Rollo on the Atlantic by Jacob Abbott
Rollo on the Atlantic by Jacob Abbott 1803-1879
In the series of narratives to which this volume pertains, we offer to
the readers of the Rollo Books a continuation of the history of our
little hero, by giving them an account of the adventures which such a
boy may be supposed to meet with in making a tour in Europe. The books
are intended to be books of instruction rather than of mere amusement;
and in perusing them, the reader may feel assured that all the
information which they contain, not only in respect to the countries
visited, and to the customs, usages, and modes of life that are
described, but also in regard to the general character of the incidents
and adventures that the young travellers meet with, is in most strict
accordance with fact. The main design of the narratives is, thus, the
communication of useful knowledge; and every thing which they contain,
except what is strictly personal, in relation to the actors in the
story, may be depended upon as exactly and scrupulously true.
New York, _September, 1853_.
I.- -TAKING PASSAGE
II.- -THE EMBARKATION
IV.- -GETTING SETTLED
V.- -ON DECK
VIII.- -THE STORM
IX.- -THE PASSENGERS' LOTTERY
X.- -THE END OF THE LOTTERY
XI.- -THE ARRIVAL
ROLLO ON THE ATLANTIC.
When Rollo was about twelve years of age, he made a voyage to Europe
under rather extraordinary circumstances. He went alone; that is to say,
he had no one to take care of him. In fact, in addition to being obliged
to take care of himself, he had also his little sister Jane to take care
of; for she went with him.[A] The way it happened that two such children
were sent to sea on such a long voyage, without any one to have them in
charge, was this.
[Footnote A: It ought here to be stated, that Jane was not really
Rollo's sister, though he always called her and considered her so. She
was really his cousin. Her father and mother had both died when she was
about six years old, and then Mr. and Mrs. Holiday had adopted her as
their own child, so that ever since that time she had lived with Rollo
and Nathan as their sister. She was very nearly of the same age with
Rollo's father and mother had gone to Europe to make a tour, a year
before this time, and had taken Rollo's brother Nathan, or _Thanny_, as
Rollo used most frequently to call him, with them. They had gone partly
for pleasure, but more especially on account of Mr. Holiday's health,
which was not good. It was thought that the voyage, and the recreation
and pleasure of travelling in Europe, would be a benefit to him. In
certain cases where a person's health is impaired, especially when one
is slowly recovering from past sickness, nothing is found to have a more
beneficial effect upon the patient than for him to go away somewhere and
have a good time. It was determined to try the effect of this remedy
upon Mr. Holiday, and so he went to Europe. Mrs. Holiday went with him.
They took Thanny too, to be company for them on the way. Thanny was at
this time about seven years old.
A child of that age, for a travelling companion, is sometimes a source
of great pleasure, and sometimes, on the other hand, he is the means of
great annoyance and vexation. This depends upon whether he is obedient,
patient, quiet, and gentle in his manners and demeanor, or noisy,
inconsiderate, wilful, and intractable. A great many children act in
such a manner, whenever they take a journey or go out to ride with their
parents, that their parents, in self-defence, are obliged to adopt the
plan of almost always contriving to leave them behind.
It was not so, however, with Nathan. He was an excellent boy in
travelling, and always made the ride or the journey more pleasant for
those who took him with them. This was the reason why, when it was
determined that Mr. and Mrs. Holiday should go to England, that Mrs.
Holiday was very desirous that Nathan should go too. And so far as
Nathan was concerned, the voyage and the tour proved to be all that Mr.
and Mrs. Holiday expected or desired. In regard to other points,
however, it was less successful. Mr. Holiday did not improve in health,
and he did not have a good time. Mrs. Holiday was anxious about her
husband's health, and she was uneasy too at being separated so long from
her other two children,- -Rollo and little Jane, especially little
Jane,- -whom she had learned to love as if she were really her daughter.
So, before the year was ended, they both heartily wished themselves back
in America again.
But now Mr. Holiday's health grew worse, and he seemed too ill to
return. This was in the month of May. It was decided by the physician,
that it would not be best for him to attempt to return until September,
and perhaps not until the following spring. Mrs. Holiday was herself
very much disappointed at this result. She, however, submitted to it
very cheerfully. "I must be as good as Thanny," said she. "He submits
patiently to his disappointments, and why should not I submit to mine.
His are as great, I suppose, for him to bear as mine are for me."
When Mrs. Holiday found that she could not go to her children, she began
to be very desirous that her children should come to her. She was at
first almost afraid to propose such a thing to her husband, as she did
not see how any possible plan could be formed for bringing Rollo and
Jane across the wide and boisterous Atlantic alone. She, however, at
length one day asked Mr. Holiday whether it would not be possible in
some way to accomplish it.
Mr. Holiday seemed half surprised and half pleased when he heard this
proposal. At first he did not appear to know exactly what to say, or
even to think. He sat looking into the fire, which was blazing in the
grate before him, lost apparently in a sort of pleasing abstraction.
There was a faint smile upon his countenance, but he did not speak a
"That is an idea!" he said, at length, in a tone of satisfaction. "That
is really an idea!"
Mrs. Holiday did not speak. She awaited in silence, and with no little
anxiety, the result of her husband's meditations.
"That is really quite an idea!" he said at length. "Let us get Rollo and
Jane here, and then we shall feel entirely easy, and can return to
America whenever we get ready, be it sooner or later. We shall be at
home at once where we are."
"I suppose it will cost something to have them come over," said Mrs.
Holiday. She was not so anxious to have the children come as to desire
that the question should be decided without having all the objections
fully considered. Besides, she was afraid that if the question were to
be decided hastily, without proper regard to the difficulties that were
in the way, there would be danger that it would be reconsidered after
more mature reflection, and the decision reversed. So she wished that
every thing that could be brought against the project should be fully
taken into the account at the outset.
"I suppose," said she, "that their expenses in coming out, and in
returning, and in remaining here with us, in the interim, would amount
to a considerable sum."
"Yes," said Mr. Holiday; "but that is of no consequence."
"I don't know