« ПредишнаНапред »
it would have appeared as if a thousand monsters were engaged in deadly combat behind the bloody mist that obstructed the view. Gradually these efforts subsided; and, when the discolored water again settled down to the long and regular swell of the ocean, the fish was seen exhausted, and yielding passively to its fate.
As life departed, the enormous black mass rolled to one side ; and, when the white and glistening skin of the belly became apparent, the seamen well knew that their victory was achieved.
THE WRECK OF "THE ARIEL.” “Go, my boys, go!” said Barnstable, as the moment of dreadful uncertainty passed : “you have still the whale-boat; and she, at least, will take you nigh the shore. Go into her, my boys! God bless you,
God bless you all! You have been faithful and honest fellows; and I believe he will not yet desert you. Go, my friends, while there is a lull!”
The seamen threw themselves in a mass of human bodies into the light vessel, which nearly sunk under the unusual burden ; but, when they looked around them, Barnstable and Merry, Dillon and the cockswain, were yet to be seen on the decks of “ The Ariel.” The former was pacing, in deep and perhaps bitter melancholy, the wet planks of the schooner; while the boy hung unheeded on his arm, uttering disregarded petitions to his commander to desert the wreck. Dillon approached the side where the boat lay, again and again; but the threatening countenances of the seamen as often drove him back in despair. Tom had seated himself on the heel of the bowsprit, where he continued in an attitude of quiet resignation, returning no other answers to the loud and repeated calls of his shipmates than by waving his hand towards the shore.
“Now, hear me,” said the boy, urging his request to tears : "if not for my sake or for your own sake, Mr. Barnstable, or for the hopes of God's mercy, go into the boat for the love of my cousin Katherine."
The young lieutenant paused in his troubled walk; and for a moment he cast a glance of hesitation at the cliffs : but at the next instant his eyes fell on the ruin of his vessel ; and he answered,
“Never, boy, never! If my hour has come, I will not shrink from my fate.”
“ Listen to the men, dear sir: the boat will be swamped alongside the wreck; and their cry is, that, without you, they will not let her go.”
Barnstable motioned to the boat to bid the boy enter it, and turned away
“Well,” said Merry with firmness, “ if it be right that a lieutenant shall stay by the wreck, it must also be right for a midshipman. Shove off: neither Mr. Barnstable nor myself will quit the vessel."
Boy, your life has been intrusted to my keeping, and at my hands will it be required," said his commander, lifting the struggling youth, and tossing him into the arms of the seamen.
Away with ye! and God be with you ! There is more weight in you now than can go safe to land.”
Still the seamen hesitated : for they perceived the cockswain moving with a steady tread along the deck; and they hoped he had relented, and would yet persuade the lieutenant to join his
But Tom, imitating the example of his commander, seized the latter suddenly in his powerful grasp, and threw him over the bulwarks with an irresistible force. At the same moment, he cast the fast of the boat from the pin that held it; and, lifting his broad hands high into the air, his voice was heard in the tempest.
“ God's will be done with me!” he cried. “I saw the first timber of The Ariel’ laid, and shall live just long enough to see it turn out of her bottom; after which I wish to live no longer.”
But his shipmates were swept far beyond the sounds of his voice before half these words were uttered. All command of the boat was rendered impossible by the numbers it contained, as well as the raging of the surf; and, as it rose on the white crest of a wave, Tom saw his beloved little craft for the last time. It fell into a trough of the sea; and in a few moments more its fragments were ground into splinters on the adjacent rocks. The cockswain still remained where he had cast off the rope, and beheld the numerous heads and arms that appeared rising at short intervals on the waves : some making powerful and well-directed efforts to gain the sands, that were becoming visible as the tide fell; and others wildly tossed in the frantic movements of helpless despair. The honest old seaman gave a cry of joy as he saw Barnstable issue from the surf, bearing the form of Merry in safety to the sands, where, one by one, several seamen soon appeared also, dripping and exhausted. Many others of the crew were carried in a similar manner to places of safety; though, as Tom returned to his seat on the bowsprit, he could not conceal from his reluctant eyes the lifeless forms that were, in other spots, driven against the rocks with a fury that soon left them but few of the outward vestiges of humanity,
Dillon and the cockswain were now the sole occupants of their dreadful station. The former stood in a kind of stupid despair, a witness of the scene we have related; but, as his curdled blood began again to flow more warmly through his heart, he crept close to the side of Tom with that sort of selfish feeling that makes
even hopeless misery more tolerable when endured in participation with another.
