Artist at Large
THE migrations of artists are usually determined by such practical considerations as seasonal changes in the beauty of hills and seas and forests. They æstivate in pleasant coastal towns of New England, which smell of fish and honeysuckle and salt. They winter in large numbers near the exhibition galleries, and at all times swarm naturally in regions abounding with good models, old-fashioned gardens, rock-bound coasts, or the glamour of obsolete shipping. Sometimes they merely move from studio to studio, a few steps ahead of careworn landlords who pad dejectedly after them. Or they yield to the temptation George Moore speaks of, ‘which the artist spends his life in fighting — the temptation to go and talk to someone.’
The peregrinations of my early student days were much along these general lines. I used to sketch through long, peaceful, north-temperate summers on the shores of Connecticut, and through interesting winters in a variety of metropolitan studios, which have merged in my memory into a fantastic picture of the conventional workroom of an artist: a not too draughty space of cold, trenchant light in the midst of a lofty room, with a sort of twilight of graven images round about the edges, a few nymphs standing at gaze within their plaster prisons, and a Periclean philosopher or two frowning down with sightless plaster eyes upon a dusty flotsam of throne chairs, and books, and prints, and worn, muted stringed instruments, and coffers full of precious junk — all the gay, inconsequential ingredients of a background that would help the mood of such a romantic-minded and absurd trifler with art as myself, at least!
But my work, of late years, has been among surroundings far different from this. Aboard a variety of ships on a diversity of seas, in tropical rain forests, on desert-island strands, I have set up workrooms original and eccentric to the last degree. I have been an artist at large, in the truest sense of the words — an actual nomad, with never a day’s work in a real studio, and scarcely a model that has ever been heard of before. I held, for seven years, the position of scientific artist on the Tropical Research Expeditions of the New York Zoölogical Society. A formidable title for a profession, indeed. And a fairly formidable profession, if you consider the possibilities it offered for adventure, and interest, and that satisfactory occupation, work which is not toil. Briefly, my work was the painting of small, perishable creatures of tropical forests and seas — a task of living portraiture, to be done with accuracy and miniature precision before captivity or death impaired the natural appearance of these frail, exquisite models — snakes, frogs, lizards, fish, insects, all of whose tones and tissues fall away into ugliness almost at the moment of death.
Imagine a succession of artist’s models ranging all the way from a tree snake, like a length of molten emerald glass slowly flowing through rustling leaves with uncanny, stealthy silence, to a crab from the bottom of the sea, a great, clanking creature with scarlet spines and turrets, and moonstone eyes waving out of unison far in front of his ingrowing face! Imagine a series of problems for an artist to work out which would include the proper delineation of the burnished, green-bronze greaves and corselets of a pair of glittering wasps, or the expression of a gloomy little sunfish who had the knack of swallowing her gross of young when danger threatened, or the bright web of design that fitted so perfectly over the intelligent countenance of a little jungle lizard.
An odd job, you are thinking. And most exceptional models. But the most troublesome and absorbing feature by far of these interesting years of work was the astonishing variety of the landscapes and environments in the midst of which I was supposed to be concentrating upon more animalpainting. Whereas the rational environment of an artist is planned to furnish just enough charm and no distraction whatsoever from his work, my perfectly outlandish studios furnished too much of both! Every problem of my animal work is associated in my mind with some equally complicated problem of landscape sketching — the quivering calm of a palm swamp, the wild rhythm of a bamboo grove in storm-haunted sunlight, the violet mystery of a pumice isle drowned in equatorial rain.
The strange, beautiful animals should have been enough to take up all of my time and interest. Instead of which, my many days of work in different, peculiar, tropical studios seem to me, in retrospect, like no more than fussy little pools of feeble endeavor, stirred round and round by mechanical things such as hands, and brushes, and little spurts of human skill and concentration, while all the time just beyond my elbow — and, I am afraid, not far enough beyond the range of my eyes — there were beautiful, wild, glowing landscapes: tropical islands with their palms, and hyacinthine mountains, and incandescent, white, curving shores; tropical rivers, cutting their dull, swift, topaz ways through the green curtains of the forest; desert slopes of volcanoes, with their livid, unearthly patterns against the sky and sea.
In the interstices of my busy days on duty I was wont to trifle with some of these problems of landscape sketching. I am probably the only person who has profited by the trifling, but this only supports my theory that the great joy of almost any undertaking is in the actual work involved. I believe that the sum of happiness of the working hours of artists’ lives would outtotal the sum of all the merriment felt by the populace strolling past their finished products in the picture galleries. So, pragmatically speaking, the time I have spent tinkering with the beautiful surfaces of the world has not been a complete loss!
Much of the work of the Tropical Research Department has been done at the Zoölogical Society’s Station at Kartabo Point, Demerara. My corner of the laboratory there was probably the most comfortable and suitable of all my peculiar ateliers. I have usually been obliged to perch upon a lava crag, or the heaving deck of a ship, or the rather too well populated surface of a fallen jungle tree, always with the added complication of having to adapt some portion of my immediate surroundings to the uses of a desk. At Kartabo Point I had at least a roof over my head, and a window against wind and rain, and a space, smooth and steady and comparatively free from animal life, where I could attempt the segregation of my tools and my restless subjects.
But there, even in just the space before me, were distractions — a great green tree frog, hunched sadly in his glass cage on my desk, all his frog heart in his bulging, jeweled eyes, as he tried to think of some way of leaving or some way to bear it if he could n’t; and friendly wasps, who brought their loot of opal and amber and turquoise spiders to the storehouses of my brushends; and silver and gold and crystal chrysalids that hung motionless for days before me, finally to split and shrivel and curl back from the new, delicate bloom of moth wings.
And even more fascinating than all the varied pageant of these small, intricate lives was the beauty of the clearing around the camp: the sharp, monotonous pattern of the bamboos against the sky, and their green profusion, where a hundred green tree snakes could hold a séance and fool you completely. You would think that their slim green lengths were merely their ectoplasms! Beyond the bamboos went shifting the moods and phases of land and sky and rivers. I wish I could have painted them as they looked during the big rains, and under the spells of fog, and thunderstorm, and glittering tropical sunlight. But the swift changes were too much for me. I would be working carefully upon the face of an iridescent rain cloud, fussing with pigments and washes and so on, only to find that between brush strokes it had changed to a sinister gray, or acquired a rainbow diadem, or dissolved into a swaying curtain of rain that completely hid the bits of hills I had planned to put in to give the picture substance!
I have written elsewhere, and at most ponderous length, about the work that I did in this jungle camp — about the hundreds of marvelous small creatures that were brought to pose for me, with all the complexity and interest of their colors and textures and strange, beautiful forms. But it was a problem in concentration, indeed, to work even upon these fascinating models in such a place of beauty. I had a band playing continually outside my window — wood doves and cicadas and toucans mingling their notes against a scale of soft, involuntary sounds, from the washing of the river tides upon the beach to the eternal rustling of the palms, a quiet undercurrent, like the snapping fingers of a crowd of gnomes.
I had a delightful auxiliary studio down upon the beach, among the tidewater roots of the giant trees that grow along the shores of the Mazaruni River. The studio was a sketchy affair, merely a natural armchair and footstool and desk made of roots and vines, with a small ants’ inland sea to furnish the water for my aquarelles. It was at the foot of the tallest tree, and I could go there only when the tide was out, as the whole thing was covered with eight feet or so of tea-colored water when the swift river met the backwash from the ocean.
These marvelous trees wade up to their ankles at high tide, and show the tortured sinews of their twisted gray feet only during the slow hours of the ebb. They maintain themselves against the shifting sands and the slow seeping of the bush water with a million tangled, tortuous phalanges and agonized tendons, and queer, clutching toes. And the space around their trunks is like a zone of motionless twilight, between the sparkling blue river on one hand and the varied, busy life of the forest on the other.
I used to visit this dim, leaf-shaded studio with paints and brushes, and the firm intention of sketching the foolish little crabs that scuttled about the tide pools and queer, mirrorlike ponds in the hollows of the roots. Or the lizards that came to meditate, stretched out upon the gray bark a few feet above the rippling of a musical little rivulet. Or the strange little moths that came flickering silently through the green dusk, with their white, feathery pinions all frilled and trimmed with gold and black, and looking completely out of place, with their fairy frailty, against the mighty, staggering architecture of the trees. But I would find myself longing and even attempting to transfer to paper the powerful contours of this straining life that exists so strangely and subtly behind the surface tones of the lichens and mosses—the mysterious, deep tree heart, which moves so silently beneath the quick footsteps of the creatures that walk upon its monstrous muscles. And it could n’t be done! Colors and lines and lights and shadows that might be manipulated and teased into the semblance of a comical crab countenance, or the gay, graceful poise of a lizard, or the fairy pattern of a moth, could never be worked into the meagre dimensions of a sheet of paper to show forth the strength of these clenched creatures in their combat with the waters. They seem to stand, buttressed on all sides and gray in the shadows of their own bright, leafy heads, as the very substance of silent, incorruptible power.
In sharpest contrast with this realm of the struggling river giants is the coastal swamp region of Guiana, where I went with my artist’s paraphernalia, to sketch birds and insects. It is an unspeakable place: miles and miles of plantation land, with the look of a mirage or something seen in the bevel of a mirror, hung somewhere between land and sea, not much above low tide and not much below high tide. The Dutch, who settled all this land, must have searched the coast of South America for the soggiest part — something that would have to be diked, so that they might not feel too strange in their exile from their beloved inundated homeland. The plantations all around Georgetown are maintained in this complicated fashion, and kept from sagging badly only by an endless wall against the muddy ocean. Sea-gates rise up at intervals like guillotines, between the sea birds’ rookeries and the bleak outposts of tottering palm trees.
The divide which backs up the drainage system of all this region had to be made. Imagine civil engineers being so hard up for geological coöperation that they had actually to manufacture it for themselves, and throw up an artificial height of land for miles along a canal. Tedious to make and to think about; but most pleasant to travel along this waterway, bent upon the capture of specimens and models. With our noisy motor boat, and our gear, and our active human interest, we made a unit of hostile contrast in the mazes of this quiet, sunlit swamp land.
It was the end of the rainy season, so that the swamp was pretty well flooded with black bush water. The few palms were rotted at the roots, and stood up dead and blasted, looking like groups of wasted fakirs, united in a covenant to stand forever holding aloft their skinny arms and tattered sleeves. In some places our tent-boat was completely overtopped by a maze of arum lilies and tall reeds, and in dark little laneways between the reeds there were multitudes of tiny rushes, all pointing aloft like the spears of the magic phalanxes of Cadmus that sprang fullarmed from sown dragon teeth, or each with a backward rake, like the masts of a fairy squadron in a fairy port. Most lowly of all were the small blossoming water plants that grew up between the serried ranks of the rushes, with frail flowers of porcelain blue and white.
I think these tiny flowery places in the shadows of this wilderness of waters were the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I wish I might have enlarged them to man’s size, to a scale that could be recognized as that of scenery, so that the world might see the incredible freshness and bloom on the petals of these infinitesimal lily-cups that floated between the dim air and the dimmer water. A frog’s broadgrinning countenance would appear sometimes below the delicate flower throats, with staring eyes, and grizzled, receding chin, and fantastic moustache of green or white. Or fleets of dragon flies, like red velvet dirigibles, would cruise in and out of the motionless, filtered air of the fairy glades, with tremendous whirring of their propellers. Or a sad fish would move slowly through the drowning vegetation, with cynical silver gills and rude golden tail.
You can see that here again I failed to be a concentrated, matter-of-fact, and single-minded animal artist! I could not sit calmly on the shaky deck of our boat and sketch the various creatures, but must needs waste time observing the hopeless, unpaintable beauty of their habitations, and watching the fragments of heron-wing shadow as they slowly eddied down through a myriad stems, to settle in violet flakes upon the murky water.
I traveled through another wild, trackless swamp land, up the San Juan River to the Pitch Lake in the interior of Venezuela, to sketch the wading birds, and a tropical snake or two that preferred Latin government to British. We steamed for hours between the slowly advancing battalions of the mangrove armies. These land-conquering tropical trees made me think of a strange sort of cavalry, galloping through the swamps, with new earth surfaces ever forming under the spidery, pawing forelegs of their restless vanguards.
I think this Lake of Asphalt is one of the oddest places in the world. Nothing could seem more unvolcanic than its surrounding wilderness of mangroves, with alligators sleeping among their roots, and clouds of scarlet ibis whirring across their scraggy tops. Yet here wells up the strange, black blood of volcanoes. Odd to think of the potential surfaces of a million streets of future capitals of the world lying spread out here between the forests and hills, quietly, monotonously bubbling up, regardless of the strange thirst of humanity for this mysterious substance! A clamoring little railway humps across the lake on stilts, and an army of strong Trinidad blacks hack away at the edges with machetes. The surface is most deceptive. There were places where even my frail heron models would have sunk through, and other spots, just as soggy-looking, where I could camp for a whole day, with no danger at all of either my paints or myself disappearing from view beneath the black ooze.
