or, The Sovereign Rule of South Carolina.
With Views Of Southern Laws, Life, And Hospitality.
By F. C. Adams.
Written In Charleston, South Carolina. Washington, D. C.:
CHAPTER I. THE Unlucky Ship CHAPTER II. The Steward's Bravery CHAPTER III. The Second Storm CHAPTER IV. The Charleston Police CHAPTER V. Mr. Grimshaw, the Man of the County CHAPTER VI. The Janson in the Offing CHAPTER VII. Arrival of the Janson CHAPTER VIII. A New Dish of Secession CHAPTER IX. A few Points of the Law CHAPTER X. The Prospect Darkening CHAPTER XI. The Sheriff's Office CHAPTER XII. The Old Jail CHAPTER XIII. How it is CHAPTER XIV. Manuel Pereira Committed CHAPTER XV. The Law's Intricacy CHAPTER XVI. Plea of Just Consideration and Mistaken Constancy of the Laws CHAPTER XVII. Little George, the Captain, and Mr. Grimshaw CHAPTER XVIII. Little Tommy and the Police CHAPTER XIX. The Next Morning, and the Mayor's Verdict CHAPTER XX. Emeute among the Stewards CHAPTER XXI. The Captain's Interview with Mr. Grimshaw CHAPTER XXII. Copeland's Release and Manuel's close Confinement CHAPTER XXIII. Imprisonment of John Paul, and John Baptiste Pamerlie CHAPTER XXIV. The Janson Condemned CHAPTER XXV. George the Secessionist, and his Father's Ships CHAPTER XXVI. A Singular Reception CHAPTER XXVII. The Habeas Corpus CHAPTER XXVIII. The Captain's Departure and Manuel's Release CHAPTER XXIX. Manuel's Arrival in New York CHAPTER XXX. The Scene of Anguish CONCLUSION APPENDIX
OUR generous friends in Georgia and South Carolina will not add among their assumptions that we know nothing of the South and Southern life. A residence of several years in those States, a connection with the press, and associations in public life, gave us opportunities which we did not lose, and have not lost sight of; and if we dipped deeper into the vicissitudes of life and law than they gave us credit for at the time, we trust they will pardon us, on the ground of interest in the welfare of the South.
Perhaps we should say, to support the true interests of the South, we should and must abandon many of those errors we so strenuously supported in years past; and thus we have taken up the subject of our book, based upon the practical workings of an infamous law, which we witnessed upon the individual whose name forms a part of the title.
Imprisoning a shipwrecked sailor, and making it a penal offence for a freeman to come within the limits of a republican State, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, seems to be considered commonplace, instead of barbarous in South Carolina. This may be accounted for by the fact that the power of a minority, created in wrong, requiring barbarous expedients to preserve itself intact, becomes an habitual sentiment, which usage makes right.
This subject has been treated with indifference, even by the press, which has satisfied itself in discussing the abstract right as a question of law, rather than by disclosing the sufferings of those who endure the wrong and injustice. When we are called upon to support, and are made to suffer the penalty of laws founded in domestic fear, and made subservient to various grades of injustice, it becomes our duty to localize the wrong, and to point out the odium which attaches to the State that enacts such laws of oppression.
A "peculiar-institution" absorbs and takes precedence of every thing; its protection has become a sacred element of legislative and private action; and fair discussion is looked upon as ominous, and proclaimed as incendiary. But we speak for those who owe no allegiance to that delicate institution; citizens to all intents and, purposes (notwithstanding their dark skins) of the countries to which they severally belong; peaceable persons, pursuing their avocations, to provide a respectable maintenance for their families, and worthy of the same protective rights claimed by the more fortunate citizens of such countries. In doing this we shall give a practical illustration of the imprisonment of four individuals in South Carolina, and ask those who speculate in the abstract science of State sovereignty, to reflect upon the issue of that lamentable injustice which inflicts punishment upon persons guiltless of crime. We prefer to be plain, and we know our Southern friends will not accuse us of misconstruction, for we have their interests at heart, as well as the cause of humanity, which we shall strive to promote, in spite of the struggles of modern barbarism, seeking to perpetuate itself. Fear, the inventor of such pretexts as are set up, and mantled in Southern modesty, must remodel its code for South Carolinians, before it can assert a power unknown to law, or trample upon the obligations of treaty, or enforce nullification of individual rights.
CHARLESTON, S. C., July 17,1852.
CHAPTER I. THE UNLUCKY SHIP.
THE British brig Janson, Thompson, master, laden with sugar, pimento, &c. &c. left Kingston, Jamaica, in the early part of March, in the present year, bound for Glasgow. The skipper, who was a genuine son of the "Land o' Cakes," concluded to take the inside passage, and run through the gulf. This might have been questioned by seamen better acquainted with the windward passage; but as every Scotchman likes to have his own way, the advice of the first officer—an experienced salt in the West India waters—went to leeward. On rounding Cape Antoine, it was evident that a strong blow was approaching. The clouds hung their dark curtains in threatening blackness; and, as the sharp flashes of lightning inflamed the gloomy scene, the little bark seemed like a speck upon the bosom of the sea. It was the first mate's watch on deck. The wind, then blowing from the W.S.W., began to increase and veer into the westward; from whence it suddenly chopped into the northward. The mate paced the quarter wrapt in his fearnought jacket, and at every turn giving a glance aloft, then looking at the compass, and again to the man at the wheel, as if he had an instinct of what was coming.
He was a fearless navigator, yet, like many others who had yielded to the force of habit, was deeply imbued with that prevalent superstition so common to sailors, which regards a particular ship as unlucky. Imagine an old-fashioned boatswain, with north-country features strongly marked, a weather-beaten face, and a painted south-wester on his head, and you have the "Mister Mate" of the old brig Janson.
"Keep her full, my hearty. We must take in our light sails and go on the other tack soon. If we don't catch it before daylight, I'll miss my calculation. She's an unlucky old craft as ever I sailed in, and if the skipper a'n't mighty careful, he'll never get her across. I've sworn against sailing in her several times, but if I get across in her this time, I'll bid her good-by; and if the owners don't give me a new craft, they may get somebody else. We're just as sure to have bad luck as if we had cats and parsons aboard."
Thus saying, he descended the companion-way, and reported the appearance of the weather to the skipper, who arose quickly, and, consulting his barometer, found it had fallen to near the lowest scale. After inquiring the quarter of the wind, and how she headed, what sail she was carrying, and the probable distance from the cape, he gave orders to call all hands to take in the topgallant-sails, double reef the fore, and single reef the maintop-sails, and stow the flying-jib—dressed himself, and came on deck. Just as he put his head above the slide of the companion, and stopped for a minute with his hands resting upon the sides, a vivid flash of lightning hung its festoons of fire around the rigging, giving it the appearance of a chain of livid flame.
"We'll catch the but-end of a gulf sneezer soon. Tell the boys to bear a hand with them sails. We must get her snug, and stand by to lay her under a double-reefed maintop-sail and jib, with her head to the northward and eastward. We may make a clear drift—chance if it lasts long," said Skipper Thompson, as he stood surveying the horizon and his craft. Scarcely had he given the orders before the storm burst upon them with all its fury. Its suddenness can only be appreciated by those who have sailed in the West India passages, where the sudden shocks of the short-chopping sea acts with a tremendous strain upon the hull of a heavy-laden vessel. The captain ran to the windward gangway, hurrying his men in the discharge of their duty, and giving another order to clew up the coursers and foretop-sail. Just as the men had executed the first, and were about to pull on the clew-lines of the latter, a sudden gust took effect upon the bag of the sail and carried it clean from the bolt-ropes. The halyards were lowered and the yards properly braced up, while the Janson was brought to under the canvas we have before described. In a few minutes more the wind had increased to a gale, and, as the sailors say, several times the old craft "wouldn't look at it." Several times we had to put her helm up, and as many times she shipped those forcing cross seas which drive every thing before them, and sweep the decks. At length a piece of canvas was lashed to the fore-rigging which gave her a balance, and she rode easy until about five o'clock in the morning, when by a sudden broach the canvas was carried away, and a tremendous sharp sea boarded her forward; starting several stanchions, carrying away part of her starboard bulwark and rail, and simultaneously the foretop-gallant-mast, which snapped just above the withe. As a natural consequence, every thing was in the utmost confusion—the old hull worked in every timber. The wreck swayed to and fro, retarding the working of the vessel and endangering the lives of those who attempted to clear it from obstruction. Thus she remained for more than half an hour, nearly on her beam-ends, and at the mercy of each succeeding sea that threatened to engulf her.
As daylight broke, the wind lulled, and, as usual in those waters, the sea soon ran down. Enabled to take the advantage of daylight, they commenced to clear away the wreck. In the mean time it was found necessary to remove the fore-hatch in order to get out some spare sails that had been stowed away near the forward bulkhead, instead of a more appropriate place. The mate, after trying the pumps in the early part of the gale, reported that she had started a leak; which, however, was so trifling as to require but one man to keep her free, until she broached, and carried away her topgallant-mast. The man on duty then reported the water increasing, and another was ordered to assist him. On an examination in the morning, it was found that she was strained in the fore-channels, and had started a but.
"She's an unlucky concern, skipper," said the mate as he brought the axe to take the battons off the forehatch. "A fellow might as well try to work a crab at low tide as to keep her to it in a blow like that. She minds her helm like a porpoise in the breakers. Old Davy must have put his mark upon her some time, but I never know'd a lucky vessel to be got as she was. She makes a haul on the underwriters every time she drifts across; for I never knew her to sail clear since I shipped in the old tub. If she was mine, I'd find a place for her at somebody's expense."
The sea became smooth, the water was found to have receded, the wind, light, had hauled to W.S.W., and Cape Antoine was judged by dead reckoning to bear S.S.W. about thirty miles distant. The larboard fore-shrouds were found to have been scorched by the lightning, which had completely melted the tar from the after-shroud. All hands were now busily employed repairing the wreck, which by two o'clock P.M. they had got so far completed as to stand on their course in the gulf, at the rate of six knots an hour.
The skipper now consulted in his mind as to the expediency of making for Havana or proceeding on his cruise. The leak had materially diminished, and, like all old vessels, though she gave a good portion of work at the pumps, a continuation of good weather might afford an opportunity to shove her across. Under these feelings, he was inclined to give the preference to his hopes rather than yield to his fears. He considered the interest of all concerned—consulted his mate, but found him governed by his superstition, and looking upon the issue of his life about as certain whether he jumped overboard or "stuck by the old tub." He considered again the enormous port-charges imposed in Havana, the nature of his cargo in regard to tariff, should his vessel be condemned, and the ruinous expenses of discharging, &c. &c. together with the cost of repairs, providing they were ordered. All these things he considered with the mature deliberation of a good master, who has the general interests of all concerned at heart. So, if he put away for a port, in consideration of all concerned, his lien for general average would have strong ground in maritime law; yet there were circumstances connected with the sea-worthy condition of the craft—known to himself, if not to the port-wardens, and which are matters of condition between the master and his owners—which might, upon certain technicalities of law, give rise to strong objectionable points. With all these glancing before him, he, with commendable prudence, resolved to continue his voyage, and trust to kind Providence for the best.
"Captain," said the mate, as he stood viewing the prospect, with a marlinespike in one hand and a piece of seizing in the other—"I verily think, if that blow had stuck to us two hours longer, the old tub would a' rolled her futtocks out. Ye don't know her as well as I do. She's unlucky, anyhow; and always has been since she sot upon the water. I've seen her top-sides open like a basket when we've been trying to work her into port in heavy weather: and a craft that won't look nearer than nine points close-hauled, with a stiff breeze, ought to be sent into the Clyde for a coal-droger. An old vessel's a perfect pickpocket to owners; and if this old thing hasn't opened their purses as bad as her own seams, I'll miss my reckonin'. I've had a strong foreknowledge that we wouldn't get across in her. I saw the rats leaving in Jamaica—taking up their line of march, like marines on the fore. It's a sure sign. And then I'd a dream, which is as sure as a mainstay—never deceives me. I can depend on its presentiment. I have dreamed it several times, and we always had an awful passage. Twice we come within a bobstay of all goin' to Old Davy's store-house. I once escaped it, after I'd had my mysterious dream; but then I made the cook throw the cat overboard just after we left port, and 'twas all that saved us."
Thus saying, he went forward to serve a topgallant-stay that was stretched across the forecastle-hatch from the cat-heads, and had just been spliced by the men, followed by an old-fashioned sea-urchin, a miniature of the tar, with a mallet in his hand. The captain, although a firm, intelligent man, and little given to such notions of fate as are generally entertained by sailors, who never shake off the spiritual imaginings of the forecastle, displayed some discomfiture of mind at the strong character of the mate's misgivings. He knew him to be a good sailor, firm in his duty, and unmoved by peril. This he had proved on several occasions when sailing in other vessels, when the last ray of hope seemed to be gone. He approached the mate again, and with a pretence of making inquiries about the storage of the cargo, sounded him further in regard to his knowledge of the Bahamas, and with special reference to the port of Nassau.
"Six-tenths of her timbers are as rotten as punk," said the mate; "this North American timber never lasts long; the pump-wells are defective, and when we carry sail upon her, they don't affect the water in the lee-bilge, and she rolls it through her air-streaks like a whale. She'll damage the best cargo that ever floated, in that way. Take my word for it, skipper, she'll never go across the Banks; she'll roll to splinters as soon as she gets into them long seas; and if we get dismasted again, it's gone Davy."
"I know the old scow before to-day, and wouldn't shipped in her, if I hadn't been lime-juiced by that villanous landlord that advanced me the trifle. But I seen she was as deep as a luggerman's sand-barge, and I popped the old cat overboard, just as we rounded the point coming out o' Kingston harbour," said a fine, active-looking sailor, who bore every trait of a royal tar, and boasted of serving five years in the East-India service, to his shipmate, while he continued to serve the stay. His words were spoken in a whisper, and not intended for the captain's ears. The captain overheard him, however; and, as a vessel is a world to those on board, the general sentiment carries its weight in controlling its affairs. Thus the strong feeling which prevailed on board could not fail to have its effect upon the captain's mind.
"Well, we'll try her at any rate," said the captain, walking aft and ordering the cabin-boy to bring up his glass; with which he took a sharp look to the southward.
"I'd shape her course for a southern Yankee port. I haven't been much in them, but I think we'll stand a better chance there than in these ports where they make a speculation of wrecking, and would take a fellow's pea-jacket for salvage." "We're always better under the protection of a consul than in a British port," said the mate, coming aft to inform the skipper that they had carried away the chains of the bobstay, and that the bowsprit strained her in the knight-heads.
CHAPTER II. THE STEWARD'S BRAVERY.
DURING the worst of the gale, a mulatto man, with prominent features, indicating more of the mestino than negro character, was moving in busy occupation about the deck, and lending a willing hand with the rest of the crew to execute the captain's orders. He was rather tall, well formed, of a light olive complexion, with dark, piercing eyes, a straight, pointed nose, and well-formed mouth. His hair, also, had none of that crimp so indicative of negro extraction, but lay in dark curls all over his head. As he answered to the captain's orders, he spoke in broken accents, indicating but little knowledge of the English language. From the manner in which the crew treated him, it was evident that he was an established favourite with them as well as the officers, for each appeared to treat him more as an equal than a menial. He laboured cheerfully at sailor's duty until the first sea broke over her, when, seeing that the caboose was in danger of being carried from the lashings, and swept to leeward in the mass of wreck, he ran for that all-important apartment, and began securing it with extra lashings. He worked away with an earnestness that deserved all praise; not with the most satisfactory effect for an angry sea immediately succeeding completely stripped the furnace of its woodwork, and in its force carried the gallant fellow among its fragments into the lee-scuppers, where he saved himself from going overboard only by clinging to a stanchion.
The second mate, a burly old salt, ran to his assistance, but, before he reached him, our hero had recovered himself, and was making another attempt to reach his coppers. It seemed to him as much a pending necessity to save the cooking apparatus as it did the captain to save the ship.
"He no catch me dis time," said he to the mate, smiling as he lifted his drenched head from among the fragments of the wreck. "I fix a de coffee in him yet, please God."
After securing the remains of his cooking utensils, he might be seen busily employed over a little stove, arranged at the foot of the stairs that led to the cabin. The smoke from the funnel several times annoyed the captain, who laboured under the excitement consequent upon the confusion of the wreck and peril of his vessel, bringing forth remonstrances of no very pleasant character. It proved that the good steward was considering how he could best serve Jack's necessities; and while they were laboring to save the ship, lie was studiously endeavoring to anticipate the craving of their stomachs. For when daylight appeared and the storm subsided, the steward had a bountiful dish of hot coffee to relieve Jack's fatigued system. It was received with warm welcome, and many blessings were heaped upon the head of the steward; A good "doctor" is as essential for the interests of owners and crew as a good captain. So it proved in this instance, for while he had a careful regard for the stores, he never failed to secure the praises of the crew.
"When I gib de stove fire, den me gib de Cap-i-tan, wid de crew, some good breakfas," said he with a gleam of satisfaction.
This individual, reader, was Manuel Pereira, or, as he was called by his shipmates, Pe-rah-re. Manuel was born in Brazil, an extract of the Indians and Spanish, claiming birthright of the Portuguese nation. It mattered but very little to Manuel where he was born, for he had been so long tossed about in his hardy vocation that he had almost become alienated from the affections of birthplace. He had sailed so long under the protection of the main-jack of old England that he had formed a stronger allegiance to that country than to any other. He had sailed under it with pride, had pointed to its emblem, as if he felt secure, when it was unfurled, that the register-ticket which that government had given him was a covenant between it and himself; that it was a ticket to incite him to good behavior in a foreign country; and that the flag was sure to protect his rights, and insure, from the government to which he sailed respect and hospitality. He had sailed around the world under it—visited savage and semi-civilized nations—had received the hospitality of cannibals, had joined in the merry dance with the Otaheitian, had eaten fruits with the Hottentots, shared the coarse morsel of the Greenlander, been twice chased by the Patagonians—but what shall we say?—he was imprisoned, for the olive tints of his color, in a land where not only civilization rules in its brightest conquests, but chivalry and honor sound its fame within the lanes, streets, and court-yards. Echo asks, Where—where? We will tell the reader. That flag which had waved over him so long and in so many of his wayfarings—that flag which had so long boasted its rule upon the wave, and had protected him among the savage and the civilized, found a spot upon this wonderful globe where it ceased to do so, unless he could change his skin.
CHAPTER III. THE SECOND STORM.
ON the fourth night succeeding the perilous position of the Janson off Cape Antoine, the brig was making about seven knots, current of the gulf included. The sun had set beneath heavy radiant clouds, which rolled up like masses of inflamed matter, reflecting in a thousand mellow shades, and again spreading their gorgeous shadows upon the rippled surface of the ocean, making the picture serene and grand.
