Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

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 tak

en 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 rủin.

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 splen

did 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 be 95 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 som 100 phia's delicate health, as well as my own, and the stor

my 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

to

of the port.

of the currents, I feared we might fall to the southward

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 Gos pel; 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, how

ever, 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."

Exercise 39.
The Hour of Prayer.-Mrs. HEMANS.
1 Chíld, amidst the flowers at play,

While the red light fades away;
Móther, with thine earnest eye,
Ever following silently;
Father, by the breeze at eve
Call’d thy harvest-work to leave;
Prày!- Ere yet the dark hours be,
Lift the heart and bend the knee.

2 Traveller, in the stranger's land,

Far from thine own household band;

Móurner, haunted by the tone
Of a voice from this world gone;
Cáptive, in whose narrow cell
Sunshine hath not leave to dwell,
Sailor on the darkening sea,
Lift the heart, and bend the knee.

3 Warrior, that from battle won,

Breathest now at set of sun;
Wóman, o'er the lowly slain,
Weeping on his burial-plain;
Ye that tríumph, yē that sigh,
Kindred by one holy tie!
Heaven's first star alike ye see-
Lift the heart, and bend the knee!

EXERCISE 40.

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 circumstance 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

are.

work wrong,

come so accustomed to her pale face and weak voice, that I was not frightened at them, as children usually

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

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 af

fectionate 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 years old, she said ' and will not my daughter bring

a glass of water, for her poor sick mother?' 40

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

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 stole 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 cham

ber. 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

the room.

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.

EXERCISE 41. 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 sur

vive 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 reach

ed 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 our 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

« EdellinenJatka »