“Then I shall have an additional reason to remember with gratitude the young gentleman,” added Lord Tremlyn.
“Mrs. Belgrave, gentlemen, the mother of our owner,” the captain proceeded, as he took the lady by the arm.
“I congratulate you, madam, on being the mother of such a noble son; for not many young men with the fortune he has at his command would pull an oar in such a gale, such a storm, even to save his fellow-beings from perishing in the angry waves,” said his lordship, as he took the hand of the lady. “Blessed be the mother of such a boy!”
The members of the Woolridge family were next presented to the trio; and the distinguished strangers had something pleasant to say to each of them. The “live lord” was only twenty-eight years old, and Sir Modava but thirty, while Dr. Ferrolan was forty-six; and all of them seemed to be greatly impressed, and even startled, when Miss Blanche dawned upon them; for she was as beautiful to them as she was to everybody else, and they seemed to be unwilling to allow her to make room for the others to be introduced.
Every person in the cabin seemed to enter into the spirit of the occasion; and the wearers of the borrowed clothing, as the owners of the garments were indicated, brought forth many humorous remarks from both sides, which it would be pleasant to report if space permitted. The ceremony was finished in due time, though it was rather a long time.
“We are not accustomed to the companionship of titled personages,” said the commander at its conclusion. “But we are eminently a social party, and we desire our guests to make themselves as much at home on board of the Guardian-Mother as if they owned her, and were running her for their own pleasure.”
“Thank you, Captain Ringgold. Titles are not men, and we know that you are all republicans. If we do not make ourselves worthy of the generous welcome you have extended to us, we shall not ask any consideration on account of the titles that have fallen upon us through the nature of our constitutional government. I believe that we all stand on the same level before our Maker; and whatever social distinctions prevail in our country, they do not exempt any Briton from being a gentleman and an honest man,” replied Lord Tremlyn. And his remarks were warmly applauded by both English and Americans; and the gentleman bowed his thanks for this appreciation of his sentiments.
At a nod from the captain the bell was rung for breakfast. Taking the “live lord” by the arm, he conducted him to the seat next him on his right. Louis conducted Sir Modava to the place on the commander’s left, and placed his mother next to him. It was found impracticable to heed the names that had been placed on the plates, for it would have taken too much time. Louis took Miss Blanche to the place next to his mother, and seated himself at her right.