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OF FICTION, POETRY, HISTORY, AND GENERAL LITERATURE.
“ Yes," replied Speedwell, finishing A TALE OF THE OCEAN.
the sentence with a heavy sigh.
“ Not so bright with you, seemingly," (For the Parterre.)
That reply of Yes, sounded more was setting, when the Rover like the response of a funeral sermon. schooner distanced the shores of England. Tut, tut; rouse man, rouse.
What ails Edward Speedwell was captain of the you ? you were gay enough on shore; watch. The wind, which had blown a stiff but nowbreeze during the day, had lulled itself “ Cease your raillery, good friend into a comparative calm. All was still, Hawser," replied Speedwell. “ I can't save the pacing of the man on the look- help this melancholy at present; þut a out, and the occasional voice of the master few days at sea, and all will blow over.” calling “ About there," preparatory to “ Ah,” drily observed Hawser, “it, each tack, Speedwell looked over the may blow over, but it may also blog vessel's stérn, to take a parting glance at back again. I see how it is, some blackthe land which contained all he held dear eyed damsel has come alongside, with -her whom alone he loved, her whom Cupid for her pilot ; her bright eyes have perhaps he might never meet more. poured a broadside into your heart, and
The moon was now rising, and its brought you too ; and although you silvery beams danced on the glassy hav'nt struck your flag, it seems likely waves.
you will eventually surrender on honourLieutenant Hawser, a bluff, dashing able terms.” sailor, who was on the most friendly “A truce to your raillery,” cried Speedterms with Speedwell, had only joined well. “What freak is this? What put the vessel a few days previously, he having love into your head !" been detained on special matters.
He “ The same that put love into your came on deck and saluted Speedwell with heurt,” responded Hawser;—"a pretty “A bright evening, messmate !"
girl, with a warm heart; aye, and a warm bour! No, no, that must never be." purse too.
Come, come, friend Speed- He paused-his eye met Speedwell's.well, don't think to get the weather-gage “ Well! what do you propose ?” inof me so easily. I have seen enough of quired Speedwell. your sailing tactics on shore ; there you “ Shoot the scoundrel!" exclaimed were, day after day, squeezing Miss Hawser — "call him out-six o'clock i’ Harriet's hand, and turning up the the morning—twelve paces distant, eh!" whites of your eyes like a dying magpie! “ You forget ” interrupted Speedwell, and when you received your sailing “we are not on shore now, every succeedorders, didn't the tears run down hering hour bears me farther from the object pretty cheeks at the rate of ten knots an of my vengeance. Oh that I could but hour!-dy'e think that means nothing ? get a day—24 hours I ask no more, to and then just before you got into the boat get alongside this renegade rival.” didn't she hang that little golden-cross “Aye,” exclaimed Hawser, “I wish it about your neck, and then faint away; were possible; be sure I wouldn't lay far and didn't you fall too, and kiss her hand
astern of you.
But stop— I have it.till she recovered—aye, d'ye think that Some of these coxcomb squires are but means nothing! No, no, confess-confess; mere cowards, and may easily be brought I am right, or I'm no sailor. And then too with a blank shot. So you shall send to crown all, didn't you give me a letter him a letter; a regular thunderer; and to deliver to her when I was ordered on when he receives it I'll be bound he'll not shore; and when I gave it to her, didn't venture to follow up his claim. But I she press it to her bosom, and say, am reckoning without my compass—how my dear, dear Speedwell ;' and then the deuce shall 1 send it! There's no didn't she write an answer, and give it to post-office, nor mail coaches at sea-no me with a strict charge to deliver it to matter—the letter shall be written, and you as soon as I had an opportunity, and if you don't do it, I will: and the first havn't I got the letter here safe and vessel we hail that is going to England sound-d'ye think that means nothing!” shall convey it."
As he finished his speech, he held The next watch was called on deck. forth the letter, which Speedwell hastily “ You are a merry fellow,” ejaculated broke open, and perused its contents. Speedwell, “and as you have taken this
Hawser gave a side look towards him matter in tow, and made it your own as he archly muttered, " Aye, aye, it's all affair, I suppose I must not interfere.” over with him ; he's moored hard and Certainly not,” replied Hawser; “it fast with a chain cable.”