“When the tide falls,” he said in a voice that betrayed the agony of fear, though his words expressed the renewal of hope, we shall be able to walk to land."
“ There was One, and only One, to whose feet the waters were the same as a dry deck,” returned the cockswain; "and none but such as have this power will ever be able to walk from these rocks to the sands.” The old seaman paused; and turning his eyes, which exhibited a mingled expression of disgust and compassion, on his companion, he added with reverence, “ Had you thought more of him in fair weather, your case would be less to be pitied in this tempest."
you still think there is much danger ? ” asked Dillon. “ To them that have reason to fear death. Listen! Do you hear that hollow noise beneath
ye “ 'Tis the wind driving by the vessel.”
“ 'Tis the poor thing herself,” said the affected cockswain, “giving her last groans. The water is breaking up her decks; and, in a few minutes more, the handsomest model that ever cut a wave will be like the chips that fell from her timbers in framing.”
Why, then, did you remain here ?” cried Dillon wildly. “ To die in my coffin, if it should be the will of God,” returned Tom. “These waves to me are what the land is to you: I was born on them, and I have always meant that they should be my grave.”
“But I-I,” shrieked Dillon, “I am not ready to die! -I can not die! I will not die!”
“ Poor wretch !” muttered his companion. “You must go, like the rest of us. When the death-watch is called, none can skulk from the muster.”
“ I can swim,” Dillon continued, rushing with frantic eagerness to the side of the wreck. 6 Is there no billet of wood, no rope, that I can take with me?" “ None: every thing has been cut away, or carried off by the
If ye are about to strive for your life, take with ye a stout heart and a clean conscience, and trust the rest to God.”
“ God!" echoed Dillon in the madness of his frenzy: “I know no God! There is no God that knows me !"
“ Peace!” said the deep tones of the cockswain in a voice that seemed to speak in the elements; “ blasphemer, peace!”
The heavy groaning produced by the water in the timbers of “ The Ariel,” at that moment added its impulse to the raging feelings of Dillon; and he cast himself headlong into the sea.
The water thrown by the rolling of the surf on the beach was
necessarily returned to the ocean in eddies, in different places favorable to such an action of the element. Into the edge of one of these counter-currents, that was produced by the very rocks on which the schooner lay, and which the watermen call the “undertow,” Dillon had, unknowingly, thrown bis person; and, when the waves had driven him a ort distance fro the wreck, he was met by a stream that his most desperate efforts could not over
He was a light and powerful swiminer; and the struggle was hard and protracted. With the shore immediately before his eyes, and at no great distance, he was led, as by a false phantom, to continue his efforts, although they did not advance him a foot. The old seaman, who at first had watched his motions with careless indifference, understood the danger of his situation at a glance; and, forgetful of his own fate, he shouted aloud, in a voice that was driven over the struggling victim to the ears of his shipmates on the sands,
“Sheer to port, and clear the under-tow! — sheer to the southward !”
Dillon heard the sounds; but his faculties were too much obscured by terror to distinguish their object: he, however, blindly yielded to the call, and gradually changed his direction, until his face was once more turned towarıl the vessel. The current swept him diagonally by the rocks; and he was forced into an eddy, where he had nothing to contend against but the waves, whose violence was much broken by the wreck. In this state he continued still to struggle, but with a force that was too much weakened to overcome the resistance he met. Tom looked around him for a rope; but not one presented itself to his hands : all had gone over with the spars, or been swept away by the waves. At this moment of disappointment, his eyes met those of the desperate Dillon. Calm, and inured to horrors, as was the veteran seaman, he involuntarily passed his hand before his brow as if to exclude the look of despair he encountered; and when, a moment afterwards, he removed the rigid member, he beheld the sinking form of the victim as it gradually settled in the ocean, still struggling, with regular but impotent strokes of the arms and feet, to gain the wreck, and to preserve an existence that had been so much abused in its hour of allotted probation.
“ He will soon know his God, and learn that his God knows him,” murmured the cockswain to himself. As he yet spoke, the wreck of “The Ariel” yielded to an overwhelming sea; and, after a universal shudder, her timbers and planks gave way, and were swept towards the cliffs, bearing the body of the simplehearted cockswain among the ruins.
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. Born June 14, 1912, Litchfield, Conn. Daughter of Rev. Lyman Beecher, D.D., and sister of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher.
Mrs. Stowe's most remarkable work is “Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life among the Lowly,” first published in numbers (weekly) in “The National Era,” in book-form, in 1852. Its great popularity is shown by the copies sold; no single production ever having equaled it. Translated into all languages, dramatized in twenty different forms, its sales were reckoned by millious instend of by thousands. Her writings, not wanting in deep pathos, originality of thought, and knowledge of human nature, are yet more distinguished for their vigorous common sense.
