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They went by the coach-saw the pretended William Reed, and proved him to be an imposter. The stran ger, who was a pious attorney, was soon legally satisfied of the barber's identity, and told him that he had advertised him in vain. Providence had now thrown him 65 in his way, in a most extraordinary manner, and he had much pleasure in transferring a great many thousand pounds to a worthy man-the rightful heir of the property. Thus was man's extremity, God's opportunity. Had the poor barber possessed one half-penny, or even 70 had credit for a candle, he might have remained unknown for years; but he trusted God, who never said, "Seek ye my face in vain."
Burning of the Fame and escape of the Passengers.
"We embarked on the 2d inst. and sailed at daylight for England, from the E. Indies, with every prospect of a quick and comfortable passage. The ship was every thing we could wish; and having closed my charge 5 here, much to my satisfaction, it was one of the happiest days of my life. We were, perhaps, too happy; for in the evening came a sad reverse. Sophia had just gone to bed, and I had thrown off half my clothes, when a cry of fire! fire!-roused us from our calm content, and in 10 five minutes the whole ship was in flames! I ran to examine whence the flames principally issued, and found that the fire had its origin immediately under our cabin. (=) Down with the boats!-Where is Sophia? Here. -The children? Here.-A rope to the side! Lower 15 Lady Raffles. Give her to me, says one. I'll take her, says the Captain. Throw the gunpowder overboard. It cannot be got at; it is in the magazine, close to the fire. Stand clear of the powder. Skuttle the water casks!Water! Water!-Where's Sir Stamford? Come into the 20 boat; Nílson! Nilson!-come into the boat. Push off, push off. Stand clear of the after part of the ship.
() All this passed much quicker than I can write it. We pushed off, and as we did so, the flames burst out of our cabin window, and the whole after part of the ship
was in flames. The masts and sails not taking fire, we moved to a distance sufficient to avoid the immediate explosion; but the flames were coming out of the main hatchway; and seeing the rest of the crew, with the 25 captain, still on board, we pulled back to her under the bows, so as to be more distant from the powder. As we approached, we perceived that the people on board were getting into another boat on the opposite side. She pushed off; we hailed her; have you all on board? 30 Yes, all, save one. Who is hè? Johnson, sick in his cot. Can we save him? Nò, impòssible. The flames were issuing from the hatchway. At this moment, the poor fellow, scorched, I imagine, by the flames, roared out most lustily, having run upon the deck. I will go 35 for him, says the captain. The two boats then came together, and we took out some of the persons from the captain's boat, which was overladen. He then pulled under the bowsprit of the ship, and picked the poor fellow up. Are you all safe? Yes, we have got the 40 man: all lives safe. Pull off from the ship. Keep your eye on the star, Sir Stamford. There's one scarcely visible.
We then hauled close to each other, and found the captain fortunately had a compass, but we had no light 45 except from the ship. Our distance from Bencoolen, we estimated to be about fifty miles, in a southwest direction. There being no landing place to the southward of Bencoolen, our only chance was to regain that port. The captain then undertook to lead, and we to follow, 50 in a N. N. E. course, as well as we could: no chance, no possibility being left, that we could again approach the ship; for she was now one splendid flame, fore and aft, and aloft, her masts and sails in a blaze, and rocking to and fro, threatening to fall in an instant. 55 There goes her mizzen-mast; pull away my boys; there
goes the gunpowder. Thank God! thank God!
You may judge of our situation without further particulars. The alarm was given at about twenty minutes past eight, and in less than ten minutes she was in 60 flames. There was not a soul on board at half past eight, and in less than ten minutes afterwards she was one grand mass of fire.
