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A THUNDER-STORM ON THE SOUND.
“GENTLY! gently! So—now you have it.”
“ How she lies down to it, Doctor! Did you ever see a craft behave more beautifully ? Put her away a little more; there comes a flaw. How well she stood it. We shall make the harbor by seven o'clock at this rate."
What time is it now, Ben ?" “A quarter to four, and we are forty miles to westward of the light boat. But we ran more than twelve knots the last hour, and should be making thirteen and a half now.”
“ Walk forward, Joe, and haul that gib-sheet a little aft, will you? So—that will do. Now, gentlemen, if you have no objections, we'll go below and dine. Here, Jim, take the wheel and keep her as she is. Mind and keep a bright look-out in the nor-west for squalls, and put her away a little when you see one."
The Foam is a beautiful boat, and sits as gracefully on the water as you could wish to see a boat. I have been in the habit of passing a part of each summer in cruising from Cape Cod to the Capes of the Delaware, fishing and sleeping alternately. On the ocean is the place to find health and strength, and to learn lessons of natural religion. The sea is a great preacher whose voice is heard on every shore, and in a language intelligible to every nation.
At the time I now speak of, a party of three gentlemen, myself among the number, had escaped from duties long enough to devote six summer weeks to boating, and the Foam had come on to the city to take us eastward. It was a glorious afternoon, and a most exhilarating west-by-north wind was blowing, occasionally interrupted in its steady breath by a puff out of the north-west, which would lay the Foam over on one side, but she would dash along merrily. We had calculated to attend a party at New London that night, and were hoping to reach it by or before dark, and this will explain the conversation between myself and Ben Wilson and the Doctor, (my most excellent friend, Joseph Strothers, M. D.,) which commences this article.
We went below and found the table arranged with the usual care and skill of John, my trusty
steward, and seating ourselves to it, were soon engaged in a deep investigation of the formation, layers, deposits, &c., &c., of a certain massive pie which was flanked by a cold duck and a most inviting round of beef. The innumerable accessories of oysters, jellies, sauces, bread, &c., with a small sprinkling of quail and woodcock, filled the table, and shortly filled us, to a comfortable degree of plenitude. But we lingered awhile longer over our dessert, and then a considerable time passed in conversation, and then we found that the Foam was standing still, and we made our way on deck to inquire into the causes.
The wind had lulled suddenly, and a complete calm settled over the whole Sound. A heavy swell kept the boat rolling, but her mainsail hung flapping in the air, and the sun was bright and the clouds motionless. Still, I had reason to fear that this calm would end with a gale, and I ordered Jiin to stand by ready to take in sail at any moment, if a squall should cross the water. Making all tight, we went below again and whiled away our time talking, until the delicious sense of repose which accompanies the first few days' release from business, overpowered us one and all, and we slept on the lockers.
The time of our sleeping was indefinite, and to this day I cannot tell whether it was an hour or three. Once I woke and noticed that it was growing dark, and I have an indistinct recollection of changing my position and hanging a hammock and hanging myself in it. I woke with a sudden pitch of the boat, and springing out, met the Doctor and Ben staggering about the cabin; and making the best of our way on deck, we found a wild scene that surpasses all description.
A thunder-storm on land is grand, but on water is terrific. It was blowing a tempest, but not yet raining a drop. In the east, the moon was some hours high, and the advancing clouds had not yet covered her. In her silver light the waves looked like the horsetailed Mamelukes in wild disorder. We could see the advance, the retreat, the meeting of the ranks, their part
A THUNDER-STORM ON THE SOUND.
ing, and flying hither and thither in indescribable confusion, the white plume of some chief above the rest dancing gayly awhile, then going down as some dark warrior with streaming crest fell on him; and in the midst of this scene the moon suddenly disappeared, and a dense blackness was on the water.
It may be imagined that I was quite as much taken aback as I had at first supposed that my boat was, but an instant sufficed to show me that she was well laid to it, and the first word was, “Where are we, Jim ?”
