« EdellinenJatka »
the people, as there was not time to have got out the long boat, or to make a raft. All we had to rely upon were two small quarter-boats, which fortunately were lowered without accident; and in these two, small, open 65 boats, without a drop of water or grain of food, or a rag
of covering, except what we happened at the moment to have on our backs, we embarked on the ocean, thankful to God for his mercies! Poor Sophia, having been taken out of her bed, had nothing on but her wrapper; 70 neither shoes nor stockings. The children just as taken out of bed, whence one had been snatched after the flames had attacked it. In short, there was not time for any one to think of more than two things. Can the ship be saved?-Nò. Let us save ourselves then. All 75 else was swallowed up in one grand ruin.
To make the best of our misfortune, we availed ourselves of the light from the ship to steer a tolerably good course towards the shore. She continued to burn till about midnight, when the saltpetre, which she had 80 on board, took fire, and sent up one of the most splendid and brilliant flames that ever was seen, illuminating the horizon in every direction, to an extent not less than fifty miles, and casting that kind of blue light over us, which is of all others most horrible. She burnt and 85 continued in flame, in this style, for about an hour or two, when we lost sight of the object in clouds of smoke.
Neither Nilson nor Mr. Bell, our medical friend, who had accompanied us, had saved their coats; but the tail of mine, with a pocket handkerchief, served to 90 keep Sophia's feet warm, and we made breeches for the children with our neck cloths. Rain now came on, but fortunately it was not of long continuance, and we got dry again. The night became serene and star light. We were now certain of our course, and the men be95 haved manfully; they rowed incessantly, and with good heart and spirit; and never did poor mortals look out more for day light and for land, than we did. Not that our sufferings or grounds of complaint were any thing to what has often befallen others; but from So100 phia's delicate health, as well as my own, and the stormy nature of our coast, I felt perfectly convinced that we were unable to undergo starvation, and exposure sun and weather many days; and aware of the rapidity
of the currents, I feared we might fall to the southward of the port.
At daylight, we recognised the coast, and Rat Island, which gave us great spirits; and though we found our105 selves much to the southward of the port, we considered ourselves almost at home. Sophia had gone through the night better than could have been expected, and we continued to pull on with all our strength. About eight or nine, we saw a ship standing to us from the Roads. 110 They had seen the flames on shore, and sent out ves
sels to our relief; and here certainly came a minister of Providence in the character of a minister of the Gospel; for the first person I recognised was one of the missionaries. They gave us a bucket of water, and we 115 took the captain on board as a pilot. The wind, however, was adverse, and we could not reach the shore, and took to the ship, where we got some refreshment, and shelter from the sun. By this time Sophia was quite exhausted, fainting continually. About two o'20 clock, we landed safe and sound: and no words of mine can do justice to the expressions of feeling, sympathy and kindness, by which we were hailed by every one. If any proof had been wanting, that my administration had been satisfactory here, we had it unequivocally 125 from all. There was not a dry eye; and as we drove back to our former home, loud was the cry of—“ God be praised."
The Hour of Prayer.-MRS. HEMANS.
1 Child, amidst the flowers at play,
2 Traveller, in the stranger's land,
Móurner, haunted by the tone
3 Warrior, that from battle won,
My Mother's Grave.-ANONYMOUS.
It was thirteen years since my mother's death, wher after a long absence from my native village, I stood beside the sacred mound beneath which I had seen her buried. Since that mournful period, a great change had 5 come over me. My childish years had passed away,
and with them my youthful character. The world was altered too; and as I stood at my mother's grave, I could hardly realize that I was the same thoughtless, happy creature, whose cheeks she so often kissed in an 10 excess of tenderness. But the varied events of thirteen years had not effaced the remembrance of that mother's smile. It seemed as if I had seen her but yesterdayas if the blessed sound of her well remembered voice was in my ear. The gay dreams of my infancy and 15 childhood were brought back so distinctly to my mind, that had it not been for one bitter recollection, the tears I shed would have been gentle and refreshing. The cir cumstance may seem a trifling one-but the thought of it now pains my heart, and I relate it, that those chil20 dren who have parents to love them, may learn to value them as they ought.
