“Farewell; God knows when we shall meet
I have a faint, cold fear thrilling through my veins,
That almost freezes up the heat of life.”
SHAKESPEARE’S “Romeo and Juliet.”
As the dews of heaven fall gently, lulling the flowers to rest, so did the low, clear voice of the Sea-flower soothe the weary spirits of Mrs. Grosvenor, as she read from the evening paper the following paragraph:
“Spoken by bark Constitution, of New York, in latitude 39 deg. 20’, longitude 45 deg., ship Tantalizer, of Nant., Capt. I. W. Grosvenor, eighty days from home; had taken seventy barrels of sperm oil, and was made fast to a forty-barrel right whale: would sail for South Seas in a few days; all well.”
“Hurrah for father!” exclaimed Harry; “he will be at home in less than two years, at that rate, and then he promised me that I should see what old ocean is made of!”
“My son, you will learn full soon what a life at sea is; your bright visions may indeed some of them be realized, the many dangers to which you will be exposed, will not serve to mar your joys, for to such a heart as yours they will pass unheeded; but for all that, my son, you will meet with many hardships, of which you little know. I would wish you never to follow the sea, my boy, but if you are still determined upon it, when your father returns I shall have to give my consent, though with reluctance. You will then be old enough to choose your own pursuits for life, and whatever they may be, remember, Harry, to lead an honest, upright life, never losing sight of your early instructions, and the prayers of your mother.”
As Mrs. Grosvenor ceased speaking she looked upon her son, and could hardly realize that her little rosy-cheeked Harry, who had loved to lay his head upon her bosom, and listen while she told him of his father, who had gone away over the blue water, to get such pretty things for his boy, had grown to be a tall lad of fifteen years; and well might she have been proud of her son, for the nobleness of his soul was apparent in every feature. As Vingo expressed himself, “Young massa Harry am got up ob what neber would get used to de atmosphere ob old Berginny.”
“Mother,” said Harry, “I shall never forget your teachings. I shall always hold them sacred in my heart, and wherever I go, in whatever circumstances I am placed, I will be true to you, my mother;” and he pressed a fervent kiss upon the brow of her who was worthy the name.
As Mrs. Grosvenor returned her son’s embrace, she felt that perhaps she had said too much; that she had been selfish in wishing to have him always near her; and she observed that he wore an expression of pain, of deep emotion, which he in vain attempted to conceal.