[Illustration: STEWARDESS OF “THE LADY FRANKLIN”]
I was very curious to see this twenty-five stone sylph in motion, and especially anxious to have an opportunity of examining the pedestals by which she was supported and set in motion. After a little patience, I was gratified to a certain extent, as the stately mass was summoned to her duties. By careful observation, I discovered the pedestals resembled flounders, out of which grew, from their centre, two cylinders, the ankles deeply imbedded therein, and in no way disturbing the smooth surface. All higher information was of course wrapt in the mystery of conjecture; but from the waddling gait and the shoulders working to and fro at every step, the concealed cylinders doubtless increased in size to such an extent, that the passing one before the other was a task of considerable difficulty; and if the motion was not dignified, it was imposingly slow, and seemed to call all the energies of the various members into action to accomplish its end. Even the demijohn rolled as if it were on a pivot, nodding grandly as the mighty stewardess of the “Franklin” proceeded to obey the summons. I watched her receding form, and felt that I had never before thoroughly realized the meaning of an “armsful of joy,” and I could not but wonder who was the happy possessor of this great blessing.
Ibrahim Pacha, when in England, was said to have had an intense desire to purchase two ladies, one aristocratic, the other horticultural, the solidity of these ladies being their great point of attraction in his estimation. Had he but seen my lovely stewardess, I am sure he would instantly have given up negotiations for both, could he thereby have hoped to obtain such a massive treasure as the “Sylph of the ‘Franklin.’”