My mother had been ill a long time, and I had be
come so accustomed to her pale face and weak voice, that I was not frightened at them, as children usually are. At first, it is true, I sobbed violently; but when, day after day, I returned from school, and found her the 25 same, I began to believe she would always be spared to me; but they told me she would die.
One day when I had lost my place in the class, and done my work wrong side outward, I came home discouraged, and fretful;-I went to my mother's chamber. She 30 was paler than usual, but she met me with the same affectionate smile that always welcomed my return. Alas! when I look back, through the lapse of thirteen years, I think my heart must have been stone, not to have melted by it. She requested me to go down stairs, 35 and bring her a glass of water;-I pettishly asked why she did not call a domestic to do it. With a look of mild reproach which I shall never forget if I live to be a hundred old, she said and will not my daughter bring a glass of water, for her poor sick mother?'
I went and brought her the water, but I did not do it kindly. Instead of smiling and kissing her, as I was wont to do, I set the glass down very quickly and left the room. After playing a short time, I went to bed without bidding my mother good night; but when alone 45 in my room, in darkness and silence, I remembered how pale she looked, and how her voice trembled when she said, 'Will not my daughter bring a glass of water for her poor sick mother!' I could n't sleep. I sto into her chamber to ask forgiveness. She had sunk into 50 an easy slumber, and they told me I must not waken her. I did not tell any one what troubled me, but stole back to my bed, resolved to rise early in the morning, and tell her how sorry I was for my conduct.
The sun was shining brightly when I awoke, and hur55 rying on my clothes, I hastened to my mother's chamber. She was dead! she never spoke more-never smiled upon me again--and when I touched the hand that used to rest upon my head in blessing, it was so cold that it made me start. I bowed down by her side, and sob60 bed in the bitterness of my heart. I thought then I wished I might die, and be buried with her; and old as I now am, I would give worlds were they mine to give, could my mother but have lived to tell me she forgave
my childish ingratitude. But I cannot call her back; 65 and when I stand by her grave, and whenever I think of her manifold kindness, the memory of that reproach ful look she gave me, will bite like a serpent, and sting like an adder.
A Tale of Waterloo.-ANONYMOUS.
About the middle of the night I received a visit from a young man, with whom I had formed an intimate acquaintance. He was the only son of a gentleman of large property in the South of Ireland; but having form5 ed an attachment to a beautiful girl in humble life, and married her against the will of his father, he had been disinherited and turned out of doors.*****
Depressed as I was in spirit myself, I was struck with the melancholy tone in which that night he accosted me. 10 He felt a presentiment, he said, that he would not survive the battle of the ensuing day. He wished to bid me farewell, and to entrust to my care his portrait, which, with his farewell blessing, was all he had to bequeath to his wife and child. Absence had renewed, 15 or rather doubled, all his fondness for the former, and portrayed her in all the witching loveliness that had won his boyish affection. He talked of her while the tears ran down his cheeks, and conjured me, if ever I reached England, to find her out, and make known her case 20 to his father. In vain, while I pledged my word to the fulfilment of his wishes, I endeavored to cheer him with better hopes. He listened in mournful silence to all I could suggest; flung his arms round my neck; wrung my hand and we parted. I saw him but once again. 25 It was during the hottest part of the next and terrible day, when with a noise that drowned even the roar of artillery, Sir William Ponsonby's brigade of cavalry dashed past ur hollow square, bearing before them in that tremendous charge, the flower of Napoleon's chivalry. 30 Far ahead even of his national regiment, I saw the manly figure of my friend. It was but for a moment. The next instant he was fighting in the centre of the enemy's squadron; and the clouds of smoke, that closed in mas