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The horizon has lost its greenish glow : it is a spectral blue. Across the whole circle of the Day we have been steaming south. All about the falling sun, this gold-green light takes vast expansion. Crimsoning more and more, the sun drops to the sea. As I doze it seems to burn like a cold fire right through my eyelids. Towards evening, under the slanting gold light, the color of the sea deepens into ultramarine ; then the sun sinks down behind a bank of copper-colored cloud. Same sky, with a few more bright clouds than yesterday; — always the warm wind blowing. Under this trade-breeze, warm like a human breath, the ocean seems to pulse, — to rise and fall as with a vast inspiration and expiration. The closer we approach them, the more do tints of green make themselves visible. As we approach, sunlighted surfaces come out still A Midsummer Trip to the Tropics, 23 more luminously green. But now we are near : it shows us a lovely heaping of high bright hills in front, — with a further coast-line very low and long and verdant, fringed with a white beach, and tufted with spi- dery palm-crests. Naked black boys are bathing on the beach ; — they swim well, but will not venture out far because of the sharks. They are tall, and not uncomely, although very dark ; — they coax us, with all sorts of endearing words, to purchase bay rum, fruits, Florida water. But all the buildings look dilapidated ; the stucco and paint is falling or peeling everywhere ; there are fissures in the walls, crumbling fagades, tumbling roofs.

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Clots of sargasso float by,: — light-yellow sea-weed. " There is such a tone of surprise in his " oh " as might indicate that I had asked a very foolish question; and his look seems to express doubt whether I am quite in earnest. I think, nevertheless, that this water is ex- travagantly, nonsensically blue ! I read for an hour or two; fall asleep in the chair; wake up suddenly ; look at the sea, — and cry out ! The painter who should try to paint it would be denounced as a lunatic. To say this is a mere reflection of the sky is nonsense ! The swaying circle of the resplendent sea seems to flash its jewel-color to the zenith. How gratefully comes the evening to us, — with its violet glooms and promises of coolness ! Awnings have to be clewed up, and wind-sails taken in ; — still, there are no white-caps, — only the enormous swells, too broad to see, as the ocean falls and rises like a dreamer's breast. 22 A Midsummer Trip to the Tropics, We passed other lands in the darkness : they no doubt resembled the shapes towering up around us now ; for these are evidently volcanic creations, — ^jagged, coned, truncated, eccentric. But on entering the streets the illusion of beauty passes : you find yourself in a crumbling, decaying town, with buildings only two stories high.

Nevertheless, the old gentleman from Guadeloupe still maintains this is not the true blue of the tropics ! He looks a moment at the sea, and replies, " Oh yes ! It seems as if one were looking into an immeasurable dyeing vat, or as though the whole ocean had been thick- ened with indigo. Up from the warm deep color of A Midsummer Trip to the Tropics, 19 the sea-circle the edge of the heaven glows as if bathed in greenish flame. One feels an irresistible desire to drowse on deck ; — the rushing speech of waves, the long rocking of the ship, the lukewarm caress of the wind, urge to slum- ber; — but the light is too vast to permit of sleep. And the brain is wearied at last by this duplicated azure splendor of sky and sea. The wind seems to grow continually warmer ; the spray feels warm like blood. There are lands in sight, — high lands, with sharp, peaked, unfamiliar outlines. Viewed from the bay, under the green shadow of the hills overlooking it, Frederiksted has the appearance of a beautiful Spanish town, with its Romanesque piazzas, churches, many arched buildings peeping through breaks in a line of mahogany, bread-fruit, mango, tamarind, and palm trees, — an irregular mass of at least fifty different tints, from a fiery emerald to a sombre bluish -green.

It gives one the idea of liquefied sky: the foam might be formed of cirrus clouds compressed, — so extravagantly white it looks to-day, like snow in the sun. Perhaps the sea may deepen its hue ; — I do not believe it can take more luminous color without being set aflame. I ask the ship's doctor whether it is really true that the West Indian waters are any bluer than these. Yet it is transparent; the foam -clouds, as they sink down, turn 1 8 A Midsummer Trip to the Tropics, sky-blue, — a sky-blue which now looks white by contrast with the strange and violent splendor of the sea color. The sunset comes with a great burning yellow glow, fading up through faint greens to lose itself in violet light; — there is no gloaming. It may be due in part to the somnolent influ- ence of the warm wind, — in part to the ceaseless booming of waters and roar of rigging, which drown men's voices ; but I fancy it is much more due to the impressions of space and depth and vastness, — the impressions of sea and sky, which compel something akin to awe. Morning over the Caribbean Sea, — a calm, extremely dark-blue sea.

The sky does not deepen its hue to-day : it bright- ens it ; — the blue glows as if it were taking fire through- out. Crests of swells seem to burst into showers of sparks, and great patches of spume catch flame, smoul- der through, and disappear. For two days there has been little conversation on board.

Google Book Search helps readers discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. ^ -'j V5 ^•^ c • • «« ^La fa^on d'itre dupays est si agr/abie, la temp&ature st bonne y et Von y vit dans une liberty si twnnite^ qtie je r Caye pas vu un seul homme^ ny une seule femmc^ qui en soient revenus^ en qui je r Caye remarqud une grande passion d'y retoumer'' — Le Pfe RE Dutertre (1667) • • • • • • • • 286963 •• •• •^ • • • • Copyright, 1890, by Harper & Brothers. A HON CHBR AMI LEOPOLD ARNOUX No TAi RE A Saint Pierre, Martinique Souvenir de nos promenades^ — de nos voyages^^^de nos causeries^- des sympathies ^changies, — de tout le charme d*une amitii inalterable et inoubliable^ — de tout ce qui parte d rdme au doux Pays des Revenants, ^ i C . .-''^^r%- -^^ r •■ ^■■' f ' : ■ 'J / ■ /■ / ■ PREFACE. In the bay the water looks greener than ever: it is so clear that the light passes un- der every boat and ship to the very bottom ; the vessels only cast very thin green shadows, — so transparent that fish can be distinctly seen passing through from sun- light to sunlight. This alternately broadens and narrows at regular intervals, concomitantly with the rhyth- mical swing of the steamer.

