Page:Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands.djvu/52

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Our voyage across the Atlantic had been eminently prosperous. From our departure from New York, August 1, 1840, we encountered no obstruction dur ing the seventeen days that brought us to the Irish coast. Our good ship, the Europe, Captain Edward (i. .Marshall, surmounted the waves buoyantly, and often seemed to skim their surface, like a joyous bird. We almost imagined her to be conscious of the happi ness she imparted, as, seated on the deck, in the glori ous summer moonlight, we saw her sweeping through the crested billows, with a pleasant, rushing sound, right onward in the way she ought to go.

Methought, also, the deep bestirred itself, to exhibit its dramatis persona) in good condition for our amuse ment. Immense families of porpoises rolled and gam bolled ; other huge creatures, seeming to have hideous ears, leaped and plunged heavily ; and a whale, with her cub, glided onward, her huge mass inflated with a mother s pride and pleasure, as she led her promising monster to his ocean-play. The sun came forth from his chambers and returned again in glorious majesty, and the evening phosphorescence, contrasted with the fleecy crest and the purple base of the waves, was in tensely beautiful.

Thus were we cheated along our watery way, and by making the most of the scenery without, and the resources within, experienced as little ennui as could be expected, and indulged in no anticipation of evil. But that terror of mariners awaited us in St. George s Channel, a dense fog, upon an iron-bound coast. We

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