Imágenes de páginas

3. They no sooner made this discovery, than they acquainted the captain of the ship with the affair, desiring him to communicate the same to the pilot, which request he immediately granted, recommended hum to lie by in the night, and slacken sail by day, until they should be past the danger.

4. It is a custom always among the Portuguese absolutely to commit the sailing part, or the navigation of the vessel, to the pilot, who is answerable with his head for the safe conduct or carriage of the king's ships, or those belonging to private traders; and he is under no manner of direction from the captain, who commands in every other respect.

5. The pilot, being one of those self-sufficient men who think every hint given them from others in the way of their profession derogatory from their understandings, took it as an affront to be taught his art, and, instead of complying with the captain's request, actually crowded more sail than the vessel had carried before.

6. They had not sailed many hours, when, just about the dawn of day, a terrible disaster befell them, which would have been prevented if they had lain by. The ship struck upon a rock. I leave to the reader's imagination, what a scene óf horrour this dreadful accident must occasion among twelve hundred persons, all in the same inevitable danger, beholding, with fearful astonishment, that instantaneous death which now stared them in the face.

7. In this distress, the captain ordered the pinnace to be launched, into which having tossed a small quantity of biscuit, and some boxes of marmalade, he jumped in himself, with nineteen others, who with their swords prevented the coming in of any more, lest the boat should sink.

8. In this condition they put off into the great Indian , ocean, without a compass to steer by, or any fresh water but what might fall from the heavens, whose mercy alone could deliver them. After they had rowed four days in this miserable condition, the captain, who had been for some time very sick and weak, died,

9. This added, if possible, to their misery; for, as they now fell into confusion, ever one would govern, and none would obey. This obliged them to elect one of their own company to command 'them, whose orders they implicitly

agreed to follow. This person proposed to the company to draw lots, and to .cast every fourth man overboard; as their small stock of provisions was so far spent, as not to be able, at a very short allowance, to sustain life above three days longer.

10. There were now nineteen persons in all : in this nunber were a friar and a carpenter, both of whom they would exempt, as the one was useful to absolve and comfort them in their last extremity, and the other to repair the pinnace in case of a leak or other accident.

11. The same compliment they paid to their new captain, he being the odd man, and his life of much consequence. He refused their indulgence a great, while; but, at last, they oblīged him to acquiesce; so that there were four to die out of the sixteen remaining persons.

12. The three first submitted to their fate; the fourth was a Portuguese gentleman, who had a younger brother in the boat, who, seeing him about to be thrown overboard, most tenderly embraced him, and, with tears in his eyes, besought him to let him die in his room; enforcing his arguments by telling him that he was a married man, and had a wife and children at Goa, beside the care of three sisters, who absolutely depended upon him; that, as for himself, he was single, and his life of no great importance; he, therefore, conjūred him to suffer him to supply his place.

13. The elder brother, astonished, and melting with this generosity, replied, that, since the divine providence had appointed him to suffer, it would be wicked and unjust to permit any other to die for him, especially a brother, to whom he was so infinitely obliged. The younger, persisting in his purpose, would take no denial; but, throwing himself on his knees, held his brother so fast, that the company could not disengage them.

14. Thus they disputed for a while, the elder brother bidding him to be a father to his children, and recommending his wife to his protection; and, as he would inherit' his estate, to take care of their common sisters : but all he could say could not inake the younger desist. This was a scene of tenderness that must fill every breast, susceptible of generous mpressions, with pity. At last, the constancy of the elder brother yielded to the piety of the other.

15. He acquiesced, and suffered the gallant youth to supply his place, who, being cast into the sea, and a good swimmer, soon got to the stern of the pinnace, and laid hold of the rudder with his right hand, which being perceived by one of the sailors, he cut off the hand with his sword; then, dropping into the sea, he presently caught hold again with his left, which received the same fate by a second blow.

16. Thus dismembered of both hands, he made a shift, notwithstanding, to keep himself above water with his feet, and two stumps,

which he held bleeding upwards. 17. This moving spectacle so raised the pity of the whole company, that they cried out, “ He is but one man, let us endeavour to save his life ;” and he was accordingly taken into the boat, where he had his hands bound up as well as the place and circumstances could permit

. 18. They rowed all that night; and, the next morning, when the sun arose, as if Heaven would reward the piety of this young man, they descried land, which proved to be the mountains of Mozambique, in Africa, not far from a Portuguese colony. Thither they all safely arrived, where they remained until the next ship from Lisbon passed by, and carried them to Goa.



