Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

for ten or twelve shillings, were on that not reach him; but the latter observing day let for thirty or forty shillings, and the Shannon outside of Boston, came to add to the scene, large parties had gone out purposely to engage her. into Belem Castle, forgetting that the

The action commenced with becoming tide flowed round 'it, till going away, spirit on both sides ; but the ships getwhen dark, they found themselves pri- ting foul, the Shannon's position enabled soners except by taking boat, which many her to sweep the whole range of the Amedid, and paid handsomely for.

rican's decks with her shot.

Captain Broke now saw that the Chesa

peake's quarter-deck division were desertThe Selector ing their guns. He instantly called out,

“ Board !” and, accompanied by the first OR, lieutenant and twenty men, sprang upon

Here CHOICE EXTRACTS FROM

the Chesapeake's quarter-deck.

not an officer or man was to be seen. NEW WORKS

Upon her gangways, about twenty Ame

ricans made a slight resistance. These BURNS' BIRTH PLACE. were instantly driven towards the fore. Two miles from the town of Ayr, we

castle ; where a few endeavoured to get

down the fore-hatchway, but in their came to the hut where Burns was born. It is a low thatched building of a single over the bows, and reached the main deck

eagerness prevented each other; a few fled story, forming the corner, and connected through the bridle ports ; and the reby the same roof with two or three others mainder laid down their arms and subof a similar size. A trifling bribe pre- mitted. Between thirty and forty of the vailed on the driver of the dilly to stop, Shannon's marines quickly followed the while my companion and myself examined first boarding party. These kept down the interior of this humble dwelling. A

the men who were ascending the main sign is affixed to the walls without, which hatchway, and answered a spirited fire, bears the inscription which follows :

still continued from the main and mizen “ Burns' cottage.-Robert Burns, the Ayrshire poet, was born under this roof the mean time, stormed by midshipman

tops. The Chesapeake's fore-top was, in on the 29th January, 1759." Two small Smith and his top men, about five in rooms occupy the whole floor of the number ; who either destroyed or drove house; in one of which, now used as a

on deck all the Americans there stationed. kitchen, is a recess where stood the bed This gallant young man had deliberately in which the poet wa

born. The other

passed along the Shannon's fore-yard, apartment is furnished with some neat.

which was braced up to the Chesapeake's, ness, and boasts an engraved view of the also braced up; and thence into her top. dwelling, and a large painting of Burns,

After those upon the forecastle had which from its size and style of execution, submitted, Captain Broke ordered one of seems to have been intended for a tavern

his men to stand sentry over them, and sign-board. The present occupier of the

sent most of the others aft, where the cabin, an elderly sawney-looking man, who conflict was still going on. He was in seemed to have been never particularly the act of giving them orders to answer abstemious in the use of whisky, said the fire from the Chesapeake's main top, that it was in that room that he last saw

when the sentry called lustily out to him. Burns, and then took a dram with him; On turning round, the Captain found poor fellow !” He seemed no

himself opposed by three of the Ameri. wise averse to repeating the draught even

cans; who, seeing the were superior to at this early hour: and, accordingly, the British then near them, had armed leaving him enough for a double and themselves afresh. Captain Broke par. triple potion, we mounted our seats and ried the middle fellow's pike, and woundpursued our journey.-Bigelow's Learcs ed him in the face ; but instantly received from a Journal.

from the man on the pikeman's right, a

blow with the but-end of a musket, BATTLE OF THE SHANNON

which bared his skull, and nearly stun

ned him. Determined to finish the AND THE CHESAPEAKE.

