Sivut kuvina

announced, than she flew to her cabin to take from her trunk some particular dresses, which she had reseived for the occasion, and hastily displaying them before the amiable widow, asked her fifty questions in a breath concerning the important point of which was most becoming. Besides the novelty of the scenes and amusements at St. Helena, she there made another acquisition, which, I hope, will afford her sufficient variety of entertainment for many weeks to come. This is no other than a fresh supply of novels . This she happily accomplished, by exchanging the contents of her library with another reading fair one, whom she accidently met at a ball, and with whom, on an acquaintance of three days she commenced an extreme and ardent friendship. The great loquacity with which her present flow of spirits has inspired this votary of fancy, is sometimes no less teazing than the effects of her former ennui: to the elegant, but somewhat too fastidious Delomond, it

is peculiarly irksome.

In truth, it is not a little to be regretted, that this amiable man frequently indulges a certain soreness of mind, which may not improperly be termed the illegitimate off. spring of sensibility. What proves its spurious birth, is, that while genuine sensibility is ever alive to the feelings of others, this bastard branch of the family is only mindful of its own. By being ever ready to take offence, without considering whether offence was intended to be given, it frequently inflicts a wound in the bosom of friendship ; but is unfeelingly insensible to the pain which it has produced. What a pity it is, that this impostor should ever find a place in the breast of a worthy man I cannot with. out pain behold it cherished by the dignified mind of Delomond, and would not fail to remonstrate with him concerning it, was he not so easily hurt that I fear an estrangement of his friendship might be the consequence. Fatal propensity which presents a barrier to the wholesome succours of advice and cuts off retreat from errour. In the VA

Y OL. II. 4

rious sketches which this amiable and accomplished Saib has given me of his life and his misfortunes, I can plainly discern, that the disposition I have just now alluded to has been no less detrimental to his fortune than injurious to his felicity.

I suspect that you are now almost as much tired of the voyage as the niece of the Dewan, and begin to re-echo her interrogatory of when shall we see land? But courage, keep up your spirits, your patience will not be put to a much longer trial.—Land has been just discovered from the topmasthead.—I cannot avoid envying the happy sailor, who from the giddy height catches the first view of his dear native country. Ah! what pleasing images play about his heart! in that little speck appearing in the distant horizon, he beholds his little home, his tender wife, his endearing infants, and

already, in imagination, feels and returns their soft caresses. I go to participate in the joy of these honest people; it is a bad heart to which the happiness of a fellon mortal can be indifferent. Ah! Maandaara, how astonishingly great has been my disappointment 1 Instead of the expected appearance of felicity, I beheld in the countenances of the hitherto hearty and contented sailors the strongest indications of consternation, terrour, and dismay ! On inquiring into the cause of this alarm, I was told that it arose from the rumoured approach of a press-gang ; a press-gang I never before heard of, but from the degree of terrour it inspires, I can easily conceive it to be some infernal species of monster, some cruel servant to the genii of the deep, to whom the long-absent sailor is an acceptable sacrifice. Accursed spirits 1 the terrour of whose name can put to flight the tender images of hope, and can induce despair at a moment when the sweetest impulses of nature have kindled the torch of joy

AT the moment I laid down my pen, a fine boy of about fifteen years of age, who had frequently in the course of the voyage attracted my notice, burst into my cabin. “For the love of God, assist me dear, dear Sir,” cried he, “the press-gang are already here, and I know I shall not escape For myself, I should not care; but my poor, poor mother: she will never survive it. I know she won't. Alas! she has no son but me-Her heart is now yearning to embrace me. O 1 it will break if she is disappointed " I gave him time to say no more, but having hastily emptied a large trunk made him leap into it, and there detained him until I was assured that these children of Nareyka had retired. Alas ! they did not retire without prey ! above thirty of those brave fellows, whose useful labours have conduc

« EdellinenJatka »