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A SEDUCTIVE PROGRAMME.

64

“The price of passage is fixed at $1,250, currency, for each adult passenger. Choice of rooms and of seats at the tables apportioned in the order in which passengers are engaged, and no passage considered engaged until ten per cent. of the passage money is deposited with the treasurer.

Passengers can remain on board of the steamer, at all ports, if they desire, without additional expense, and all boating at the expense of the ship.

"All passages must be paid for when taken, in order that the most perfect arrangements be made for starting at the appointed time.

" Applications for passage must be approved by the committee before tickets are issued, and can be made to the undersigned.

"Articles of interest or curiosity, procured by the passengers during the voyage, may be brought home in the steamer free of charge.

“Five dollars per day, in gold, it is believed, will be a fair calculation to make for all travelling expenses on shore, and at the various points where passengers may wish to leave the steamer for days at a time.

* The trip can be extended, and the route changed, by unanimous vote of the passengers.

“CHAS. C. DUNCAN,

117 WALL STREET, NEW YORK “R. R. G******, Treasurer.

“COMMITTEE ON APPLICATIONS. "J. T. H*****, Esq. R. R. G****, Esq. C. C. DUNCAN.

“ COMMITTEE ON SELECTING STEAMER. “ CAPT. W. W. S****, Surveyor for Board of Underwriters. “C. W. C.******, Consulting Engineer for U. S. and Canada. “ J. T. H*****, ESQ. "C. C. DUNCÁY.

“P. S.—The very beautiful and substantial side wheel steamship “ Quaker City” has been chartered for the occasion, and will leave New York, June 8th. Letters have been issued by the government commending the party to courtesies abroad.”

What was there lacking about that programme, to make it perfectly irresistible ? Nothing that any finite mind could discover. Paris, England, Scotland, Switzerland, Italy,-Garibaldi ! The Grecian archipelago ! Vesuvius ! Constantinople ! Smyrna! The Holy Land ! Egypt and “our friends the Bermudians I" People in Europe desiring to join the Excursion-contagious sickness to be avoided—boating at the expense of the ship-physician on board—the circuit of the globe to be made if the passengers

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unanimously desired it—the company to be rigidly selected by & pitiless “ Committee on applications '—the vessel to be as rigidly selected by as pitiless a " Committee on Selecting Steamer.' Human nature could not withstand these bewildering temptations, I hurried to the Treasurer's office and deposited my ten per cent. I rejoiced to know that a few vacant state-rooms were still left. I did avoid a critical personal examination into my character, by that bowelless committee, but I referred to all the people of high standing I could think of in the community who would be least likely to know any thing about me.

Shortly a supplementary programme was issued which set forth that the Plymouth Collection of Hymns would be used on board the ship. I then paid the balance of my passage money.

I was provided with a receipt, and duly and officially accepted as an excursionist. There was happiness in that, but it was tame compared to the novelty of being "select."

This supplementary programme also instructed the excursionists to provide themselves with light musical instruments for amusement in the ship; with saddles for Syrian travel ; green spectacles and umbrellas; veils for Egypt; and substantial clothing to use in rough pilgrimizing in the Holy Land. Furthermore, it was suggested that although the ship’s library would afford a fair amount of reading matter, it would still be well if each passenger would provide himself with a few guide-books, a Bible and some standard works of travel. A list was appended, which consisted chiefly of books relating to the Holy Land, since the Holy Land was part of the excursion and seemed to be its main feature.

Rev. Henry Ward Beecher was to have accompanied the expedition, but urgent duties obliged him to give up the idea. There were other passengers who could have been spared better, and would have been spared more willingly. Lieut. Gen. Sherman was to have been of the party also, but the Indian war compelled his presence on the plains. A popular actress had entered her name on the ship’s books, but something interfered and she couldn't go. The “Drummer Boy of the Potomac" deserted, and lo, we had never a celebrity left !

However, we were to have a “ Battery of guns” from the Navy Department, (as per advertisement,) to be used in answering royal salutes ; and the document furnished by the Secretary of the Navy, which was to make “Gen. Sherman and party” welcome guests in the courts and camps of the old world, was still left to us, though both document and battery, I think, were shorn of somewhat of their original august proportions. However, had not we the seductive programme, still, with its Paris, its Constantinople, Smyrna, Jerusalem, Jericho, and “our friends the Bermudians " What did we care ?

CHAPTER II.

a

OCCASIONALLY, during the following month, I dropped in at 117 Wall-street to enquire how the repairing and refurnishing of the vessel was coming on; how additions to the passenger list were averaging; how many people the committee were decreeing not “select every day, and banishing in sorrow and tribulation. I was glad to know that we were to have a little printing-press on board and issue a daily newspaper of our own. I was glad to learn that our piano, our parlour organ and our melodeon were to be the best instruments of the kind that could be had in the market. I was proud to observe that among our excursionists were three ministers of the gospel, eight doctors, sixteen or eighteen ladies, several military and naval chieftains, with sounding titles, an ample crop of “ Professors" of various kinds, and a gentleman who had .: COMMISSIONER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO EUROPE, ASIA, AND AFRICA" thundering after his name in one awful blast! I had carefully prepared myself to take rather a back seat in that ship, because of the uncommonly select material that would alone be permitted to pass through the camel's eye of that committee on credentials; I had schooled myself to expect an imposing array of military and naval heroes, and to have to set that back seat still further back in consequence of it, may be ; but I state frankly that I was all unprepared for this crusher.

