Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

éeeded in gaining her hand, though with the solemn assurance, that her heart was unalterably another's.

He took her with him to Sicily, hoping that a change of scene might wear out the remembrance of early woes. She was an amiable and exemplary wife, and made an effort to be a happy one; but nothing could cure the silent and devouring melancholy that had entered into her very soul. · She wasted away in a slow, but hopeless de cline, and at length sunk into the grave, the victim of a broken heart *.

A WRECK AT SEA. We one day descried some shapeless object drifting at a distance, At sea, every thing that breaks the monotony

*** It was on her, says our Author, that Moore, the distinguished Irish Poet, composed the following lines:

She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps,

And loyers around her are sighing;
But coldly she turns from their gaze and weeps,

For her heart in his grave is lying.

She sings the wild songs of her dear native plains,

Every note which he lov'd awaking-
Ah! little they think, who delight in her strains,

How the heart of the minstrel is breaking!

He had lived for his love for his country he died,

They were all that to life had entwined him-
Nor soon shall the tears of his country be dried,

Nor long will his love stay behind him!

Oh! make her a grave where the sun-beams rest,

When they promise a glorious morrow;
*They'll shine o'er her sleep like a smile from the west,

From her own lov'd island of sorrow!

of the surrounding expanse attracts attention. It provedl to be the mast of a ship that must have been completely wrecked; for there were the remains of handkerchiefs, by which some of the crew had fastened themselves to this spar, to prevent their being washed off by the waves. There was no trace by which the name of the ship could be ascertained. The wreck had evidently drifted about for many months; clusters of shell fish had fastened about it, and long sea weeds flaunted at its sides. But where, thought I, is the crew? Their struggle has long been over--they have gone down amidst the roar of the tempest-their bones lie whitening among the caverns of the deep. Silence, oblivion, like the waves, have closed over them, and no one can tell the story of their end. What sighs have been wafted after that ship! what prayers offered up at the deserted fireside of home! How often has the mistress, the wife, the mother, pored over the daily news, to catch some casual intelligence of this rover of the deep! How has expectation darkened into anxietyanxiety into dread and dread into despair! Alas!, not one memento shall ever return for love to cherish.. AU that shall ever be known, is, that she sailed from her port, “and was never heard of more!"

The sight of this wreck, as usual, gave rise to many dismal anecdotes. This was particularly the case in the evening, when the weather which had hitherto been fair, began to look wild and threatening, and gave indications of one of those sudden storms that will sometimes break in upon the serenity of a summer voyage.

As we sat round the dull light of a lamp in the cabin, that made the gloom more ghastly, every one had his tale of shipwreck and disaster. I was particularly struck with a short one related by the captain.

“ As I was sailing,” said he, “in a fine stout ship, across the banks of Newfoundland, one of those heavy fogs that prevail in those parts rendered it impossible for us to see far ahead even in the day-time; but at night the weather was so thick that we could not distinguish any object at twice the length of the ship. I kept lights at the mast head, and a constant watch forward to look

out for fishing smacks, which are accustomed to lie at anchor on the banks. The wind was blowing a smacking breeze, and we were going at a great rate through the water. Suddenly the watch gave the thrilling alarm of

a sail-a-head!'--it was scarcely uttered before we were upon her. She was a small schooner, at anchor, with her broadside towards us. The crew were all asleep, and had neglected to hoist a light. We struck her just a-midships. The force, the size, and weight of our vessel bore her down below the waves; we past over her and were hurried on our course. As the crashing wreck was sinking beneath us, I had a glimpse of two or three half paked wretches rushing from her cabin; they just started from their beds to be swallowed shrieking by the waves. I heard their drowning cry mingling with the wind. The blast that bore it to our ears swept us out of all further hearing. I shall never forget that cry! It was some time before we could put the ship about, she was under such head-way. We returned, as nearly as we could guess, to the place where the smack had anchored. We cruised about for several hours in the dense fog. We fired signal guns, and listened if we might hear the halloo of any survivors: but all was silent-we never saw or heard any thing of them more.

Land. It was a fine sunny morning when the thrilling cry of “ land!” was given from the mast head. None but those who have experienced it, can form an idea of the delicious throng of sensations which rush into an American’s bosom,' when he first comes in sight of Europe. There is 'a volume of associations with the very name. It is the land of promise, teeming with every thing of which his childhood has heard, or on which his studious years have pondered.

From that time until the moment of arrival, it was all feverish excitement. The ships of war, that prowled like guardian giants along the coast; the headlands of Ireland, stretching out into the channel; the Welsh mountains, towering into the clouds; all were objects of intense

interest. As we sailed up the Mersey, I reconnoitred the shores with a telescope. My eye dwelt with delight on peat cottages, with their trim shrubberies and green grass plots. I saw the mouldering ruin of an abbey overrun with ivy, and the taper spire of a village church rising from the brow of a neighbouring hill-all were characteristic of England.

The tide and wind were so favourable, that the ship was enabled to come at once to the pier. It was thronged with people; some idle lookers-on, others eager expectants of friends or relatives. I could distinguish the mere chant to whom the ship was consigned. I knew him by his calculating brow and restless air. His hands were thrust into his pockets; he was whistling thoughtfully, and walking to and fro, a small space having been accorded him by the crowd, in deference to his temporary importance. There were repeated cheerings and salutations interchanged between the shore and ship, as friends happened to recognize each other. I particularly noticed one young woman of humble dress, but interesting de

She was leaning forward from among the crowd; her eye hurried over the ship as it neared the shore, to catch some wished-for countenance. She seemed disappointed and agitated; when I heard a faint voice call her name.--It was from a poor sailor, who had been ill all the voyage, and had excited the sympathy of every one on board. When the weather was fine, his messmates had spread a mattress for him on deck in the shade, but of late his illness had so increased, that he had taken to his hammock, and only breathed a wish that he might see his wife before he died. He had been helped on deck as we came up the river, and was now leaning against the shrouds, with a countenance so wasted, so pale, so ghastly, that it was no wonder even the eye of affection did not recognize him. But at the sound of his voice, her eye darted on his features; it read, at once, a whole volume of sorrow; she clasped her hands, uttered a faint shriek, and stood wringing them in silent agony.

meanour.

GENIUS

It is interesting to notice how some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvan. tage, and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles. Nature seems to delight in disappointing the assiduities of art, with which it would rear legitimate dullness to maturity; and to glory in the vigour and luxuriance of her chance productions. She scatters the seeds of genius to the winds, and though some may perish among the stony places of the world, and some be choaked by the thorns and brambles of early adversity, yet others will now and then strike root even in the clefts of the rock, struggle bravely up into sunshine, and spread over their sterile birth-place all the beauties of vegetation.

A CONTRAST.

I was yet a stranger in England, and curious to notice the manners of its fashionable classes. I found, as usual, that there was the least pretension where there was the most acknowledged title to respect. I was particularly struck, for instance, with the family of a nobleman of high rank, consisting of several sons and daughters. Nothing could be more simple and unassuming than their appearance. They generally came to church in the plainest equipage, and often on foot. The young ladies would stop and converse in the kindest manner with the peas. antry, caress the children, and listen to the stories of the humble cottagers.

Their countenances were open and beautifully fair, with an expression of high refinement, but, at the same time, a frank cheerfulness, and an en gaging affability. Their brothers were tall, and elegantly formed. They were dressed fashionably, but simply; with strict neatness and propriety, but without any man

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »