Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

cabin of the fisherman on the shore was struggled to his hard face, and seeing already undistinguishable from the dark that the prisoner, if left to himself, would background of hills, and these also had soon lose his hold and be dashed to lost their distinctness of outline, and were pieces, he fastened him to the topmast, fast vanishing in the gloom. A cry of by passing a bunt gasket strongly round “ sail ho !” from aloft first broke the his body. silence. It was not necessary to follow The strange vessel in the meantime this announcement with the usual ques- was fast overhauling the brigantine. In tions. The vessel reported rushed into vain the latter crowded sail. It but plain sight, as she opened a point of land buried her deeper in the sea, without that had concealed her. As the eye of increasing her speed. She next attemptthe commander of the brigantine rested ed to weather on the pursuer, and braced on her, a tremor shook his frame. For a every thing as sharp up as it could be moment he stood studying her through hauled; but the stranger lay as close to his glass; then dashing it on deck, he the wind as the chase, and that expedient addressed rapid orders to his crew. All was also vain. The brig tried the purhands were immediately busied in mak- suer's sailing on all tacks, in hope to find ing sail and working ship. Though the her weak on some point, and thus obtain wind whistled wildly through the cord- an advantage. She squared away; she age, a ring-tail was added to the mainsail, braced first on one tack, and then on the and every sail that would draw was set. other; she tried her with the wind on It was soon evident that the strange the bow, a-beam, on the quarter, every vessel was chasing the brigantine, and it way—and every way the stranger outbecame necessary that all hands should sailed her. The gale was now blowing assist in working the latter, to which end a piping note, and the scud dispersing the lookouts were called from forward before it, allowed the moon to shine and aloft.

down between the higher clouds. The Here! let this trembling wretch go commander of the brigantine called his on the fore-topsail-yard,” cried the com- crew aft, and addressed a few earnest mander. He can report if any other words to them. The conference lasted sail heaves in sight, or at any rate he will but an instant, when the men were seen there be out of the way. What, coward! hurrying forward, and directly after isdo you shrink? Nay, then, by heaven! sued from the caboose, each bearing a you shall go. Here, Tom, take this blazing faggot in his hand. With these pistol, and follow him up the rigging. they set fire to the vessel in various If he refuses or falters, shoot him dead.” places; then lashed the helm, lowered a

The poor object of this persecution boat from the lee quarter, where their shuddered, and cold drops of sweat be- motions could not be seen by the vessel dewed his forehead; but opposition would in chase, and jumping into it, pulled have been worse than useless, and in the under cover of their own brig towards hope that some turn might yet release the shore. The fire soon caught the dry him from this dreadful thraldom, he be- and pitchy deck and light bulwarks, and gan to climb the shrouds. He trembled spread with fearful rapidity. The unso violently, that this would not have happy young man on the yard looked been an easy task had the brig been down on the scene, without the power to lying at rest ; but she was now pitching release himself

from his dreadful place and rolling heavily, and it seemed to of captivity. Even could he have loos. him, as he was swept to and fro through ened the knot which bound him there, the air, that the next motion would in- and which was but drawn the tighter evitably hurl him into the sea. At last, the more he struggled, his situation however, he reached the topsail-yard, would have been little improved. The and attempted to seat himself on the deck was already a sea of fire. It had dizzy perch. But he looked down, and caught the sails, and towered up in a saw the waves whirling and boiling be- pyramid far above his head. He writhed low, while the narrow and unsteady ves- in agony and strove to shriek, but it sel seemed to glide away from beneath seemed as if the flames which roared him, and the mast to fall over of its own around him had scorched his throat, and weight. His head grew giddy; a deadly deprived him of the power of utterance. sickness came over his fainting soul, and He felt his flesh shrivel and crack in the he would have pitched head foremost to intense heat, and his garments as he the deck, had he not been upheld by the moved chafed the skin from his body. strong arm of the man who ascended The sails, however, were quickly conwith him. An expression of sympathy sumed or blown off in blazing fragments

THE LETTER,

[ocr errors]