As darkness quickly followed, these beautiful transparencies of a West-India horizon gradually changed into murky-looking monitors, spreading gloom in the sombre perspective. The moon was in its second quarter, and was rising on the earth. The mist gathered thicker and thicker as she ascended, until at length she became totally obscured. The Captain sat upon the companion-way, anxiously watching the sudden change that was going on overhead; and, without speaking to any one, rose, took a glance at the compass, and then went forward to the lookout, charging him to keep a sharp watch, as they were not only in a dangerous channel, but in the track of vessels bound into and out of the gulf. After this, he returned amidship, where the little miniature salt we have described before lay, with his face downward, upon the main-hatch, and ordering him to bring the lead-line, he went to leeward and took a cast; and after paying out about twenty-five fathoms without sounding, hauled aboard again. The wind was southward and light. As soon as he had examined the lead he walked aft and ordered the sheets eased and the vessel headed two points farther off. This done, he went below, and shaking his barometer several times, found it had begun to fall very fast. Taking down his coast-chart, he consulted it very studiously for nearly half an hour, laying off an angle with a pair of dividers and scale, with mathematical minuteness; after which he pricked his course along the surface to a given point. This was intended as his course.
"Where do you make her, Captain?" said the mate, as he lay in his berth.
"We must be off the Capes—we must keep a sharp look out for them reefs. They are so deceptive that we'll be on to them before we know it. There's no telling by sounding. We may get forty fathoms one minute and strike the next. I've heard old West-India coasters say the white water was the best warning," replied the Captain.
"I'm mighty afraid of that Carysfort reef, since I struck upon it in 1845. I was in a British schooner then, bound from Kingston, Jamaica, to New York. We kept a bright lookout, all the way through the passage, and yet struck, one morning just about day-light; and, five minutes before, we had sounded without getting bottom. When it cleared away, that we could see, there was two others like ourselves. One was the ship John Parker, of Boston, and the other was a 'long-shoreman. We had a valuable cargo on board, but the craft wasn't hurt a bit; and if the skipper—who was a little colonial man, not much acquainted with the judicial value of a wrecker's services—had a' taken my advice, he wouldn't got into the snarl he did at Key West, where they carried him, and charged him thirty-six hundred dollars for the job. Yes, and a nice little commission to the British consul for counting the doubloons, which, by-the-by, Skipper, belonged to that great house of Howland & Aspinwalls. They were right clever fellows, and it went into the general average account for the relief of the underwriters' big chest," continued the mate.
"We must have all hands ready at the call," said the Captain. "It looks dirty overhead, and I think we're going to catch it from the north-east to-night. If we do, our position is not as good as before. I don't feel afraid of her, if we only get clear of this infernal coast," said the Skipper, as he rolled up his chart, and repaired on deck again.
During this time, Manuel, who, had given the crew some very acceptable hot cakes for supper, was sitting upon the windlass, earnestly engaged, with his broken English, recounting an adventure he had on the coast of Patagonia, a few years previous, while serving on board a whaleman, to a shipmate who sat at his left. It was one of those incidents which frequently occur to the men attached to vessels which visit that coast for the purpose of providing a supply of wood and water, and which would require too much space to relate here.
"Did you run, Manuel?" said the listening shipmate.
"What else did me do? If I no run, I'd not be here dis night, because I be make slave, or I be killed wid club. Patagonian don't care for flag—nor not'in' else—I trust—e my leg, an' he get to de boat jus' when cap-i-tan come to rescue."
"Was you on board an Englishman then, Manuel?" inquired the shipmate.
"Yes, I'm always sail in English ship, because I can get protection from flag and consul, where I go—any part of globe," said he.
"I never liked this sailing among barbarous nations; they've no respect for any flag, and would just as lief imprison an Englishman or an American as they would a dog. They're a set of wild barbarians, and if they kill a fellow, there's no responsibility for it. It's like a parcel of wolves chasing a lamb, and there's no finding them after they've killed it. But they give a fellow his rights in Old England and the States. A man's a man there, rich or poor, and his feelings are just as much his own as anybody's. It's a glorious thing, this civilization, and if the world keeps on, there'll be no danger of a fellow's being imprisoned and killed among these savages. They're a cowardly set, for nobody but cowards are afraid of their own actions. Men neither imprison nor kill strangers, that don't fear the injustice of their own acts. You may smoke that in your pipe, Manuel, for I've heard great men say so. But you'd been done making dough-nuts then, Manuel, if they'd got hold o' you."
"Never catch Manuel among Patagonians, again; they not know what the flag be, nor they can't read de registrum ticket, if they know'd where England was," said Manuel; and just as he was concluding the story of his adventure, the little sailor-boy put his arm around Manuel's waist, and, laying his head on his breast, fondled about him with an affectionate attachment. The little fellow had been a shipmate with Manuel on several voyages, and, through the kindness he had received at his hands, naturally formed an ardent attachment to him. Taking advantage of the good treatment, he knew how to direct his attention to the steward whenever he wanted a snack from the cabin-locker of that which was not allowed in the forecastle. After holding him for a minute, encircling his arm around the little fellow's shoulder, he arose, and saying, "I know what you want, Tommy," proceeded to the cabin and brought him several little eatables that had been left at the captain's table.
The wind now began to veer and increase, her sails kept filling aback; and as often as the man at the helm kept her off, the wind would baffle him, until finding it would be necessary to go on the other tack, or make some change of course, he called the Captain. The moment the latter put his foot upon deck, he found his previous predictions were about to be verified. The rustling noise of the gulf, mingling its solemn sounds with the petrel-like music of that foreboding wind that "whistles through the shrouds," awakened the more superstitious sensations of a sailor's heart. The clouds had gathered their sombre folds into potent conclaves, while the sparkling brine in her wake, seemed like a fiery stream, rolling its troubled foam upon the dark waters.
"Brace the yards up sharp-hard a-starboard!—and trim aft the sheets," ordered the Captain, who had previously given the order, "All hands on deck!"
The order was scarcely executed, before the noise of the approaching gale was heard in the distance. All hands were ordered to shorten sail as quickly as possible; but before they could get aloft, it came upon them with such fury from E.N.E. as to carry away the foretop-mast and topgallant-mast, together with its sails, and the main-topgallant-mast with the sail. The foretop-mast, in going by the board, carried away the flying-jib-boom and flying-jibs. Thus the ill-fated Janson was doomed to another struggle for her floating existence. The sea began to rise and break in fearful power; the leak had already increased so, that two men were continually kept working the pumps. The crew, with commendable alacrity, cut away the wreck, which had been swaying to and fro, not only endangering the lives of those on board, but obstructing every attempt to get the vessel into any kind of working order. The main-sail had rent from the leash to the peak of the gaff, and was shaking into shreds. The starboard sheet of the maintop-sail was gone, and it had torn at the head from the bolt-rope, flying at every gust like the shreds of a muslin rag in a hail-storm. Without the government of her helm, she lay in the trough of the sea more like a log than a manageable mass. Sea after sea broke over her, carrying every thing before them at each pass. The officers and crew had now as much as they could do to retain their holds, without making any effort to save the wreck, while the men at the pumps could only work at each subsiding of the sea, and that under the disadvantage of being lashed to the frame. A more perilous position than that in which the old brig Janson now lay, it was impossible to imagine.
"'Tis the worst hurricane I've ever experienced upon the West India coast, Captain, but it's too furious to last long; and if she don't go to pieces before morning, I'll give her credit for what I've always swore against her. She can't keep afloat though, if it hangs on another hour in this way," said the mate, who, with the Captain and Manuel, had just made an ineffectual attempt to rig a storm stay-sail, to try and lay her to under it. For the mate swore by his knowledge of her qualities, that to put her before it, would be certain foundering. The gale continued with unabated fury for about two hours, and stopped about as suddenly as it commenced. The work of destruction was complete, for from her water-line to the stump of the remaining spars, the Janson floated a complete wreck.
The captain gave orders to clear away the wreck, and get what little sail they could patch up, upon her, for the purpose of working her into the nearest port. The mate was not inclined to further the order, evidently laboring under the strong presentiment that she was to be their coffin. He advised that it was fruitless to stick by her any longer, or hazard an attempt to reach a port with her, in such a leaky and disabled condition. "If we don't abandon her, Skipper," said he, "she'll abandon us. We'd better make signal for the first vessel, and bid the old coffin good-by."
The captain was more determined in his resolution, and instead of being influenced by the mate's fears, continued his order, and the men went to work with a cheerful willingness. None seemed more anxious to lend a ready hand than Manuel, for in addition to is duties as steward, he had worked at sail-making, and both worked at and directed the repairing of the sails. Those acquainted with maritime affairs can readily appreciate the amount of labor necessary to provide a mess with the means at hand that we have before described. And yet he did it to the satisfaction of all, and manifested a restless anxiety lest he should not make everybody comfortable, and particularly his little pet boy, Tommy.
