« EdellinenJatka »
numerous as the grains of sand upon the shores of the sea, the dust of the feet of whose Elephants obscures the noonday sun, cannot, in point of grandeur, bear comparison with an assemblage of these glories of the ocean that ride triumphant in an English port. We have taken up our present abode at a sort of Choultrie, called an Hotel, and are to spend the remainder of the day together. To-morrow we shall separate, perhaps for ever ! The lovely widow, in whose countenance I see the emotions of tender recollections struggling with that amiable fortitude which strives to repress the feelings of unavailing sorrow, purposes going to the house of a friend, at a few miles distance from this place, and there to wait the arrival of her mother. I am to have the happiness of Delomond's company on my journey to London, which is a very great comfort to me, as I find myself almost as much at a loss here as if I had never before been in an English settlement. The Dewan has been
busily employed in preparations for the conveyance of his family. His Lady’s extreme delicacy not permitting her to submit to the ordinary mode of travelling in hired carriages, he has been obliged to purchase one for her accommodation. Happily, the mortality which prevailed amongst her favourites, in the course of the voyage, has so much diminished their numbers as to render their conveyance a matter of little comparaTive difficulty; had they all survived, he must surely have had a carriage built for them on purpose :
I AM happy I had not closed this packet, as it gives me an opportunity of recording a scene that has just now passed, while my heart still glows with the emotions it has excited.
The youth, whom I had the good fortune to protect from the ruthless fangs of the press-gang, presented himself before me at an early hour this morning.—“You will think me a sad ungrateful fellow, Sir,” said he, “that I should not have appeared to thank you for the very great service you rendered me; but the moment I obtained the Captain's leave I made the best of my way out of this place, as I did not think I should be in safety till I reached home. I set off on foot, and had got rather more than ten miles on my journey last night, when I was overtaken by a fellow midshipman, who informed me of the loss you had sustained from the sharks of the customhouse; I have got here a bit of your India sort of stuff to take home to my mother; but I know she would wear nothing I brought her with any satisfaction if she thought so meanly of me as that I could basely forget a debt of gratitude.” So saying he pulled from his bosom a very handsome shawl, purchased, no doubt with the scanty earnings of his initiating voyage. “Here, Sir,” said he, presenting it to me in
a careless manner, as if in order to depreciate its value; “it is nothing to be sure in comparison of the fine things you have lost; but as it is real Indian, it may be more acceptable to your English friends than something much better bought at home.” There was something so open and ingenuous in the countenance of the youth, while he spoke these words, which he did in the most impressive manner, that he altogether overpowered my feelings. Protecting power I exclaimed, thou whose mighty breath can kindle in the human soul the flame of virtue, oh! grant that the son of Zaarmilla may be capable of inspiring in the breast of a stranger such sensations as the noble action of this youth causes now to glow in mine ! But think not, excellent young man (continued I) that I can deprive thy mother of the gift of such a son. No, long may she wear this, and proudly may she exhibit it to her friends and neighbours as the sweet pledge of filial affection, more honourable than the gifts of princes ! more precious VOL. II. 5
than the jewels of Golconda I was interrupted by the Dewan, who had hitherto been a silent spectator of all that had passed. Shaking the youth heartily by the hand, “You are a noble fellow,” said he, “ and I must know more of you; but you may make yourself perfectly easy about this gentleman's losses, as I believe I have taken such steps as will effect their restitution; but I must let you know where to find me, and assure you, that wherever I am there you shall have a friend.” So saying, he gave him his address, enjoining him to call upon him as soon as he could find an opportunity. While he yet spoke, two men arrived with the whole of the goods which had been seized by the pirates. The Dewan desired each of us to pick out our own ; but would give us no satisfaction as to the manner in which he had effected their release.
I am told the carriage waits for me, and must therefore conclude this long protracted journal.