The new path
A yarn by an old salt, pp. -156
THEE NEiT A OCTOBER, 1865. A YARN BY AN OLD SALT. (CONCLUDED.) THE material for study to- be re- commended for both artist and critic, is properly his own personal expe- riences and observations; if lie feels pleased by anything seen or heard, let him analyze his pleasure, find its true cause, and he will then know how to produce the same pleasure in the minds of others, or at least as near it as his individuality will permit. This may be illustrated by the statement of one who had learned the "mystery of the sea," in-as nearly as possible-his own words: "' When a small boy, I was rid- ing in a carriage, got sleepy, and closed my eyes, and suddenly thought the car- riage was going backward, and looked; no, all was right; but, by repeated trial, I found that, with my eyes shut, the motion felt like the reverse of the fact; the feeling could not be reasoned away, and puzzled me much. About the same date, while standing on a solid stone- and-earth wharf, looking at the waves passing, it seemed as if the wharf moved and the waves stood still; reason could not overcome the feeling except by a mechanical effort of the nerves and muscle of the eye, and so perfect was the impression on my mind, of thie wharf's motion that I stamped and jumped on the stones to assure myself of their immobility; again I sought the 'why,' and was puzzled. A few years later, a-going down the bay in a sailing craft, of scarcely perceptible motion, as I lay in the cabin almost asleep, I felt the sloop turn; I looked, but there was not even a ray of sunlight, not an ap pearance altered, yet I knew that the sloop had turned; I went on deck; our course was altered several points, though such alteration involved no noise, no change of the relative position of the parts of the vessel. The thing often oc- curred afterwards, but ' Why? I These feelings are as strong now as ever; thus, when walking the street, if I close my eyes, I seem going backward; when the ferry-boat starts it looks as if the piles of the 'slip' were in motion, not the boat; when asleep in my berth on the- 'Sound boat,' I always awaken with the swing around the New London light boat; or, going the other way, get dis- turbed at Sandy Point, awaken fully around Throg's Neck, and am restless from there around the Battery. This is not mere habit; it acts in the cars, over roads travelled for the first time; and in all manner of conveyances, ashore and at sea, whenever the mind is settled and calm enough to perceive the impres- sion. I have read no author who cor- rectly explains these things, but I haves spent much of my life in a way that compelled me to be awake o' nights; to walk the deck, in situations where books. and newspapers could not disturb the action of the brain; where the officers we saw little of, took all the care and anxiety of navigating and commanding the vessel, and one's companions all, calm, unexcited like myself, invariably fell into similar trains of study, and their influence favored my meditation rather- VOL. II.] [No. 10.
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