"We'll get a good observation at meridian, and then we shall shape our course for Charleston, South Carolina. We'll be more likely to reach it than any other southern port," said the captain to his mate. "That steward, Manuel, is worth his weight in gold. If we have to abandon the old craft, I'll take him home; the owners respect him just as much as a white man; his politeness and affability could not but command such esteem, with a man that a'n't a fool. I never believed in making equals of negroes, but if Manuel was to be classed with niggers for all the nigger blood that's in him, seven-tenths of the inhabitants of the earth would go with him. I never saw such an attachment between brothers, as exists between him and Tommy. I verily believe that one couldn't go to sleep without the other. I should think they were brothers, if the lad wasn't English, and Manuel a Portuguese. But Manuel is as much an Englishman at heart as the lad, and has sailed so long under the flag that he seems to have a reverence for the old jack when he sees the bunting go up. He likes to tell that story about the Patagonians chasing him. I have overheard him several times, as much amused in his own recital as if he was listening to the quaint jokes of an old tar. But he swears the Patagonians will never catch him on their shores again, for he says he doesn't believe in making 'drum-head of man-skin,'" said the Captain, evidently with the intention of affecting the mate's feelings, and drawing his mind from its dark forebodings.
"Well, Skipper, I pray for a happy deliverance," said the mate, "but if we make Charleston with her, it'll be a luck that man nor mermaid ever thought of. I hearn a good deal o' tell about Charleston, and the Keys. That isn't one of the places our stewards are so 'fraid of, and where owners don't like to send their ships when they can find freight in other ports?"
"I expect it is, sir; but I apprehend no such trouble with any of my crew," answered the Captain promptly. "I sail under the faith of my nation's honor and prowess, the same as the Americans do under theirs. We're both respected wherever we go, and if one little State in the Union violates the responsibility of a great nation like that, I'm mistaken. Certainly, no nation in Christendom could be found, that wouldn't open their hearts to a shipwrecked sailor. I have too much faith in what I have heard of the hospitality of Southerners, to believe any thing of that kind."
"Talk's all very well, Skipper," said the mate; "but my word for it, I know'd several ships lying in the Mersey, about three years ago, bound to Southern ports for cotton. White stewards worth any thing couldn't be had for love nor money, and the colored ones wouldn't ship for ports in Slaves States. The Thebis got a colored man, but the owners had to pay him an enormous advance, and this, too, with the knowledge of his being locked up the whole time he was in port; thus having to incur the very useless expense of supplying his place, or find boarding-house accommodations for the officers and crew. If it be true, what I've hearn 'em say in the Mersey, the man doesn't only suffer in his feelings by some sort of confinement they have, but the owners suffer in pocket. But it may be, Skipper, and I'm inclined to think with you, our case is certainly deplorable enough to command pity instead of imprisonment. The government must be found cutting a dirty figure on the national picture, that would ill-treat sailors who had suffered as much as our boys have. I would hate to see Manuel shut up or ill-used. He's as brave a fellow as ever buckled at a handspike or rode a jib-boom. Last night, while in the worst of the gale, he volunteered to take Higgins's place, and, mounting the jib-boom, was several times buried in the sea; yet he held on like a bravo, and succeeded in cutting away the wreck. I thought he was gone once or twice, and I own I never saw more peril at sea; but if he hadn't effected it, the foot of the bowsprit would have strained her open in the eyes, and we'd all been sharks'-bait before this. The fellow was nearly exhausted when he came on board; says I, its gone day with you, old fellow; but he come to in a little while, and went cheerily to work again," continued Mr. Mate, who though pleased with the Captain's determination to make the nearest port, seemed to dread that all would not be right in Charleston—that the bar was a very intricate one—water very shoal in the ship-channel, and though marked with three distinctive buoys, numbered according to their range, impossible to crops without a skilful pilot. The mate plead a preference for Savannah, asserting, according to his own knowlege, that a ship of any draft could cross that bar at any time of tide, and that it was a better port for the transaction of business.
The Janson was headed for Charleston, the queen city of the sunny South, and, as may be expected from her disabled condition, made very slow progress on her course. During the gale, her stores had become damaged, and on the third day before making Charleston light, Manuel Pereira came aft, and with a sad countenance reported that the last cask of good water was nearly out; that the others had all been stove during the gale, and what remained, so brackish that it was unfit for use. From this time until their arrival at Charleston, they suffered those tortures of thirst, which only those who have endured them can estimate.
CHAPTER IV. THE CHARLESTON POLICE.
MR. DURKEE had said in Congress, that a negro was condemned to be hung in Charleston for resisting his master's attempts upon the chastity of his wife; and that such was the sympathy expressed for the negro, that the sheriffs offer of one thousand dollars could induce no one present to execute the final mandate. Now, had Mr. Durkee been better acquainted with that social understanding between the slave, the pretty wife, and his master, and the acquiescing pleasure of the slave, who in nineteen cases out of twenty congratulates himself on the distinguished honor, he would have saved himself the error of such a charge against the tenor of social life in Charleston. Or, had he been better acquainted with the character of her police, he certainly would have saved the talent of Mr. Aiken its sophomore display in that cumbrous defence. In the first place, Mr. Durkee would have known that such attempts are so common among the social events of the day, and so well understood by the slave, that instead of being resented, they are appreciated to a great extent. We speak from long experience and knowledge of the connection between a certain class of slaves and their masters. In the second place, Mr. Durkee would have known that any man connected with the city police—save its honorable mayor, to whose character we would pay all deference—would not for conscience' sake scruple to hang a man for five dollars. We make no exception for color or crime. A qualification might be called for, more adapted to our knowledge of it as it has existed for the last four or five years; but we are informed by those whose lives and fortunes have been spent for the moral elevation of the city police, that it was even worse at the time referred to.
The reader may think we are making grave charges. Let us say, without fear of refutation, they are too well known in the community that tolerates them. As a mere shadow of what lays beneath the surface, we would refer to the only independent speech we ever listened to in Charleston,—except when self-laudation was the theme,—made by G. R—, Esq., in one of her public halls a few weeks ago. Mr. R—is a gentleman of moral courage and integrity, and, without fear or trembling, openly denounced the corruption and demoralization of the police department. Even the enemies of his party, knowing the facts, appreciated his candor as a man, while they denounced the publicity, (for his speech was paraded by the press,) lest the fair name of the queen city should suffer abroad. A beautiful farce followed this grave exposition. The board of aldermen, composed of fourteen men of very general standing, remained mum under the accusation for a long time. Its object was to show up the character of a class of officials, whose character and nefarious arts have long disgraced the city. But in order to make a display of his purity, Mr. C—, a gentleman entitled to high moral consideration, chose to make it a personal matter; yet, not content with a private explanation given by Mr. R—, he made a call through the press. Mr. R—responded in a proper and courteous manner, acknowledging the due respect to which Mr. C—'s private character was entitled; thus increasing the ambition of the board generally, who, with the expectation of Mr. R—making a like acknowledgment to them as a body, (not excepting their honorable head,) made a demand in joint-officio. This being duly signalized through the columns of the Courier and Mercury, Mr. R—met it with a response worthy of a gentleman. He referred them to the strongest evidence of his assertions, in the countenance which they gave to a class of officials too well known to the community for the honor of its name and the moral foundation of its corporate dignity. Thus ended a great municipal farce, to prolong which the principal performers knew would disclose the intriguing scenes of their secondary performers. The plot of this melo-comic concern was in the sequel, and turned upon the very grave fact of Mr. C—having some time previous withdrawn from the honorable board, to preserve some very delicate considerations for conscience' sake.
How much spiritual consolation Mr. C—realized through the acknowledgment of Mr. R—, or the honorable board in joint-officio from the firm admonition, we leave for the secondary consideration of proper wives and daughters.
But the reader will ask, what has this to do with poor Manuel Pereira,—or the imprisonment of free citizens of a friendly nation? We will show him that the complex system of official spoliation, and the misrepresentations of the police in regard to the influence of such persons upon the slave population, is a principal feature in its enforcement. To do this, we deem it essentially necessary to show the character of such men and the manner in which this law is carried out. We shall make no charges that we cannot sustain by the evidence of the whole city proper, and with the knowledge that truth is stronger than fiction.
What will the reader say when we tell him that, among the leading minds of the city—we say leading minds, for we class those who are considered foremost in the mercantile sphere among them—are three brothers, unmarried, but with mistresses bought for the purpose, whose dark skins avert the tongue of scandal;—that, twice, men were sold, because of the beauty of their wives, to distant traders, that the brothers might cast off their old mistresses, and appropriate new ones to an unholy purpose; that these men enjoy their richly furnished mansions, are known for their sumptuous entertainments, set an example of mercantile honor and integrity, are flattered among the populace, receive the attentions of very fine and very virtuous ladies, wield a potential voice in the city government, and lead in the greatest development of internal improvements;—that these men even whisper high-sounding words of morality, and the established custom considers their example no harm when color is modified.
What will the reader think, when we tell him that there is no city-marshal in Charleston, but innumerable marshalled men, supported by an onerous tax upon the people, to quiet the fears of a few. And what will they think, when we tell them that the man whose name is so frequently sounded through the columns of the press as the head of police, and applauded for his activity among thieves, is the well-known prince-officio of a voluptuous dwelling, where dazzling licentiousness fills his pockets with the spoils of allurement. This man has several counterparts, whose acts are no secrets to the public ear, and who turn their office into a mart of intrigue, and have enriched themselves upon the bounty of espionage and hush-money, and now assert the dignity of their purse. It may be asked, why are these men kept in office?—or have these offices become so disgraced that honest men will not deign to accept them? No! such is not the case. It is that moral integrity is not considered in its proper light, and is not valued as it should be; that these men have a secret influence which is well known, and are countenanced and retained for the weight of their control among a certain class; and, strange to say, that the party ex-officio make these demoralizing things the basis of their complaints against the "powers that be;" yet such is their feeble dependence, that no sooner are they in office than we have the repetition of the same things.