British commander, the third man cut It is well known that during the last him down with his broadsword, and, at American war, the last we hope it will that very instant, was himself cut down ever remain, Captain (afterwards Sir by one of the Shannon's seamen. CapPhilip) Broke, of the Shannon sent a tain Broke and his treacherous foe now challenge to Captain Lawrence of the lay side by side ; each, although nearly Chesapeake ; the challenge however did powerless, struggling to regain his sword,

adding, “

when a marine dispatched the_American been killed by a cannon-shot, as he was with his bayonet. Captain Broke was hoisting the colours on board the Chesa. not the only sufferer upon this occasion ; peake, clearly proves, that the firing did one of his men was killed, and two or not cease till the very moment of victhree were wounded. Can it be wondered, tory.James's Naval History. if all that were concerned in this breach of faith fell victims to the indignation of the Shannon's men ? It was as much as

THE ROYAL EXCHANGE.A their commander could do, to save from

WELL-KNOWN LADY. their fury a young midshipman, who, On the walls around the interior of the having slid down a rope from the Chesa- piazza, placards and advertisements of peake's fore-top, begged his protection. all descriptions are exhibited in every Mr. Smith who had also descended from variety of form, to catch the gazer's eye. the fore-top, and a seaman, were at this According to the professions which they time helping the Captain on his legs. severally contain, all the wants and The seaman, while tying a handkerchief wishes of mankind can be supplied, all round his commander's head, called out, the disorders incident to humanity can be (pointing aft,) “ There, Sir, there goes cured, all the evils prevalent in society up the old ensign over the yankee co- can be prevented. It is your own fault lours." The Captain saw it hoisting, if you be burned in your bed; for here (with what feelings may well be imagine is the fire-escape. It is the shipwrecked ed,) and was instantly led to the quarter- seaman's fault if he be drowned ; for there deck, where he seated himself upon one is the life-preserver, or, what is much of the carronade-slides.

more efficacious in many a mariner's The gallant first lieutenant of the opinion, the precious child's caul," which Shannon, (George T. L. Watt) was struck may be had of Mrs. Prigging's of Roon the head with a grape-shot from one therhithe, for the moderate price of ten of that ship's fore-mast guns, while in guineas !” Here is a facetious nota bene the act of hoisting the British colours from Van Butchel the younger, and there over the American. Another gun was a modest notification from the knight of discharged, unfortunately, before the the Medical Board. But amongst all officer commanding that division knew of these, there is “no medicine to a mind the Chesapeake's surrender ; and three or diseased.” Look at the only female four of the Shannon's men shared the la- figure in the place, sitting on the bench mented fate of Mr. Watt, besides several by the side of my master. She is dressed being wounded. Even after the British in deep mourning, with a reticule on her colours were flying on board the Chesa- finger. Her cheeks and even her lips peake, some of her men kept firing up are painted ; and she fancies herself a the main hatchway, and killed a British lady of wealth and high degree. Some marine. It was then, and not till then, years ago she had an only brother, a clerk that Lieutenant (Charles Leslie) Falkiner, in the Bank of England, who was the who was sitting on the booms, very pro- chief support of herself and their widowperly directed three or four muskets that ed mother: his premature death reduced were ready, to be fired down. Captain them to poverty, and deranged the in, Broke, from his seat upon the carronade. tellects of his sister. She has continued slide, told him to summon them to sur- to appear in black ever since, and cannot render, if they desired quarter. He did forego the professional idea that her bro

They replied, “We surrender ;ther left her a handsome fortune, the and all hostility ceased. Soon after this, illusive receipt of which is with her the Captain Broke’s senses failed him from occupation of every day. For this purloss of blood ; and the Shannon's jolly pose she is assiduous in her visits to boat arriving with a supply of men, (the the Bank: the clerks, who are acquainted two ships having separated, owing to with her misfortunes, humanely fall in the Chesapeake's quarter-gallery giving with her humour; and she is chiefly supway,) he was carried on board his own ported by their eleemosynary contribuship.

tions, which she benignantly considers as Between the discharge of the first gun, part of a dividend that is her due in be. and the period of Captain Broke's board- half of her deceased relative. She is ing, eleven minutes only elapsed; and, now looking at a dirty Goldsmith's Alin four minutes more, the Chesapeake manack, to see if it be one of the nu. was completely his. Hundreds of spec- merous red-letter days, that prevent her, tators from Boston and the surrounding as she says, from transacting business at neighbourhood holding their watches in the Bank. With these she is in getheir hands, were astonished at the speedy neral as well acquainted as any clerk in termination of the firing; and the fact the establishment. She remarked, while of the Shannon's first lieutenant having restoring the ruddy calendar to its old

so.

