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FROZEN TO DEATH.
icebergs accompanied considerably materials succession haziness
impenetrable attention evidence atmosphere curiosity possession
“One serene evening in the middle of August, 1775, Captain Warrens, the master of a Greenland whale-ship, found himself becalmed among an immense number of icebergs. Captain Warrens did not feel altogether satisfied with his situation; but, there being no wind, he could not move one way or the other, and he therefore kept a strict watch, knowing that he would be safe as long as the icebergs continued in their respective places. About midnight the wind rose to a gale, accompanied by thick showers of snow, while a succession of thundering, grinding, and crashing noises gave fearful evidence that the ice was in motion. The vessel received violent shocks every moment, for the haziness of the atmosphere prevented those on board from discovering in what direction the open water lay, or if there was actually any at all on either side of them. The night was spent in tacking as often as any cause of danger happened to present itself, and in the morning the storm abated, and Captain Warrens found, to his great joy, that the ship had not sustained any serious injury. He remarked with surprise that the accumulated icebergs, which had the preceding evening formed an impenetrable barrier, had been separated and disengaged by the wind, and that in one place a canal of open sea wound its course among them as far as the eye
could discern. “ It was two miles beyond the entrance of this canal that a ship made its appearance about noon. The sun shone brightly at the time, and a gentle breeze blew from the north. At first some interven. ing icebergs prevented Captain Warrens from distinctly seeing anything but her masts, but he was struck by the strange manner in which her sails were disposed, and with the dismantled aspect of her yards and rigging.
She continued to go before the wind for a few furlongs, and then grounding upon the low icebergs, remained motionless. Captain Warrens' curiosity was so much excited that he immediately leaped into his boat, with several seamen, and rowed towards her.
"On approaching, he observed that her hull was considerably weather-beaten, and not a soul appeared on the deck, which was covered with snow to a considerable depth. He hailed her crew several times, but no answer was returned. Previous to stepping on board, an open port-hole near the main chains caught his eye, and on looking in he perceived a man reclining back in a chair, with writing materials before him, but the feebleness of the light made everything indistinct. The party went upon deck, and having uncovered the hatchway, which they found closed, they descended below.
They first came to the cabin which Captain Warrens had viewed through the port-hole. A tremor seized him as he entered it. Its inmate retained his former position, and seemed to be insensible to the presence of the strangers. He was found to be a corpse, and a green damp mould had covered his cheeks and forehead, and veiled his eye-balls. He had a pen in his hand, and a log-book lay before him, the last sentence in whose unfinished page ran thus:'November 11th, 1762. We have now been enclosed
in the ice seventeen days. The fire went out yesterday, and our master has been trying ever since to kindle it again, but without success. His wife died this morning. There is no relief.'
Captain Warrens and his men hurried from the spot without uttering a word. On entering the prin. cipal cabin, the first object that attracted their attention was the dead body of a female, reclining on a bed in an attitude of deep interest and attention. Her countenance retained the freshness of life, and a contraction of her limbs alone showed that her form was inanimate. Seated on the floor was the corpse of an apparently young man, holding a steel in one hand and a Aint in the other, as if in the act of striking fire upon some tinder which lay beside him. In the forepart of the vessel several sailors were found lying dead in their berths, and the body of a boy was crouched at the bottom of the gangway
stairs. “Neither provisions nor fuel could be discovered anywhere; but Captain Warrens was prevented by the superstitious prejudices of his scamen, from examining the vessel as minutely as he wished to have done. On returning to England he made various inquiries respecting vessels that had disappeared in an unknown way; and by comparing these results with the information which was afforded by the written documents in his possession, he ascertained the name and history of the imprisoned ship and of her unfortunate master, and found that she had been frozen in thirteen years previous to the time of his discovering her imprisoned in the ice.”
HOME AND CLASS WORK. Learn the spellings at the top of the page; and write sentences containing these words.
THE HOMES OF ENGLAND. The stately homes of England,
How beautiful they stand!
O'er all the pleasant land.
Through shade and sunny gleam,
Of some rejoicing stream.
Around their hearths by night,
Meet in the ruddy light!
Or childhood's tale is told,
Some glorious page of old. The blessed homes of England !
How softly on their bowers Is laid the holy quietness
That breathes from Sabbath hours ! Solemn, yet sweet, the churcb-bell's chime
Floats through their woods at morn; All other sounds, in that still time,
Of breeze and leaf are born.
By thousands on her plains,
And round the hamlet-fanes.
Each from its nook of leaves,
As the bird beneath the eaves.
The free, fair homes of England !
To guard each hallowed wall! And green
for ever be the groves, And bright the flowery sod, Where first the child's glad spirit loves
Its country and its God!
THE WELL OF ST. KEYNE.
A well there is in the west country,
er one never was seen ; There is not a wife in the west country
But has heard of the Well of St. Keyne. An oak and an elm tree stand beside,
And behind does an ash tree grow ; And a willow from the bank above
Droops to the water below.
Joyfully he drew nigh;
And there was not a cloud in the sky.
For thirsty and hot was he, And there he sat down
the bank, Under the willow tree. There came a man from the neighbouring town
At the well to fill his pail;
And he bade the stranger hail.