Sivut kuvina

were all in the highest spirits, and the ship was alive 15 with mirth and jollity.

About eight o'clock in the evening, I went on deck. The ship was sailing upon a wind, at the rate of seven knots an hour, and there was a wild grandeur in the

night. A strong snow-storm blew, but steadily and 20 without danger; and, now and then, when the strug

gling moonlight overcame the sleety and misty darkness, we saw, for some distance round us, the agitated sea all tumbling with foam. There were no shoals to

fear, and the ship kept boldly on her course, close reef25 ed, and mistress of the storm. I leant over the gun

wale, admiring the water rushing past like a foaming cataract, when, by some unaccountable accident, I lost my balance, and in an instant, fell overboard into the sea.

'I remember a convulsive shuddering all over my body, 30 and a hurried leaping of my heart, as I felt myself about

to lose hold of the vessel, and, afterwards a sensation of the most icy chilness, from immersion into the waves, but nothing resembling a fall or precipitation. When below

the water, I think that a momentary belief rushed across 35 my mind, that the ship had suddenly sunk, and that I

was but one of a perishing crew. I imagined that I felt a hand with long fingers clutching at my legs, and made violent efforts to escape, dragging after me, as I thought,

the body of some drowning wretch. On rising to the 40 surface, I recollected in a moment what had befallen

me, and uttered a cry of horror, which is in my ears to this day, and often makes me shudder, as if it were the mad shriek of another person in extremity of perilous

agony. Often have I dreamed over again that dire mo 45 ment, and the cry I utter in my sleep is said to be some

thing more horrible than a human voice. No ship was to be seen. She was gone forever. The little happy world to which, a moment before, I had belonged, had

swept by, and I felt that God had flung me at once from 50 the heart of joy, delight, and happiness, into the utter

most abyss of mortal misery and despair. Yes! I felt that the Almighty God had done this,—that there was an act, a fearful act of Providence, and miserable worm

that I was, I thought that the act was cruel, and a sort 55 of wild, indefinite, objectless rage and wrath assailed me,

and took for awhile the place of that first shrieking ter


ror. I gnashed my teeth, and cursed myself,-and, with bitter tears and yells, blasphemed the name of God.

It is true my friend, that I did so. God forgave that 60 wickedness. The Being, whom I then cursed, was, in

his tender mercy, not unmindful of me, -of me, a poor, blind, miserable, mistaken worm. But the waves dashed on me, and struck me on the face, and howled at

me; and the winds yelled, and the snow beat like drift65 ing sand into my eyes,--and the ship, the ship was

gone, and there was I left to struggle, and buffet, and gasp, and sink, and perish, alone, unseen, and unpitied by man, and, as I thought too, by the everlasting God.

I tried to penetrate the surrounding darkness with my 70 glaring eyes, that felt leaping from their sockets; and

saw, as if by miraculous power, to a great distance through the night,--but no ship,-nothing but whitecrested waves, and the dismal noise of thunder. I shout

ed, shrieked, and yelled, that I might be heard by the 75 crew, till my voice was gone,—and that too, when I

knew that there were none to hear me. At last I became utterly speechless, and, when I tried to call alond, there was nothing but a silent gasp and convulsion,

while the waves came upon me like stunning blows, re80 iterated, and drove me along, like a log of wood, or a dead animal.

PART II. All this time I was not conscious of any act of swimming; but I soon found that I had instinctively been exerting all my power and skill, and both were requisite

to keep me alive in the tumultuous wake of the ship. 5 Something struck me harder than a wave. What it

was I knew not, but I grasped it with a passionate violence, for the hope of salvation came suddenly over me, and with a sudden transition from despair, I felt that I

was rescued. I had the same thought as if I had been 10 suddenly heaved on shore by a wave. The crew had

thrown overboard every thing they thought could afford me the slightest chance of escape from death, and a hencoop had drifted towards me. At once all the sto

ries I had ever read of mariners miraculously saved at 15 sea, rushed across my recollection. I had an object to

cling to, which I knew would enable me to prolong my

existence. I was no longer helpless on the cold weltering world of waters; and, the thought that my friends

were thinking of me, and doing all they could for me, 20 gave to me a wonderful courage. I may yet pass the

night in the ship, I thought; and I looked round eagerly to hear the rush of her prow, or to see through the snow-drift the gleaming of her sails.

This was but a momentary gladness. The ship I 25 knew could not be far off, but, for any good she could

do me, she might have been in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean. Ere she could have altered her course, I must have drifted a long way to lee-ward, and in that

dim snowy night how was such a speck to be seen? I 30 saw a flash of lightning, and then, there was thunder.

