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the prospect of restoration, but as much at the idea of have no slaves -no cruelties like this. You are sadly a not distant revenge. Shooting, hanging, burning, in error. I have detailed an exceptional case-an barbecuing, were all spoken of, besides a variety of individual victim. Land of the worklouse and the other tortures peculiar to this southern land. Rare jail! your victims are legion. punishments-no lack of them-were promised in a Smiling Christian! you parade your compassion, breath to the unfortunate absconder who should chance but you have made the misery that calls it forth. to get caught.
You abet with easy concurrence the system that begets You who live far away from such sentiments can all this suffering; and although you may soothe your but ill comprehend the moral relations of caste and spirit by assigning crime and poverty to natural causes, colour. Under ordinary circumstances, there exists nature will not be impugned with impunity. In vain between white and black no feeling of hostility-quite may you endeavour to shirk your individual responthe contrary. The white man is rather kindly disposed sibility. For every cry and canker, you will be held towards his coloured brother ; but only so long as the responsible in the sight of God. latter opposes not his will. Let the black but offer resistance-even in the slightest degree—and then The conversation about runaways naturally guided hostility is quickly kindled, justice and mercy are my thoughts to the other and more mysterious adalike disregarded-vengeance only is felt.
venture of yesterday; having dropped a hint about This is a general truth; it will apply to every one this incident, I was called upon to relate it in detail. who owns a slave.
I did 80 — of course scouting the idea that my Exceptionally, the relation is worse. There are intended assassin could have been Yellow Jake. A white men in the southern states who hold the life good many of those present knew the story of the of a black at but slight value-just the value of his mulatto, and the circumstances connected with his market-price. An incident in the history of young death. Ringgold helps me to an illustration. But the day Why was it, when I mentioned his name, coupled before, my squire' Black Jake had given me the with the solemn declaration of my sable groom—why story.
was it that Arens Ringgold started, turned pale, and This youth, with some other boys of his acquaint- whispered some words in the ear of his father? ance, and of like dissolute character, was hunting in the forest. The hounds had passed beyond hearing, and no one could tell the direction they had taken.
THE LOST TOWNS OF YORKSHIRE. It was useless riding further, and the party halted, TEACHERS being supposed to know everything, I, as leaped from their saddles, and tied their horses to the an instructor of youth, took shame to myself for being trees.
unable to answer a question addressed to me by a For a long time the baying of the beagles was not young pupil a week or two ago. It was this: “Where heard, and the time hung heavily on the hands of the is Ravenspur? The history of England tells us that hunters. How were they to pass it?
the Duke of Lancaster, afterwards Henry IV., landed A negro boy chanced to be near 'chopping' wood. at Ravenspur in Yorkshire in 1399; but we cannot They knew the boy well enough--one of the slaves on find its name on the map, or any mention of it in our a neighbouring plantation.
geographies.' 'Let's have some sport with the darkie,' suggested This question disconcerted me not a little. I had
taken Ravenspur for granted. Although I had, in the “What sport?'
course of twenty years as pupil and teacher, heard the 'Let us hang him for sport.'
name of the landing-place of Henry of Bolingbroke The proposal of course produced a general laugh. repeated times out of count, I had passed it without
‘Joking apart,' said the first speaker, 'I should seeking any further acquaintance, and was now nonreally like to try how much hanging a nigger could plussed by a simple question from a child. I was bear without being killed outright.'
ashamed to own that I could tell her nothing, so I had So should I,' rejoined a second.
recourse to finesse. 'I will give you,' said I, 'until to"And so I too,' added a third.
morrow morning to try to obtain the information for The idea took; the experiment promised to amuse yourself; should you fail, I will then furnish you with them.
all needful particulars.' I knew that before another *Well, then, let us make trial; that's the best way day I should ascertain all about Ravenspur, if the to settle the point.'
children could not; and by this little stratagem preThe trial was made-I am relating a fact—the serve my reputation for unlimited knowledge. My unfortunate boy was seized upon, a noose was adjusted first clue to the whereabouts of Ravenspur-I was round his neck, and he was triced up to the branch of going to say, but the term is improper, for it has no a tree.
whereabouts-was obtained from the encyclopædia, Just at that instant, a stag broke past with the and this gained, the rest was easy. I need not tell hounds in full cry. The hunters ran to their horses, how my pupils were unsuccessful in their search, and in the excitement, forgot to cut down the victim from not knowing how to set about it, or how my of their deviltry. One left the duty to another, and newly gained knowledge was imparted to them in all neglected it!
