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transient empire and fictitious power, come the same earnest tones, which Athens heard, warning us against trust in forms, which of themselves are unmeaning and inefficient; and bidding us always turn in faith to the Invisible Source, whence the soul derives its highest culture and its eternal life.
G. C. R.
Wiru Havana in sight, the prose and poetry of the voyage thither are well-nigh forgotten. You have left home with closely buttoned coat, and have paced the deck briskly, trying to keep warm ; but now the sun chases you under the protection of the ship's awning, and even there, you are hardly cooled by the light sea-breeze. You have, perhaps, seen a storm at sea, the topmost wish of the landsman, till he has once satisfied his curiosity. As the waves angrily leap upwards, seeming to laugh in mad chorus, as, with but a plank between, you are tossed at their mercy; as they rise higher and higher, while rain and winds add to the confused picture a picture, visible only when, at intervals, the lightning flashes among the clouds; you have felt a loneliness, and a weakness, which the greatest confidence in the ship, and its crew, cannot wholly dispel. Strange amusement too, has been offered. In the cabin, men, women, settees, and lap-dogs, have been tumbled in a delightful confusion, all sliding now in this way, then in that, as the ship rolls from side to side; and the huge stove now cold—for the steward has forgotten to replenish it—takes a jump to the leeward, first on one leg, then rolling on its side, much to the discomfiture of sundry dilapidated people, who, for the moment, forget to be sea-sick, and roll hurriedly away-no one walks ; all stagger or creep, except such as have the facility of flies, in walking up perpendicular planks. But the morning after the storm repays for all anxiety. The sun comes forth in a new and cheerful dress--not a cloud in all the sky catches its beams. The waves are still unquiet, but they inspire no terror now: and as the vessel minds her helm, and rides up and down their huge sides, you contemplate the scene in its full beauty-alone in the center of an immensity of waters! A few sea-fowls follow lazily in your wake. It is impressive thus to be separated from the world of men ! But you forget these impressions, as, passing at the narrow mouth of the harbor, the Moro Castle, with its yellow walls bristling with cannon, new scenes and new experiences await you. On your right stretches Havana, like some fairy city with its many colored houses, some blue, some of a yellow tint; while church towers of antique architecture, raise their dingy fronts against the clear sky. Here and there, a lofty palm-tree gives a novel and peculiar cast to the whole scene. Opposite the city, on your left, a long range of fortifications, the Cabanas, lines the shore—the high walls reminding of that compulsion, with which Tyranny is always compelled to enforce its demands. A Spanish friend, speaking your own language however, comes for you in one of the many little boats which, with their low, oval awnings, dot the harbor so prettily. Your baggage is taken to the Custom-House-there a surly official examines it, expecially the books, one of which, a Greek version of Isocrates, he turns upside down and tries to read. He swears (so your friend tells you) a trifle in Spanish, while you pass on into the Place of Arms, on one side of which is the Governor General's palace, where a volante is in waiting under the shade. How the first sight of a volante sends a smile over your face! Huge wheels, entirely behind the body of the vehicle, which resembles an old fashioned country chaise, with shafts eight yards in length--the whole giving an idea of one of those screwsteamers with the paddles astern, passing in the revolutions high above the deck. And then the horse! Imagine at the end of the long shafts a small but stout nag, with cropped mane, and braided tail-(they practice braiding the tails, probably to give the many insects a good opportunity to get a living from the poor beasts ;) cover the animal almost entirely with a harness, heavy with iron and silver; then place a negro “Calesaro” in livery, and heavy top-boots, on the saddle, while three persons sit in the volante, their whole weight pressing upon the horse's back, and you have a specimen of cruelty to animals, which elsewhere would not be tolerated. The motion of the volante is very easy, and with the top tipped back, one can ride very independent of all other exertion, than the mere trouble of staring at everybody and everything. As you ride through the narrow streets, just wide enough for one volante to pass another, you ask your friend to drive through some of the best streets, and are amused at his reply, that these are some of the best in the city; you thought them lanes. The houses are mostly of one story, built very strongly of a soft stone, and a kind of cement; the huge windows, reaching from the narrow sidewalk to the very roof, are barred from the top to the bottom; and the black-eyed Senoritas, having fast hold of these same iron bars as they get a peep at the stranger, look, in
their fanciful attire, like caged birds of gay plumage. One large door, the only entrance through which horses, volantes, slaves, and all, come and go, if open, shows the whole extent of the domicil. All these strange sights carry you into the land of novelty and bewilderment. “How strange!" is all you have time to utter, at intervals, between new sights and the last ones seen. Your friends live outside the city walls, and you pass through one of the gates, at which a soldier walks sentinel ; you meet a long train of something, which looks like the emigration of a small cornfield ; nearer, you discover the heads and tails of animals. All the provender for the city beasts is thus brought in, daily, on pack-horses. You meet no ladies on foot-perhaps one or two, with no head-covering, happen to pass; you have learnt one custom here. Ladies seldom walk in the streets ; seldom, if ever, wear bonnets ; a light veil being the only head-dress. It seems strange to pass by the open windows, which have no glass, and are only closed by immense shutters, and to look through and through the entire internal economy of each house. You see first a parlor, then a sitting-room, then bed-rooms, and finally, the kitchen, with stable in the rear. The volantes are left in the hall adjoining the parlor; often in the same place where the meals are taken ; while the horses step through the hall into the court-yard and stable beyond. The parlor floors are of marble ; the other floors being usually of brick. The high white walls, with the painted roof-beams showing far above, give an air of uncomfort to one accustomed to the cosy, carpeted houses at the north. These houses, however, are cool and adapted to this warm climate. Do you wish to dine in real Spanish style ---then lay aside your American palate, and prepare to find everything very highly seasoned with garlic and onions. The word “messes ” is just the one to use in reference to many of these Spanish dishes. First, soup; then course after course of this strange cooking; and finally fruit; then pudding and sweetmeats, of which the Cubans are extremely fond; rich coffee finishes the repast. Cigars are smoked always ;-during the meal and after the meal-ladies breathing the smoke, inhaled from the cigarette, (often from a bona fide cigar,) through the nostrils, with fine, ladylike effect! Smoking in Cuba is like the habit of making shoes in Lynn, Massachusetts, everybody smokes !