My only apprehension was the want of boats to hold
the people, as there was not time to have got out the long boat, or to make a raft. All we had to rely upon were two small quarter-boats, which fortunately were lowered without accident; and in these two, small, open 65 boats, without a drop of water or grain of food, or a rag
of covering, except what we happened at the moment to have on our backs, we embarked on the ocean, thankful to God for his mercies! Poor Sophia, having been taken out of her bed, had nothing on but her wrapper; 70 neither shoes nor stockings. The children just as taken out of bed, whence one had been snatched after the flames had attacked it. In short, there was not time for any one to think of more than two things. Can the ship be saved?-Nò. Let us save ourselves then. All 75 else was swallowed up in one grand ruin.
To make the best of our misfortune, we availed ourselves of the light from the ship to steer a tolerably good course towards the shore. She continued to burn till about midnight, when the saltpetre, which she had 80 on board, took fire, and sent up one of the most splendid and brilliant flames that ever was seen, illuminating the horizon in every direction, to an extent not less than fifty miles, and casting that kind of blue light over us, which is of all others most horrible. She burnt and 85 continued in flame, in this style, for about an hour or two, when we lost sight of the object in clouds of smoke.
Neither Nilson nor Mr. Bell, our medical friend, who had accompanied us, had saved their coats; but the tail of mine, with a pocket handkerchief, served to 90 keep Sophia's feet warm, and we made breeches for the children with our neck cloths. Rain now came on, but fortunately it was not of long continuance, and we got dry again. The night became serene and star light. We were now certain of our course, and the men be95 haved manfully; they rowed incessantly, and with good heart and spirit; and never did poor mortals look out more for day light and for land, than we did. Not that our sufferings or grounds of complaint were any thing to what has often befallen others; but from So100 phia's delicate health, as well as my own, and the stormy nature of our coast, I felt perfectly convinced that we were unable to undergo starvation, and exposure to sun and weather many days; and aware of the rapidity
of the currents, I feared we might fall to the southward of the port.
At daylight, we recognised the coast, and Rat Isiand, which gave us great spirits; and though we found our105 selves much to the southward of the port, we considered ourselves almost at home. Sophia had gone through the night better than could have been expected, and we continued to pull on with all our strength. About eight or nine, we saw a ship standing to us from the Roads. 110 They had seen the flames on shore, and sent out ves
sels to our relief; and here certainly came a minister of Providence in the character of a minister of the Gospel; for the first person I recognised was one of the missionaries. They gave us a bucket of water, and we 115 took the captain on board as a pilot. The wind, however, was adverse, and we could not reach the shore, and took to the ship, where we got some refreshment, and shelter from the sun. By this time Sophia was quite exhausted, fainting continually. About two o'120 clock, we landed safe and sound: and no words of mine can do justice to the expressions of feeling, sympathy and kindness, by which we were hailed by every one. If any proof had been wanting, that my administration had been satisfactory here, we had it unequivocally 125 from all. There was not a dry eye; and as we drove back to our former home, loud was the cry of—" God be praised."
The Hour of Prayer.-MRS. HEMANS.
1 Child, amidst the flowers at play,
2 Traveller, in the stranger's land,
My Mother's Grave.-ANONYMOUS
It was thirteen years since my mother's death, wher after a long absence from my native village, I stood beside the sacred mound beneath which I had seen her buried. Since that mournful period, a great change had 5 come over me. My childish years had passed away,
and with them my youthful character. The world was altered too; and as I stood at my mother's grave, I could hardly realize that I was the same thoughtless, happy creature, whose cheeks she so often kissed in an 10 excess of tenderness. But the varied events of thirteen years had not effaced the remembrance of that mother's smile. It seemed as if I had seen her but yesterdayas if the blessed sound of her well remembered voice was in my ear. The gay dreams of my infancy and 15 childhood were brought back so distinctly to my mind, that had it not been for one bitter recollection, the tears I shed would have been gentle and refreshing. The circumstance may seem a trifling one-but the thought of it now pains my heart, and I relate it, that those chil20 dren who have parents to love them, may learn to value them as they ought.
My mother had been ill a long time, and I had be