turn. But the subject interested me, and I have When the chase was ended, they returned to the since acquired additional particulars connected with spot: the negro was still hanging from the branch- it, which I have gathered from various sources, he was dead!
including my own recollections of the locality. There was a trial—the mere mockery of a trial. The first bit of information I obtained was, that Both judge and jury were the relatives of the Ravenspur was, but is not; that place, and a number criminals; and the sentence was, that the negro should of other ports and towns in the Holderness district of be paid for! The owner of the slave was contented Yorkshire, having been gnawed away piecemeal and with the price; justice was satisfied, or supposed to swallowed up by the German Ocean. be; and Jake had heard hundreds of white Christians, Like the celebrated • Big-bellied Ben' of our nurserywho knew the tale to be true, laughing at it as a capital days, this glutton has deliberately washed down into joke. As such, Arens Ringgold was often in the habit his maw, ports, villages, churchyards with their human of detailing it!
remains, and even churches. Like the nursery hero, You on the other side of the Atlantic hold up your he has not spared even the steeples; for, unable to hands and cry Horror!' You live in the fancy you | toss his briny arms quite so high, he has stolen away
the ground from under them, and thus they became since, fifty years before, it yielded them a rental of an easy prey to his insatiable appetite. Insatiable, I L.111, 3s.- a very large sum in the good old times ; say, for the depredations of the ogre still continue; and only three years later, the monks complained that and since he is a foe against whom all valour is useless, their lands in Frismersh had also been seized by the and on whom weapons, whether offensive or defensive, same rapacious foe. Camden names Potterfleet and produce no impression, in all probability much of the Upsal, but nothing more is known of them, or of a Holderness division of Yorkshire will in the course of place called Penismerk. The places above enumera few generations disappear.
ated were all on the bank of the Humber, with the Lest this may seem too bold an assertion, let us exception of the last three, the sites of which are glance backward over a similar space of time, and tell unknown. what the sea has done, and still continues doing.
On the shores of the main ocean, towns and Poulson, in his learned and elaborate History of hamlets bearing the names of Hartburn or Auburn, Holderness, mentions a number of lost towns which, Winkton, Hornsea Beck, and Hyde or Hythe, have from records of undoubted authenticity still extant, been submerged. The luckless monks of Meaux had must have been places of considerable importance cause again to mourn the loss of tithes, for Hyde in their day. Of these, perhaps the most important paid L.30 per annum as its tithe of fish. The finny was Ravenspär. It was known by the various names tenants of the sea, could they have derived any satisof Ald Ravenser, Ravenesse, Ravensburgli, and Raven. faction from the fact, were amply avenged by their spur or Spurn. It stood in the parish of Kilnsea, and native element, which swallowed up Hyde altogether, had a neighbour named Ravenser Odd, with which it thus putting an effectual stop to its fisheries. was often confounded. Both were ports, though the Hornsea, now a pleasant and quiet watering-place, latter was a place of more recent growth, and both with something less than a thousand inhabitants, was have alike perished from the same cause. Ravenser a port in the thirteenth century, and possessed a pier Odd, supposed by some to have been an offshoot of and harbour in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; but this Ravenspur, was begun, rose into importance, and port, called Hornsea Beck, with pier and all connected perished by the encroachments of the sea within a with it, has long since disappeared. From 1546 to century and a half. As to its magnitude, nothing 1609, when the pier was destroyed, thirty-eight houses, can be ascertained; but it was so large as to excite the and as many small closes adjoining, were decayed by jealousy of the 'goodmen of Grimsby,' who envied the the flowing of the sea; and the coast, for a mile in prosperity of their opposite and rival neighbour on length, had during the same period suffered an average the lumber, little deeming how soon that arm of the annual diminution of four yards. sea would avenge their grievances, by swallowing up The appetite of this sea for churches rivals that every vestige of their opponent.
of the far-famed Dragon of Wantley, though, more Wlien Hull, large and thriving as it now is, paid merciful than this latter celebrity, its invasions have L.100 for its charter, this port paid L.264 for a never molested or swallowed their congregations.
similar one; and in the fourth and eighth years of Besides those that probably existed in the lost towns Edward II.'s reign, it was called upon to supply already enumerated, others at Aldborough, Withernsea, a vessel to aid the king in his expeditions against Owthorne, Kilnsea, and a parochial chapel at Colden Scotland, besides having to answer sundry demands Parva, have gone the way of all churches on the made upon it for arms and provisions.