*

into the sea; but the wind, which then take the liberty to transcribe the followvisited his cheek, brought no relief, but ing passage of his epistle :added tenfold anguish to his blistered flesh. He turned his seared eyeballs “ I shall return to town immediately, towards the shore, and they fell on the for I do not find the sea-air is of any boat, midway, the inmates of which were advantage to my health; and this sudden rendered visible, and their savage fea- change of weather will render the hot tures shone with horrible distinctness, in streets of the city endurable, while here the glare of the burning vessel. His foe, I am actually shivering with cold. My towering above the reef, stood in the malady is not one, my dear friend, which after part, and his face was turned with sea-air or change of climate can remove. an expression of fiendish joy, as it It is seated, not in the body, but in the seemed, towards his writhing victim, mind; and wherever I go, I meet with whose agonized motions he could discern something to remind me of my loss. in the hellish light. From this mad- Even the simple, but kind wife of the dening sight the tortured wretch turned humble fisherman with whom I lodge, towards the pursuing vessel—but she does or says something twenty times ahad descried the boat, and changed her day to make me feel what I have suffered course! All hope of rescue now died in the untimely death of my poor Eliza. within him. The flames were fast eating No matter-I shall soon follow her. into the mast at the deck, and streaming up the dry and greasy spar with appal- 6. The limits of a letter will not allow ling fierceness, while their roar and me to tell you of a strange adventure I crackling sounded to his frenzied ear had last night. I was both burned to like the exultation of infernal spirits death and drowned ; but the particulars waiting for their prey. The shrouds, of this sad accident I must reserve for too, were on fire, and the pitch that our meeting. You will conjecture that boiled out from them added to the fury this happened in a dream-and it was of the conflagration. The victim saw the wildest dream that the fancy of a that his fate was near at hand, and ceased sleeper ever framed. It is curious how to struggle. Again the heat came up much real torture, and for how long a with scorching power, and a thick pitchy time, one may experience in a half hour's cloud of smoke wrapt him for a moment slumber. I have a very vivid idea, now, in its suffocating folds. It passed away, of what the martyrs must have suffered, and he could see again. The shrouds and am amazed at their fortitude. My were quite consumed, save a few blazing dream was suggested, probably, by a ends, which waved round him like the conversation among some sailors, which whips of furies; and the flames, which the wind wafted to my ears, though it had lingered for a moment round the was not intended for them. You will thick body of rigging at the mast head, smile when I tell you out of what slender were now climbing the topmast, and had materials my sleeping and feverish brain almost reached the spot where he was created a conflagration and an ocean. bound. At this moment the brig rolled When I waked, in all the horror of a to windward, and he felt the mast trem- double death by fire and water, I found ble and totter like a falling tree. She that in my slumber I had overthrown a slowly righted and lurched to leeward pitcher into my lap, and that my feet the mast cracked and snappedhe felt were toasting something too close to a his body rush through the air—the sparfire, which had blazed up after I fell fell hissing into the ocean—the cold water asleep. I ought to mention that I had closed over his scorched and shuddering taken a rather larger draught than usual body-he threw out his arms, and made of my opiate mixture. Of such shreds one more frantic effort to release himself dreams are made.”

- the knot that bound him suddenly gave way-and-But we will let him

ERRORS AND ANACHRONISMS. tell the result in his own words.

On the following morning, the young man was seated in the same apartment of the fisherman's cabin, to which we

No. 1. have already introduced the reader. I am a friend to the exposition of the Writing materials were before him, and weak sides of great men, inasmuch as it his pen was busy in addressing a letter reads them a valuable lesson on their to a friend. We have an author's privi- own infallibility, and tends to lower the lege of looking over his shoulder, and mole hills of conceit that are raised in

BY A CANTAB.

the world as stumbling - blocks along take till the piece was presented to the every road of petty ambition. It would, king, and hung up in the great church. however, be but a sorry toil for the most The monks of a certain monastery at cynical critic to illustrate these vagaries Messina exhibited with great triumph a otherwise than so many slips and trip- letter written by the Virgin Mary with her pings of the tongue and pen, to which own hand. Unluckily, this was not, as all men are liable in their unguarded it might have been, written on the anmoments, from Homer to Anacreon cient papyrus, but on paper made of rags. Moore, or Demosthenes to my Lord On some occasion a visitor, to whom this Brougham. The worst effect of a good- was shewn, observed, with affected sohumoured expose will be to raise a laugh lemnity, that the letter involved also a at the expense of poor humanity, or miracle, for the paper on which it was a merited smile at our own dulness and written was not in existence till several mistaken sense of the ridiculous.

