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POETIC SELECTIONS.-THE CHILDRENS' CORNER.
DROPPING down the troubled river
To the spring-embosomed shore,
To our peaceful, peaceful home;
To our gentle, gentle home;
With a sure and heavenly Guide;
My soul from death, hath died:
To the dear and deathless land;
And the dead have joined the band:
SHE hath no scorn of common things;
To tread the humble paths of earth.
Blessing she is; God made her so;
She is most fair, and thereunto
Her life doth rightly harmonize;
I love her with a love as still
As a broad river's peaceful night,
And on its full, deep breast serene,
It flows around them and between,
The Childrens' Corner.
HOLD OF FATHER'S HAND.
THE patter of little feet on my office-floor, and a glad voice exclaiming, "Father, I'se come to 'scort you home!" made known to me the presence of my little six-year-old darling, who often came at that hour "to take me home," as she said. Soon we were going hand in hand on the homeward way.
"Now, father, let's play I was a little blind girl; you must let me hold your hand tight, and you lead me along, and tell me where to step and how to go."
So the merry blue eyes were shut tight, and we began. "Now step up, now down," and so on till we were safely arrived, and the darling was nestling in my arms, saying, "Wasn't it nice, father? I never peeped once!"
"But," said mother, "didn't you feel afraid you'd fall, dear?"
With a look of trusting love came the answer: "Oh, no, mother! I had a tight hold on father's hand, and I knew he would take me safely over the hard places."
SIX MONTHS ON A DESOLATE ISLAND.
The following official information respecting the loss of the Strathmore and the rescue of the survivors from the barren island on which they remained more than six months has been received at Lloyd's. It is dated Galle, March 3rd:
"The Strathmore, of Dundee, reported by telegraph as lost on one of the Crozet group, on 1st July, 1875. She struck at halfpast four in the morning, and became a wreck in a few minutes, the persons who were saved, one lady being amongst them, being almost in their night dresses. They subsisted on this barren island for six months and twenty-two days upon albatross, penguin, and other birds. The master of the whaler who rescued them showed them every kindness; gave each a suit of clothes and a pair of boots. Those rescued were taken care of by the local authorities, and a subscription has been raised in the colony on behalf of the passengers."
The Ceylon Times gives the following particulars :—“ The British ship, Sierra Morena, Captain Kennedy, bound from Sutherland to Kurrachee, came into port on Thursday with twenty persons, being part of the passengers and crew of the ship Strathmore which was wrecked on the 1st July last on the largest of the Crozet group of islands, lat. 46.15 S., long. 15.0 E., called the Twelve Apostles' Rock. The Strathmore was on her voyage to Otago, New Zealand, and was seventy-five days out, when the disaster occurred. Captain Kennedy reports that on the 26th January he was boarded by an American whaler, Young Phoenix, in lat. 42.41 S., long. 53.0 E., having forty-four persons on board, rescued from the Strathmore. Owing to insufficient supply of water, Captain Kennedy could only accommodate twenty persons to Galle namely, the second and third mates, carpenter, sailmaker, first and second stewards, cook, and one seaman, three first class and nine third class passengers. The captain and chief mate of the Strathmore were drowned, besides others. Five
persons died on the island. The survivors experienced the greatest privation on the island, being bereft of suitable clothing, and having to subsist on a species of bird, large flocks of which inhabited the place. The whaler treated them with great kindness, and supplied warm clothing. There was one lady passenger. The vessel struck at four in the morning, and but for the timely rescue by Captain Giffard, the crew would have suffered greater privations, as the food supply was lessening.".
SIX MONTHS ON A DESOLATE ISLAND.
A correspondent of the same paper writes as follows :"The Strathmore, a new ship, one of the finest ever launched in England, sailed about April last, with emigrants for Otago, New Zealand. Eighty-eight souls were on board, and she had never been heard of to the hour when I wired you. When I was at home her loss was much discussed at Lloyd's, being the third fine Australian liner lost in a short period, and rates of insurance to Australia rose. The Strathmore, when out seventy-five days, ran on the rocks at night, on a group known as the Twelve Apostles, in the Crozet group. About forty-four persons were drowned. The remaining forty-four lived seven months on this barren island, which fortunately had one good spring on its summit. They lived on sea-birds and their eggs. Several vessels came near them during the seven months, but the wrecked people failed to attract their attention. When saved by the American whaler they were in a destitute and emaciated condition, and scarcely had a rag on them. The Sierra Morena, which took half the saved from the American vessel, arrived here to-day, bound to Kurrachee with railway material. According to last accounts, twenty-four more were on the whaler. The second mate of the Strathmore and the captain of the vessel that rescued them came ashore first. Fortynine people were saved. Five died on the island, three from having been frost-bitten in the feet and their toes rotting off with mortification. The captain and chief officer were drowned. Those saved lived for six months and twenty-one days on sea-birds and a kind of weed like the top of a carrot growing on the island, which was one and a half miles long. Half of it was perfectly bare rock, the other half was covered with rank grass. Their fuel for cooking was the feathers of the birds. A few matches were saved, and they kept a lamp perpetually burning with oil expressed from the birds as fuel for the lamp. Nothing hardly was saved from the wreck. The boats they escaped in were lost the first night, the rocks being perpendicular and no beach to heave them upon."