Holderness part of the Yorkshire coast. In a manuscript of 1240 is the first mention of Strange scenes have been witnessed during the Ravenser Odd. In 1396, it was totally destroyed and progress of these inroads. Sir George Head gives a forty years previous to this catastrople, orders were graphic description of one he saw in 1835, when walkgiven to remove the uncovered bodies of the dead from ing from Spurn to Kilosea. Not having the Home its churchyard, and re-inter them in that of Easington. Tour at band, I cannot give his exact words; but he
Ravenspur, three years after the destruction of its tells us that he was shocked to observe human remains neiglıbour, witnessed the landing of Henry of Boling- strewed, and by no means sparingly, on his path; and broke. Shakspeare, in Richard II., has recorded this, that, believing them to be the bones of shipwrecked and tells how
mariners, he was led to form no very favourable The banished Bolingbroke repeals liimself,
opinion of the people who could permit these tempestAnd with uplifted arms has safe arrived
tossed relics of humanity to remain exposed to the At Ravenspurg,
winds and waters. A very short time sufliced to con
vince him of his mistake; the bones having been besides alluding to it in several other parts of the same perhaps centuries buried, but only now torn from play; and, singularly enough, Edward IV., then the their resting-place in Kilnsea churchyard. The church banished monarch of his rival race, was driven by fell about nine years before his visit; and gazing stress of weather to land there on the 14th of March upwards at the churchyard from the shore, he saw 1471. A beautiful cross, supposed to have been origin- rows of coffins, or parts of them, with their ghastly ally erected at Ravenspur to commemorate the arrival tenants, some mere flesliless skulls, exposed to view. of the banished Bolingbroke,' after two removals to A friend of my own, wliose hair is now but slightly prevent its being washed away, has found, is to be sprinkled with gray, has just given me a similar hoped, a resting-place at Hedon. At what date the account of Owthorne Church and Churchyard, as it port finally disappeared, is not known, as no vestige appeared in his boyhood. remains, even of its site, to afford any clue.
*When about thirteen years old,' said he, 'I accomBut although it is probable that no place of greater panied my father to the shore. In those days, I was importance than Ravenspur has been thus swept not a very good jockey, and a spirited mare on which away, it has not gone alone. Besides it, Poulson men- I was riding manifested her dislike to the human tions Redmare, Tharlesthorp, Frismerslı, Potterfleet, bones, with which she could scarcely help coming in and Upsal, amongst the towns lost from the Yorkshire contact, in so disagrecable a manner, that I found it coast of the Humber. It is not known when they first a difficult matter to keep my seat. After an absence disappeared, but the manor of Tharlesthorp was swept of many years, being near Owthorne, I resolved to away in 1393, though the monks of Meaux, who drew revisit the spot which had so forcibly attracted my a fat revenue therefrom, had previously erected a boyish attention. But after vainly endeavouring to bank as a defence against the rebellious arm of the find it, I applied to a female passer-by, and was ser, which had often threatened to rend it from them, informed that since 1838 scarcely a vestige of either before it finally succeeded. No trifling loss it was, I church or churchyard could be discovered.'
