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the wife, the mother, pored over the daily news, to catch some casual intelligence of this rover of the deep! How has expectation darkened into anxiety-anxiety into dread—and dread into despair! Alas ! not one memento shall ever return for love to cherish. All that shall ever be known of her is, that she sailed from her port,“ and was never heard of more.”
The sight of this wreck, as usual, gave rise to many dismal anecdotes. This was particularly the case in the evening, when the weather, which had hitherto been fair, began to look wild and threatening, and gave indications of one of those sudden storms that will sometimes break in upon the serenity of a summer voyage. As we sat round the dull light of a lamp in the cabin, that made the gloom more ghastly, every one had his tale of shipwreck and disaster. I was particularly struck with a short one related by the captain.
“ As I once sailing," said he, “ in a fine stout ship, across the banks of Newfoundland, one of those heavy fogs that prevail in those parts, rendered it impossible for us to see far a-head even in the day-time; but at night the weather was so thick that we could not distinguish any object, at twice the length of the ship. I kept lights at the mast-head, and a constant watch forward to look out for fishing-smacks, which are accustomed to lie at anchor on the banks. The wind was blowing a smacking breeze, and we were going at a great rate through the water. Suddenly the watch gave the alarm of a sail ahead ;-it was scarcely uttered before we were upon her. She was a small schooner, at anchor, with her broadside towards us. The crew were all asleep, and had neglected to hoist a light. We struck her just amidships. The force, the size, and weight of our vessel, bore her down below the waves ; we passed over her, and were hurried on our course. As the crashing wreck was sinking beneath us, I had a glimpse of two or three halfnaked wretches rushing from her cabin ; they just started from their beds to be swallowed shrieking by the waves. I heard their drowning cry mingling with the wind. The blast that bore it to our ears swept us out of all farther hearing. I shall never forget that cry! It was some time before we could put the ship about, she was under such headway. We returned, as nearly as we could guess, to the place where the smack had anchored. We cruised about for several hours in the dense fog. We fired signal guns, and listened if we might hear the halloo of any survivors : but all was silent—we never saw or heard anything of them more."
I confess these stories, for a time, put an end to all my fine fancies. The storm increased with the night. The sea was lashed into tremendous confusion. There was a fearful, sullen sound of rushing waves, and broken surges. Deep called unto deep. At times the black volume of clouds overhead, seemed rent asunder by the flashes of lightning that quivered along the foaming billows, and made the succeeding darkness doubly terrible. The thunders bellowed over the wild waste of waters, and were echoed and prolonged by the mountain waves. As I saw the ship staggering and plunging among these roaring caverns, it seemed miraculous that she regained her balance, or preserved her buoyancy. Her yards would dip into the water : her bow was almost buried beneath the waves. Sometimes an impending surge appeared ready to overwhelm her, and nothing but a dexterous movement of the helm preserved her from the shock.
When I retired to my cabin, the awful scene still followed me. The whistling of the wind through the rigging sounded like funeral wailings. The creaking of the masts, the straining and groaning of bulkheads as the ship laboured in the weltering sea, were frightful. As I heard the waves rushing along the side of the ship, and roaring in my very ear, it seemed as if death were raging round this floating prison, seeking for his prey : the mere starting of a nail, the yawning of a seam, might give him entrance.
A fine day, however, with a tranquil sea and favouring breeze, soon put all these dismal reflections to flight. It is impossible to resist the gladdening influence of fine weather and fair wind at
When the ship is decked out in all her canvas, every sail swelled, and careering gaily over the curling waves, how lofty, how gallant she appears ! How she seems to lord it over the deep! I might fill a volume with the reveries of a sea voyage, for with me it is almost a continual reverie. --but it is time to get to shore.
It was a fine sunny morning when the thrilling cry of “ Land !” was given from the mast-head. None but those who have experienced it, can form an idea of the delicious throng of sensations which rush into an American’s bosom, when he first comes in sight of Europe. There is a volume of associations with the very name.
It is the land of promise, teeming with everything
of which his childhood has heard, or on which his studious years have pondered.