Other Productions. ** The Mayflower;' 6* Key to Uncle Tom;” “Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands;" “ Dreu, or á Tale of the Dismal Swamp;” Minister's Wooing;” “ House and Home Papers;
“ The Pearl of Orr's Island;" Agnes of Sorrento; " “Men of our Times."
SAMUEL G. GOODRICH. Born Ridgefiell, Conn., 1793. The renowned “ Peter Parley" has published a hundred and seventy-seven volumes :
Sketches from a Student's Window," 1836; “ Fireside Education," 1838; " The Outcast, and other Poems," 1841; “Recollections of a Lifetime, or Men and Things I have seen,” 1856; Miscellaneous Works, thirty vols.; School-Books, twentyseven vols.; “ Peter Parley's Tales," thirty-six vols.; “Parley's Historical Compends," thirty-six vols.; "Parley's Miscellanies," seventy vols. Sales, ten million volumes, indicate the popularity of his various works. JACOB ABBOTT. 1803. “The Young Christian; ?
; " " Corner-Stone; " “ Way to do Good;' Hvary Head;” and the" Rollo Books.” In all, about seventy volumes.
Lydia Maria Child. — This noble woman is always graceful and interesting. Has published “ Hobomok;” “Rebels, a Tale of the Revolution;' • Frugal Housewife; "“ The Mother's Book;” “The Girl's Book;” the Lives of Madame de Staël, Roland, Guyon, and Lady Russell, for “ Ladies' Family Library;". Biography of Good Wives;”. “ Condition of Women in all Ages,” two vols.; “ An Appeal for that Class of American Citizens called Africans; “Philothea ;” “Letters from New York;” “ Fact and Fiction;" “ The Progress of Religious Ideas, embracing a View of every Form of Belief, from the Most Ancient Hindoo Records to the Complete Establishment of the Papil Church;” “Looking toward Sunset; ” “ The Freedmen's Book;” “ A Romance of the Republic.”'
JAMES KIRKE Paulding. 1778. Joint author, with Irving, of first “Salmagundi Papers; ” sole author of second “Salm:gundi; " “ L:1y of a Scotch Fiddle and Jokely;"
"'"- The United States and England;' “ Letters from the South;” “The Diverting History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan;” “Old Times in the New World;' John Bull in America;" “Many Tales of the Three Wise Men of Gotham; “ The New Pilgrim's Progress;” “ The Tales of a Good Woman, by a Doubtful Gentleman;" "Dutchman's Firesiile; “ Westward, Ho!” “Life of Washington;' Slavery in the United States;' “ The Old Coutinental;” “ The Puritan's Daughter.”
WILLIAM GILMORE SIMMS. – Born April 17, 1806, Charleston, S.C. Novelist, historian, and poet. Of this truly original writer, we regret that we can give only the names of his fifty-three volumes of poetry, fiction, history, and biography. “ Lyrical and other Poems; ” “ Early Lays; *; " The Tricolor;" Atalantis; " Martin Faber;" "Guy Rivers ;' *** Yemassee; “ The Partisan;" champe;" "“ Pelayo;
" " Carl Werner;" “ Richard Hurdis; " " Damsel of Darien;" “ Beauchamp;
» Is The Kinsman;" " Katharine Walton; Confession." Rev. WILLIAM WARE. 1797-1816. “Zenobia; ” “ Aurelian;" "Julian;" “Sketches of European Capitals."
LYDIA HUNTLEY SIGOURNEY “ Voral Pieces in Prose and Verse;" “ Letters to Pupils ; ” “ Letters to Young Ladies;” “Whisper to a Bride; ” " Letters to Mothers; " " Child's Book;” “ Girl': Book;" Boy's Book;” “How to be Happy;" 6. Water-Drops; “Olive-Leaves;” “ Scenes in Mv Native Land: " "Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands; " Sea and Sailor;” “ Pocahontas; " " Weeping Willow;” “Voice of Flowers;”. “Sayings of the Little Ones, and Poems for their Mothers;" ? “ Past Meridian;" " Lucy Howarıl's Jownal.”
CATHERINE MARIA SEDGWICK. -"A New-England Tale," 1822; “Redwood; " “ Hope Leslie, or Early Times in Massachmsetts,” two vols.; “ Clarence;" “ The Linwoods, or Sixty Years since in America;" Home; The Poor Rich Man