A rather amusing trailition of the origin of Owthorne the north cliff, in 1770. From the parish register, it Church is still told. The manors of Owthorne and appears that, in 1780, this gibbet was fifty-six feet Withernsea were owned by two maiden sisters, who from the sea-cliff; and six years later, it was entirely resolved to build a church, and one was commenced at washed away. Perhaps the German Ocean never took the former place. All went on smoothly for a while, a bite which gave the same cause for satisfaction as when a quarrel arose between the damsels, the one when it swallowed this disgusting relic of barbarity. wishing for a spire, the other for a tower. A wily The visitors to this Yorkshire watering-place will monk, who was wide awake to the interests of the find little in the way of gaiety ; but those who seek establishment' of those days, suggested, by way quiet, and love to investigate the geological remains of removing the difficulty, that each should build a of past ages, may find a rich field for study and church in her own domain; which was accordingly exploration, Sir George Head uses enthusiastic terms done, and they ever afterwards bore the name of The in mentioning it. He says: “Of all parts of England, Sisters.' This tradition has been disputed; but it the eastern coast exhibits the most apparent phenomatters little now, since both founders and churches mena of diluvial action; of all parts of the eastern are crumbled to dust. Withernsea lost a former coast, that of Holderness; and of all parts of Holderchurch in 1444, and it was four years after that the ness, the country in the immediate neighbourhood • Sister Kirk' above alluded to was commenced. of Hornsea. Here the earthy cliffs form a concrete
When the British Association met at Hull, several mass of heterogeneous matter, studded with shells papers were drawn up relative to the depredations of and fossils ; seaward, a black line or reef of peat the sea on the Holderness coast, and from them it resembling rocks marks the ancient position of a appears, that though the annual rate of diminution forest below highwater-mark, now washed by the amounts to as much as seven and a half yards in some waves of every succeeding tide. Further on, he quotes parts, it is in others but trifling. Still, the average the words of Ovid, written two thousand years ago: annual decrease amounts to two yards and a half along the whole coast-line. A bite of thirty miles in
The face of places and their forms decay, length, and the above-mentioned width, is no trifle.
And that is solid earth which once was sea; It may not be uninteresting to add a few further Seas, in their turn, retreating from the shore,
Make solid land what ocean was before; data, partly from the works of Poulson and Bedell, the historian of Hornsea, and partly from the papers sub
Ani far from strands are shells of fishes found, mitted to the British Association. Poulson says, the
And rusty anchors fixed on mountain ground;
And what were fields before, now washed and worn cross at Atwick, which was, in 1786, distant from the sea thirty-three chains, sixty-one links, is now, in
By falling floods, from heights to valleys turn. 1840, scarcely half that distance. Aldborough Church, Of the peat before mentioned, Sir George adds : 'I in 1786, 2044 yards from the sea, is now a mile. An gathered a handful which yielded like dough, and inn built in 1847 at Kilnsea, is now only 480 yards or kneading it into a ball, retained it in my possession ; thereabouts from the sea; whereas, when erected, it dry, it became uncommonly hard and sound ; when was 534. Holmpton Church in seventy years is cut by a knife, the divided surface assumed a polish nearly 100 yards nearer the ocean. At Mappleton, which made it difficult to distinguish whether it were the loss is about three yards annually.
wood or stone. As it exists in considerable abundance, My maternal grandfather, a Holderness man, of it might perhaps be employed with effect either to the course remembered and spoke of various incidents purposes of modelling, or other use requiring matter connected with this, to him, most interesting topic. soft and malleable when moistened with water, but He used to say that Hornsea Church, now 934 yards, hard when dry.' was at one time ten miles distant from the sea. In We have all read often enough of the changes in proof of this assertion, he quoted the following rhyme, the face of nature-how the ocean swallows up in one said to have been inscribed on its steeple :
place, and makes a gradual restitution in another, and Hornsea steeple, when I built thee,
how, by means of insect labours, islands rise up Thou was ten miles off Burlington,
in spots where formerly the waves were seen careerTen miles off Beverley, and ten miles off sea.
ing; but for myself, I can say I never fully realised
the extent of these changes, until it was brought As this inscription is merely traditional, and Poulson home to me by an examination of what has taken can find nothing to justify such an assertion as the place on this small portion of the coast of my native last line contains, he gives the following humorous land. There is something affecting in the thought, explanation. He says, our forefathers were extremely that where our ancestors ploughed, sowed, and reaped liberal with their ciphers, and often made use of them their harvest, the waves now wanton recklessly, themwhen only writing a figure expressing a unit. He selves ploughed, but no longer furrowed, by the quotes the following example from some parish books : vessels which pass over them; and that where stately 'In copying the churchwarden's accounts in 1660, a forest trees reared their heads, ocean-plants flourish, payment to the painter is made to be L.10, 148.; whereas but far beyond our reach. in the original document it stood thus, L.01, 14s. 000.;' Ruthless, however, as the waves have been in spoliaa waste of ciphers which reads oddly enough in modern tion, they have, like penitent robbers, made some eyes. He thinks, therefore, that by a similar transfer attempts at compensation on the Holderness coast. of the cipher by some illiterate person, the one mile At Paul, great damage was formerly done by the has been stretched to ten.