There is a strange place in the middle of the valley, called the Mother of the Lake, with clumps of withered shrubbery and some rather dark and slimy-looking water. Here the purest pitch comes up in molten streams through these pools of dim blackness. The men swim about and gather the gruesome stuff in long stringy loops, which have the appearance of the lank black hair of Indians and the consistency of homemade candy that has turned out wrong. When you look away from this half-tone of wet black men and wet black pitch, you get a faint shock from the burning brightness of the sunny world that hems in the scene. Lake an etching, most unsuitably framed in orange plush.
My most recent studio was probably the most completely outlandish of all the makeshift spots in which I have chosen to work. It had some truly remarkable features. It was on board the Arcturus, of the New York Zoölogical Society, a floating oceanographical laboratory, which steamed eastward last February to a place somewhere between Hatteras and Cape Sierra Leone — if you can call such a nameless thing a ‘place,’ that bit of blue, rimmed desolation through which a ship may pitch and toss, and which becomes just a fragment of the dimmering wake even while men and instruments on the bridge are naming it with numbers.
The Arcturus visited many other ‘places’ of this same indefinite character, such as the spot where Echo Bank should be, to the northeast of the Antilles; and a waste of green shallows south of Saba; and a rendezvous of restless tides west of Panama; and a very empty bit of ocean north of the Galapagos Archipelago, which is known as Latitude 0°, Longitude 90° West; and a desolate place of shifting waters somewhere on the great circle that swangs around the globe from Australia to the Canal. We revisited the desert Galapagos Islands, and sailed down forgotten paths of the trade winds to the treasure island of Cocos, a graygreen wraith of rocks and trees and cataracts, which looks always like something seen through eyes suffused with tears. The clouds weep continually round this lonely, beautiful island, and its own tears never cease to flow in crystal torrents down its junglefilled ravines.
And my job was the concentration of all my craft and skill and thought upon the problem of painting fish from life, as they swam about in rather rickety aquaria, upon a most unsteady deck!
My studio on the Arcturus was prosaic enough, as far as its material existence went. It consisted of a wooden desk, hooked to the deck, and fitted with an elaborate system of paddocks to keep things from sliding. Instead of a studio light I had merely a large port that hardly ever opened to the north. I suppose that nothing short of a complete upsetting of the principles of relativity, as they exist to-day, would have ensured me the north, with its clear, white light, always on the port side and slightly astern, as I should have liked it!
It was the dizzy situation of my studio — aloft, on a small ship that wallowed most of the time at half speed — which made it an exciting, disturbing place in which to work. I gradually became an expert at balancing in all weathers. My various tools were battened down as well as possible. I developed a careful toe-hold which steadied my chair, another which helped to keep me in it; a gyroscopic left hand that held my rapidly swimming or crawling models, and an archathlete of a right hand, which worked, at the same time hovering watchfully over inks and paints and microscopes. Ball-bearing eyes, and a set of hands and feet like a shrimp’s, would have helped me considerably in dealing with the oscillations of my studio, and the extraordinary activity of its contents.
A web of difficulties, indeed, in which to enmesh an artist and her inadequate physique! But it was interesting, nevertheless, to work away at my strange job, sketching the queer creatures that were fished up from the depths and rushed — alive, preferably — to my rolling, rocking studio, to float for an hour or so beneath the concentration of a human being’s senses, and the lenses and mirrors which make up the sensitive glass eye of civilization.
I had a hundred different, shining, slippery models from all depths and zones of the oceans. There were heavy, active fish from the ocean’s surface, caught in mid-career, as they splintered the spun sapphire of the wave tops in their racing with our steamer. They would be dragged up out of the crystal water, and be brought, dripping and thumping, to within a few safe feet of my brush-strewn desk. And then I would sit and try to think up the simplest way to sketch them without having everything in the place completely wrecked in the process. But it was a great mistake to spend much time upon reflection, because rage and discomfort had a strange effect upon their color schemes. Right before my eyes the gleaming steel and gun metal of their visors and armor plates would dim and darken and film over with streamers of purple mist, or jagged patterns of ultramarine, or shadows of leaden grayness. And I would be left guessing, somewhere between the myth of what they had been and the myth of what they were rapidly becoming, with nothing remaining of the truth which the scientists so earnestly desire.
At these times, when action counted for so much more than thought, I usually jumped into the very middle of a sheet of paper, with brushes and pigments flying as fast as the fish flopped, and with as judicious a combination of intuition and observation as possible under the circumstances. Sometimes the very wateriness of water colors is a most tremendous advantage when you are working with models so essentially wet and shining as fish, though at other times the interval necessary for the drying of a tone will be just long enough for the lavender blush upon a sculptured fish jaw, together with its accompanying normal expression of blithe well-being, to drain away somehow into the place where his neck should be, leaving a pallid mask of bitter disillusionment in its place.
Our nets drew up a most queerly assorted collection of creatures from the deeper levels — infinitesimal silver fish, with long, thin streamlines, and lights along their sides; and many little night-roaming gargoyles of the deeps, humpbacked, with angry fangs, and fox fire rubbed on their fins and foreheads; and strange misshapen creatures from the very sea floor, from spaces blacker than the darkest scene of horror and shooting in a modern mystery play, and cold as the breath of a glacier, and eternally silent, with a quietude which must be to our idea of stillness what unconsciousness is to our wildest turmoils of active thought. Along with these various specimens there was always to be found a sort of shrimp soup — thousands of different brilliant creatures made of opal and amethyst jelly, and all caught in a gleaming web of microscopic life that seems to exist in its perfection of translucence and crystal delicacy for no better fate than to serve as soft diet for the Mongol and Tatar fish hordes that swim through it.
The fish along the shores of the Galapagos Islands were marvelously brilliant. And of course, the minute I began to work on these desert beaches, I began to be distracted by the still more marvelous brilliance of the scenery round about my various studio perches. The creatures of the Islands are as strange and rare and wild as could be found anywhere in the world. But I still was obliged to throw a few glances at the remarkable geology of the place — weird, beautiful landfalls, and wild lava cliffs drenched with surf, and blue craters boiling over with thunderstorms, and volcanic hills and ashheaps, rimmed with coral sand.
I camped once on the floor of a small crater. I was completely surrounded by gannets, the parents with their cobalt feet and wild, foolish faces, the young ones fuzzy and awkward and shy, and self-conscious under the gaze of visitors from over the rim of their little world — much like the young of our own race when there is company about! It was a very hard place to work in. It did not seem to matter that a great lumbering brute with flippers instead of wings made greasy-looking smears upon a paper. And it was particularly hard to concentrate with crowds of curious birds padding around me, leering down their beaks at me with a sort of cynical distrust.
I have had many an open-air studio upon the Galapagos beaches — wild, desolate, incredible places, known only to sea lions and sea gulls, and multitudes of scarlet crabs. The crabs were my models upon one occasion, and I spent most of my time trying to think up some way to keep them still. It was impossible to tether them; they had nothing in the shape of a waist around which to fasten a leash, and their claws dropped off at a touch, so I just had to let them sidle about, and watch them out of the tail of my eye. I could paralyze them into an instant’s immobility by yelling at them, but this was not very satisfactory.
Perhaps my most uncomfortable and at the same time most diverting pseudostudios have been among the thorns and rattling lava of the cliffs, with sunshine flashing on the wheeling gulls or filtering through to little caves under the bushes where the great white gannets lurked, cooling themselves and gazing vacantly about with their shy, idiotic expression. I was obliged to perch once in the very middle of a clump of cactus, in order to sketch a retiring little sea-gull chick who had been ordered by his gruff parent not to stir until the towering menace of a human being should move off. I could just see his funny little gray body through a rift in the cactus leaves, an obedient morsel of stone-colored fluff, with his absurd webbed feet firm against the gray lava, and scarcely a flicker of his wild, intelligent eye. So I knocked off a few of the leaves, scraped the spines from a few more, and, draping myself into this unrestful spot, managed a quick portrait sketch of my little involuntary model, without too much annoyance from the sharp green needles which made up the interior decoration of this studio.
