CHARLES AT THE SEASIDE.
“Pray, Fisherman, what is this great water?” “It is the sea; did you
never hear of the sea?” “What! Is this great water, the same sea that is in
our map at home?” “Yes, it is.” “Well, this is very strange! We
are come to the sea that is in our map. I can lay my finger over it.”
“Yes; it is little in the map; the towns are little, and the rivers are
“Pray, Fisherman, is there anything on the other side of this sea?”
“Yes; fields, and towns, and people. Will you go and see them?”
“I should like to go very well; but how must we do to get over, for
there is no bridge here?” “Do you not see those great wooden boxes
that swim upon the water?” “They are bigger than all Papa’s house.
There are tall poles in the middle, as high as a tree.” “Those are masts.
See how they are spreading the sails.” “They are like wings. These
wooden boxes are like houses with wings.” “Yes, and I will tell you
what, little boy! they are made on purpose to go over the sea; and the
wind blows them along faster than a horse can trot.” “What do they call
them?” “They call them ships.” “What have those men in the ships
got on?” “They have jackets and trousers on, and checked shirts.
They are sailors. I think we must make you a sailor; and then instead
of breeches you must have a pair of trousers. Do you see that sailor, how
he climbs up the ropes? He is very nimble. He runs up like a monkey.
Now he is at the top of the mast. How little he looks! But we must
get in. Come, make haste; they will not stay for us.”
Barbauld, Mrs. [Anna]. “Charles at the Seaside,” The Green Sheaf vol. 13, 1904, p. 4. Green Sheaf Digital Edition, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2021. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2021. https://1890s.ca/GSV13-barbauld-charles/