Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Journeys Through Bookland by Charles H. Sylvester

Part 3 out of 8

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

the wind blows strong from the south, why should we not surprise the
French crew, and carry off the 'Polly'? Once at sea, there is nothing
that could touch her!" Paul's eyes glistened as he spoke, and the
muscles stood out on his brawny arm as he clinched his fist, and added,
"If I could only once lay hold of Dupuis's throat, and save the
'Polly,' I ask no greater fortune!"

Puff, puff, puff, came in rapid succession from Dick's pipe at these
words; at last, the long exhaustive suck arrived in its turn, and the
usual cloud of smoke enveloped his head, which always exhilarated his

"Well, captain, d'ye see," replied Dick, "I'll stick to you in
anything, and there's no doubt that there's a chance of success if the
pretty little Mounseer will only help us. But, you see, from what I
know of womankind, they're very fond and very purlite for their
brothers, but they won't run much risk for 'em. Now if they're in love
they're as good as bulldogs; and so I think it's a pity as how you told
her that you'd got a wife a-looking out for you at home! If you'd have
told her that you were a single man, and p'r'aps given her a kiss when
you gave her the lucky guinea, we might have got a little love to help
us, and then we'd have had a better chance, as she'd have gone off with
us all of a heap."

"Dick, you have no conscience," replied Paul; "you surely would not
deceive the girl in such a heartless manner? No!" continued Paul, "I
have told her the truth, and if she can help us I'll do my best to save
her brother; but, on the other hand, why should not you, Dick, make
yourself agreeable to her? You're not a bad-looking fellow, why should
you not do the love-making?"

Dick made no reply, but thoughtfully puffed at-his pipe; then laying
down his smoking counselor upon the window-sill he thrust his right
hand into a deep breeches pocket, and extracted a black-horn pocket
comb, with which he began at once, most carefully to arrange his hair.

Despite the loss of the "Polly" and the misery of his situation Paul
burst out laughing as he witnessed Dick's cool determination to prepare
for love-making.

"I don't know how these Mounseers begin," said the methodical Dick;
"they're a very purlite people, and so they mayn't like our customs. In
England we take 'em round the waist with both arms, and give 'em a
kiss; but p'r'aps it's better not to begin all at once. I'll just ask
her to sit on my knee at first, so as not to frighten her."

"Better not, Dick," said Paul, laughing; "I'm afraid she wouldn't
understand your modesty. Only make yourself agreeable, but don't touch
her, and let time do the rest."

They were interrupted in their conversation by the turning of the
creaking door-lock, and the jailer and his daughter entered with a loaf
of black bread and two jars of water and of milk, which they placed
upon the table. Léontine had already strung the guinea upon a cord,
which was now suspended from her neck.

"Ha! that looks very well!" said Paul; "few French girls wear the
English king's image round their necks."

"I know an Englishman who wears a French girl's picture in his heart,"
said Dick, who, with a sly wink at Paul as a preface, thus made his
first bold advance. "A what?" inquired Léontine.

"A poor devil," replied Dick, "who doesn't care how long he's shut up
in a French prison with such a pretty little Mounseer for a jailer."

"Ha! ha! you English know how to pay compliments," answered Léontine,
who knew just sufficient English to understand Dick's attempt at

"Yes, we're considered a very purlite people," replied Dick, "and we
have a purlite custom when we go to prison of shaking hands with the
jailer and kissing the hand of his pretty daughter." As Dick said these
words he first grasped the hand of the jailer, and then raised to his
lips, redolent of tobacco, the hand of Léontine; at the same time he
whispered, "Don't forget that I have a secret."

Far from being disconcerted at Dick's politeness, Léontine naively
remarked, "You can't tell a secret before three persons; but we shall
have plenty of opportunities, for you may pay us a longer visit than
may be agreeable."

Dick in reply to this remark suddenly assumed one of his most
mysterious expressions, and winking one eye at Léontine, he placed his
forefinger upon his lips as though to enjoin silence, and whispered in
her ear, "Make an opportunity: the secret's about your brother."

More than two months had passed wearily in the French prison, during
which both Paul and Dick Stone had been buoyed up in inaction by the
hope of carrying into execution a plan for their escape. The only view
from the prison windows was the sea, and the street and beach in the
foreground. The "Polly" still lay at anchor in the same spot, as some
difficulty had arisen between Captain Dupuis and the captain of the
corvette that had to be settled in the law courts.