station in her pocket, “ that she could do Moderns of intelligence, in visiting this no business at the Bank to day;" and, spot, have gratified their imaginations, with a gracious courtesy to all around, already heated by such descriptions as the she twisted her reticule on her finger, and escape of the Argonauts, and the disasters departed. I could not avoid ejaculating, of Ulysses, with fancying it the scourge “ Alas! poor human nature !”—Aureus; of seamen, and, that in a gale its caverns or the Life and Opinions of a Sovereign. “roar like dogs ;” but I, as a sailor, never

perceived any

difference between the effect

of the surges here, and on any other coast, THE SILLER CROWN.

yet I have frequently watched it closely

in bad weather. It is now, as I presume A SCOTCH BALLAD,

it ever was, a common rock, of bold apBy the Honourable Miss Stuart. proach, a little worn at its base, and sur.

mounted by a castle, with a sandy bay 01 YE shall walk in silk attire, And siller ha'e to spare,

on each side.-Smyth's Sicily. If ye'll consent to be my bride,

Nor think on Donald mair!
Ah! wha wou'd buy a silken gown

CHARYBDIS.
With a poor broken heart?

OUTSIDE the tongue of land, or Braccio
And what's to me a siller crown
Gin frae my lad I part !

di St. Rainiere, that forms the harbour of

Messina, lies the Galofaro, or celebrated The mind whose ev'ry.wish is pure Far dearer is to me ;

vortex of Charybdis, which has, with more And ere I'm forc'd to break my aith

reason than Scylla, been clothed with I'll lay me down and dee!

terrors by the writers of antiquity. To For I ha'e pledg’d my virgin-troth

the undecked boats of the Rhegians, Lo. Brave Donald's fate to share, And he has gi'en to me his heart,

crians, Zancleans, and Greeks, it must With a' its virtues rare!

have been formidable ; for, even in the His gentle manners won my heart,

present day, small craft are sometimes He, gratefu', took the gift;

endangered by it, and I have seen several And, shou'd I gang to seek it back,

men-of-war, and even a seventy-four-gun It wou'd be waur than theft! For longest life can ne'er repay

ship, whirled round on its surface ; but, The love he bears to me;

by using due caution, there is generally And ere I'm forc'd to break my aith, very little danger or inconvenience to be I'll lay me down and dee! Star. apprehended. It appears to be an agitated

water, of from seventy to ninety fathoms

in depth, circling in quick eddies. It is SCYLLA.

owing probably to the meeting of the As the breadth across this celebrated harbour and lateral currents with the strait has been so often disputed, I par- main one, the latter being forced over in ticularly state, that the Faro Tower is this direction by the opposite point of exactly six thousand and forty-seven Pezzo. This agrees, in some measure, English yards from that classical bugbear, with the relation of Thucydides, who calls the Rock of Scylla, which, by poetical it a violent reciprocation of the Tyrrhene fiction, has been depicted in such terrific and Sicilian seas, and he is the only writer colours, and to describe the horrors of of remote antiquity I remember to have which, Phalerion, a painter, celebrated read, who has assigned this danger its for his nervous representation of the awful true situation, and not exaggerated its and the tremendous, exerted his whole effects. Many wonderful stories are told talent. But the fights of poetry can respecting this vortex, particularly some seldom bear to be shackled by homely said to have been related by the celebrated truth, and if we are to receive the fine diver, Colas, who lost his life here ; I imagery, that places the summit of this have never found reason, however, during rock in clouds brooding eternal mists and my examination of this spot, to believe tempests—that represents it as inaccessi. one of them.-Ibid. ble, even to a man provided with twenty hands and twenty feet, and immerses its Cht Novelist. base among ravenous sea-dogs;—why not

No. LI. also receive the whole circle of mytho. logical dogmas of Homer, who, though so frequently dragged forth as an autho.

THE BLASTED TREE, rity in history, theology, surgery, and

“I mark'd the broad and blasted oak, geography, ought, in justice, to be read

Scorch'd by the lightning's livid glare ; only as a poet. In the writings of so Hollow its stem from branch to root,

And all its shrivell d arms were bare." exquisite a bard, we must not expect to find all his representations strictly con. It was a piercing night in mid-winter, fined to a mere accurate narration of facts. and along the rounded hills towards the Clifton meadows, below Aylesbury, the and more than once discovered symptoms inoonlight Sparkled on the bright and in the dusky room that spoke of death thickly-crusted snows with peculiar splen- without. dour. Far off, the faint but perpetual But the woodman was in the village roar of the icy river was heard, and the before sunrise; he reported that he had dark forests beyond it were dimly seen in put the stranger safely across the ford, the distance, like a heavy cloud in the and left him to pursue his journey. Sus. western horizon. The intermediate coun- picion was hushed for the moment, for try presented only a few solitary trees, the character of the young man was good : and, save that here and there a rugged the traveller was known to have possessed group of overgrown shrubbery was seen money, but he had been called down the above the snow, one wide and vast un. river on business of such urgent importcultivated waste appeared. It was a night ance, that it was necessary for him to in which the fancy of an honest German reach the lower ford that night, and he could not fail to conjure up a thousand had with difficulty prevailed on Hurlbut phantoms; his shrieking ghosts cried to accompany him to the western road. from the crevices of every sapless tree ; Who the stranger was none knew, and his witches rode on the pale moonlight thus far all was fair. But he never reached moonbeams, in the distant and scarcely the ford, and no trace was heard of him perceptible mist that spread a thin veil from that night. Suspicion was once over the beautiful stars ; and the wander- more awakened, and Hurlbut maintained, ing spirits of his departed friends peeped when questioned on the subject, a guarded like premature resurrectionists from be- and scornful silence. The fortune-tellers hind every thicket.

were consulted, and they anathematized The hour of eleven had drawn nigh, the woodman. Signs were attended to, and the watchful family that inhabited with all the formality of judicial inquiry, the crazy cabin on the borders of this and even these condemned the unfortu. barren country, had extinguished their nate young man. blazing pine lights, buried up their fires, When spring came, it was discovered and sprinkled over the smoking ashes the that a large oak tree, celebrated for its spoonful of salt, the magic virtues of age and majesty, did not put forth a leaf. which dispersed the ghostly train, and It grew near a by-road which led to the ensured them a peaceful rest; when two river below the fall; and as no other travellers passed along the broken road cause could be assigned for its blighted that leads from the village towards the appearance, it was attributed to ford above the falls. One bore the ap- which now met the popular suspicion pearance of an old man, infirm with age; among the Germans. They called it the his broad-brimmed hat hid his face, but blasted tree; and located the place where some thin grey locks waved around his the stranger's blood was shed beneath its shoulders, and he leaned forward on his branches. Withered by the hot breath jaded horse like one suffering with fa- of murder, they declared it should bloom tigue or decrepitude; behind him was again, whenever the murderer should be the appendage of a stranger, a large black brought to justice, and its blood sprinkled portmanteau, which swelled with the on its dry roots. treasure it contained. The other was an Five years passed away, and old im. athletic young man, whom the good pressions and" vague suspicions grew people distinguished to be a hardy wood. ztronger as years departed ; Hurlbut was man, who sometimes acted as guide to now surrounded by a young and depen, travellers, and sometimes, for he had dant family ; but superstition had fixed some science, run out patented lands, an indelible mark upon his character, and and was, withal, better acquainted with he was followed by the eye of jealousy, the country than any man in it. He led which watched his actions, his countethe old man's horse sometimes, and some- nance, and his words, while it shunned times ran before to brcak the road.

his association. The man became rest. The cottagers thought they discovered less and unhappy; he felt sensibly the traits of mystery in this; and as every weight of a sullied reputation, and though thing that partook of mystery boded mis- he had disregarded it for years, he began chief, according to their conceptions, they to sink under its influence into morosefollowed the midnight travellers across ness and disquietude. the barrens with their eyes, until they About this time, some huntsmen in the disappeared, and then lay several anxious pursuit of game which had sheltered in the hours dreaming of murder, and robbery, blasted tree, cut it down, and, lo! from and blood. More than once they thought the old trunk fell the withered bones of a they heard the piercing cry of despair, human being; they were examined by an mingling with the roar of the water-fall; anatomist, and declared to be the perfect