It was the ship firing a gun, to let me know, if still alive, that she was somewhere lying to. But wherefore? I was separated from her by a dire necessity,—by many

thousand_fierce waves, that would not let my shrieks be 35 heard. Each succeeding gun was heard fainter and

fainter, till at last I cursed the sound, that, scarcely heard above the hollow rumbling of the tempestuous sea, told me, that the ship was farther and farther off, till she and her heartless crew had left me to my fate.

Why did 40 they not send out all their boats to row round and round

all the night through, for the sake of one whom they pretended to love so well? I blamed, blessed, and cursed them by fits, till every emotion of my soul was

exhausted, and I clung in sullen despair to the wretch 45 ed piece of wood, that still kept me from eternity.

Every thing was now seen in its absolute, dreadful reality. I was a Castaway—no hope of rescue.

It was broad daylight, and the storm had ceased; but

clouds lay round the horizon, and no land was to be 50 seen.

What dreadful clouds! Some black as pitch, and charged with thunder; others like cliffs of fire; and here and there all streamered over with blood. It was indeed a sullen, wrathful, and despairing sky. The

sun itself was a dull brazen orb, cold, dead, and beam55 less. I beheld three ships afar off, but all their heads. were turned

from me.

For whole hours they would adhere motionless to the sea, while I drifted away from them; and then a rushing wind would spring up, and carry them, one by one, into the darkness of the

[ocr errors]

60 stormy distance. Many birds came close to me, as if to

flap me with their large spreading wings, screamed round and round me, and then flew away in their strength, and beauty, and happiness.

I now felt myself indeed dying. A calm came over 65 me. I prayed devoutly for forgiveness of my sins, and

for all my friends on earth. A ringing was in my ears, and I remember only the hollow fluctuations of the sea with which I seemed to be blended, and a sinking down

and down an unfathomable depth, which I thought was .70 Death, and into the kingdom of the eternal Future.

I awoke from insensibility and oblivion with a hideous, racking pain in my head and loins, and in a place of utter darkness. I heard a voice say, “ Praise the

Lord.” My agony was dreadful, and I cried aloud. 75 Wan, glimmering, melancholy lights, kept moving to

and fro. I heard dismal whisperings, and now and then a pale silent ghost glided by. A hideous din was over head, and around me the fierce dashing of the

Was I in the land of spirits? But, why strive 80 to recount the mortal pain of my recovery, the soul-hum

bling gratitude that took possession of my being? I was lying in the cabin of a ship, and kindly tended by a humane and skilful man.

I had been picked up apparently dead and cold. The hand of God was there. 85 Adieu, my dear friend. It is now the hour of rest, and

I hasten to fall down on my knees before the merciful Being who took pity upon me, and who, at the intercession of our Redeemer, may, I hope, pardon all my sins.


The Bible the best Classic.-GRIMKE.
To the Parent, I would say, your offspring are the
children of God. On you they depend for education.
God has commanded you to train them betimes, to know

and to serve, to love and to enjoy him. The paths of 5 business are equally the paths of temptation and duty.

Religion belongs to every thought, and word, and deed. As then the Bible is the only standard of duty, why do you not interweave it with the whole scheme of secular education? To the Instructer, I would say, you stand

10 in the place of Parent and Guardian. Their duties are

unquestionably yours. To you is transferred, not only the obligation to teach, but more especially the selectior of appropriate books, and the regulation of the order and

proportion of studies. What Parent or Guardian has 15 ever interfered with your plans? How entirely, and

with what a cordial confidence, have they appointed you to think, to consult, to decide, to act for them? Why then have you excluded the Bible of those very Parents

and Guardians, from the whole scheme for the educa20 tion of their children and wards? To the Patriot, I

would say, can you doubt, that to the Bible, your country owes not only her religious liberty, and her entire moral condition, but, to a great extent, her civil and po

litical rights, her science, literature and arts? The Bi25 ble is emphatically the book of truth and knowledge, of

freedom and happiness to your country. Children you regard as public property; and you know, that they will honor and serve their country best, the more they are

instructed in the Scriptures, and imbued with their spi30 rit. Why then, do you withhold the full benefit of those

sacred oracles, by thus proscribing them, in every scheme of education? To the Christian, I would say, you admit the divinity of the Scriptures, their absolute authori

ty, and inestimable worth. You concede, that they are 35 the common property of all; that even children may pro

fit by them, since they are so simple and plain, that the way-faring man, though a fool, shall not err therein. Why then do you not give them this lamp of life, as well

as the lamp of knowledge to guide them daily, with har40 monious beams, in their preparation for the inseparable

duties and business of life. To the Scholar, I would say, we offer you a more ancient, venerable, noble classic, than is to be found in the whole compass, of Grecian and Roman Literature.


Fathers of New England.--Sprague.
1 Behold! they come-those sainted forms,

Unshaken through the strife of storms;
Heaven's winter cloud hangs coldly down,

« EdellinenJatka »