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preserve her mind composed, and keep her seat steadily upon the piece of wood, I betook myself again to the open sea, in search of more wreck. This time I was not so fortunate as before: and al'ter wear)ing myself in vain, I sought to return to my poor wife: but whether she had drifted away from the place where i had left her, or whether my mind, confused by the terrors of the scene, and the screams which came from the burning ship, had lost all aim, it is too certain that I could never find her again; and though I called her name aloud with all my strength, no answer was returned. Thus deprived of her whom my soul loved, I was ready to fold my hands in despair, and resign myself to the mercy of my Creator; but the hope still lingered that I might yet find her in the darkness, and, breathing a prayer for strength, I continued my controversy for life. The night was calm, and the smooth sea favoured much my swimming, and I sometimes felt as if I had received strength beyond my own, for I never thought I could have sustained myself so long. While I was thus without direction of any kind, bearing myself up among the dark waters, careful only to keep away from the burning ship, and the voices of misery which ever and anon came floating towards me, straining my eyes and ears to see or hear any thing which might lead me to her whom I blamed myself for forsaking, I seemed to hear the sound of a ripple, as upon the side of something floating in the water. Following this sound, I swam towards it, thinking it might be either the piece of wreck which bore my wife, or some other thing whereon I might rest my weary limbs. But what was my surprise, when, upon coming close beside it, I found it to be the ship's boat, deeply laden with the people. I was worn out, and laying my hand upon the side of the boat, I prayed them, for the love of God, to take me in and save my life. With difficulty they made room for me, and thus was I preserved from a watery grave. Of my poor wife I never heard or saw any thing more: I fear she perished during the night; for though I desired all to keep a diligent look out for any thing that might be floating about, we saw nothing all that weary night but the burning ship, where so many of our friends and brethren waited their end.
"Oh, sir, it was a fearful sight to witness, as by the light of the flames we easily did, the distraction of the people, and to hear their miserable cries. We observed, that as the fire approached they drew themselves away from it, stood crowded together in the forecastle of the ship, and many were to be discerned upon the bowsprit, clinging and lashing themselves to it, in the faint hope that it might perhaps disengage itself from the burning mass, or be extinguished in the water, and afford them some chance of preservation. Some bolder spirits, who were impatient of such a slow and protracted death, we saw plunge at once headlong into the ocean; but the greater part clung to the wreck, out of the strong instinct of self-preservation, and perhaps in the faint hope that the fire might be extinguished by the waters of the ocean, and still leave wreck sufficient to bear them afloat till some friendly ship might come to their help. But Providence had otherwise determined. About midnight we observed the vessel make a heavy lurch forward; there arose, almost at the same instant, one of the most terrific screams I ever heard; and then followed a deep plunge, and instantly ship and all vanished from our sight. All was dark, all was quiet . Oh! I shall never forget that scream of horror which came from the burning ship, as the people descended quick into the deep; nor shall I ever forget the groan of anguish and dismay with which it was answered from the boat in which I was so miraculously preserved."
"Stop, James, and pause a moment, till I recover myself. What a fearful end for so many of our townsmen, and you left almost alone to tell the tale! Ah me! I well remember how they were set upon this scheme of emigration. I hope it is no discontentment with our condition, or murmuring against God, which hath drawn down upon our city this judgment. Such fearful calamities should not pass unimproved by us; they are sent for the correction of the living, according to the word of the Scripture: Think you that those eighteen men, upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, and slew them, were sinners above all men that dwell in Jerusalem? I till you nay; but except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish. And now that you had been delivered from the fellowship of their direful end, tell me, James, what befel you in the boat."
"The boat, sir, was so crowded that there was barely room for us to sit down, and no room whatever to work her, even if we had had the means; but in such haste had they shoved off, lest they should be overcrowded and sunk, thatthey were without oars or compass, and, whatis worse, without one morsel of meat, and only one small cask of water, which hadbeenbyaceidentljinginthebottomof theboat . But,formy own part, I believe there wasagreat providence in this: for, during such a night of horror none seemed to feel any hunger, but many of us were parched with thirst, and our little cask was nearly exhausted by the break of day. Neverwas a company of the Almighty's creatures in a more helpless condition; without food to eat, without water to drink, without room to turn ourselves, or power to attend to the wants of nature, heart-broken for the loss of our nearest and dearest friends, welay helpless upon the wide ocean, at the mercy of the first high wind that might arise to agitate the bosom of the deep. There we sat looking into each other's faces, and reading our misery in each other's looks. Few words were spoken. Every eye wandered far and wide over the 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 toperceivethat wewere 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.
SONG OF THE SPIRIT OF MUSIC.*
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 I
And the passsionate strain that, deeply going,
Refines the bosom it trembles through,
Ruffles the wind but sweetens it too!
Mine is the charm whose mystic sway
From soul to soul, the wishes of love,
The cinnamon seed from grove to grove.f
'Tis 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;
To a note more heavenly still that is near!
i "The Pompadour pigeon is the species, which, by carrying the fruit of the cinnamon tc different places, is a great disseminator of this valuable tree."—Set Broun'i Ittiutr. Tub. IB.