hundred years after the Virgin had asTo commence with the Ancient Poets. cended into heaven. — The ghosts in Homer are afraid of In the church of St. Zacharia, at swords; yet Sibylla tells Æneas, in Venice, is the picture of a Virgin and Virgil, that the thin habit of spirits was Child, whom an angel is entertaining beyond the force of weapons.

with an air upon the violin! In painting alone we have a rich So also in the College library of Aberharvest. Burgoyne, in his Travels, deen, to a very neat Dutch missal are notices a painting in Spain where Abra- appended elegant paintings on the marhain is preparing to shoot Isaac with a gin, of angels appearing to the shepherds, pistol !

with one of them playing on the bagThere is a painting at Windsor of pipes. Antonio Verrio, in which he has intro- There is a picture in a church of duced himself, Sir Godfrey Kneller, and Bruges, that puts not only all chroBap. May, surveyor of the works, in long nology, but every thing else out of counperiwigs, as spectators of Christ's healing tenance. It is the marriage of our the sick.

Saviour with St. Catherine of Sienna. In the Luxenburg is a picture of St. Dominic, the Patron of the Church, Reubens, in which are the queen-mother marries them ! the Virgin Mary joins in council, with two Cardinals and their hands; and, to crown the anachro. Mercury.

nism, King David plays the harp at the There was also in the Houghton Hall wedding ! Collection, Velvet Brughel's Adoration Albert Durer represented an angel in of the Magi, in which were a multitude a flowered petticoat, driving Adam and of figures, all finished with the greatest Eve from Paradise. Dutch exactness. The Ethiopian King In a picture painted by F. Chello is dressed in a surplice with boots and della Puera, the Virgin Mary is placed spurs, and brings for a present a gold on a velvet sofa, playing with a cat and model of a modern ship.

a paroquet, and about to help herself te N. Poussin's celebrated painting of coffee from an engraved coffee-pot. Rebecca at the Well, has the whole Paul Veronese placed Benedictine back ground decorated with Grecian ar- fathers and Swiss soldiers among his chitecture.

paintings from the Old Testament. The same artist, in his picture of the A painter, intending to describe the Deluge, has painted boats, not then in- miracle of the fishes, listening to the vented. St. Jerome, in another place, preaching of St. Anthony of Padua, with a clock by his side, a thing unknown painted the lobsters which were stretchin that saint's days.

ing out of the water, red! having probaA painter of Toledo represented the bly never seen them in their natural three wise men of the East coming to state. Being asked how he could justify worship, and bringing their presents to this anachronism, he extricated himself

, our Lord upon his birth at Bethlehem, by observing, that the whole affair was a as three Arabian or Indian kings; two miracle, and that thus the miracle was of them are white, and one of them made still greater. black; but, unhappily, when he drew the In the Notices des MSS. du Roi VI. latter part of them kneeling, their legs 120, in the illuminations of a Manuscript being necessarily a little intermixed, he Bible at Paris, under the Psalms are two made three black feet for the negro king, persons playing at cards; and under Job and but three white feet for the two white and the Prophets are coats of arms and a kings; and yet never discovered the mis.. windmill !

NEGRO

IRISHMEN

IN THE WEST

INDIES.

.“ how

[ocr errors]

ANTS IN GRENADA.

In the collection of the French King there is a celebrated picture, in which our Saviour is represented at table in the castle of Emmaus with two of his disci. MONTSERRAT had Irish colonists for its ples, one with a slouched hat, with broad early settlers, and the negroes to this brims hanging over his back, and a huge day have the Connaught brogue curiouschaplet round his waist. They are served ly and ludicrously engrafted on the by a man who wears a kind of handker- African jargon. It is said that a Conchief, which only covers half his head, naught man, on arriving at Montserrat, his arms naked to the elbow like a cook, was, to his astonishment, hailed in verhis coat open, standing by a page who nacular Irish by a negro' from one of the has a little hat with a feather in it, and first boats that came alongside—“Thun. is dressed in the Venetian fashion. We der and turf,” exclaimed Pat, may judge.whether this picture, the work long have you been here?” ? Three of an admirable painter, is adapted to months," answered Quashy. “ Three time and place,

months! and so black already !! Hanum Mr. Strutt has detected some singular 'a jowl,says Pat, thinking Quashy a ciimproprieties of our Saxon painters. He devant countryman,“ I N not stay among thus writes: - “ They were far from ye;" and in a few hours the Connaught having the least idea of any thing more 'man was on his return, with a white ancient than the manners and customs of 'skin, to his emerald isle. their own particular times. They put Montgomery Martin's History of the our Saviour, Noah, Abraham, and King