But of all places in the world that I have rejoiced in I think that the shore of this island, from this precarious vantage point, had the most rare and distinctive flavor. There was a liquid fire of blue and green surf thundering at the crumbling base of my lava cliff, drenching a score of scarlet, basking crabs, and seeping away in dimmering cataracts of foam. A hundred frigate birds swept to and fro above my head, and the many relatives of my seagull model stood idly about, screaming the peculiar, imagination-stirring call of their race. A faint perfume of earth itself rose from the sun-warm rocks and the scorching vegetation. And all around me surged the bright, untainted air of an empty ocean.
It was a strange and interesting experience to follow down the clean slopes of these volcanic islands, beyond the line of the surf, and see how they looked below the level of the ocean’s surface. I went down several times in our diving helmet, to observe some of my fish models at home. A most disturbing experience — to descend even a few feet down out of our familiar world of air and clarity into quiet, golden water shadows, where banners of green-gold, tarnished sunshine made a restless, moiré pattern of flickerings upon the sea floor — shadows so like the restless little fish themselves that whole schools of the casual, golden little creatures could glide past before your eyes, with all the safety of incognito.
The homes of these Trappists of the deep are stately and beautiful, when seen through the glass windows of a diver’s hat. The most wonderful scenes are among the coral groves, with their wild colors and branching, twisted fingers. Rocks and seaweeds loom dark and mad against the misty distances. They have the appearance of dilapidated but still glamorous ancient stage sets, which have been forgotten and left standing, stark and tattered, and waving feebly with the tide, to be scenery for the endless pantomime of the fish — sad, mute actors, who pass and repass across their shadowy stage, and enact a drama of impenetrable monotony that we of the upper world could never understand. These fish, swimming about in their remote grottoes, made me think of Verlaine’s words: ‘Maskers, delicate and dim . . . who have an air of being sad in their fantastic trim.’ I suppose the habitual fish expression, as of sorrow and deep prejudice, is mostly due to the fact that a fish’s mouth never turns up at the corners.
I wonder what a fish would think of us, if he could think, and could be fitted out with an invention that would keep his own beloved element flowing comfortably through his gills, and could manage somehow to flop about among our trees and meadows and hills. I wonder whether he would consider our natural backgrounds artistic, if slightly antique, and our expressions unnecessarily cheerful, and our motions unaccountably jerky and sudden, considering how much less pressure we have to contend with in the space about us. He would probably be most interested in the racket we make. A fish is one of the few creatures in the world who do not feel obliged to express themselves with any kind of noise. (With the exception of a catfish of British Guiana, who is said to roar. I have never heard this noise, and, consequently, find it hard to believe that there is such a thing.)
The under-water strolls were, of course, a wild diversion in the midst of many busy days of work upon the rolling deck of the Arcturus. But there was a permanent and potent distraction around me all the time in the reality of the sea itself— its omnipresence just beyond my porthole, with its beauty and its moods and its complete hopelessness as a subject for an artist’s efforts. You cannot paint the sea. It would be like trying to write a review of a dictionary. I have noticed that even very skillful painters compromise with it and put in a ship or a few rocks, something for us to concentrate upon, so that we may not note the failure of brush and pigment to reproduce the beauty of monotony.
I have, on many past ocean voyages, during my roamings at large, been absurd enough to suppose that I might transfer to canvas some of my emotions about the sea. But the deck of a steamer, even upon a quiet sea, is not the most satisfactory place for easels and paint and brushes, or for the artist. Everything slants. I usually ended by camping as evenly as possible on the deck itself, in the lee of a chart house or lifeboat, having first made certain that the sailors had not been at their favorite occupation of painting ship. But my sticky canvas would have just time enough to collect a few cinders and repudiate a few drops of spray when the ship would swing around to windward. Or the sun would shrivel everything up. Or the wind would remove my incipient masterpiece to the uninterested shores.
Even so, I have spent many a hopeful hour, brush in hand, gazing at the sea and sky, and at the waves that loom against the horizon or pile up around the decks in pinnacles of green light, with the net result that I am convinced I could never hope even to think up words enough for the beauty of the sea. Much less could I achieve intricacies of pigment to imitate the glory of it: gallant, sparkling days in sailless tropical latitudes, when the brilliant air seems to rise and fall and surge just like the blue waves beneath; gray days of squalls, when the wind goes raging down lanes of foam, like a mad emperor run amuck, shouting between the files of his glittering, white-plumed warriors; quiet evenings, with sunset or moonrise slowly filtering through space; black nights, when the very spindrift is shattered by the wind, and you feel as if worlds were rushing past you, instead of mere latitude and longitude.