is all under my command now—you will The letter was indeed from Harriet, have nothing more to do with the matter, but its contents were not of the most gra- than to stand up and be shot at if occatifying description. It informed him sion requires ; so away to your berth, my that soon after his departure, her father boy, a glass of grog and a sound snooze, had introduced a young stranger to her, will start you quite fresh for the mornone Sir Everard Longford, whom he ing duty." desired her to look upon as her future The two friends grasped each other's husband : entreaties had been vain; and hands, Good night responded, and both in two months the union was to take went to their berths for the night. The place. Speedwell turned pale at the in- mid watch came on duty, the master'stelligence_his hand grasped his cutlass mate relieved the master at the wheel :
“ The villains," exclaimed he, “ but a steady breeze sprang up aft, and the they shall rue their duplicity. Now, by good ship Rover soon left the shores of the honour of our flag, I swear never to old England, far, far astern. resign her without exacting ample satis- Harriet was the only daughter of Sir faction from these base robbers.”
Thomas Blunt, an old seaman, who had Heyåday! friend Speedwell! What gradually risen from before the mast, unsudden squall is this, that seems to have til he became a Rear-admiral. He was blown you out of your course,'' exclaimed a brave man, and possessed a good heart, Hawser, as he caught the last sentence. but he was most perversely obstinate.
“ Read, read,” stammered Speedwell. If he once made up his mind to a certain and thrust the letter into his hand. line of conduct, nothing could persuade
Hawser glanced over it and exclaimed, him to alter it. Argument was out of “ M y! mutiny ! by the laws of the qu he would put an end to it
Here's a precious pair of in a moment by a constant observation pirates sailing under false colours, and of his, which was, “ You may call this trying to cut our fair craft out of har- obstinacy if ycu think proper- Well, sup
pose it to be som I should never have been brig of war, I was obstinately bent on an admiral had it not been for my obsti- meriting further promotion.
I was nacy.” Another failing he possessed, was, chased by two French brigs of heavier he was rather purse proud; nor was it to metal, but scorning to fly from an enemy, be wondered at : a man without educa- I cleared for action, --squared all my tion, who had never mingled with his yards, double shotted my guns — got fellow-men on shore, till time had put Long Tom the swivel filled with pepper. a gray tinge on the dark locks that o'er- -Why my own brave crew said I was shadowed his wrinkled forehead. His obstinate. -So I was—I was obstinately wife had been dead some years; and he, determined to do my duty. At it we after 40 years' hard service, with the loss went, ding dong.--A shot struck my of an eye and a leg, was pensioned off, larboard leg, and I fell on the deck.to pass the remainder of his days in peace My enemy called out to me to surrender on shore. He was rough in his manner, on honourable terms, and save the lives and at first might be termed abrupt to of myself, and my brave crew; but I strangers; but custom soon obliterated was obstinate and would not be saved.--it. When once he gave his hand in I persevered—I clung to one of the gun. friendship, the bond was imperishable. carriages, told my men I was not much To this father, Harriet made her objec- hurt-gave my orders steadily, and in tions to his choice of a husband for half an hour more, I sunk one vessel and her.
disabled the other. My brave crew took “I do not like Sir Everard,” said she possession of ber, and we towed her into
“ Well, then you must learn to do so,' an English port in safety. This was replied he.
obstinacy with a vengeance! my crew I cannot,” replied Harriet.
thought me obstinate, and the enemy “ Nonsense, nonsense, replied her called me d-dobstinate; but it was father, “the man's well enough for any lucky to me, for I was rated a Rear Adwoman; and if he does not quite suit, miral soon after."-Harriet perceived it why you must alter him to your own was needless to reason with him in this taste. I'm sure he walks as stately as a humour, and therefore remained passive. seventy-four."
But the admiral continued : “Now this "I hate such tall fellows," observed was all the effect of obstinacy-You flop Harriet.
your affections on a youngster, without “ Well, cut him down to a frigate a penny in his pocket, and turn up your then,” rejoined the admiral.
nose at a baronet, whose vast riches He wears mustachios,” continued would victual a fleet." Harriet.
“ But Speedwell is brare, father,” said “Well! tell him to get shaved,” re- Harriet. “Heis a seaman, and you know turned the admiral.
father, I can't help loving a sailor.”. “Father, father, why are you so ob- Belay, belay, you coaxing jade," stinately bent," Harriet would have retorted the admiral.
6. What do you proceeded, but the admiral called out,- know about the sea-service ? How do “Hold there, girl-Hold on.- - Don't you know that this Speedwell is brave? talk to me of obstinacy: obstinacy has The world has come to a pretty pass inbeen the making of me. Had it not deed, if the actions of our glorious navy been for obstinacy, I should still have are to be judged by petticoats. But lo been before the mast. What caused make short of it, I tell you in three me to be put into commission on board weeks hence, you shall give your hand the Fire-fy? Why obstinacy. When to Sir Everard.” but a youth, I told my officer that in ten “But poor Speedwell,” ejaculated minutes I could be aboard the enemy's Harriet. frigate that had grappled us, and haul “ Speedwell, indeed !" growled the down their colours; I was told I was an admiral, · His name is always the first obstinate fool, and had better go below : in your log book. However to quiet but I was obstinateI got on board the you, and to shew you that although I frigate-fought my way to the mid-deck am obstinate,
am not perverse; I will - mounted to the main seized the give you a chance—Speedwell is now enemy's colours, tore them from the staff, rated lieutenant :—if within the time and by the time our brave crew had stated in the margin, he should convince rushed on board, presented them to my me of his bravery by achieving some act captain : that was obstinacy !--And when which may eventually raise him to the I had obstinately fought my way to the rank of captain-Why thenrank of captain, and was appointed to a
“You will consent," quickly rejoined distant—and the living man shall have Harriet.
the lady, · Gently, gently, Madam Skipjack, I “ Yours, for my friend Speedwell, did n't say that,” said the admiral, as he
• BOB HAWSER.” half recalled his expression.
Sir Everard, who was not the bravest “ But you meant to say so—at least man in the world, turned pale when he you thought so,” archly rejoined Harriet. read the letter. He passed it to the
“ How do you know what are my admiral - observing “it was most thoughts,” vociferated the admiral ; “get blood-thirsty epistle.” away hussey, go to your tambours and “Let me see, let me see," "said the needles and thread, and spin your cotton, admiral, as he took the letter in his hand but don't come to spin any of your long and read—“ At Sea...Our Harriet...On yarns to me, because I'm not to be bam- shore in two months...defer the marriage boozled that way: so off with you, clear ... exchange shots ... broadside ... twelve the decks I say."
paces distant...living man to have the Harriet left the room, and the old ad- lady- Ha! ha! Why who the devil miral sunk back in his chair, snatched supposed the lady was going to marry a up his pipe, and grumbled out, The dead man," ejaculated the admiral saucy jade, she wants to get the weather- “ Here's raking fore and aft.—Here's gage of me, but I wont have it so." fire.ships and tornados.—Why these mad
The bell of the hall gate rung, and a young rascals want to scare us out of our servant announced Sir Everard. He
Ha, ha, ha, never mind entered.
Sir Everard; I am determined you shall “Sit down, sir, sit down Sir Everard,” have fair play. The marriage will be said the admiral.
over before they return, and if they chalSir Everard drew a chair, “How fares lenge you after that, I will be your your daughter ?" inquired Sir Everard. second; and if these chaps are so fiery
“0, obstinate as ever, Sir," replied and impatient, it will be ten to one if Admiral Blunt, “still on the look-out you get wounded ever so slightly.” for Speedwell; but however, he is snug Sir Everard did not relish this kind of enough on the broad Atlantic now; and conversation, therefore turned it off, by as they are on a three month's cruize, we reverting to his intended marriage with shall be able to get the marriage con- Harriet. “I will give her,” said he, cluded without interruption.”
“ ten thousand pounds on the day of our “ The sooner the better, Sir," replied marriage, besides a new carriage and Sir Everard.
horses, and a brilliant equipage.' The servant re-entered the room and “ Then,” said the admiral, “she must delivered several letters. “One of these be a mad woman if she refuses you, and is for Sir Everard,” said the servant particularly since you stand a chance of Sir Everard took it, and read the super- having a bullet fired into your hull on scription. “ To Sir EVERARD Long- her account. She ought to recollect, that FORD. To be delivered to him before he if your rival should send you to the goes to church.”—He broke the seal and other world, she will have enough to read as follows:
enable her to live in ease and comfort
during the remainder of her life; and if Dated on the Atlantic.
it should be otherwise, why so much the SIR,
better for you.” Don't suppose because we are at sea, that Sir Everard heard his words with treyou are going to carry all your canvass pidation, and after staring at the adbefore the wind on shore. I have good miral in mute astonishment, ejaculated, intelligence, that you intend to sail in “ Pray admiral do you really think that company with our Harriet, and take her these fellows intend to fight?” into another latitude, but we are not “ Why yes," replied the admiral, “if going to be sent to leeward in that man. they're the boys I take them to be, I
We shall be on shore again in two have no doubt they will fight—if they months, and therefore you must defer come-but there lies the difficulty. They your marriage till then, because my can't be here before the marriage, unless friend Speedwell wants to exchange a they were to desert, and if they did that, shot or two with you first : so this is to they would have two chances against give you notice, that if you don't fight their lives. One would be the chance before marriage, you will have to do it of receiving your fire, and the other, afterwards, and receive a broadside that of being strung up to the yard-arm athwart ships.- Pistols — twelve paces for desertion.”