British Colonies. Edgar, 'all in the same habit;'and in some MSS., in the reign of Henry VI., are exhibited the figures' of Meleager, Hercules, Jason, &c. in the full dress of Their numbers (says Mr. Montgomery the great lords of that prince's court. Martin) were so immense, as to cover

J. P. Jun. the roads for the space of several miles;

and so crowded in many places, that the

prints of the horses' feet were distinctly MISCELLANIES.

heard amongst them, till filled by the surrounding multitudes. They made bridges across large and rapid rivers with the dead bodies of their comrades. Every

kind of cold victuals, all species of verThe fishers on the north side of the min, particularly rats, and even the sores lake of Scodra, catch a kind of fish of the negroes, were exposed to their atcalled Scoranza, in the following man- tack. A premium of 20,0001, from the

-- At a certain season of the year, public treasury was offered to the disthe place is visited by vast flocks of a

coverer of any effectual method of departicular species of crow, which is re- stroying them, and the principal means garded as sacred. The inhabitants then were poison and fire. By mixing arsenic place their nets in the rivers and lakes; and corrosive sublimate with animal subthe Greek Priests, or the Turkish stances, myriads were destroyed; and the Imans, come to give their benediction to slightest tasting of the poison rendered the work; and while this is doing, the them so outrageous as to devour one crows remain silent and attentive spec- another. Lines of red-hot charcoal were tators on the trees in the neighbourhood. laid in their way, to which they crowded A quantity of corn, previously blessed in such numbers as to extinguish it with by the priest, is then thrown into the their bodies; and holes full of fire were water, and instantly attracts the fish in dug in the cane grounds, which were multitudes to the surface. At this in- soon extinguished by heaps of dead. But stant the crows dart down upon them while the nests remained undisturbed, with fearful cries; and the fish, terrified new progenies appeared as numerous as by the noise, rush into the nets in my- ever, and the only effectual check which riads, and become the prey of the fisher- they received was from the destructive

A part of the capture is regu- hurricane, which, by tearing up altolarly allotted to the crows and the priests, gether, or so loosening the roots of the as a reward for their services, and this plants where they nestled, as to admit secures the punctual return of both at the rain, almost extirpated the whole the proper time.

CURIOUS MODE OF FISHING.

ner:

men,

race.

[graphic][merged small]
[ocr errors]

THE SIEGE OF SOLEURE. lating a stock of health, energy, and

cheerfulness. It must not be supposed

that this life of freedom was without The town of Soleure is situated amongst system. It was consistent with Swiss the mountains of Jura, and along the habits and opinions. My daughter," fertile and romantic vale of Balstal. It said the old Bucheg, “is studying the is the capital of the canton which bears wisest book in the world—that of nathe same name, and is watered by the ture.” And so thought Ellen; for, exbeautiful river Aar. The town is small, cept a common school education, she but neat, and surrounded by stone forti- had had few advantages; yet her mind fications. It claims the honour of have had expanded beyond her years, and ing been built originally by our great every object filled it with new thoughts father Abraham; and its public reposi- and associations. tories exhibit inscriptions and medals, She was yet at a tender age, when her that give it the highest title to antiquity. father received a most earnest letter

Hugo Von Bucheg was a venerable from his only sister, who resided in the burgher and chief magistrate of the town valley of Lauterbrunn, entreating him of Soleure. He had long been regarded to spare his daughter to her for a few as father of the council, and the people months, representing the solitude of her placed their reliance upon him in every own situation, and the want she had of time of danger. His habits were plain youthful and cheering society. The and simple. He had amassed no wealth, last plea he could not resist, and Ellen for his services were given and not sold. was, for the first time, separated from One treasure he possessed, which he her father. considered beyond all price, and that She found her aunt, who was a widow, was his only child, Ellen. She had early sick and low spirited. It was a new lost her mother, and had spent her time situation for Ellen. Hitherto her life almost as she pleased, in wandering had demanded but few sacrifices ; but about the suburbs of Soleure, gathering now her duties began, and day and plants for her collections, and accumu- night she was seated by her bedside.

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »