Imágenes de páginas

deep, and strained itself to discover the appearance of some friendly sail. Hour passed after hour; hunger began to assail us, and famine stared us in the face; when, about mid-day, one of the seamen called out "a sail," and instantly there burst forth from every creature a shout of joy and thankfulness. Then we directed our attention to the object, and every eye became fixed, and rivetted upon it. Now there ensued a period of the most heart-racking anxiety, whether the ship would observe us or not. For long the seamen hung in doubt; but at length, by a sudden change of her course, they were convinced that we had been observed, and that she was bearing down upon us. Then our joy was complete when we clearly saw that they were shaping their course our way; friend began to congratulate friend; our mouths were open, and we praised God, and felt as if we were a second time delivered from death. But conceive our indignation and horror, when we saw the ship, now almost within hail, all at once change her course and bear away, as if on purpose to avoid us. Our agitation was extreme; never were men so tossed between hope and hopelessness, joy and grief and indignation; and I doubt not, if the rest were exercised like me, many a prayer was offered to God that he would incline the heart of the stranger to pity our calamity. This prayer was heard; for, after a good while, the ship again stood about and bore down upon us as before. The reason of this double change of purpose we learned after we were taken on board. The captain having come nigh enough to perceivethat we were a boatful of wretched men, without any thing but our lives, began to hesitate whether his provisions would last with such a large increase of mouths to feed; and being a man of a proud and imperious nature, he commanded the ship to bear away and steer another course. But the seamen, communing amongst themselves, and gathering courage from their unanimity, actually refused to work the ship, unless the captain would go to our relief; and at the same time offered to give up half their daily allowance of provisions for our use, if he would do so. Thus compelled and entreated, the captain was fain to comply; and to this magnanimous resolution of a Portuguese crew, to this strong re-action of natural feeling against imperious duty, it is, that, under God, we all owed our lives.

"It was a Portuguese ship bound to Lisbon from some of their settlements in South America, which, in her course over the wide Atlantic, was thus directed by a gracious Providence to deliver so many of us from a fearful death. Being taken on board of her, we had many hardships to endure. We were forced to abide on deck all day exposed to the sun's heat, and to lie all night without covering, under the dews, and damps, and cold; we were often trampled upon by the imperious captain, which our free blood could ill brook; and when one of us murmured aloud, he drew his cutlass, and with a blow laid bare his cheek; and we were thankful that he had escaped with his life. But all these troubles came to an end when we arrived at Lisbon, and the news of our disaster reached our consul there: instantly the British residents took us to the factory and provided for us, as if we had been of their brethren and kindred. After they had refreshed us with comfortable living, and clothed us, and done every thing which our wants required, they proceeded with great wisdom and kindness to put us into a way of doing for ourselves. For those who were seamen by profession, they procured ships; and to those of us who wished to return home, they furnished a free paasage, together with a small sum of money to help us to our friends. The young women they took into their service, and the young lads they bred up for clerks at the factory; but the little children they sent home for education in their own country. And so, Sir, these two little children, whom you parted with in my hand on Greenock Quay, returned again in my hand to their native home, after losing both father and mother, and being themselves so wonderfully preserved. Great, very great, sir, was the kindness of these British merchants; it even extended itself to that proud and cruel captain, who, but for his honest-hearted crew, would have left us all to starve in the midst of the wide ocean. To him they presented a golden bowl with an inscription upon it, commemorative of the preservation of so many of their countrymen, whereof he had been the unworthy instrument."

Such was James 's tale, which he recounted to me that

Sabbath night after the evening sermon, sitting by my own fire-side. Whether it be correct in all its details I cannot tell, for I never compared it with the written and published account. I may, in the telling of it, have given it the colour of my own mind, but I have not consciously added or altered any thing When we had offered our thanksgivings together, and prayed for the survivors and for all who had been instrumental in this preservation, James went his way to another part of the country, and I saw him not again. I learned that, after more than a year, he took to himself another wife, and once more set sail from Greenock as a settler in South Africa, where I trust he still lives to tell the wonderful tale of his deliverance, and to acknowledge and adore the bountiful Providence which preserved him.

The citizens of Glasgow, than whom a more generous and hospitable people live not in mother Scotland or any other land, instantly promoted a subscription for the sufferers from the wreck of the Abeona, and left the administration of it to a man whom I will not name nor characterize otherwise than that he has always been to me the beau ideal of a worthy magistrate and citizen. Some weeks after the calamity was noised abroad, I chanced to be a guest at his hospitable table, and was honoured by him to read, in the hearing of the ladies before they went to the drawing-room, two letters which he felt to be honourable to womanhood. They were from a worthy lady, the wife of a naval officer, who lived on the coast of Kent, entreating that one of the two orphans of the Barry family should be sent to her, that she might bring up the little one as her own child. The letter contained all the arrangements for their meeting in London, drawn up with a mother's care. But our worthy magistrate, while he admired the generosity of this letter, felt it to be his duty first to ascertain the identity of the person before giving up his charge. This prudent delay brought a second letter from the earnest woman, who obtained her wish, being found in all respects worthy of the charge. The other child I afterwards saw at a country village not far from Glasgow, beside the manufacturing works of that nobleminded and generous-hearted citizen. And of them I have heard nothing since. He who is the father of the orphan will be a father to them, and to all who put their trust in him.


Mine is the lay that lightly floats,

And mine are the murmuring, dying notes,

That fall as soft as snow on the sea,

And melt in the heart as instantly!

And the passsionate strain that, deeply going,

Refines the bosom it trembles through,
As the musk-wind, over the water blowing

Ruffles the wind but sweetens it too!

Mine is the charm whose mystic sway
The Spirits of past Delight obey;
Let but the tuneful talisman sound,
And they come, like Genii, hovering round.
And mine is the gentle song, that bears

From soul to soul, the wishes of love,
Ab a bird, that wafts through genial airs

The cinnamon seed from grove to grove.+

'Tie I that mingle in sweet measure

The past, the present, and future of pleasure;

When memory links the tone that is gone

With the blissful tone that's still in the ear;
And Hope from a heavenly note flies on

To a note more heavenly still that is near!

* From " l.lail.i Rookh."

1 "The Pompadour pigeon is the species, which, by carrying the fruit of the cinnamon it. different places, is a great disseminator of this valuable tree."—Sat Brown'* Jilutir. Tub. IK

The warrior's heart, when touched by me,

Can as downy, soft, and as yielding be

As his own white plume, that high amid death

Through the field has shone—yet moves with a breath.

And, oh, how the eyes of Beauty glisten,

When Music has reached her inward soul, . .i."«*Like the silent Stars, that wink and listen

While heaven's eternal Melodies roll.



To whom belongs this valley fair,
That sleeps beneath the filmy air.

Even like a living thing?
Silent—as infant at the breast—
Save a still sound that speaks of rest,

That streamlet's murmuring:

. t. l." i.." 1C

The heavens appear to love this vaie:;.* j,i^- *Ilv;
Here clouds with unseen motion bail, , ,, ,. 4

Or 'mid the silence lie!
By that blue arch this beauteous earth
'Mid evening's hour of dewy mirth

Seems bound unto the sky.

, . . iOh! that this lovely vale were mine—
Then from glad youth to calm decline

My years would gently g'ide;
Hopi. would rejoice in endless dreams,
And Memory's oft-returning gleams

By peace be sanctified.

There would unto my soul be given,
From presence of that graeious Heaven/'

A piety sublime;And thoughts would come of mystic mood.
To make, in this deep solitude,

Eternity of time!

And did I ask to whom belonged . ..This vale ?—1 feel that I have wronged

Nature's most gracious soul I
She spreads her glories o'er the earth,
And all her children from their birth

Are joint heirs of the whole!

Yea! long as Nature's humblest child
Hath kept her temple undefiled

By sinful sacrifice,
Earth's fairest scenes are all his own,
He is a monarch, and his throne

Is built amid the skies.

[ocr errors]



The first of these words I use in the sense of most general acceptance, as the faculty which adds to the existing stock of power and knowledge, by new views, new combinations, etc. In short I define Genius, as originality in intellectual construction; the moral accompaniment, and actuating principle of which consists, perhaps, in carrying on the freshness and feelings of childhood into the powers of manhood.

By Talent, on the other hand, I mean the comparative facility of acquiring, arranging, and applying, the stock furnished by others, and already existing in books or other conservatories of intellect.

By Sense, I understand that just balance of the faculties which is to the judgment what health is to the body. The mind seems to act en, by a synthetic, rather than an analytic process: even as the outward senses, from which the metaphor is taken, perceive immediately, each as it were by a peculiar tact or intuition, without any consciousness of the mechanism by which the perception is realized. This is often exemplified in well-bred, unaffected, and innocent women. I know a lady, on whose judgment from constant experience of its rectitude, I could rely almost as on an oracle. But when she has sometimes proceeded to a detail of the grounds and reasons for her opinions—then, led by similar experience, I have been tempted to interrupt her with, " I will take your advice;" or "I shall act on your opinion; for I am sure you are in the right. But as to the fors and becauses, leave them to me to find out." The general accompaniment of Sense is a disposition to avoid extremes, whether in theory or in practice, with a desire to remain in sympathy with the general mind of the age or country, and a feeling of the necessity and utility of compromise. If Genius be the initiative, and Talent be the administrative, Sense is the conservative branch, in the intellectual republic.

By Cleveaness (which I dare not with Dr Johnson call a low word, while there is a sense to be expressed which it alone expresses,) I mean a comparative readiness in the invention and use of means, for the realizing of objects and ideas—often of ideas, which the man of genius only could have originated, and which the clever man perhaps neither fully comprehends, nor adequately appreciates, even at the moment that he is prompting or executing the machinery of their accomplishment. In short, Cleverness is a sort of genius for instru

* Collected in " The Talisman"

« AnteriorContinuar »