Now, how far his honor is answerable for these things we must leave the reader to judge. The leading characteristics of his nature conflict with each other; his moral character is what is considered sound here; and truly he is entitled to much respect for his exemplary conduct, whether it be only exerted as an example, or the heartfelt love of Christian purity. Some people are pious from impulse, and become affected when purpose serves to make it profitable. We, however, are not so uncharitable as to charge such piety to our worthy head of the city government, but rather to a highly developed organ of the love of office, which has outgrown the better inclinations of his well-established Christianity.
We must invite the reader's attention to another and still more glaring evidence of the demoralization of social life in Charleston. A notorious woman, who has kept the worst kind of a brothel for years, where harlots of all shades and importations break the quietude of night with their polluted songs, becomes so bold in her infamy that she appeals to the gracious considerations of the city council, (board of aldermen.) How is this? Why, we will tell the reader:—She remained unmolested in her trade of demoralization, amassed a fortune which gave her boldness, while her open display was considered very fine fun for the joking propensities of officials and gallants. With her wealth she reared a splendid mansion to infamy and shame, where she, and such as she, whose steps the wise man tells us "lead down to hell," could sway their victory over the industrious poor. So public was it, that she openly boasted its purpose and its adaptation to the ensnaring vices of passion. Yes, this create in female form had spread ruin and death through the community, and brought the head of many a brilliant young man to the last stage of cast-off misery. And yet, so openly tolerated and countenanced by leading men are these things, that on the 31st of July, 1852, this mother of crime appeals to the honorable board of aldermen, as appeared in the "Proceedings of Council" in the Charleston Courier of that date, in the following manner:
"Laid over until a monied quorum is present.
"Letter from Mrs. G. Pieseitto, informing Council that having recessed her new brick building in Berresford street at least two feet, so as to dedicate it to the use of the citizens of Charleston, if they will pave with flag-stones the front of her lot, respectfully requests, that if accepted, the work may be done as soon as possible. Referred to the Aldermen, Ward No. 4." The street is narrow and little used, except for purposes known to the lanterns, when honest people should sleep. The information might have been couched with more modesty, when the notoriety of the woman and the dedication of her tabernacle of vice was so public. How far the sensitive aldermen of the fourth ward have proceeded in the delicate mission, or how much champagne their modest consideration has cost, the public have not yet been informed. Rumor says every thing is favorable. We are only drawing from a few principal points, and shall leave the reader to draw his own inference of the moral complexion of our social being. We make but one more view, and resume our story.
An office connected with the judiciary, so long held as one of high responsibility and honorable position, is now held merely as a medium of miserable speculation and espionage. It is an elective office, the representative holding for four years. The present incumbent was elected more through charity than recompense for any amiable qualities, moral worth, or efficient services to party ends. A more weak man could not have been drawn from the lowest scale of party hirelings, though he had abdicated the office once before to save his name and the respectability of the judiciary. It may be said, he was elected in pity to speculate on misery; and thus it proved in the case of MANUEL PEREIRA. This functionary was elected by a large majority. Could his moral worth have been taken into consideration? We should think not! For several times have we been pointed to two interesting girls,—or, if their color was not shaded, would be called young ladies—promenading the shady side of King street, with their faces deeply vailed, and informed who was their father. The mother of these innocent victims had been a mother to their father, had nursed him and maintained him through his adversity, and had lived the partner of his life and affections for many years, and had reared to him an interesting but fatal family. But, no sooner had fortune begun to shed its smiling rays, than he abandoned the one that had watched over him for the choice of one who could boast no more than a white skin.
If men who fill high places live by teaching others to gratify their appetites and pleasures alone, instead of setting a commendable example for a higher state of existence, by whom can we expect that justice and moral worth shall be respected?
Connected with the city constabulary are two men whose duty it is to keep a sharp lookout for all vessels arriving, and see that all negroes or colored seamen are committed to prison. One is a South Carolinian, by the name of Dusenberry, and the other an Irishman, by the name of Dunn. These two men, although their office is despicable in the eyes of many, assume more authority over a certain class of persons, who are unacquainted with the laws, than the mayor himself. The former is a man of dark, heavy features, with an assassin-like countenance, more inclined to look at you distrustfully than to meet you with an open gaze. He is rather tall and athletic, but never has been known to do any thing that would give him credit for bravery. Several times he has been on the brink of losing his office for giving too much latitude to his craving for perquisites; yet, by some unaccountable means, he manages to hold on. The other is a robust son of the Emerald Isle, with a broad, florid face, low forehead, short crispy hair very red, and knotted over his forehead. His dress is usually very slovenly and dirty, his shirt-collar bespotted with tobacco-juice, and tied with an old striped bandana handkerchief. This, taken with a very wide mouth, flat nose, vicious eye, and a countenance as hard as ever came from Tipperary, and a lame leg, which causes him to limp as he walks, gives our man Dunn the incarnate appearance of a fit body-grabber. A few words will suffice for his character. He is known to the official department, of which the magistrates are a constituent part, as a notorious ——l; and his better-half, who, by-the-way, is what is called a free-trader, meaning, to save the rascality of a husband, sells liquor by small portions, to suit the Murphys and the O'Neals. But, as it pleases our Mr. Dunn, he very often becomes a more than profitable customer, and may be found snoring out the penalty in some sequestered place, too frequently for his own character. Between the hours of ten and twelve in the morning, Dunn, if not too much incapacitated, may be seen limping his way down Broad street, to watch vessels arriving and departing, carrying a limp-cane in one hand, and a large covered whip in the other. We were struck with the appearance of the latter, because it was similar to those carried in the hands of a rough, menial class of men in Macon, Georgia, who called themselves marshals, under a misapplication of the term. Their office was to keep the negro population "straight," and do the whipping when called upon, at fifty cents a head. They also did the whipping at the jails, and frequently made from five to six dollars a day at this alone; for it is not considered fashionable for a gentleman to whip his own negro. We noticed the universal carrying of this whip, when we first visited Macon, some four years ago, and were curious to know its purport, which was elucidated by a friend; but we have since seen the practical demonstrations painfully carried out. Those who visited Boston for the recovery of Crafts and Ellen—whose mode of escape is a romance in itself—were specimens of these "marshals." How they passed themselves off for gentlemen, we are at a loss to comprehend.
During the day, the Messrs. Dusenberry and Dunn may be seen at times watching about the wharves, and again in low grog-shops—then pimping about the "Dutch beer-shops and corner-shops"—picking up, here and there, a hopeful-looking nigger, whom they drag off to limbo, or extort a bribe to let him go. Again, they act as monitors over the Dutch corner-shops, the keepers of which pay them large sums to save themselves the heavy license fine and the information docket. When they are no longer able to pay over hush-money, they find themselves walked up to the captain's office, to be dealt with according to the severe penalty made and provided for violating the law which prohibits the sale of liquor to negroes without an order. The failure to observe this law is visited with fine and imprisonment,—both beyond their proportionate deserts, when the law which governs the sale of liquor to white men is considered. Things are very strictly regulated by complexions in South Carolina. The master sets the most dissipated and immoral examples in his own person, and allows his children not only to exercise their youthful caprices, but to gratify such feelings as are pernicious to their moral welfare, upon his slaves. Now, the question is, that knowing the negro's power of imitation, ought not some allowance to be made for copying the errors of his master? Yet such is not the case; for the slightest deviation from the strictest rule of discipline brings condign punishment upon the head of the offender.
CHAPTER V. MR. GRIMSHAW, THE MAN OF THE COUNTY.
ON the 22d of March last, about ten o'clock in the morning, a thin, spare-looking man, dressed in a black cashmeret suit, swallow-tail coat, loose-cut pants, a straight-breasted vest, with a very extravagant shirt-collar rolling over upon his coat, with a black ribbon tied at the throat, stood at the east corner of Broad and Meeting street, holding a very excited conversation with officers Dusenberry and Dunn. His visage was long, very dark—much more so than many of the colored population—with pointed nose and chin, standing in grim advance to each other; his face narrow, with high cheek-bones, small, peering eyes, contracted forehead, reclining with a sunken arch between the perceptive and intellectual organs—or, perhaps, we might have said, where those organs should have been. His countenance was full of vacant restlessness; and as he stared at you through his glasses, with his silvery gray hair hanging about his ears and neck in shaggy points, rolling a large quid of tobacco in his mouth, and dangling a little whip in his right hand, you saw the index to his office. As he raised his voice—which he did by twisting his mouth on one side, and working his chin to adjust his enormous quid—the drawling tone in which he spoke gave a picture not easily forgotten.
"You must pay more attention to the arrivals," said he in a commanding tone. "The loss of one of these fellers is a serious drawback to my pocket; and that British consul's using the infernalest means to destroy our business, that ever was. He's worse than the vilest abolitionist, because he thinks he's protected by that flag of their'n. If he don't take care, we'll tar-and-feather him; and if his government says much about it, she'll larn what and who South Carolina is. We can turn out a dozen Palmetto regiments that'd lick any thing John Bull could send here, and a troop o' them d—d Yankee abolitionists besides. South Carolina's got to show her hand yet against these fellers, afore they'll respect the honor and standing of her institutions. They can't send their navy to hurt us. And it shows that I always predicts right; for while these commercial fellers about the wharves are telling about digging out the channel, I've al'ays said they didn't think how much injury they were doing; for it was our very best protection in war-time. South Carolina can lick John Bull, single-fisted, any time; but if that pack of inconsiderate traders on the wharves get their own way, away goes our protection, and John Bull would bring his big ships in and blow us up. And these fellows that own ships are getting so bold, that a great many are beginning to side with Mathew, the consul. Yes, they even swear that 'tis the officials that stick to the law for the sake of the fees. Now, if I only knew that the consul was the means of that Nassau nigger getting away, I'd raise a mob, and teach him a lesson that South Carolinians ought to have teached him before. It took about seventeen dollars out of my pocket, and if I was to sue him for it, I could get no recompense. The next time you allow one to escape, I must place some other officer over the port," said our man whom, we shall continue to call Mr. Grimshaw.