How few of what are now considered necessaries really deserve the name.

So accustomed are we to the many comforts which the ingenuity of man has procured for us, that we can hardly imagine how people could subsist without them. The history of our race, however, furnishes abundant proofs that our real wants are few, and which we cherish are by no means indispensable to our health or happi

2. We should, perhaps, find it difficult to dispense with our tea and coffee, and yet it is not two hundred years since these common beverages were first introduced into Europe. Tea is supposed to have been introduced into England in 1650, when a pound weight sold for about ten guineas. It was only used by princes and grandees until 1657, when a


tea shop was opened in London, and resorted to by all who could afford to drink it.

3. Probably tea was not in general use in families until after the year 1687. Coffee was introduced into England about the year 1652, and was sold only at publick houses, which, from that circumstance, acquired the name of coffee houses. These soon became the resort of literary men and politicians; and, on that account, rather than from any hostility to the berry itself, these houses were all shut up by royal proclamation in 1675.

4. Previous to the introduction of tea and coffee into England, the people were accustomed to drink beer and wine; but their use had long been known in the east. The Chinese were the first who prepared tea; and the following anecdote will show that they are at least as whimsical as Europeans, while it proves that the virtues attributed to tea are either imaginary, or may be found in many plants in our own country, whose cheapness has prevented them from being noticed.

5. When the Dutch first visited China, they could not obtain their tea without disbursing 'money; but, on their second voyage, they carried a great quantity of dried sage, and bartered it with the Chinese at the rate of three or four pounds of tea for one of sage; but at length the Dutch could not procure a sufficient quantity of sage to supply the demand.

6. Tobacco, which is now consumed in such quantities under various forms, was first brought to England from America by Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh, * about the year 1586, and met with an early and most violent opposition. The use of it was exclaimed against by the clergy and physicians, and even king James wrote a book against it, entitled “ The Counter-Blast to Tobacco." 7. In 1580, the usual dinner hour among the

classes in England was eleven in the forenoon; and wooden trenchers for plates were still to be found at the most sumptuous tables in 1592. Forks were not introduced into England before 1611, previous to which time the fingers had been the sole substitute. A writer of that day mentions the inventioa of forks to the great saving of napkins.


Pronounced Raw'ley.

8. Potatoes, that infinitely useful root, which forms almost an indispensable part of our daily meal, and, in some countries, often the entire meal of the poor man, were introduced into Europe by Sir Walter Raleigh on his return from one of his voyages to America. A writer of celebrity remarks, that, in justice to that great man, the potato deserved to have been called a Raleigh.

9. Carpets are now an article of considerable importance, yet, in the year 1580, the floors of the first mansions in England were only strewed with common rushes. Coaches were first introduced into that kingdom from Holland, in 1564, when, says a writer of that day, “the sight of one put both man and horse into amazement."

10. Cards are now the most general, although often abused, means of amuser

sement, and are used in almost every civilized country by both prince and peasant; yet it is not many centuries since they were invented in France for the entertainment of the court. Hats were not worn by men until about the year 1400, previous to which time they wore hoods and cloth caps.

11. We are so accustomed to the conveniences of modern dwellings, that we should find it difficult to live in houses without chimneys or windows; but glass was not used in private houses until the year 1180, and chimneys were not known in the year 1200.

12. Pins are very common, and extremely cheap, although they pass through the lands of twenty workmen before they are ready for sale They were invented in 1543, before which time the ladies used small skewers. The consumption of this little article is now prodigious, and, in England alone, several thousand persons are employed in the pin manufactories.

13. Sugar has long been used, but the consumption of this article is far greater now than it has been at any former period. The consumption of ardent spirits, which has so rapidly increased during the last century, for the extent of its influence on the character of mankind, has no parallel in the catalogue of luxuries. Other luxuries are innocent, or only affect the property of those who use them, but the introduction of ardent spirits, like the blast of the desert, has tainted or destroyed the health, morals, and, consequently, the happiness of millions.

« AnteriorContinuar »