they are so .mail. If' a storm comes up in the night, we, by alternately butting the head-board and pounding the foot-board at every pitch, become living pistons in a wooden cylinder. We then see that if the bed was a large one, and the heaving rapid, we would not have tjme to roll to one side before it would be time to go back to the other. In_ this way the pa'.icnt would soon beoome impatient, and perhaps talk out aloud. But if the sea is calni, he soon goes to sleep, lulled by gurgling waters rushing by so near his head, by the steady click of the engine, by the measured step upon the deck, and " Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep," his dreams are sweet, and in after time he says : . Ah! what pleasant vlslons hauut mi As I giize upon the sea ! AU the old romantic legenda, All my dreams, come buck to me.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News