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boats but the launch had been stove in a gale of wind, off the Island of Madeira.
Brace your main-topsail aback, then, and I will send a boat to you,' rejoined Sutherland.
The chase, however, took no notice of the remark, but singing out a good night,' through the trumpet, descended to the deck.
'Loose the royals; man the fore and main tacks and sheets; clear away the flying-jib; man the spanker out-haul!' The men obeyed with excited alacrity, and in a few moments the Sparrow-hawk was surging ahead, in hot pursuit.
'Clear away the long gun! - beat to quarters !' was the next order that issued from abaft; and then the decks of the American presented a scene of wild though not unusual excitement. The shrill, measured notes of the fife, blended with the loud rolling of the drum ; the confused hum of the men, as they hurried up with their hammocks; the clashing of cutlasses, as they were thrown from the armchests, all mingled in rude disorder; but these noises soon subsided; the men took their places at the guns; the officers repaired to their respective stations; and when the drum had ceased to beat, nothing was heard, save the wash of the waves, as they swept along the dark counter of the vessel.
The two ships were now running along at a rapid rate; but it was soon observable that the stranger was ranging ahead. As soon as Sutherland perceived this, he ordered a shot to be thrown across the fore-foot of the chase. The match was applied, the report rang upon the air, and the ball ploughed the water up under her lee quarter; but the stranger still held his way, and in another minute, three small sky-sails fluttered aloft, and were spread out above his royals.
Throw another among his canvass !' exclaimed Sutherland, an
Very fine!' exclaimed Mr. Topblock, as the spanker-gaff of the stranger was shattered by the ball into a thousand fragments -‘very fine!' But even as he spoke, the bows of the chase swept gracefully to starboard, and the roar of eight pieces of artillery burst from his sides, and enveloped his hull and courses in a dense bank of smoke. The iron rattled through the rigging and spars of the Sparrow-hawk, cutting and splintering every thing in its path, but passing to leeward, without injuring any thing that would lessen the speed of the
Sutherland cast his eyes aloft, for a moment, and turning to the man at the wheel, ordered him to put the helm a-port. The obedient ship fell off, and when she had brought her entire broadside to bear upon her antagonist, the deafening thunder of her carronades rang upon the startled air, with a peal that sent its echo up to the very heavens; and when the eyes of those on board of the Sparrowhawk were turned once more to the chase, they beheld her mizzentop-gallant-mast dangling from aloft, and her fore and main royals flapping in the wind; but men were seen the next instant clambering up the rigging, and before the guns of the American were reloaded, the wreck was cleared, and the clews of the fluttering canvass extended to the extremities of the yards. When these dispositions had been effected, another volley of iron darted across the water,
crashing through the bulwarks of the American, dismounting two carronades, and killing or wounding the crew of the dismantled guns. That broadside was well directed,' muttered Sutherland, as a dark spot settled like a cloud upon his brow; and those fellows work like magicians. Mr. Topblock, what is your opinion of that ship?
Why, Sir, I should say that she is some West India pirate, cruising about to intercept some homeward-bound Don. Who knows but it may be 'Diablito' himself? They say his ship is handled like the Flying Dutchman, and that she outsails the very wind.'
Then we must capture her, at every sacrifice! Let them load and fire all the guns that will bear, in the order of succession, and let some hands go aloft and overhaul damages.'
A running fight was now kept up between the pursuer and the pursued, for another two hours, during which little or no advantage was gained on either side. But at the expiration of that time, the stranger, by his superior sailing, had placed himself beyond the range of the Sparrow-hawk's carronades, and the battle was then maintained with the two long guns, the chase, after this, not firing a single shot in return. Sutherland's only hope of capturing his antagonist, was by disabling her; and to effect this, he kept up an unceasing fire from the eighteens, although it retarded the progress of his ship, and thereby rendered a decided advantage to the retreating vessel. During the remainder of the night, the chase was hotly continued, the stranger gradually gaining a greater distance; and when the first flush of morning streaked the horizon, she was hull-down to windward, and the long guns of the American were of no further service. The breeze, too, began to die away; and when the sun rose, it fell a dead calm.
Although Sutherland had been on deck throughout all the watches of the night, he requested that Mr. Topblock and the rest of the officers should go below and seek some repose. The men were also sent to their hammocks, and in a little time he stood alone upon the blood-stained and shattered deck of the Sparrow-hawk. Long after the sun rose, he continued to pace the narrow limits between the taffrail and mizzenmast, in deep and unbroken reverie. There was something in the view around him, that harmonized with his own melancholy meditations.
It was high noon; yet still no breath of air ruffled the surface of the burnished wave, nor was there a single cloud in the blue arch above. The sea, too, had gone to rest, and all was silent-all was calm.
At length, the loud, shrill whistle of the boatswain awoke the crew from their slumbers, and the decks of the Sparrow-hawk were again enlivened by the gay jest and hearty laugh of the reckless tar. Gangs were set about repairing the destruction of the night; new lifts and braces were rove; yards were fished, shattered spars sent down, spare top-gallant-masts fidded, sails mended or replaced, dismounted guns re-shipped, and new breechings substituted; so that by sun-down, the Sparrow-hawk was amply prepared for another engagement.