"Sure I heard the same consul, when spakin to a gintleman, say that the law was only an abuse of power, to put money into the pockets of yourself and a few like ye. And whin meself and Flin put the irons on a big nigger that the captain was endeavoring to skulk by keeping him in the forecastle of the ship, he interfered between me and me duty, and began talking his balderdash about the law. Sure, with his own way, he'd have every nigger in the city an abolitionist in three weeks. And sure, Mr. Sheriff, and ye'd think they were babies, if ye'd see himself talk to them at the jail, and send them up things, as if they were better than the other criminals, and couldn't live on the jail fare," said officer Dunn, who continued to pledge himself to the sheriff that the wharves should not be neglected, nor a hopeful English darky escape his vigilant eye.
"For my own part, I think they're better off in jail than they would be on the wharf," continued Grimshaw. "They're a worthless set, and ha'n't half the character that a majority of our slaves have; and instead of attending the captain on board, they'd be into Elliot street, spending their money, getting drunk, and associating with our worst niggers. And they all know so much about law, that they're always teaching our bad niggers the beauties of their government, which makes them more unhappy than they are. Our niggers are like a shoal of fish—when one becomes diseased, he spreads it among all the rest; and before you know where you are, they're done gone."
"They're not very profitable customers for us, Sheriff," said Dusenberry. "We have a deal of watching, and a mighty smart lot of trouble after we get them fellows; and if we get a perquisite, it never amounts to much, for I seldom knew one that had money enough to treat as we took him up. These Britishers a'n't like us; they don't pay off in port and if the fellows get any thing in jail from the consul, it's by drib-drabs, that a'n't no good, for it all goes for liquor. And them criminals make a dead haul upon a black steward, as soon as he is locked up. But if these sympathizing fools follow up their bugbears about the treatment at the jail, they'll get things so that our business won't be worth a dollar. For my own part, I'm not so much beholdin', for I've made myself comfortable within the last few years, but I want my son to succeed me in the office. But if this consul of their'n keeps up his objections, appeals, and his protests in this way, and finds such men as his honor the district-attorney to second him with his nonsense and his notions, folks of our business might as well move north of Mason and Dixon's."
"I can wake him up to a point," said Grimshaw, "that that abolition consul ha'n't learnt before; and if he'd stuck his old petition in Charles Sumner's breeches pocket instead of sending it to our legislature, he might have saved his old-womanish ideas from the showing' up that Myzeck gave 'em. It takes Myzeck to show these blue-skin Yankees how to toe the mark when they come to South Carolina. If South Carolina should secede, I'd say give us Myzeck and Commander to lead our war, and we'd be as sure to whip 'em as we won the Mexican war for the Federal Government. There is three things about an Englishman, Dusenberry, which you may mark for facts. He is self-conceited, and don't want to be advised;—he thinks there is no law like the law of England, and that the old union-jack is a pass-book of nations;—and he thinks everybody's bound to obey his notions of humanity and the dictates of his positive opinions. But what's worse than all, they've never seen the sovereignty of South Carolina carried out, and according to Consul Mathew's silly notions, they think we could be licked by a gun-boat.
"It's no use arguing this thing, you must keep a keen eye upon the English niggers; and when a man pretends to dispute the right, tell him its 'contrary to law,' and to look at the statute-books; tell him it costs more to keep them than they're all worth; and if they say the law was never intended for foreign citizens, tell 'em its 'contrary to law.' South Carolina's not bound to obey the voice of the General Government, and what does she care for the federal courts? We'll pursue a course according to the law; and any thing that is contrary to it we will take care of for the better protection of our institutions. Now, don't let one pass, upon the peril of your office," continued Mr. Grimshaw.
"It's not a button I'd care for the office," said Dunn. "Sure it's yerself be's makin' all the fees, and ourselves getting the paltry dollar; and yerself gives us as much trouble to get that as we'd be earning two dollars at magistrate Jiles' beyant. Sure! himself's liberal and doesn't be afraid to give us a division of the fees when the business is good. And sure ye make yer ten times the fees on an English nigger, and never gives us beyant the dollar," continued he, moving off in high dudgeon, and swearing a stream of oaths that made the very blood chill. There was a covert meaning about Mr. Grimshaw's language that was not at all satisfactory to Mr. Dunn's Irish; especially when he knew Mr. Grimshaw's insincerity so well, and that, instead of being liberal, he pocketed a large amount of the fees, to the very conscientious benefit of his own dear self. The reader must remember that in Charleston, South Carolina, there is a large majority of men who care little for law, less for justice, and nothing for Christianity. Without compunction of conscience, and with an inherited passion to set forward the all-absorbing greatness of South Carolina, these men act as a check upon the better-disposed citizens. The more lamentable part is, that forming a large portion of that species of beings known as bar-room politicians, they actually control the elections in the city; and thus we may account for the character of the incumbents of office, and for the tenacity with which those oppressive laws are adhered to.
This almost incompatible conversation between a high sheriff and two menial constables, may to many seem inconsistent with the dignity that should be observed between such functionaries. Nevertheless, all restraint is not only annihilated by consent, but so prominently is this carried out, and so well understood by that respectable class of citizens whose interests and feelings are for maintaining a good name for the city and promoting its moral integrity, that in all our conversation with them, we never heard one speak well of those functionaries or the manner in which the police regulations of the city were carried out.
CHAPTER VI. THE JANSON IN THE OFFING.
AFTER several days' suffering for want of wafer and fatigue of labor, several of the crew were reported upon the sick-list. Manuel, who had borne his part nobly and cheerfully, was among the number; and his loss was more severely felt, having done a double duty, and succeeded, as far as the means were at hand, in making everybody on board comfortable. He had attended upon those who gave up first, like a good nurse, ready at the call, whether night or day, and with a readiness that seemed pleasure to him. From the captain to the little boy Tommy, his loss was felt with regret; and the latter would often go into the forecastle where he lay, lean over him with a child-like simplicity, and smooth his forehead with his little hand. "Manuel! I wish poor Manuel was well!" he would say, and again he would lay his little hand on his head and smooth his hair. He would whisper encouragement in his ear; and having learned a smattering of Portuguese, would tell him how soon they would be in port, and what pleasant times they would have together.
On the 21st they descried land, which proved to be Stono, about twenty-five miles south of Charleston. Tommy announced the news to Manuel, which seemed to cheer him up. His sickness was evidently caused by fatigue, and his recovery depended more upon rest and nourishment than medical treatment. That night at ten o'clock the wind came strong north-west, and drove the Janson some distance to sea again; and it was not until the morning of the 23d that she made Charleston light, and succeeded in working up to the bar. Signal was made for a pilot, and soon, a very fine cutter-looking boat, "Palmetto, No. 4," was seen shooting out over the bar in the main channel. Manuel, somewhat recovered, had a few minutes before been assisted on deck, and through the captain's orders was laid upon a mattrass, stretched on the starboard side of the companion-way. By his side sat little Tommy, serving him with some nourishment.
The boat was soon alongside, and the pilot, a middle-sized man, well dressed, with a frank, open countenance, rather florid and sun-stained, and a profusion of gold chain and seal dangling from his fob, came on board. After saluting the captain, he surveyed the weather-beaten condition of the craft, made several inquiries in regard to her working, and then said in a sang-froid manner, "Well! I reckon you've seen some knocking, anyhow." Then turning again and giving some orders in regard, to getting more way upon her, he viewed the laborious working at the pumps, and walking about midships on the larboard side, took a sharp survey of her waist. "Don't she leak around her topsides, Captain?" said he.
Receiving an answer in the affirmative, he gave a glance aloft, and then at the sky to windward; asked how long he had worked her in that condition, and where he took the gale. "It's a wonder she hadn't swamped ye before now. I'd a' beached her at the first point, if she'd bin mine; I'd never stand at slapping an old craft like this on. She reminds me of one o' these down-east sugar-box crafts what trade to Cuba," he continued. Then walking across the main-hatch to the starboard side, he approached the men who were pumping, and after inquiring about freeing her, suddenly caught a glimpse of Manuel, as he lay upon the mattrass with his face uncovered.
"Heavens! What! have you got the yellow fever on board at this season of the year?" he inquired of the mate, who had just come aft to inquire about getting some water from the pilot-boat.
"No, we've had every thing else but the yellow fever; one might as well bin on a raft as such an infernal unlucky old tub as she is. It's the steward, sir—he's got a touch of a fever; but he'll soon be over it. He only wants rest, poor fellow! He's bin a bully at work ever since the first gale. He'll mend before he gets to town," was the reply.
"Ah! then you've had a double dose of it. It gives a fellow bringer off them capes once in a while.—The steward's a nigger, isn't he?" inquired the pilot.
"Nigger!—not he," said the mate. "He's a Portuguese mixed breed; a kind o' sun-scorched subject, like a good many of you Southerners. A nigger's mother never had him, you may bet your 'davie on that. There's as much white blood in his jacket as anybody's got, only them Portuguese are dark-lookin' fellers. He's no fool—his name's Manuel, a right clever feller, and the owners think as much of him as they do of the Skipper."
"Gammon," said the pilot to himself. "What would he think if we were to show him some specimens of our white niggers in Charleston?" And turning, he walked past Manuel with a suspicious look, and took a position near the man at the wheel, where he remained for some time fingering the seals of his watch-chain. The Captain had gone into the cabin a few minutes before, and coming on deck again, walked toward the place where the pilot stood, and took a seat upon an old camp-stool.
"Cap," said the pilot, "ye'll have trouble with that nigger of your'n when ye git to town. If you want to save yerself and the owners a d—d site o' bother and expense, y' better keep him close when y' haul in; and ship him off to New York the first chance. I've seen into the mill, Cap, and y' better take a friend's advice."
"Nigger!" said the Captain indignantly, "what do they call niggers in Charleston? My steward's no more a nigger than you are!"
"What, sir?" returned the pilot in a perfect rage. "Do you know the insulting nature of your language? Sir, if the law did not subject me, I would leave your vessel instantly, and hold you personally responsible as soon as you landed, sir."
The Captain, unconscious of the tenacity with which the chivalrous blood of South Carolina held language that mooted a comparison of colors, considered his answer; but could see nothing offensive in it.
"You asked me a question, and I gave you a proper answer. If you consider such a man as my steward—poor fellow—a nigger, in your country, I'm glad that you are blessed with so many good men."
"We polishes our language, Captain, when we speak of niggers in South Carolina," said the pilot. "A South Carolinian, sir, is a gentleman all over the world. It don't want nothin' further than the name of his State to insure him respect. And when foreign folks and Northerners from them abolition States bring free niggers into South Carolina, and then go to comparing them to white folks, they better be mighty careful how they stir about. South Carolina ought to've seceded last year, when she talked about it, and sent every Yankee home to make shoe-pegs. We wouldn't bin insulted then, as we are now. I'll tell you what it is, Cap," said he, rather cooling off, "if our folks was only as spunky as they were in eighteen hundred and thirty-two times, them fellers what come here to feed upon South Carolina, put the devil in the heads of the niggers, and then go home again, would see stars and feel bullet-holes."
The Captain listened to the pilot's original South Carolina talk, or, as the pilot himself had called it, polished language, without exhibiting any signs of fear and trembling at its sublime dignity; yet, finding that the pilot had misconstrued the tenor of his answer, said, "You must have mistaken the intention of my reply, sir; and the different manner in which you appropriate its import may be attributed to a custom among yourselves, which makes language offensive that has no offensive meaning. We never carry pistols or any such playthings in my country. We have a moral security for our lives, and never look upon death as so great an enemy that we must carry deadly weapons to defend it. In fact, pilot," he said in a joking manner, "they're rather cumbersome little bits for a feller's pocket: I'd rather carry my supper and breakfast in my pocket. Now tell us, who do you call niggers in South Carolina?"
"Why, Captain, we call all what a'n't white folks. Our folks can tell 'em right smart. They can't shirk out if it's only marked by the seventeenth generation. You can always tell 'em by the way they look—they can't look you in the face, if they are ever so white. The law snaps 'em up once in a while, and then, if they're ever so white, it makes 'em prove it. I've known several cases where the doubt was in favor of the nigger, but he couldn't prove it, and had to stand aside among the darkies. Dogs take my skin, Cap, if theren't a Jew feller in town as white as anybody, and his father's a doctor. It got whispered round that he was a nigger, and the boarders where he stayed raised a fuss about it. The nigger's father had two of them sued for slander, but they proved the nigger by a quirk of law that'd make a volume bigger than Blackstone; and instead of the old Jew getting satisfaction, the judges, as a matter of policy, granted him time to procure further proof to show that his son wasn't a nigger. It was a very well-considered insinuation of the judges, but the young-un stands about A-1 with a prime nigger-feller."
"I should like to have 'em try me, to see whether I was a nigger or a white man. It must be a funny law, 'nigger or no nigger.' If a feller's skin won't save him, what the devil will?" said the Captain.
"Why, show your mother and her generation were white, to be sure! It's easy enough done, and our judges are all very larned in such things—can tell in the twinkling of an eye," said the pilot.
"I should think the distinguishing points would be to show that their mother had nothing to do with a nigger. Do your judges make this a particular branch of jurisprudence? If they do, I'd like to know what they took for their text-books. If the intermixture is as complex as what you say, I should think some of the judges would be afraid of passing verdict upon their own kin."
"Not a whit!" said the pilot; "they know enough for that."
"Then you admit there's a chance. It must be an amusing affair, 'pon my soul! when a nice little female has to draw aside her vail before a court of very dignified judges, for the purpose of having her pedigree examined," said the Captain.
"Oh! the devil, Cap; your getting all astray—a woman nigger never has the advantage of the law. They always go with the niggers, ah! ha! ha!!"
"But suppose they're related to some of your big-bugs. What then? Are your authorities so wise and generous that they make allowance for these things," asked the Captain, innocently.
"Oh! poh! there you're again: you must live in Charleston a year or two, but you'll have to be careful at first that you don't fall in love with some of our bright gals, and think they're white, before you know it. It doesn't matter seven coppers who they're got by, there's no distinction among niggers in Charleston. I'll put you through some of the bright houses when we get up, and show you some scions of our aristocracy, that are the very worst cases. It's a fact, Cap, these little shoots of the aristocracy invariably make bad niggers. If a fellow wants a real prime, likely nigger wench, he must get the pure African blood. As they say themselves, 'Wherever Buckra-man bin, make bad nigger.'"
"Well, Pilot, I think we've had enough about mixed niggers for the present. Tell me! do you really think they'll give me trouble with my steward? He certainly is not a black man, and a better fellow never lived," inquired the Captain earnestly.
"Nothing else, Cap," said the pilot. "It's a hard law, I tell you, and if our merchants and business men had a say in it, 'twouldn't last long; ye can't pass him off for a white man nohow, for the thing's 'contrary to law,' and pays so well that them contemptible land-sharks of officers make all the fuss about it, and never let one pass. Just take the infernal fees off, and nobody'd trouble themselves about the stewards. It all goes into old Grimshaw's pocket, and he'd skin a bolt-rope for the grease, and sell the steward if he could get a chance. He has sold a much nearer relation. I'm down upon the law, you'll see, Cap, for I know it plays the dickens with our business, and is a curse to the commerce of the port. Folks what a'n't acquainted with shipping troubles, and a shipowner's interests, think such things are very small affairs. But it's the name that affects us, and when an owner stands at every item in the disbursements, and a heavy bill for keeping his steward, and another for filling his place, or boarding-house accommodations, and then be deprived of his services, he makes a wry face, and either begins to think about another port, or making the rate of freight in proportion to the annoyance. It has an effect that we feel, but don't say much about. I'm a secessionist, but I don't believe in running mad after politics, and letting our commercial interests suffer."
"But what if I prove my steward a'n't a colored man?" said the Captain; "they surely won't give me any trouble then. It would pain my feelings very much to see Manuel locked up in a cell for no crime; and then to be deprived of his services, is more than I can stand. If I'd known it before, I'd suffered the torments of thirst, and put for a port farther north."
"It'll cost more than it's worth," said the pilot. "Take my plain advice, Cap; never try that; our lawyers are lusty fellows upon fees; and the feller'd rot in that old nuisance of a jail afore you'd get him out. The process is so slow and entangled, nobody'd know how to bring the case, and ev'ry lawyer'd have an opinion of his own. But the worst of all is that it's so unpopular, you can't get a lawyer worth seven cents to undertake it. It would be as dangerous as an attempt to extricate a martyr from the burning flames. Public opinion in Charleston is controlled by politicians; and an attempt to move in a thing so unpopular would be like a man attempting to speak, with pistols and swords pointed to his head."
"Then it's folly to ask justice in your city, is it?" asked the Captain. "But your people are generous, a'n't they? and treat strangers with a courtesy that marks the character of every high-minded society?"
"Yes!—but society in South Carolina has nothing to do with the law; our laws are gloriously ancient. I wish, Cap, I could only open your ideas to the way our folks manage their own affairs. I'm opposed to this law that imprisons stewards, because it affects commerce, but then our other laws are tip-top. It was the law that our legislature made to stop free niggers from coming from the abolition States to destroy the affections of our slaves. Some say, the construction given to it and applied to stewards of foreign vessels a'n't legal, and wasn't intended; but now it's controlled by popular will,—the stewards a'n't legislators, and the judges know it wouldn't be popular, and there's nobody dare meddle with it, for fear he may be called an abolitionist. You better take my advice, Cap: ship the nigger, and save yourself and Consul Mathew the trouble of another fuss," continued the pilot.
"That I'll never do! I've made up my mind to try it, and won't be driven out of a port because the people stand in fear of a harmless man. If they have any souls in them, they'll regard with favor a poor sailor driven into their port in distress. I've sailed nearly all over the world, and I never got among a people yet that wouldn't treat a shipwrecked sailor with humanity. Gracious God! I've known savages to be kind to poor shipwrecked sailors, and to share their food with them. I can't, pilot, imagine a civilization so degraded, nor a public so lost to common humanity, as to ill treat a man in distress. We've said enough about it for the present. I'll appeal to Mr. Grimshaw's feelings, when I get to the city; and I know, if he's a man, he'll let Manuel stay on board, if I pledge my honor that he won't leave the craft."
"Humph!—If you knew him as well as I do, you'd save your own feelings. His sympathies don't run that way," said the pilot.