“Let them only remain at sea till after Speedwell and Hawser having disthe wedding,” said Sir Everard, " and I patched their letter to England, chuckled am perfectly satisfied—for immediately at the effect which they anticipated it after that, myself and my bride will de- would have on Sir Everard. They had part for my mansion. I will have the now sailed for two months on the broad place well guarded, and if they dare to face of the Atlantic without meeting any molest me, I will have them taken up incident of consequence, until towards and bound over to keep the peace.” daylight one morning, they descried two
“ Oh, then you don't mean to stand strange sail right ahead. Every signal was fire?” asked the admiral.
made, but none answered. They pur“ Why look you," replied Sir Everard, sued under a press of sail, and after four
fighting, or standing fire as you call hours chase, came within gun-shot of it, may be all very well for those poor her. They soon discovered that she was devils who have nothing to lose but their one of those daring pirates who had inlives ; but with me the case is different. fested the seas for some months, seizing If I am prematurely taken off, my upon vessels, robbing them of their cartenants will lose a landlord, and my goes, and destroying their crews. wife will lose a rich and valuable hus- The British captain, on finding the band, and I shall die in the midst of customers he had to deal with, ordered luxury, leaving all the good things of all the ports to be closed, and every apthis world behind me. No, admiral, pearance of their being a ship of war to I don't mind using fire-arms to pop at a be as much disguised as possible. The partridge or a hare; but standing to be pirates observing it was only a brig, supshot at like a target is quite another posed it to be a merchant vessel, all her thing I would rather leave that sort of port holes being closed and every appearexercise to my inferiors."
ance of warfare being disguised. They The admiral bit his lip—he liked a boldly brought up under her bows; the rich man, but detested a coward; and a pirates were both lugger-built, and Lagleam of shame mantled on his cheek tina rigged, and carried a great number when he drew a comparison between the of men. The crew of the British ship pusillanimous Sir Edward and the en- remained quite still, but every man was terprising Speedwell. “ You won't fight, ready at his gun, although crouched bethen ?” said the admiral, with a smile hind it to conceal himself. The marines bordering on a sneer, “but you'll cut were ready with their muskets concealed and run, and trust to your own swift under tarpaulins, while others lay covered sailing! Well, this may be all very well with old jackets or sail cloths, to hide among you great nobles on shore, but their red coats. The pirate chief mountcurse me if it would have done on board ed the ship's side, with his drawn cutthe Fire-fly. However, we have all lass, followed by some of his gang, but different notions of honour and supe- he had barely set his foot on deck than riority; and you gentlemen on land sup- the cannon caught his eye-the marines pose it to depend on the strongest purse, and part of the crew started up with while we sailors have always considered their muskets and pistols pointed ; the it to be with the strongest heart. How- pirates paused not, but instantly turning ever, if you don't like the smell of pow- round dashed overboard into the sea. der, you must e'en keep out of it: The alarm was given—the pirates' lugthough I can't see why you should fear! gers made sail, but it was too late. "A -a dozen bullets may whiz round you, pint of rum for every head," shouted the but they may be perfectly innocent, and master-powder and shot flew—the mapass off without touching you; besides, rines aimed well—the guns were pointed if a half-spent ball struck you, and did sure-a broadside rattled round the lug. not touch a vital part, it wouldn't kill ger—the brig wore and gave her another; you. But I'll belay my lingo, and wish it fairly blew her out of the water, hardly you good speed to the end of the chap- a shot missed, and the pirates and their ter, so follow me, and I'll lead the way vessel soon disappeared beneath the glassy to my daughter. Twelve paces distance The other vessel went right be- living man to have the lady-ha! fore the wind, and the brig stretched ha! ha!”
every inch of canvas to come up with her, So saying, the old admiral bowsed but they gained but little on her : at up, and taking his crutched stick, hob- last they got within gun shot, and shortly bled out of the room singing “Rule afterwards her mast was struck and went Britannia,” followed by Sir Everard, overboard. At this juncture Speedwell whose pallid features indicated the fear and Hawser offered to man the launch, which possessed him.