“Off the light boat, sir, but well to the south'ard. I saw the light five minutes ago, but the scud hides it now.” A glance to leeward showed me that he might be right as far as easting was concerned, for I saw Plum and Gull island lights bearing accordingly, but I could not guess how far they were to the south. A quick but careful look over the vessel showed me that she was in good order for the gale, the whole force of which had not yet reached us. She was moving easily now, and I hesitated about attempting to lay to and weather it. “Smith-forward there two of you, and take the bonnet out of that jib.” “ Aye, aye, sir." In three minutes she was under as little canvas as I dared trust her with, and in three more the white line, which may be seen where the edge of a thunder-storm rests on the water, (whiter by contrast with the black cloud and water,) reached us, and the Foam sprang into the air as if lifted by a gigantic wave, then burying her bow staggered along a moment, and then raising her head again, dashed gallantly before it. In another instant the horizon closed around us, and the rain came down on deck by buckets full. The lightning had not been frequent, but was accompanied with very heavy thunder. The world seemed to tremble in that sound, and the water to rock to and fro with heavy swaying, that differed from the usual wave rocking, as those wave rockings differed from the swinging of a hammock. “Now, Jim, let me know exactly where we
Are you sure you know ?” “ Perfectly sure, sir. We are about six miles south of the light boat and one to westward."
“ There's no mistake about that, is there ?"
“None at all, sir. I'm sure as if I was sailing in moonlight."
* Then give me the wheel, and do you go forward and see that all is tight.”
The wind was fearful now. I never saw a squall that blew more steadily, but it was with terrific violence. No boat could lie to in such a blow, and no anchor on the Foam could hold her in the Race, so that our only chance was to scud. A glance at a map will show you where we were, according to Jim's account.
“I say, skipper,” screamed the Doctor, at the top of his voice, (holding on to the hatchway rail, evidently unaccustomed to such weather,) "I say, skipper, where are we? You ought to know, I suppose ?"
“ Seven miles or thereabouts south-west of the wreck of the Atlantic, on Fisher's island."
“Where's New London, then ?” “Due north some eight miles or thereabouts.” " Where are we going ?"
“ That's what I'd like to know, Doctor. The Atlantic opens ahead of us, and we're going at fifteen knots now, I should say; you can calculate how long it will take to reach the straits of Gibraltar at that rate."
“ And what will they do at W—'s if we pass by them at this rate ?"
" I can't say. It's about nine or half past eight, I should think, now, and I doubt very much whether any one will venture out of a house in New London for an hour yet. So that we may yet manage to make the harbor before the fun is over.”
· Ben, be so kind as to open that box yonder, and you'll find a compass in it. Do you know how to tell which way her head is ?”.
· Not I." * Jim, how's her head ?" “ East by north, sir."
“ I'm half afraid, Jim, to run in this way. You are sure you were right in thinking we were off the light boat ?"
“ Yes, sir-no sort o' doubt, sir. I know when I see a light boat."
“ Smith, stand by the binnacle and keep your eye on the card. I don't half like the looks of this water. It seems to me we are nearer in shore than Jim says."
A half hour passed, and we flew before the wind with a velocity that scared Wilson and Strothers, who were little used to even Sound sailing, and whose fears were that we were diving out into the Atlantic. I only wished we were out there. Steadying her as well as I was able, I kept her course so as to bring her under the lea of Fisher's island where I trusted to find anchorage that would hold, and yet afraid, as may be imagined, that Jim was mis
taken, and that we might find ourselves on shore at any instant. No abatement was perceptible as yet in the wind, and the rain and an accompanying spray from the waves filled the air so that we could not see fifty yards ahead. The boat behaved admirably, however, and I was congratulating myself on being ready to bear up a little to the northward, when Jim, whom I had sent forward to keep a look-out ahead, called, in a tremendous voice,
“ Down with your wheel, down, down," and the next instant, as I obeyed his cry, I dark mass on the quarier, within twenty yards. We shot by it, and in another instant it was gone in the gloom astern.
“ What was that ?" exclaimed Wilson.
“ That was land, my boy, and I was right. You stand some chance now of setting foot on it, but had we known what we know now, five minutes
I wouldn't have bought your lease of life for a copper."
• Where are we?”
6. On the north side of Fisher's island instead of the south side, past the hamınocks, one of which you saw, and heaving due east at this
instant, but we shall let an anchor go now. į Forward, there! Is that anchor all clear ?"
“If you please, sir,” said Jim, with a pale face, which I could see by the binnacle light; “ If you please, sir, it's breaking away to north’ard, and if we make a light, we can find better ground. The Vanderbilt will be leaving Stonington about this time. Hadn't we better keep her so awhile ?”
"Perhaps we had, Jim. But I'll settle this account with you another time. Go forward again and look out."