The night passed languidly away. Morning came again, but the calm was as profound as it had been during the previous day. At
last, when even expectation slumbered, the gratifying cry of ‘A breeze! a breeze!' burst simultaneously from a hundred lips. All hands make sail!' exclaimed the officer of the watch. Up flew the nimble topmen; and in a little time, the Sparrow-hawk was dashing bravely ahead. The stranger, too, had spread abroad all his canvass, and was going off on a taut bowline,' it being evidently his fastest point of sailing.
Would to heaven the wind had come out from the westward!' said Sutherland; I think if we could obtain the weather-gauge, we might yet overhaul the rascal; as it is, our only chance is to keep him in sight, until we have a shift of the breeze.'
I think with you, exactly,' said Topblock, surveying the chase through a telescope: but hilloa! what the d-1 does the fellow mean? Here it is as clear as a bell, and by the gods! he 's taking in every thing! Why, if he expected a hurricane in five minutes, he could n't be more expeditious. Whew!-up courses, in royals and to'-gallant sails, down jib and flying-jib, up spanker!-what does he mean? There go his topsail halliards, too; by my life! not a rag left aloft!' The lieutenant passed the glass to Sutherland, who, with equal astonishment, surveyed the naked spars of the stranger.
'He's hoisting away his fore storm-stay-sail!' said he; and as he yet gazed, he beheld her careen, until her lower-yards nearly touched the water. Like lightning the truth flashed upon him. He dropped the telescope, seized a deck-trumpet, and raised it to his lips. But it was too late! The fury of the gust burst over him, and his voice was drowned in the crash of falling spars, and the thunder of the rent canvass. The three top-masts, jib, and flying jib-booms, fell over the side, and the Sparrow-hawk was a helpless wreck.
'Cut!' shouted Sutherland, when he could at length be heard; 'cut there, for'ard!-cut for your lives! cut away every thing!' The ready seamen leaped into the gang-ways, and in a moment every piece of standing or running rigging that confined the wrecked masts to the hull of the ship, was severed.
'Hard up your helm! quartermaster- hard up!'
'Does she go off'?'
'No, Sir!' shouted the man at the wheel.
There succeeded a few moments of breathless anxiety. The ship was now in a situation that threatened her immediate destruction. Her whole broadside was exposed to the hurricane, and her only hope of salvation was in getting at once before it. The sea, too, was pouring like a cataract over her lee hammock-cloths, and the starboard gangway was afloat with water.
'Is she going off at all?' inquired Sutherland.
No, Sir; she don't budge an inch!' was the response. 'Come aft here, carpenters; cut away the mizzen-mast!'
The lanyards of the weather rigging were severed, and after a few strokes of the axe, the mast fell, with a heavy plunge, into the sea. 'She's going off!' shouted the quartermaster, almost at the same instant.
Very well; stand by to meet her with the helm !' - and the bows of the shattered ship tended gracefully to leeward, and recovering her gravity with one deep roll, she began to drive furiously through the boiling ocean.
Until then, not a word had been spoken by any but Sutherland. The attention of every one was rivetted upon his own impending danger; but when that terror had been allayed, a universal buzz of admiration burst from the crew, as they beheld the strange ship, with all her yards and masts aloft, sweeping beautifully before the gale, under a close-reefed foresail.
She speaks when the Tyrol mountaineer
When the ploughman furrowing o'er the
Or o'er some sister's marble sleep,
Music's rich, undulating chime
The wave beneath and the sky above,
Less gentle than his ladye-love.
She spoke in the blast of that wild horn,
When the queen-huntress issued forth,
From the ducal halls of Kenilworth :
Long shout and bugle-note, that drew
Her voice wailed down the holy aisle,
Sternly and lingeringly tolled,
And roundel rites of a druid day, Were met with saintly men to pray O'er elfin-circled SPENSER's bier." Elizabethtown, N. J.
She was heard by many a breathless line,
As the storm of her rolling clarions poured.
She wailed a dirge down the narrow dell,
She came with strange, mysterious art,
H. L. B.
FROM THE GERMAN OF WIELAND.
WITH what heartfelt satisfaction, the mother smiles upon the tender boy, playing beneath the lilies of her chaste bosom! Now she raises her enraptured gaze on high, while mental prayers ascend from her inmost heart to the All-powerful: then again it sinks upon the babe, in whose countenance the first dawn of a beautiful soul appears to glow. Long does she gaze upon him, as a guardian angel, clothed with an ethereal glory, might gaze upon you, lovely reader, when free from guile you slumber at a solitary fountain, and calmly admire the delightful majesty of a pious female soul, beaming from a beautiful person, as if from a crystal. So does the virtuous mother smile upon the child of her heart, and rejoice that by her means the number of those who honor their Creator, of Christians and future angels, shall be increased. Then she imagines, how, as soon as his tender limbs become stronger, and his young soul shall arouse from its partial slumber, and become conscious of its existence, she will unravel and direct the propensities which his Creator has implanted in him. How she will elevate his benevolence to philanthrophy, his pride to fortitude, his curiosity to love of truth! She muses upon agreeable fables, and exciting tales, in which the truth shall be concealed, in order that its brilliant splendor may not dazzle the inexperienced soul. She prays to be ever vigilant over herself, that no gesture, no word, no action, may disfigure, by its injurious impression, the formation of this tender heart. Her life shall show him what virtue is, and how worthy it is of being loved.
'Ah! with what delighted astonishment,' thus meditates this worthy mother,' will he listen to me, when I tell him what man is, in what a world he is placed, and that an unspeakably beneficent Being has placed him there. When I guard his infantile footsteps in the flowery fields, when all things seem to smile upon him, and he springs with