The passengers saved were emigrating to a new country, and have lost everything they possessed, as their money was invested in tools, implements, &c., to start with, and were shipped on board the Strathmore. They are all gone.
Mr. Allan, the second mate, says that a thick fog prevailed on June 30th, and Captain MacDonald ordered a sharp look out to be kept for Crozet Island. The log was constantly thrown. At midnight there was a cry of "Breakers ahead," and the ship struck on the Twelve Apostles group of rocks. She soon began
SIX MONTHS ON A DESOLATE ISLAND.
to settle down, and boats were made ready for launching. One boat with eighteen persons in it, including Mrs. Wordsworth, was floated from the deck by a heavy wave and miraculously kept in an upright position. About twenty of the crew and passengers assembled in the mizzentop. The fore part of the vessel was still above water and stuck on the rock, and here the survivors clustered and waited till daylight, when it was found that the ship was wedged between perpendicular cliffs of rock hundreds of feet high, and other points standing up like so many needles. Seven or eight got into the gig under the charge of the second mate, who said he would return and take off the rest if he succeeded in finding a landing place. He found to his astonishment that the boat with eighteen on board, which had been washed away during the night, was knocking about half full of water. The one boat took the other in tow and succeeded in reaching the rocks, up which the shipwrecked persons managed to scramble. Those left on board were saved in like manner, but two days elapsed before their rescue was accomplished. Some matches, spirits, and biscuits were all that could be saved. The biscuits were given to Mrs. Wordsworth, as she could not eat the rank birds' flesh. A case of confectionery was much prized, as the tins became handy for boiling birds in. After a few days on the island the boats were dashed to pieces on the rocks and lost. This was a great misfortune, as no more visits could be paid to the wreck. The firewood lasted a month, after which a substitute was found in the birds' skins. Five deaths took place on the island. The corpses were not stiff, but remained as pliable when buried as when in life. The first death was on July 2nd, the next in September, the next in October, and the last, a little child, on Christmas-Day. Death resulted from mortification following on frost bites; toes and fingers rotted off. Four ships passed, but did not notice the signals, till at last, on the 21st January, the whaler, Young Phoenix, took all on board, and treated them with extreme kindness. To the credit of Captain Giffard it must be said that he decided to sail for the Mauritius, although by so doing he knew he would lose his season's fishing.
Thirty survivors from the Strathmore arrived at Rangoon, March 24th, by the Childers, which received them from the American whaler, Young Phoenix. Most of them are progressing favourably.
A WALK IN AMSTERDAM.
A WALK IN AMSTERDAM.
AMSTERDAM, where I took my first Dutch walk, is a stately city, even though its street-vistas do look as if they were pictured on a tea-caddy or a hand-screen. They have, for the most part, a broad sluggish canal in the middle, on either side of which a row of perfectly salubrious, but extremely attenuated trees grow out of a highly cultivated soil of compact yellow bricks. Cultivated I call it by proper license, for it is periodically raked by the broom and scrubbing-brush, and religiously manured with soap-suds. You lose no time, of course, in drawing the inevitable parallel between Amsterdam and Venice; and it is well worth drawing, as an illustration of the uses to which the same materials may be put by different minds. Sky and sea in both cases, with architecture between; winding sea-channels washing the feet of goodly houses erected with the profits of trade. And yet the Dutch city is a complete reversal of the Italian, and its founders might have carefully studied the Venetian effects with the set purpose of producing exactly the opposite ones. It produces them in the moral line even more vividly than in the material. It is not that one place is all warm colour, and the other all cold; one all shimmer and softness and mellow interfusion of every possible phase of ruin, and the other rigidity, angularity, opacity, prosperity, in their very essence; it is more than anything that they tell of such different lives and of such a different view of life. The outward expression on one side is perfect poetry, and on the other is perfect prose; and the marvel is the way in which the thrifty Amsterdam imparts the prosaic turn to things which in Venice seem the perfect essence of poetry. Take, for instance, the silence and quiet of the canals; it has in the two places a difference of quality which it is almost impossible to express. In one it is the stillness of order, and in the other of vacancy-the sleep of idleness and the sleep of rest; the quiet that comes of letting everything go by the board, and the quiet that comes of doing things betimes and being able to sit with folded hands and say they are well done. In one of George Eliot's novels there is a portrait of a thrifty farmer's wife who rose so early in the morning to do her work that by ten o'clock it was all over, and she was at her wit's end to know what to do with her day. This good woman seems to me an excellent image of the genius of Amsterdam as it is reflected in the housefronts-I penetrated no deeper. It is impossible to imagine anything more expressive of the numerous ideas represented by the French epithet bourgeois than these straight façades of clean black