Humber, but between that place and Patrington, This explanation certainly sounds plausible; but thousands of acres of rich land have been recovered by the church was, in a great measure, rebuilt in the means of embankments. This, however, can scarcely fifteenth century, and if it was then a mile from the be called voluntary restitution ; but at Patrington, sea, it would since that date have lost about a couple of great difficulty is experienced in keeping the haven yards per annum, which is the average loss at present clear, in consequence of the continual warping which in that particular locality. But one instance of com- takes place there. paratively modern times may be quoted, which seems Adjoining the lordship of Patrington, is a large to bring the ten miles quite within the range of possi- tract of land bearing the name of Sunk Island, which bility. A notorious pirate and smuggler named Pennel, has been thrown up by the sea within the last two murdered his captain, and sank the vessel near Hornsea. centuries. It was first noticed as a sand-bank, and He was tried in London, and his body sent thence to was given by Charles II. to the governor of Hull, who the scene of his crimes, to be exposed on a gibbet on had a rabbit-warren on it. Two years later, it was
leased to that gentleman for thirty-one years, at an many better figures than his, for he was short and annual rent of five pounds.
thick-set, and a little round-shouldered, but a handIn 1764, 1500 acres of fertile land were under culti- somer face it would be hard to find anywhere; and vation. Fines were paid at various times for the certainly, according to the old phrase,' a braver man renewal of the leases; and, just before the expiration never trod a deck'than Captain Gilbert of the Welsh of one of these leases in 1802, it was valued by the Mountaineer. I saw him afterwards when the gale Burveyors from the office of the Woods and Forests at raged round him, and his voice could hardly be heard L.9814 per annum. Thirty years later still, Sunk | in the wild chorus of wind and wave, yet his words Island measured nearly 6000 acres, and was formed and his glance were as kingly as that of the men into a parish, with a church endowed by the crown. whom history celebrates for breasting storms ashore.
Thus has the sea disgorged a great portion of what On looking about me, I found that I had only one it had swallowed, and the same process is continually companion in the cabin—a lady who was going to going on. Unhappily, the luckless proprietors, on America to see her uncle. All the rest of the pasthe wasting side, gain nothing by this compensation sengers, to the number of about fifty, were emigrants of the ocean. The whole of Sunk Island is crown- seeking a home in the New World. For four or five Jand, and must be rather an eyesore than otherwise to days I had little else to do than to make note mentally those whose fate it is to witness a gradual, but certain --for I found a journal too tedious-of such little incidiminution of their patrimony, by the encroachments dents as occurred on deck, to watch the sea in its of a foe against whom resistance would be useless. eternal play with the wind, and to wonder it was
never tired of the game. Very soon afterwards, howA PASSENGER’S LOG.
ever, the face of the ocean had so changed, that no one
would have known it to be the same. Its fringing I SUPPOSE every passenger, when about to make a foam was exchanged for an angry, roaring surge. A sea-voyage, is comforted with the assurance, that his heavy gale had sprung up from N.N.W., and the Welsh ship stands Al at Lloyd's, and is built of British oak. Mountaineer was fairly put on her trial, and it must be I can, at all events, say from my experience, that recorded that for a time she behaved gallantly. I used almost every emigrant with whom I have come in to sit at the round-house door, looking at the mountaincontact infallibly believes that the vessel in which us, and wonder how it was possible we could find a
range of water approaching, as if it must overwhelm he is to embark is something unusual as to strength, pass through its dense mass. Time after time, howand at some time in its history had made the shortest ever, it seemed to open at our approach; and when passage' on record. The passengers who embarked for it did not, it kindly took us on its crest, and sent New York in the Welsh Mountaineer on the 11th of us gliding on the other side. When I saw the ship June in the year of our Lord 1851, could not be standing steadily in dock beside its fellows, I used to comforted with the latter assurance, for it was her think they must be rough waves, indeed, to hurt it; first voyage; but the Al at Lloyd's and the British but now I could have no other thought than that the oak were thrust into the minds of passengers by large great waves only spared us because they liked a toy to placards and persevering agents. Moreover, all C- play with. went out to see her launched, for never before in One night, just after the gale had commenced, there the maritime history of the town had she had the was an unusual noise over my berth in the roundhonour of launching a bark upwards of 700 tons house-moving feet and loud voices, that could be burden. As I had taken a cabin-passage in this plainly heard above my head, notwithstanding the vessel, and had watched her building, from the setting roar of the wind and the rush of the water. I was of the keel to the nailing of the deck-planks, I went too wakeful to sleep, yet too lazy to move; but I to see how she would take to the water. All C- could gather from the prodigious rolling of the ship, were, however, destined to be disappointed; for, after and the strong blows that made every timber shiver, a great deal of bammering and shouting, the ship that the gale was raging terribly. moved on the slips as if about to take to the water Dozing towards morning, I was suddenly awaked by gallantly, but the shouting of the crowd was sud- a boisterous laugh, mingled with the strangest noise denly stopped by her stopping abruptly when half- that I had yet heard in the cabin, the effect of which way down, and refusing to stir. A little knot of was not at all diminished by a queer sensation of old sailors shook their heads ominously, and declared being turned upside down. I looked out quickly, and that they never knew a ship make a passage that found that the old sea herself had taken a peep into stuck in the launching. The sequel will prove whether the cabin. It was rushing against open doors, floatthey were right. She was, however, got into the water ing chairs and tables, and soon began inconveniently a day or two after, though no one was there to see; meddling with portable articles in my cabin. Forand a little while afterwards a busy steam-tug towed tunately my berth was near the roof, so that I could her into the open channel.