In five minutes I saw a star in the northwest, and the wind lulled to a moderately stiff
breeze. In ten minutes more we saw Stonington and Watch Hill lights distinctly, and giving the wheel to the man who had held it with me for the last hour, I went below with the Doctor and Wilson, to hold a consultation as to the propriety of attempting to reach New London by water. Concluding that it was not desirable to waste the night, we went on deck, and as we came up the companionway, the moon was shining as calmly as if nothing had disturbed her serenity, and the Vanderbilt was passing us on her trip to New York. A fresh breeze from the sonth-south-west carried us up the harbor in fine style, and we dropped an anchor at precisely half past nine o'clock.
Within the last fifteen minutes we had effected a transformation of the outer man, by an exchange of rain-soaked boating clothes, for full suits of black, (barring white vests and collars,) and in ten minutes were at the Wada wanuch, and had a carriage at the door to take us to New London. It was one o'clock when we entered our friend W-'s rooms, and found the merriment at its height.
Two scenes that evening were forcibly contrasted, by a remark made by Strothers, as he passed me with a lady on his arm, and observed that I was watching the interminable Spanish dance, (which I did not join, since neither I nor my fair companion are in the habit of dancing :)
“ That's the second sort of dance we've seen to-night, Fred.”
What does he mean ?" asked my fair ally. "Only that we were dancing five miles south of here a few hours ago."
· Five miles south of here! Why, that's in the Sound."
Nor grief 's dark tendrils round thee twine; Then, then, before the sad hours be, My dearest friend, remember me.
WHEN Vesper lights the sleeping wave
With mellow radiance pure and bright, And trembles on the dewy grave
Of day's departed, glorious light; Oh! then, imid scenes of grief or glee, My dearest friend, remember me. While thy bright path is strewn with flowers,
And life's young, gorgeous dreams are thine, While o'er thy brow no cypress lowers,
But when thine eye is dimmed with tears,
When joy’s delusive dream is past, And hopes that cheered in early years Are found too treacherous
last; Oh! then, when shadows round thee be, My dearest friend, remember me. Rose MAY.
THE HISTORY OF A SOUL.
A TALE OF MY GRANDMOTHER'S.
BY MRS. E. D. W. McK EE.
SILENT tears fell thick and fast down Hubert's cheek, his lip quivered, and his breast heaved with emotions he vainly struggled to suppress, when he grasped my hand, and said: “ Anna, you are my guardian angel; you know how I have loved, and how I suffer. Every fibre of my heart, with all its poor earthly passions, clings to Ellen, but you, Anna, are infinitely exalted above my love-I revere you; for you read my heart, you make me understand, and help me to fathom the mysterious depths of my own nature. While you speak to me, I feel that it is nobler to suffer than to enjoy. I will resign Ellen, I will forego all the delights of that vain dream of love I once indulged; but I will no longer strive as I have done to forget her, for that is selfish and ungrateful. No; her pure, confiding love shall ever be among the sweetest and most cherished memories of my life. She shall be to me henceforth as though she were an angel in heaven; and I will strive to make myself worthy of her there. This only will I keep,” said he, drawing from his bosom a daguerrcan likeness of Ellen's face and figure, “this I will keep,
*A monument of faithful love,
Conquered, and in tranquillity retained.' The sun-lines which portray these features here may fade and vanish, but on the trustier tablet of my heart they are engraved forever. That sacred image shall henceforth be my guardian angel and my guide. I will listen to catch the inspiration of its secret whisper in the inner sanctuary of my soul, and it shall ever cheer me on and upward, while I fix my eye and hope on God and heaven. Why is it that I feel so changed, Anna? I could weep soft, womanly tears—nay,
7,1 cannot repress them. The hardness of my heart dissolves, its bitterness of scorn and hate is
washed away. I would not be avenged on him through whose selfishness and fraud I nave thus suffered. I could even now say to that falsest friend, “I hail thee brother,' I give thee hearty fellowship; though an hour ago it would have stifled me to breathe in the same atmosphere. Henceforth will I have no resentments, no jealousies, no hate. I will go forth glad and grateful to bear the burdens, and to do the duties of this human life. Oh! that I could be strong, and calm, and passionless, and pure. Oh! that I could realize in the actual that noble ideal which your high-souled Christian philosophy has so distinctly imaged to my mind.