From that time until the moment of arrival, it was all feverish excitement. The ships of war that prowled like guardian giants along the coast ; the headlands of Ireland, stretching out into the Channel ; the Welsh mountains towering into the clouds ; all were objects of intense interest. As we sailed up the Mersey, I reconnoitred the shores with a telescope. My eye dwelt with delight on the neat cottages, with their trim shrubberies and green grass-plots. I saw the mouldering ruins of an abbey overrun with ivy, and the taper spire of a village church rising from the brow of a neighbouring hill-all were characteristic of England. The tide and wind were so favourable, that the ship was enabled to come at once to the pier. It was thronged with people ; some idle lookers-on, others eager expectants of friends or relatives. I could distinguish the merchant to whom the ship was consigned. I knew him by his calculating brow and restless air. His hands were thrust into his pockets; he was whistling thoughtfully, and walking to and fro, a small space having been accorded to him by the crowd, in deference to his temporary importance. There were repeated cheering and salutations between the shore and the ship, as friends happened to recognise each other. I particularly noticed one young woman of humble dress but interesting de
She was leaning forward from among the crowd ; her eye hurried over the ship as it neared the shore, to catch some wished-for countenance. She seemed disappointed and agitated ; when I heard a faint voice call her name. It was from a poor sailor, who had been ill all the voyage, and had excited the sympathy of every one on board. When the weather was fine, his messmates had spread a mattress for him on deck in the shade, but of late his illness had so increased, that he had taken to his hammock, and only breathed a wish that he might see his wife before he died. He had been helped on deck as we came up the river, and was now leaning against the shrouds, with a countenance so wasted, so pale, so ghastly, that it was no wonder even the eye of affection did not recognise him. But at the sound of his voice, her eye darted on his features ; it read, at once, a whole volume of sorrow ; she clasped her hands, uttered a faint shriek, and stood wringing them in silent agony.
All now was hurry and bustle. The meetings of acquaintances
-the greetings of friends—the consultations of men of business. I alone was solitary and idle. I had no friend to meet, no cheering to receive. I stepped upon the land of my forefathers—but felt that I was a stranger in the land.
A THUNDER-STORM IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS.
PROFESSOR JOHN WILSON.
An enormous thunder-cloud had lain all day over Ben Wyvis, shrouding its summit in thick darkness, blackening its sides and base, wherever they were beheld from the surrounding country, with masses of deep shadow, and especially flinging down a weight of gloom upon that magnificent glen that bears the same name with the mountain : till now, the afternoon was like twilight, and the voice of all the streams was distinct in the breathlessness of the vast solitary hollow. The inhabitants of all the straths, vales, glens, and dells, round and about the monarch of Scottish mountains, had, during each successive hour, been expecting the roar of thunder and the deluge of rain ; but the huge conglomeration of lowering clouds would not rend asunder, although it was certain that a calm blue sky could not be restored till all that dreadful assemblage had melted away into torrents, or been driven off by a strong wind from the sea.
All the cattle on the hills and in the hollows stood still or lay down in their fear—the wild deer sought in herds the shelter of the pine-covered cliffs—the raven hushed his hoarse croak in some grim cavern—and the eagle left the dreadful silence of the upper heavens. Now and then the shepherds looked from their huts, while the shadow of the thunder-clouds deepened the hues of their plaids and tartans; and at every creaking of the heavy branches of the pines or wide-armed oaks in the solitude of their inaccessible birth-place, the hearts of the lonely dwellers quaked, and they lifted up their eyes to see the first wi flash-the disparting of the masses of darkness—and paused to hear the long, loud rattle of heaven's artillery, shaking the foundations of the everlasting mountains. But all was yet silent.
The peal came at last, and it seemed as if an earthquake had smote the silence. Not a tree-not a blade of grass moved, but the blow stunned, as it were, the heart of the solid globe. Then was there a low, wild, whispering, wailing voice, as if of many spirits, all joining together from every point of heaven : it died away—and then the rushing of rain was heard through the darkness; and in a few minutes down came all the mountain torrents in their power, and the sides of all the steeps were suddenly sheeted, far and wide, with waterfalls. The element of water was let loose to run its rejoicing race—and that of fire lent it illumination, whether sweeping in floods along the great open straths, or tumbling in cataracts from cliffs overhanging the eagle's eyrie.
Great rivers were suddenly flooded, and the little mountain rivulets, a few minutes before only silver threads, and in whose fairy basins the minnow played, were now scarcely fordable to shepherds' feet. It was time for the strongest to take shelter, and none now would have liked to issue from it; for while there was real danger to life and limb in the many raging torrents and in the lightning's flash, the imagination and the soul themselves were touched with awe in the long-resounding glens, and beneath the savage scowl of the angry sky. It was such a storm as becomes an era among the mountains ; and it was felt that before next morning there would be a loss of lives, not only among the beasts that perish, but among human beings overtaken by the wrath of that irresistible tempest.
DEATH OF RICHARD COBDEN.
MORNING STAR. THE great Assembly of which Mr. Cobden was so eminent a member, has exhibited in solemn and befitting form its sense of the irreparable loss which the house and the country have sustained, by his premature death. In anticipation of the allusions which would be made to the mournful event, the House was full at an early hour. Men of all parties and of every shade of opinion appeared desirous of marking their sense of the national loss. Almost every well-known face which has grown familiar to the habitual attendants upon the Parliamentary debates, was there, save the one upon which death, only a few hours before, had set his seal. Under ordinary circumstances, when the grave opens to