watch its liberties without much personal inconveI suppose every one who leaves Old England in the nience. I stretched my neck across the narrow space distance, has a friend to say "Good-bye' to, and so between my bed and the cabin door, and found that the tug was loaded with anxious parents and nervous from stem to stern the sea covered the Welsh Mounlovers. As I was going out to recruit shattered health, taineer, and that she was fairly on her beam-ends. I formed no exception to the rule, and must confess Two figures met my glance -- there was Captain that when we rounded the roadstead headland, its Gilbert, with a huge hatchet in his hand, breasting scenes of alabaster danced fitfully through farewell the waves with the chivalry of an old knight; and tears. It was pleasant to us all that we did not at then there suddenly turned up the mate, who, having once go into open sea, but passed the Channel between lower quarters than myself, had been floated out of the shores with a favouring breeze. Old England his bed in his sleep. This at once explained the loud disappeared at last in the fading light of the next day, laugh I had heard, and which at first seemed so and we were left to the consolation, that the huge waves strange. The expression on his face was ludicrous ; that dashed past us broke upon home shores. After a for he was evidently not yet aware whether he was while, on that same evening, the light streamed on awake or dreaming. The captain continued his stern the deck from the round-louse window, and looking march through the waters, and in another moment the in, I saw the captain studying his chart, and marking light timber of the bulwarks was giving way to his out our path upon the high seas. I had leisure for blows, and the water rushing out at the rent. Most the first time to regard him attentively. I have seen fortunately, the hatchways were fastened down, and no wave broke over us in the interval, or our fate had water for twenty-four hours, and that he was sorry been sealed.
to say there were not enough boats to save the The ship soon righted, and we were delivered from passengers, even if the weather were favourable, and immediate peril; but it became evident that she had that our only chance was to fall in with a vessel, which received a terrible strain, for the morning-watch in that latitude was but a poor look-out. This was reported that they could not keep the pumps free. She not pleasant news, considering that we were fully a had formerly made very little water, twenty minutes thousand miles from any land. Keep a brave heart, morning and evening sufficing to keep her free. Every my boy,' said the captain, “and if you go overboard, eye was watching the pumps, hoping with each dis- have a last blow for it,' as we sat down on the leecharge of water to hear them suck; but evening came, floor to a midnight meal of corned beef and coffee. and no sign of abatement, but manifest increase. The It may startle the reader if I say that it is worse captain and mate disappeared with a lantern down a to hear the recital of a scene like this than to be in hole in the after-cabin, and on their reappearance, the it, yet my experience tells me it is so.
There are former taking me by the arm on the quarter-deck, resources at the actual time which we never dream said quietly : 'You are not afraid of learning bad of when in safety; how else can we account for the news; I cannot take her over: the Welsh Mountaineer heroism with which such dangers are generally borne ? must go down at sea. I have not before said that There are stories of soldiers who have stood, as upon she was laden with railway iron; and I now learned parade, in a sinking ship, and coolly fired their own that, when on her beam-ends, some unequal strain death-knell as they went down. I can well imagine had forced a plank.
these recitals to be true, for that night, when death The gale continued with unabated fury, and it soon seemed to be near, the captain and myself talked of became evident that the crew would be quite unable old adventures, and told quaint stories; and though to manage the ship and work the pumps. The next it has often seemed strange to me since, there was morning, all the male passengers assembled on the nothing forced or unnatural in it at the time. My quarter-deck, and relays were formed to work with companion in the cabin kept up a brave heart, but the watch. If the experience of the Welsh Mountaineer lost her appetite. By the dim light of the cabinbe that of all foundering ships, there was nothing of lamp we conversed about old times, and told our the terror and excitement of a ship breaking on an ice- histories to each other. mountain, or of one dashed upon a rock; it was more One wish with reference to our apparently inevitlike the trench-work of a siege. As the second day able fate we both uttered, and but one-it was, that wore on, and the light began to fade, and it became we might go down in broad daylight. It was an evident to all that the leak gained, a dead silence odd desire; but perhaps the darkness of the sea made reigned over all the ship. I can see the group at the shadow of the silent land weigh more heavily the pump now; they all looked as if they were upon us. wondering what they could say to their wives and The cold leaden gray of the next morning came at little ones when they went down the ladder. There length. Did ever such a morning dawn in my short was an old man, whose figure and visage had a solemn life? Far off, over the cold waste of waters, in the look in the dying day. His white hair blew in gusts hazy light of half-past three on a June morning, better over his face, like snow-drifts before the breath of the eyes than mine had spied a sail. My first notice of gale. He clutched the levers, as if he held himself it was the rush of the mate into the cabin, who seized upright with them, rather than rendered any help. the glass with a convulsive grasp, and made for the Nor was it a seeming only, for while I was regarding top of the round-house. He said not a word until him attentively, a 'weather-roll' of the ship, and a his well-trained eye was sure of the prize, and then, heavy sea that swept the decks at the same time, with a voice that rang wildly on the wind, cried out: carried him right off his legs to the break made in the 'A sail-a sail to windward !' What a scene followed ! bulwarks the day before. The splintered timbers gave The captain rushed from the round-house, the mornway even to his feeble grasp, and he must have been ing-watch turned out from the fore-deck, and in a lost, but for the quick rush of the captain to his aid. moment more the hatchways, yet unopened, burst Never shall I forget the night that succeeded. I was like a bomb-shell. Then poured forth from below in no way terrified, yet sleep was out of the question every soul on board-man, woman, and child. The at such a time. Although the storm had been raging scene that followed baffles description. Many for the for nearly three days, it was now at its height. I first time understood the immediate danger that kept the deck throughout the night, moving about as threatened the ship; the wild cry they had heard much as the violent and eccentric movements of the a moment before told it all. Every eye was turned ship would allow. The night was densely dark, and towards the direction which the captain's glass now I could only just discern the teeth of the sea' in the took, but scarcely one could discern the black speck gloomy wilderness around us. The moon was in her only just visible to sea-eyes. From such a prospect, first quarter, and appeared once or twice that night. fewer still could realise the possibility of help. I It cast little light on us, but enough just to reveal turned from the sea to the shivering group upon the great dark clouds hurrying through the heavens, as deck. All the pent-up excitement of the last three if on some work of death. The noise of the wind was days burst forth in the ecstasies of despairing love. deafening; I scarcely knew which was the loudest, Mothers were embracing their little ones, and rougher the everlasting roar it made with the waves, or its hands than theirs were busy at gentle work. rushes through spars and sails and open places in the As the morning wore on, and the light was stronger, ship. Added to this, there was the constant motion it became evident that there were two vessels about of the pumps beating time to the rough music of the eight or ten miles to windward, one considerably in tempest, and the now plainly heard movement of the advance of the other, but both some miles astern. A8 water in the hold, as it moved with the pitching of soon as it was of any use, we hoisted the signal of the vessel. When we first heard it, the sound was distress-the merchant ensign inverted—and, lest that like that made by waves retiring from the narrow should escape observation, we hauled up the sails so gullies of a rock; but as the night advanced, it grew as to shew that something was wrong. You may deeper and more sonorous.
imagine the interest with which every one watched There were groups in earnest consultation on deck; the progress of the nearest ship to see whether she and a little after midnight the captain lit his lamp would take any notice of us. For two long hours, in the round-house, and invited me in. He told me every eye was fixed on her as she came steadily on, there was scarcely a chance of the ship keeping above l but without making any alteration in her course so as