“The speculative doubts about Christianity, which you justly accuse me of having so weakly cherished, shall be no longer an obstacle to my discipleship in the school of Christ; for I am quite sure, that if I chose to gird my mind to the task of clearing away the rubbish, and learned lumber, with which infidel philosophy has encumbered and obstructed the road that leads to Christ, I could do it—and with half the toil and pains it cost to place them there ; but I choose rather to leap over them—to clear them at a bound—to leave them forever behind, and go on the heavenward way rejoicing. 1 now know that He was Divine who said, . Come unto me ye weary and heary laden, and I will give you rest,' for He has given me rest. The agitation you now witness will be but momentary. It is but the natural excitement of new thoughts--new hopes-new loves--the first struggle of the soul to reach itself forth to the embrace of its high destinies. These perturbations will subside, and my peace will be as a river. It will flow broad and deep because its source will be in heaven. Teach me, Anna, not how to think, for I am tired of thinking
THE HISTORY OF A SOUL.
not how, and what, to believe or disbelieve ; but how to feel, to act, to do."
This conversation was interrupted by the entrance of a servant, who brought a letter, informing me of the alarming illness of a near and dear relative in a distant Eastern State. The danger was imminent and admitted of no delay. In one hour from the receipt of the letter I had made the necessary arrangements for the journey, and was on my way. Hubert accompanied me to the place of starting; and though Heaven should grant me the dearest wish of my heart, I can never again enjoy a happiness so exquisite as that I felt, when his full heart gushed forth again at parting, and he said, “God bless and keep you, Anna ! I owe more to you than any other human being; for since the conversation we have had to-day, life seems to me like treasure trove-I shall never despond again; for my heart takes hold on heaven." As he said this his fine dark eye shone with a mild and chastened radiance, as though lighted up with some secret and sudden joy which shed its light on all he looked on. Thus we parted, never to meet again, unless it be in heaven; though when I said adieu, I expected to return again in a few weeks at most; but Providence had otherwise determined, for this journey, whose farthest anticipated limit was a neighboring State, ended on the other side the water, and now the ocean rolls between my home and his, in the old world and the new.
Long years have passed, but I am not altogether uninformed of what passes there—there in that sweet home, hallowed and chastened by holy loves, and gladdened by a perpetual sunshine of the soul; a home on which Heaven sheds selectest blessings, but rains no evil. See, there it stands—a dwelling neither idly great, nor meanly small; embowered in trees and odor-breathing shrubs. That is Hubert yonder ; and that is Hubert's Ellen. He has won her, and like a precious jewel in a princely setting, (for she is bright and beautiful as day,) he proudly wears her on his breast; and these two are Hubert's children! How blessed to be born in such a home! to breathe the first breath, and utter the first sweet lisp of infancy, on the lap, and in the ear of sanctified parental love. Such a home is purer meval Eden ; for to be like Christ, the second Adam, is a higher sanctity, than that of the unsinning pair, who sat when time was young, encircled each in the other's arms, beneath the overarching boughs of Paradise.
But Hubert is not only happy in home ; he is happy in the world too — in the duties and labors of his noble profession. Every day he goes forth on errands of mercy to the suffering; and what a soothing medicine—what a precious healing balm is that he brings to many a wounded heart and shattered frame. In vain the mere scientific doctor searches his Pharmacopæia for a drug at once as sedative and tonic as that heartfelt sympathy which the Christian physician, who has tasted for himself the bitter in the cup of human life, admin. isters to the sick soul of his desponding patient. Hubert is more than honored-he is loved; and the blessing of him who was ready to perish is daily invoked upon him.
His is no stern Levite's heart, which the pride and pomp of circumstance and place have hardened to a stone ; but like a true Samaritan he pours upon the bleeding wounds of sick and suffering humanity the consecrated healing oil of Christian charity and hope.
Hubert rode one morning to a small village adjoining the town in which he lived, to attend a patient on whose case a professional consultation had been called; for his reputation for professional skill, but above all his generous and philanthropic spirit, and his tender humanheartedness, had made him such a universal favorite with the sick, that his practice had gradually extended itself in all difficult cases over the whole country, of which the town where his more immediate practice lay was the metropolis. On these occasions, when called to co-operate with others, his noble disinterestedness, and a certain indescribable elevation and superiority of character, so completely disarmed prejudice, and repressed even professional envy and jealousy, that senior physicians voluntarily accorded to him the highest place, and had come to regard him as the Æscula pian Bishop of their diocese. On this occasion he had been more than usually gratified; and had his mind been less stable and well-disciplined, he would have been unduly flattered and elated with the marks of confidence and high regard, which had so unexpectedly and voluntarily been awarded him by the friends of his patient-a man of wealth and distinguished social position and what was still more grateful, by his brethren of the profession generally throughout the country. On leaving the house of his patient he felt an indescribable and unwonted elevationand buoyancy of spirits. His very motions as he stepped