I fell under that titular avalanche a torn and blighted thing. I said that if that potentate must go over in our ship, why, I supposed he must-but that to my thinking, when the United States considered it necessary to send a dignitary of that tonnage across the ocean, it would be in better taste, and safer, to take him apart and cart him over in sections, in several ships.

Ah, if I had only known, then, that he was only a common mortal, and that his mission had nothing more overpowering about it than the collecting of seeds, and uncommon yams and extraordinary cabbages and peculiar bullfrogs for that poor, useless, innocent, mildewed old fossil, the Smithsonian Institute, I would have felt so much relieved.

During that memorable month I basked in the happiness of being for once in my life drifting with the tide of a great popular movement. Everybody was going to Europe—I, too, was going to Europe. Everybody was going to the famous Paris Exposition -I, too, was going to the Paris Exposition. The steamship lines were carrying Americans out of the various ports of the country at the rate of four or five thousand a week, in the aggregate. If I met a dozen individuals, during that month, who were not going to Europe shortly, I have no distinct remembrance of it now. walked about the city a good deal with a young Mr. Blucher, who was booked for the excursion. He was confiding, good-natured, MR. BLUCHER'S OPINION.

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unsophisticated, companionable; but he was not a man to set the river on fire. He had the most extraordinary notions about this European exodus, and came at last to consider the whole nation as packing up for emigration to France. We stepped into a store in Broadway, one day, where he bought a handkerchief, and when the man could not make change, Mr. B. said :

“Never mind, I'll hand it to you in Paris."
“But I am not going to Paris.”
“ How is—what did I understand you to say ?"
“I said I am not going to Paris.”

“Not going to Paris ! Not g-well, then, where in the nation are you going to ?

Nowhere at all." “Not anywhere whatsoever ?—not any place on earth but this ?" “Not any place at all but just this-stay here all summer.” My comrade took his purchase and walked out of the store without a word-walked out with an injured look upon his countenance. Up the street apiece he broke silence and said impressively : “It was a lie-that is my opinion of it !"

In the fulness of time the ship was ready to receive her passengers. I was introduced to the young gentleman who was to be my room mate, and found him to be intelligent, cheerful of spirit, unselfish, full of generous impulses, patient, considerate, and wonderfully good-natured. Not any passenger that sailed in the Quaker City will withhold his endorsement of what I have just said. We selected a state-room forward of the wheel, on the starboard side," below decks.” It had two berths in it, a dismal dead-light, a sink with a wash-bowl in it, and a long, sumptuously cushioned locker, which was to do service as a sofa-partly, and partly as a hiding-place for our things. Notwithstanding all this furniture, there was still room to turn around in, but not to swing a cat in, at least with entire security to the cat. However, the room was large, for a ship’s state-room, and was in every way satisfactory.

The vessel was appointed to sail on a certain Saturday early in June.

A little after noon on that distinguished Saturday, I reached the ship and went on board. All was bustle and confusion. [I have seen that remark before somewhere.] The pier was crowded with carriages and men ; passengers were arriving and hurrying on board ; the vessel's decks were encumbered with trunks and valises ; groups of excursionists, arrayed in unattractive travelling costumes, were moping about in a drizzling rain and looking as droopy and woe-begone as so many moulting chickens. The gallant flag was up, but it was under the spell, too, and hung limp and disheartened by the mast. Altogether, it was the bluest, bluest spectacle ! It was a pleasure excursion—there was no gainsaying that, because the programme said so it was so nominated in the bond-but it surely hadn't the general aspect of one.

"CAST OFF."

sea on.

Finally, above the banging, and rumbling, and shouting and hissing of steam, rang the order to “cast off !"-a sudden rush to the gangways-a scampering ashore of visitors-a revolution of the wheels, and we were off-the picnic was begun! Two very mild cheers went up from the dripping crowd on the pier ; we answered them gently from the slippery decks; the flag made an effort to wave, and failed ; the "battery of guns” spake not-the

1 ammunition was out.

We steamed down to the foot of the harbour and came to anchor. It was still raining. And not only raining, but storming. Outside, we could see, ourselves, that there was a tremendous

We must lie still in the calm harbour, till the storm should abate. Our passengers hailed from fifteen States ; only a few of them had ever been to sea before ; manifestly it would not do to pit them against a full blown tempest until they had got their sea-legs on. Towards evening the two steam tugs that had accompanied us with a rollicking champagne-party of young New Yorkers on board who wished to bid farewell to one of our number in due and ancient form, departed, and we were alone on the deep. On deep five fathoms, and anchored fast to the bottom. And out in the solemn rain, at that. This was pleasuring with a vengeance.

It was an appropriate relief when the gong sounded for prayer meeting. The first Saturday night of any other pleasure excursion might have been devoted to whist or dancing ; but I submit it to the unprejudiced mind if it would have been in good taste for us to engage in such frivolities, considering what we had gone through and the frame of mind we were in. We would have shone at a wake, but not at anything more festive.

However, there is always a cheering influence about the sea; and in my berth that night, rocked by the measured swell of the waves, and lulled by the murmur of the distant surf, I soon passed tranquilly out of all consciousness of the dreary experiences of the day and damaging premonitions of the future.

CHAPTER III.

ALL day Sunday at anchor. The storm had gone down a great deal, but the sea had not. It was still piling its frothy hills high in air "outside,” as we could plainly see with the glasses. We could not properly begin a pleasure excursion on Sunday; we could not offer untried stomachs to such a pitiless sea as that. We must lie still till Monday. And we did. But we had repetitions of church and prayer-meetings; and so, of course, we were just as eligibly situated as we could have been any where.

I was up early that Sabbath morning, and was early to

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