one

parts of the skeleton of a man, whom they that they had for many years before decked judged might have been deposited there a corner of his study; the first was a boy four or five years before. An opening in who assisted in placing them there, and the trunk, some distance from the ground, the second was the aperture in the trunk confirmed the probability of the story. of the tree itself, which, at the entrance, The Germans, and their neighbours, too, was not more than five inches in diameter, caught it up eagerly, and the fate of the and, therefore, utterly incapable of adunfortunate woodman seemed fixed. He 'mitting a human body. He sat down fled the storm he saw gathering, but in a with acclamations of astonishment; the month returned and surrendered himself proof went on ; the defendant was acup for trial.

quitted without an argument, and the The excitement of the populace nan corrupt and revengeful physician just eshigh ; and as the day fixed for his trial caped from the village time enough to drew near, the hopes of his acquittal va- save his neck. nished. The mass of the people were This is the story of the blasted tree. sure of his guilt, and they collected the It has a moral. How dangerous is suevidence against him with an activity and perstition ! how carefully should circum. zeal which savoured rather of the spirit stantial evidence be examined, and how of bitter persecution, than of a love of cautiously weighed ! how false and how justice. I leave the reader to imagine for deceptive the idea, that what is generally himself the feelings of a tender wife, and believed is infallibly the right! six destitute little children, as they looked forward through the gathering cloud to the day that was to fix his destiny, while

SPIRIT OF THE I hasten to the crowded court-room, and the solemn arraignment of the husband

Public Journals. and father for the crime of murder. The prisoner stood pale and dejected,

THE SHERWAHRAY HILLS IN but silent and resigned, at the bar, and

INDIA. answered with a calm and steady voice, “ Not Guilty,” to the charge. He was THE Sherwahray Hills, according to traasked if he had counsel; he answered in dition, derive their name from a famous the negative, and requested that assist- Sennasse, who flourished above 1,000 ance might be assigned him. The judge years ago ; the people seldom call them by cast his eyes round the court, as if care- iheir proper name, but by one signifying lessly in search of some one, on whom to the “good hill,” “ holy hill,” &c. They lay what, as his manner seemed to indi. are situated six miles to the north of Sa. cate, he thought a hopeless task, when an lem, and to their very basis the country is old gentleman, whose presence amid the in the highest state of cultivation. From throng had not been noticed, rose and in the bottom to the encamping ground at troduced himself as Mr. an eminent the top is seven miles; the ascent is in lawyer of the city. The court bowed re- general so easy, as to permit of a person spectfully, and a look of astonishment being carried up either in a ton-jon or on was visible on every face, when he asked horseback. the privilege of acting as the defendant's The height of these hills was very corcounsel.

rectly taken by Captain Cullon, during It was granted, however, unhesita. that gentleman's barometrical observatingly, and he resumed his seat. When tions in 1819, by which Salem was found the witnesses had been heard on the side to be 1,070 feet above the level of the sea, of the prosecution, he rose and addressed and half way up the hill. At a village the court.

He recollected the prisoner ; where persons go up in general to breakhe remembered, that on the night on fast, it was found to be 1,970 feet above which the evidence went to fix the mur. Salem, and the encamping ground at the top der, he had employed the prisoner in the 3,530. Flagstaff Peak, near the encampcapacity of a guide, and was conducted ment, 3,783, anda hill with a pagoda, about by him over the ford ; that he missed his four miles and a half from the camp, was way, and did not reach the lower ford to found to be 4,190 ; the height therefore which he had intended to go, but tra- of the encampment

above the sea is 4,600 velled by another direction to the city.

Flagstaff Peak

4,850 In regard to the bones so mysteriously

Hill with Pagoda 5,260 found, he had two evidences to prove, he

From all sides of the table-land the eye said, that the very physician who pro- is delighted with the most extensive and nounced them human and of five years' splendid scenery, and the clusters of gi. decay, and who was a bitter enemy of the gantic trees, combined with the rich green defendant, had placed them there himself; of the fields of young millet, recall to

« VorigeDoorgaan »