April 5, 1879.WITH the return of spring to the skies, airs, waters of the Delaware, depart the sea-gulls. I never tire of watching their broad and easy flight, in spirals, or as they oscillate with slow unflapping wings, or look down with curved beak, or dipping to the water after food. The crows, plenty enough all through the winter, also vanishd with the ice. Not one of them now to be seen. The steamboats have again come forthbustling up, handsome, freshly painted, for summer workthe Columbia, the Edwin Forrest, (the Republic not yet out,) the Reybold, the Nelly White, the Twilight, the Ariel, the Warner, the Perry, the Taggart, the Jersey Blueeven the hulky old Trentonnot forgetting those saucy little bull-pups of the current, the steamtugs.
But let me bunch and catalogue the affairthe river itself, all the way from the seacape Island on one side and Henlopen light on the otherup the broad bay north, and so to Philadelphia, and on further to Trenton;the sights I am most familiar with, (as I live a good part of the time in Camden, I view matters from that outlook)the great arrogant, black, full-freighted ocean steamers, inward or outward boundthe ample width here between the two cities, intersected by Windmill islandan occasional man-of-war, sometimes a foreigner, at anchor, with her guns and port-holes, and the boats, and the brown-faced sailors, and the regular oar-strokes, and the gay crowds of visiting daythe frequent large and handsome three-masted schooners, (a favorite style of marine build, hereabout of late years,) some of them new and very jaunty, with their white-gray sails and yellow pine sparsthe sloops dashing along in a fair wind(I see one now, coming up, under broad canvas, her gaff-topsail shining in the sun, high and picturesquewhat a thing of beauty amid the sky and waters!)the crowded wharf-slips along the citythe flags of different nationalities, the sturdy English cross on its ground of blood, the French tricolor, the banner of the great North German empire, and the Italian and the Spanish colorssometimes, of an afternoon, the whole scene enlivend by a fleet of yachts, in a half calm, lazily returning from a race down at Gloucester;the neat, rakish, revenue steamer Hamilton in mid-stream, with her perpendicular stripes flaunting aftand, turning the eyes north, the long ribands of fleecy-white steam, or dingy-black smoke, stretching far, fan-shaped, slanting diagonally across from the Kensington or Richmond shores, in the west-by-south-west wind.