In the meantime both Paul and Dick Stone had not only become great
friends of the jailer, Jean Dioré, and his daughter, but Dick had
quickly found an opportunity to disclose his secret, which succeeded in
winning the heart of the enterprising Léontine. Dick had made a
declaration of love, and to prove his sincerity he proposed that he
should conduct her direct to her brother in the English prison, whose
release should be effected by an exchange; and he had persuaded her
that, if she should aid in the escape of Paul and the entire crew of
the "Polly," there would be no difficulty in obtaining her brother's
release when the facts should become known to the English authorities.
Paul had added his persuasions to those of Dick Stone; he had excited
the sister's warmest feelings by painting the joys he would feel in
rescuing her brother from a miserable existence, and he had gained her
sympathy by a description of the misery and suspense that his own wife
must be suffering in her ignorance of all that had befallen him.
Léontine was won. She was brave as a lion, and, her determination once
formed, she was prepared to act without flinching.

Many times Dick Stone had lighted his pipe, and puffed and considered
as he took counsel with Paul on the plan that the latter had proposed.
All was agreed upon.

Paul had thus arranged the attempt at escape. All was to be in
readiness for the first gale that should blow from either west or
south. Léontine had provided him with a couple of large files and a
small crowbar about two feet long, which she had purchased in the
village with money supplied by Paul; these she had introduced to his
room by secreting them beneath her clothes.

At various times she had purchased large supplies of string twine in
skeins, which to avoid suspicion she had described as required for
making nets; these she had also introduced daily, until sufficient had
been collected for the manufacture of ropes, at which both Paul and
Dick Stone worked incessantly during the night, and which they
concealed in the daytime within their mattresses, by cutting a hole
beneath. Whenever the time should arrive it had been arranged that
Léontine was to procure the keys of the cells in which the crew of the
"Polly" were confined, and she was to convey the prisoners at night
into the apartment occupied by Paul and Dick, whence they were to
descend from the window by a rope into the fosse that surrounded the
prison; fortunately, this ditch was dry, and Léontine was to fix a
stake into the ground about the fosse, from which she was to suspend a
knotted rope after dark, to enable the prisoners to ascend upon the
opposite side.

The great difficulty would be in avoiding the sentry, who was always on
guard within fifty paces of the spot where they would be forced to
descend, and whence they must afterward ascend from the ditch. The
affair was to be left entirely in the hands of Léontine, who assured
Paul and Dick that she would manage the sentry if they would be ready
at the right moment to assist her. When freed from the prison, they
were to make a rush to the beach, seize the first boat, of which many
were always at hand, and board and capture the "Polly"; once on board
the trusty lugger, in a westerly or southerly gale, and Paul knew that
nothing could overtake her.

Such was the plan agreed upon, and everything had been carefully
prepared and in readiness for some days, but the favorable weather had
not yet arrived. Daily and hourly Paul looked from the grated windows
upon his beloved "Polly," which lay still at anchor idle in the bay,
about fifty yards from the French corvette.

At length, as early one morning he as usual looked out from his prison,
he saw a boat pulling from the shore, followed quickly by several
others conveying cargo, and steering for the "Polly;" the bustle upon
the deck, and the refitting of ropes and rigging, plainly discernible
from the prison window, left no doubt upon Paul's mind that the "Polly"
was about to leave the harbor, and perhaps be lost to him forever.

At this painful sight Dick lighted his pipe, and smoked with violence
until the tobacco was half consumed, when suddenly, in a fit of
excitement that was quite unusual, he hastily put his adviser in his
pocket, and seizing a file from beneath his mattress he immediately
commenced work upon the bottom of an iron bar that protected the narrow

"That's right, Dick," said Paul; "now or never! The clouds are hurrying
up from the sou'-west, and I think it's coming on to blow; as old
Mother Lee says, 'Luck comes from the sou-west'; so bear a hand, and
give me the file when you get tired."

As Paul had observed, the scud was flying rapidly across the sky from
the right quarter, and both men worked hard alternately, and in an hour
they had divided the thick iron bar close to the base.

"Now for the top," said Dick. "We'll soon cut it through, although it's
harder work, as we can't put our weight to the file."

"Never mind the file," said Paul, who now grasped the severed bar in
his iron hands; "with such a purchase I could wrench the bar asunder.
Something shall give way," he said, as with the force of Samson he
exerted every muscle, and wrenched the bar from its loosened base. The
stone in which it was fixed first crumbled at the joint, and then
suddenly cracked, and Paul fell sprawling on his back with the bar in
his hands, while a heavy fragment of stone fell upon the floor.

"Take care, captain," said Dick; "gently with the stones. We shall
alarm the jailer if we make so much noise. Why, you've settled the job
in one pull!"

