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Instantly a pillar of fire rose from a neighbouring mountain, shedding its glare on the land, the sea, and the sky, seeming for a moment to set them all in a blaze.
In a few moments, this pillar of fire appeared to fall suddenly back into the mountain. Then the mountain was agitated with loud bellowings like thunder. Then large red hot stones were cast from the crater, far into the air. Some of these fell near the ship, and went hissing into the sea. Then red hot lava began to pour from the crater of the volcano, and rolled down the sides of the mountain.
For sometime we forgot our own perilous condition, in looking at the frightful scene have described. But the hurricane continued, and we were soon obliged to attend to our own condition. The blaze of the volcano had shown us the rocky shores of the island of Luzon immediately before us, and the gale was sweeping us toward it with the greatest fury.
Nor was this all. The volcanic mountain,
from whose top the red hot lava was gushing out, stood upon the very coast, and the sea washed its base. It was against the foot of this mountain, and immediately beneath, where the lava was rolling down its sides, that it seemed our destiny to be thrown.
There are some things so painful to the memory, that we do not love to dwell upon them. This fearful night, was one that I should be glad to forget. I need only tell you, that our ship was driven against the sharp rocks at the foot of the volcanic mountain, and, in a few moments, she went to pieces.
Three individuals only, of all that were on board the ship, escaped; the captain and twelve men were all drowned. I was thrown upon the rocks as if by miracle, in an exhausted state; and when I recovered, the morning had dawned, and the tempest had passed away. The eruption of the volcano had also ceased ; but the sea was yet agitated, and on its restless bosom I could see, far and wide, the scattered fragments of our ship. The shore was lined with broken spars, boards, planks, and other vestiges of the wreck.
I soon discovered that two of the seamen were alive; one of them was considerably wounded, and the other was quite exhausted. I went along the shore, and there I found the bodies of three of the sailors who had perished. The remains of the captain I could not find.
I need not tell you the distress I now felt. This was indeed the most painful period of my life. I thought not of the difficulties of my situation, but I was oppressed with the sad idea that so many of my countrymen and companions, had thus suddenly been cut off from existence.
But I must hurry on in my story. We were soon discovered by the natives, who came in great numbers to gather the spoils of the wreck. They treated my companions and myself with great kindness. We stayed with them in the mountains, for three or four days; we did not understand their language, but we communicated with them by signs.
When the wounded sailor was able to travel, two of the natives set out to guide us across the country to Manilla. This was a journey of several days, for we had been wrecked on the northern coast of Luzon, and Manilla was situated in the southwestern part.
At length we reached that city. It was built by the Spaniards, and many Europeans resided there. I went to an English merchant and told him our story. We were entirely destitute ; and in the kindest manner, he relieved our necessities.
Productions. Parley enters a British ship. About
The Philippine islands, as I have said before, are more than one thousand in number. The