—in the house, and by the way; in' the cars, and on horseback; everywhere, and at all times. You meet whole regiments of youngsters, from six to eight years of age, with black beaver hats, tail-coats, and canes, each with a cigar, nearly his own size, in his mouth. You feel like putting the miniature dandies into the water of the next fountain basin, which, shallow as it is, would fully suffice to drown the largest of them. You become cool again, after this burst of righteous indignation, and make another observation on the custom of smoking. You have a right to accost any one smoking in the street, however much may be his superiority or inferiority to yourself, and to ask a light for your cigar; even negros, hatless and shirtless, thus address well-dickied gentlemen, and vice versa. Refuse to take a cigar with a Cuban, and you refuse his friendship. Towards evening you ride into the suburbs of Havana. Passing by the houses, you note the dark eyes and raven hair of the ladies, who, dressed in gayest mood, sit to see and be seen. Gentlemen, even when unacquainted, as they pass, may call out “ Adios," and beckon to the ladies, receiving graceful bows in return. But the sunsets! bow truly are they unreal and picture-like. You pass a clump of trees, and a wide extent of country lies before you. The sun is just dropping behind the distant hills. A few palm trees tower above you in the foreground; soft verdure variegates the landscape with colors of spring, summer, and autumn; the pretty look of those white cottages, overshadowed by the orange and the mango tree; here and there clumps of the ever-present, ever-graceful palm, giving an oriental look to the landscape; on the right, a mansion with its luxurious garden, its, colored turrets and fanciful domes ; while the sun's last rays gild the soft clouds above and around you; it is truly a scene of enchantment. You can hardly realize that it is not all a dream, so like is it to pictures which you have always looked upon as allegorical and imaginative. But you hasten homewards, for the twilight is brief. You must sleep on a cot to-night, for matresses are almost unknown; but you are tired and your sleep is sweet. It is even more pleasant to be awakened at early dawn, by a servant with coffee and fruit, than to be aroused to a hurried toilet and prayers, by your loved chapel bell; and, with a pleasant smile, you take the luscious oranges and bananas, and do not growl a syllable, as the pretty negress places the fragrant coffee at your bedside, and curtesies from the room. · Breakfast at nine ; so you have ample time for another nap; but recollect that men of business here, finish up the greater part of their trading before breakfast; go on “change” before this meal, which is a hearty one, and keep indoors during the heat of noontime. “But I am no business man,” say you, pulling together again the musquito-net; and the breakfast warning is the next sound you hear. You like the custom of but two meals a day, with chocolate rich and thick, or coffee in the evening, and so you pass your time lazily, as everybody else does here, till Sunday arrives to give you some new items of experienee, which make you valye more than ever your own" religion and good American Institutions. Such a clangor of bells disturbs the Sunday morning in Havana, that it disturbs you also. Will you attend mass ? Coming near the church, you wonder why that fellow in the belfry is trying so earnestly to deafen himself, and everybody within the city walls, by his noisy hammering; and concluding that he is only “ringing the bell,” you enter the dim sanctuary. The entire center of the roomy edifice is occupied by kneeling female forms, who usually rest on carpets with negroes in livery, to hold their prayer-books, and with their graceful veils thrown back from the face, many look quite beautiful, all very picturesque. Soon the tread of martial men is heard, and soldiers file into the church, Seven of these, tall and straight, surround the altar with their short-swords, sharp and glistening, held up before them. The service begins, and the military band executes the most delicious music. Hark! it is from the opera of Norma! For a half-hour you listen. Then the Priest blesses the people; the band strikes up the Spanish march; the Host is raised; the congregation all bend the knee and disperse. You ask yourself, “Is this devotion ?" When mass has been attended, the labor of the day is over; and now begins the amusement and frolic of the week. A Spaniard tells you that it is a duty to amuse yourself today, and feels hurt because you do not agree with him. He cannot understand your reasoning. If it be a duty, then the Cubans perform that one duty, more faithfully than any other. In the afternoon, there are bull-fights, cock-fights, and sundry private fights, among individuals, who knock out a few teeth, &c., from a sense of duty, of course. Towards evening, on the Sabbath, all the beauty and fashion of the city are to be seen on the Paseo or public drive-a long line of volantes with the tops thrown back, and generally with three ladies, (the “nina bonita" for a center piece,) drives slowly up and down this long avenue, between rows of young men, who have the privilege of addressing any lady with compliments such as “ Que bonita!” (How lovely !)---so that Spanish compliments are become a byeword. When the Spaniard to whom you are introduced for the first time, tells you, “ My house is at your disposal !” he only means the same falsehood with many at the North, when they say, “I should be happy to see you at my house." The rich but fanciful dresses of the monotonously-dark-eyed ladies; the gay livery of the drivers; the silver trappings of the horses ; and the brilliancy of the whole affair, are together but another bit of odd experience for the stranger to carry away in his memory. Dragoons in yellow coats and cocked hats, who ride up and down to preserve order, add much to the gaiety of the scene. In the evening, as you pass along the streets, the