You can search through the full text of this book on the web at |http : //books . During a trip to the Lesser Antilles in the summer of 1887, the writer of the following pages, landing at Mar- tinique, fell under the influence of that singular spell which the island has always exercised upon strangers, and by which it has earned its poetic name, — Ze Pays des Reuenants. The sunset offers a splendid spectacle of pure color; there is only an immense yellow glow in the west, — a lemon -colored blaze; but when it melts into the blue there is an exquisite green light. Before us the bows spout fire; behind us there is a flaming and roaring as of Phleg- A Midsummer Trip to the Tropics. Moored in an- other blue harbor, — a great semicircular basin, bounded by a high billowing of hills all green from the fringe of yellow beach up to their loftiest clouded summit.

Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. They are generally short and thick-set, and walk with surprising erectness, and with long, firm steps, car- rying the bosom well forward. Whether walking or standing, their poise is admirable, — might be called graceful, were it not for the absence of real grace of form in such compact, powerful little figures.

We encourage the use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. All wear brightly colored cotton- 26 A Midsumtfier Trip to the Tropics, ade stuffs, and the general effect of the costume in a large gathering is very agreeable, the dominant hues be- ing pink, white, and blue. All chatter loudly, speaking their English jargon with a pitch of voice totally unlike the English timbre : it some- times sounds as if they were trying to pronounce English rapidly according to French pronunciation and pitch of voice. We smoke Porto Rico cigars, and drink West Indian lemonades, strongly flavored with rum. The island seems to turn slowly half round; then to retreat from us.

Google This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on Hbrary shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the world's books discoverable online. 'Ti Marie Fort'de-France^ Martinique Capre in Working Garb A Conjirmation Procession Manner of Playing the Ka A Wayside Shrine ^ or Chapelle Rue Victor Hugo, St, Pierre Quarter of the Fort, St. A LONG, narrow, graceful steel steamer, with two masts and an orange-yellow chimney, — taking on cargo at Pier 49 East River. , '' Then the water takes on another hue : pale -green lights play through it. Far off the surface begins to show quick white flashes here and there, and the steamer begins to swing. Though the sun shines hot the wind is cold : its strong irregular blowing fans one into drowsiness. It is full of great flashes, as ol seams opening and reclosing over a white surface. Sometimes it reaches up and slaps the side of the steamer with a sound as oi a great naked hand. And this sonorous medley, ever growing louder, has rhythm, — a crescendo and diminuendo timed by the steamer's regular swinging: like a great Voice crying out, " Whoh-oh-oh ! " We are nearing the life-centres of winds and currents. His face crimsons high above her top-masts, — broadens far beyond helm and bowsprit. The sea is an extraor- dinary blue, — looks to me something like violet ink. The sky is still pale blue, and the horizon is full of a whitish haze. A nice old French gentleman from Guadeloupe presumes to say this is not blue water ; — he declares it greenish (verdatre). Nevertheless, the water looks smooth, perfectly smooth ; the billowings which lift us cannot be seen ; — it is because the summits of these swells are mile-broad, — too broad to be discern- ed from the level of our deck. And just as the lustrous colors of these birds shift according to changes of light, so the island shifts colors here and there, — from emerald to blue, and blue to gray. One reason may be that the city was burned and sacked during a negro revolt in 1878 ; — the Spanish basements resisted the fire well, and it was found necessary to rebuild only the second stories of the buildings ; but the work was done cheaply and flimsily, not massively and enduringly, as by the first colonial builders. Cabbage and co- coa palms overlook all the streets, bending above al- most every structure, whether hut or public building; — everywhere you see the splitted green of banana leaves.

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. Victoria Regia in the Catial at Georgetown Demerara Coolie Girl St. Pierre Rivikre des Blanchisseuses Foot of La Pe Ue, behind t/ie Quarter of the Fort . Through her yawning hatchways a mountainous piling up of barrels is visible below ; — there is much rumbling and rattling of steam-winches, creaking of derrick-booms, groaning of pulleys as the freight is being lowered in. A breezeless July morning, and a dead heat, — 87^ already. The morning is still gray, but the sun is dissolving the haze. Also the somnolent chant of the engines — do-do, hey I do do, hey I — lulls to sleep. One can hardly walk on deck against the ever- increasing breath; — yet now the whole world is blue, — not the least cloud is visible ; and the perfect transparency and voidness about us make the immense power of this invisible medium seem something ghostly and awful. Against this weird magnificence, her whole shape changes color : hull, masts, and sails turn black — a greenish black. Vio- let the night comes ; and the rigging of the foremast cuts a cross upon the face of the moon. Close by the ship, where the foam-clouds are, it is beau- tifully mottled, — looks like blue marble with exquisite veinings and nebulosities. Because I cannot discern the green, he tells me I do not yet know what blue water is. In the court-yards you may occasionally catch sight of some splendid palm with silver-gray stem so barred as to look jointed, like the body of an annelid.

Far out, where the water is black as pitch, there are no lights : it seems as if the steamer were only grinding out sparks with her keel, striking fire with her propeller. Above-deck, however, the effect of all this light and heat is not alto- gether disagreeable ; — one feels that vast elemental pow- ers are near at hand, and that the blood is already aware of their approach. There is no moon ; the sea-circle is black as Acheron ; and our phosphor wake reappears quivering across it, — seeming to reach back to the very horizon.