The Janson had now crossed the bar, and was fast approaching Fort Sumpter. Manuel had overheard enough of the conversation to awaken fears for his own safety. Arising from the mattrass, in a manner indicating his feeble condition, he called Tommy, and walking forward, leaned over the rail near the fore-rigging, and inquired what the Captain and the pilot were talking about. Observing his fears, the little fellow endeavoured to quiet him by telling him they were talking about bad sailors.
"I think it is me they are talking about. If they sell me for slave in Charleston, I'll kill myself before a week," said he in his broken English.
"What's that you say, Manuel?" inquired the first mate as he came along, clearing up the decks with the men.
"Pilot tell Captain they sell me for slave in South Carolina. I'd jump overboard 'fore I suffer him," said he.
"Oh, poh! don't be a fool; you a'n't among Patagonians, Manuel; you won't have to give 'em leg for your life. They don't sell foreigners and outlandish men like you for slaves in Carolina—it's only black folks what can't clothe the'r words in plain English. Yer copper-colored hide wouldn't be worth a sixpence to a nigger-trader—not even to old Norman Gadsden, that I've heard 'em tell so much about in the Liverpool docks. He's a regular Jonathan Wild in nigger-dealing; his name's like a fiery dragon among the niggers all over the South; and I hearn our skipper say once when I sailed in a liner, that niggers in Charleston were so 'fraid of him they'd run, like young scorpions away from an old he-devil, when they saw him coming. He sells white niggers, as they call 'em, and black niggers—any thing that comes in his way, in the shape of saleable folks. But he won't acknowledge the corn when he goes away from home, and swears there's two Norman Gadsdens in Charleston; that he a'n't the one! When a man's ashamed of his name abroad, his trade must be very bad at home, or I'm no sailor," said the mate.
"Ah, my boys!" said the pilot in a quizzical manner, as he came to where several of the men were getting the larboard anchor ready to let go,—"if old Norman Gadsden gets hold of you, you're a gone sucker. A man what's got a bad nigger has only got to say Old Gadsden to him, and it's equal to fifty paddles. The mode of punishment most modern, and adopted in all the workhouses and places of punishment in South Carolina, is with the paddle, a wooden instrument in, the shape of a baker's peel; with a blade from three to five inches wide, and from eight to ten long. This is laid on the posteriors—generally by constables or officers connected with the police. Holes are frequently bored in the blade, which gives the application a sort of percussive effect; The pain is much more acute than with the cowhide; and several instances are known where a master ordered an amount of strokes beyond the endurance of the slave, and it proved fatal at the workhouse. They tell a pretty good story about the old fellow. I don't know if it's true, but the old fellow's rich now, and he does just what he pleases. It was that somebody found one of those little occasional droppings of the aristocracy, very well known among the secrets of the chivalry, and called foundlings, nicely fixed up in a basket.—It's among the secrets though, and mustn't be told abroad.—The finders labelled it, 'Please sell to the highest bidder,' and left it at his door. There was a fund of ominous meaning in the label; but Norman very coolly took the little helpless pledge under his charge, and, with the good nursing of old Bina, made him tell to the tune of two hundred and thirty, cash, 'fore he was two year old. He went by the name of Thomas Norman, the Christian division of his foster-father's, according to custom. The old fellow laughs at the joke, as he calls it, and tells 'em, when they stick it to him, they don't understand the practice of making money. You must keep a bright look out for him, Manuel—you'll know him by the niggers running when they see him coming."
The pilot now returned to the quarter, and commenced dilating upon the beauty of Charleston harbor and its tributaries, the Astley and Cooper Rivers—then upon the prospects of fortifications to beat the United States in the event of South Carolina's seceding and raising an independent sovereignty, composed of her best blood. The Captain listened to his unsolicited and uninteresting exposition of South Carolina's prowess in silence, now and then looking up at the pilot and nodding assent. He saw that the pilot was intent upon astonishing him with his wonderful advancement in the theory of government, and the important position of South Carolina. Again he looked dumbfounded, as much as to acknowledge the pilot's profundity, and exclaimed, "Well! South Carolina must be a devil of a State: every thing seems captivated with its greatness: I'd like to live in Carolina if I didn't get licked."
"By scissors! that you would, Captain; you ha'n't an idee what a mighty site our people can do if they're a mind to! All South Carolina wants is her constitutional rights, which her great men fought for in the Revolution. We want the freedom to protect our own rights and institutions—not to be insulted and robbed by the General Government and the abolitionists."
"Do you practice as a people upon the same principles that you ask of the General Government!" inquired the Captain.
"Certainly, Captain, as far as it was intended for the judicious good of all white citizens!"
"Then you claim a right for the whites, but withhold the right when it touches on the dark side. You'll have to lick the Federal Government, as you call it, for they won't cut the constitution up to suit your notions of black and white." * * *
"That's just the thing, Cap, and we can do it just as easy as we now protect our own laws, and exterminate the niggers what attempt insurrections. South Carolina sets an example, sir, of honor and bravery that can't be beat. Why, just look a-yonder, Cap: the Federal Government owns this 'er Fort Sumpter, and they insulted us by building it right in our teeth, so that they could command the harbor, block out our commerce, and collect the duties down here. But, Cap, this don't scare South Carolina nohow. We can show 'em two figures in war tactics that'd blow 'em to thunder. Ye see yonder!" said he, with an earnest look of satisfaction, pointing to the south, "That's Morris Island. We'd take Fort Moultrie for a breakfast spell, and then we'd put it to 'em hot and strong from both sides, until they'd surrender Fort Sumpter. They couldn't stand it from both sides. Yes, sir, they shut Fort Moultrie against us, and wouldn't let us have it to celebrate independence in. There's a smouldering flame in South Carolina that'll burst forth one of these days in a way that must teach the Federal Government some astonishing and exciting lessons. There's old Castle Pinckney, sir; we could keep it for a reserve, and with Generals Quattlebum and Commander, from Georgetown and Santee Swamp, we could raise an army of Palmetto regiments that would whip the Federal Government troop and gun-boat."
We have given this singular conversation of the pilot with a strange Captain, which at the time was taken as an isolated case of gasconade peculiar to the man; but which the Captain afterward found to harmonize in sentiment, feeling, and expression with the general character of the people—the only exceptions being the colored people.
CHAPTER VII. ARRIVAL OF THE JANSON.
ABOUT five o'clock on the evening of the 23d, the Janson passed Castle Pinckney, ran up to the wharf with the flood-tide, let go her anchor, and commenced warping into the dock. Her condition attracted sundry persons to the end of the wharf, who viewed her with a sort of commiseration that might have been taken for sincere feeling. The boarding officer had received her papers, and reported her character and condition, which had aroused a feeling of speculative curiosity, that was already beginning to spread among ship-carpenters and outfitters.
Conspicuous among those gathered on the wharf was a diminutive little dandy, with an olive-colored frock-coat, black pants, embroidered vest, and an enormous shirt-collar that endangered his ears. This was secured around the neck with a fancy neckcloth, very tastefully set off with a diamond pin, He was very slender, with a narrow, feminine face, round popeyes—requiring the application of a pocket-glass every few minutes—and very fair complexion, with little positive expression of character in his features. His nose was pointed; his chin, projected and covered with innumerable little pimples, gave an irregular and mastiff-shaped mouth a peculiar expression. He wore a very highly-polished and high-heeled pair of boots, and a broad-brimmed, silk-smooth hat. He seemed very anxious to display the beauty of two diamond rings that glittered upon his delicate little fingers, made more conspicuous by the wristbands of his shirt. Standing in a very conspicuous place upon the capsill of the wharf, he would rub his hands, then running from one part of the wharf to another, ordering sundry niggers about making fast the lines, kicking one, and slapping another, as he stooped, with his little hand. All paid respect to him. The Captain viewed him with a smile of curiosity, as much as to say, "What important specimen of a miss in breeches is that?" But when the little fellow spoke, the secret was told. He gathered the inflections of his voice, as if he were rolling them over the little end of a thunderbolt in his mouth. As the vessel touched the wharf, he sprang to the corner and cried out at the top of his voice, "Yer' welcome to Charleston, Captain Thompson! Where did you get that knocking?—where are ye bound for?—how many days are you out?—how long has she leaked in that way?" and a strain of such questions, which it would be impossible to trace, such was the rapidity with which he put them. The Captain answered him in accordance with the circumstances; and supposing him clothed with authority, inquired where he should find some hands to work his pumps, in order to relieve his men. "By-Je-w-hu! Captain, you must a' had a piping time, old feller. Oh! yes, you want help to work your pumps. Get niggers, Captain, there's lots on 'em about here. They're as thick as grasshoppers in a cotton-patch."
"Yes, but I want 'em now, my men are worn out; I must get some Irishmen, if I can't get others at once," said the Captain, viewing his man again from head to foot.
"Oh! don't employ Paddies, Captain; 'ta'n't popular; they don't belong to the secession party; Charleston's overrun with them and the Dutch! Why, she won't hurt to lay till to-morrow morning, and there'll be lots o' niggers down; they can't be out after bell-ring without a pass, and its difficult to find their masters after dark. Haul her up 'till she grounds, and she won't leak when the tide leaves her. We can go to the theatre and have a right good supper after, at Baker's or the St. Charles's. It's the way our folks live. We live to enjoy ourselves in South Carolina. Let the old wreck go to-night." The little fellow seemed so extremely polite, and so anxious to "do the genteel attention," that the Captain entirely forgot the tenor of his conversation with the pilot, while his feelings changed with the prospect of such respectful attention; and yet he seemed at a loss how to analyze the peculiar character of his little, pedantic friend.