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other boys. He did not even fear to say once, in the presence of the whole crew, “If this little man continues to conduct himself with so much valour and prudence, I have no doubt of his obtaining a place much above that which I occupy.” Little Volney was very sensible to the praises that he had so well deserved. Although deprived of the study of letters, which cultivates the mind, extends our knowledge, and gives us juster ideas of things, he loved glory by instinct, and made great efforts for its acquisition. From several instances of intrepid daring, which he manifested in many dangerous emergencies, we shall only select the following, since this alone is sufficient to confer eternal honour on the memory of the young sailor.
A little girl, the daughter of an American gentleman, who was going to Port-au-Prince, had slipped from her nurse, who was ill, and ran upon deck.There, whilst she fixed her eyes with greedy curiosity on the immense expanse of water, a sudden heaving of the ship caused her head to turn, and she fell into the sea. The father of Volney darted after her, and in five or six strokes caught her by her frock. Whilst he swam with one hand to regain the vessel, and with the other held the child close to his breast, Beckner perceived at a distance a shark advancing directly towards him. He called out for assistance. The danger was pressing. Every one ran on deck, but no one dared to go farther; they contented themselves with firing off several carbines; and the animal, lashing the sea with his tail, and opening his frightful jaws, was now just about to seize his prey. In this terrible extremity, what strong men would not venture to attempt, filial piety excited a child to execute. Little Volney armed himself with a broad and pointed sabre; he threw himself into the sea; then plunging with the velocity of a fish, he slipped under the animal, and stabbed his sword into him. Thus suddenly assailed, and deeply wounded, the shark quitted the sailor, but he returned doubly exasperated against the aggressor, who attacked him with repeated blows. What a heart-rending sight! How worthy of admiration! On one side the American, trembling for his little girl, who seems devoted to destruction; on the other a generous mariner exposing his life for a child not his own; and here the whole crew raising their hands to heaven, on seeing young Volney contending with an enemy so greatly superior, and encountering inevitable death, to divert it from his father! Who can recall a scene like this, without dissolving into tears of tenderness.
The combat was too unequal, and no refuge remained but in a speedy retreat. A number of ropes were quickly thrown out to the father and the son, and they each succeeded in seizing one. They were hastily drawn up; already they were more than fifteen feet above the surface of the water; already cries of joy were heard : “Here they are, here they are—they are saved !" Alas! no--they were not saved! at least one victim was to be sacrificed to the rest. Enraged at seeing his prey about to escape him, the shark plunged to make a vigorous spring, then issuing from the sea with impetuosity, and darting forward like lightning, with his sharp teeth he tore asunder the body of the intrepid and unfortunate child while suspended in the air. A part of his palpitating and lifeless body was drawn up to the ship with his father and the fainting American
Thus died at the age of twelve years and some months, this hopeful young sailor, who so well deserved a better fate. When we reflect on the generous action which he performed, and the sacred motive by which he was animated to the enterprise, we are penetrated with sorrow to see him sink under it. Yet these great examples cannot be lost. The memory of them does not perish with the individual who gave them. A faithful relation of them cannot but animate with a generous zeal the tender minds of youth, and produce from age to age the repetition of actions not less praiseworthy.
ACTIONS.—Things may be seen differently, and differently shown; but actions are visible, though motives are secret.
Life of Cowley.
POPULAR AND INSTRUCTIVE TALES.
· THE SIGHTLESS.
I do not always think, Ellen, said Catharine Dorman, that I could have been so happy as I now feel, under this affliction. When I first knew that I was no more to see the familiar faces that I had so long loved, I thought that as sleep, a darkness would be for ever upon my heart, as that which dwelt perpetually around me in the outward world.
The speaker was a young pale girl, who was sitting with the companion she addressed upon the steps of a vine-wreathed portico. As she turned her face while she spoke, it caught a slight flush from the rich glow of a summer sunset, and her beautitul eye-beautiful even amidst its darkness—seemed to discourse almost as eloquently as in former hours.
Ellen answered only by stooping to touch her lips to the quiet brow of her companion.
It is true, resumed the gentle speaker, that there are sometimes moments when I feel impatient and sorrowful; but when I hear the soft step of my mother, or the approaching tread of your own light foot, Ellen, your affection seems such a deep fountain of blessedness, that I wonder how I could for an instant yield to repinings. I did not love you half so well, my friend, when I could read your thoughts in your gentle eye, as now that your face has become to me only as a memory.
Then how finely acute are the other perceptions ren- · dered by blindness! I did not know half the exquisite touches of the human voice till now-nor the thousand melodies of nature-nor the numberless delicate varieties of perfume that are mingled in the smell of sweet flowers-nor the almost impalpable differences of touch; and then although I can no longer look abroad upon the living forms of nature, I have them all pictured here upon my heart, vividly and distinctly—as a lens will throw back into a darkened apartment, in beautiful miniature proportions, a perfect shadowing of the outward scene.
It is true I cannot see the beautiful blossoms that are clustering in such profusion about my head, but I could tell them all over by their names ; and although I may not look again, dear Ellen, upon the glorious sunset sky, that we have watched together so often, yet I know how the clouds are sprinkled, in their golden shadowing, over the blue concave—so I will not be sad that you must gaze upon them in loneliness.
Surely - God tempereth the wind to the shorn lamb.". murmured Ellen, while an affectionate tear trembled on her eyelids ;-then in a quicker and clearer voice she added, “ Shall we sing, dear Catharine ?” and the music of their sweet voices went up together. Oh, hallow the beautiful sunset hour, When it comes with the hush of its chastening power! Though the thoughts of the world, through the day glare, have
INDUSTRY AND APPLICATION. Franklin has given you a lesson rich with salutary instruction. Toil, unremitted and zealous toil; severe, searching, and untiring thought, occupied both his mind and his body. You who have read his memoirs-and who has not !-have only to contrast your own situations with that of this persevering mechanic. Imagine yourselves the rudely dressed and ungainly boy
wending his way, homeless, and penniless, through the streets of Philadelphia. Look again, and how is he changed! The materials of his greatness, arranged and strengthened by years of painful exertion, have burst forth in all their splendor. He has called about him the elements of the storm, and made, as it were, a plaything of the lightning. Kings, at the head of nations, are doing homage to his genius. The proudest and the loveliest of earth, the terrible in war, and the mighty in council, are bending like worshippers at the shrine of his intellect.
Romantic as this may seem, there was nothing of romance or poetry in the temperament of Franklin. He indeed sought out new paths, and looked deep into the phenomena of nature, and the character of manbut it was no flight of his imagination that overlooked the false and limited boundary of science. It was the fixed glance of an inquisitive, but disciplined mind.
Take Perkins for another example. He has acquired a high reputation in his native country, and in Europe. Yet had this man contented himself with listless inactivity—had he relaxed in the least from his habits of severe study and patient investigation, he would have been at this moment the very reverse of all he is—an unregarded and indolent sojourner on the great theatre of human action. Talk of genius as you may--speak of it as unsought for, an immediate revelation of transcendant power—whatever it has been called, or whatever it may be, it is useful and glorious only in those who have struggled with passion and circumstance, and built up by slow and almost imperceptible degrees, the temple of their greatness. There may be at times a phenomenon of mind which bursts forth at once in the full possession of power, like Pallas, from the brow of the infidel deity. It may flash out like a comet in the starry heaven of intellect-dazzling and flaming for a moment, but it will leave no traces of its path, no gem of light and knowledge in the horizon over which it has hurried.