"Here, Dick," continued Paul, as he sprung from the floor, "take the
bar while I move a stone from the side with the crow. We won't take it
right out, lest the jailer should notice it if he comes with the
breakfast; but we'll loosen it so that we can remove it quickly when
necessary, as the window is too narrow for our shoulders."


Paul then inserted the thin edge of the crowbar, and by gently working
it backward and forward, he removed the stones and enlarged the
aperture sufficiently to admit the passage of a man; he then replaced
the stones, together with the bar, and so arranged the window that no
one would have observed any disturbance unless by a close inspection.
Hardly had they completed their work when footsteps were heard without,
succeeded by the turning of the key in the creaking lock of their door.
In an instant Dick, who had lighted his pipe, leaned upon the window-
sill and looked steadily out of the window; at the same time he puffed
such dense clouds of smoke as would have effectually screened any.
damage that had been done by the work of the crowbar.

The door opened, and fortunately Léontine appeared instead of her
father. She brought the breakfast.

"Quick!" she exclaimed, "there is no time to lose. The wind has
changed, and people say we shall have a gale from the sou'-west. The
'Polly' is to sail to-morrow. Captain Dupuis has loaded her, and he
will himself depart in the morning should the wind be fair. You must
all get ready for the work," continued the determined girl, as her
large eyes flashed with energy.

"We have not been idle, my pretty Léontine," said Paul, as he exhibited
their morning's work, "but we now depend upon you. It will be quite
dark at eight o'clock. You must have the rope ready secured to this
small crowbar, driven into the earth on the other side of the fosse;
the bar is sharp and heavy; it will make no noise if you can manage to
strike it into the ground in exactly the same spot three or four times,
and simply hang this loop upon it, pressed close down to the base." At
the same time he gave her the bar, and a rope coiled, about twenty feet
in length. Paul continued. "You must also be punctual in bringing the
other prisoners here at half-past eight, and tell them to take their
shoes off and to tie them round their waists. But how about the
sentry?" asked Paul.

"Don't be afraid," said Léontine; "I have already arranged everything
this morning. Fortune has favored us; François is to be on guard to-
night; the guard is relieved at eight o'clock, at which time he will
come on duty, therefore we have nothing to fear for some hours. I will
manage François; leave him to me. He is an old lover of mine, and I
have appointed to meet him to-night."

At this confession, thus boldly made, Dick Stone puffed violently at
his pipe, and was almost concealed by his own smoke, when Léontine

"He is a sad fellow, and has given me much trouble, but I shall pay him
out to-night. Look here, Dick," she continued, "if you are worth having
you'll help me quickly to-night, for I shall depend upon you. I have
agreed to meet François this evening at half-past eight, as I have
pretended to accept his love. To avoid detection (as he will be on
guard), I am to be disguised as a soldier, and he will send me the
clothes and arms to-day. I shall keep my appointment, and engage him in
conversation so closely that he will not hear you; but at the last
moment you must be ready to rush upon him and secure him, while I
endeavor to prevent him from giving an alarm. At the same time,"
continued Léontine, "you must promise not to hurt him, for François is
a good fellow, and is very fond of me."

"Only let me get hold of him," cried Dick Stone.

"Will you?" replied Léontine; "then the enterprise ceases at the very
beginning. You shall not escape unless you swear that no harm shall
befall François."

"Do not be afraid," said Paul; but he continued: "It may be a difficult
affair if he is a powerful man--what size is he?"

"Oh," replied Léontine, laughing, "a little fellow, about as big as I
am. You could soon manage poor Francois; he would be a mere child in
the grasp of such a man as yourself."

"All right," said Paul; "then there's no fear of murder; depend upon
me, Léontine, no harm shall touch him."

"Mind you seize the right man," said the gay Léontine, "when I give the
signal, as I shall be in a soldier's uniform and you may mistake me for
Francois. The signal will be 'A friend;' the instant that I give the
word, seize and disarm him before he can fire his musket. You will then
have two muskets, mine and that of Francois, with which you must take
your chance in boarding the 'Polly.'"

"That will do," said Paul; "let me only set foot on the 'Polly's' deck,
and I'll soon settle accounts with Monsieur Dupuis. But now," added
Paul, "we are agreed upon all points, and we depend upon you, Léontine;
do not forget to visit the beach, and see that the oars and a boat-
hook, with a sharp ax to cut the cable, are placed in readiness within
a large boat, to which you must guide us when we leave the prison."

"Never fear," said Léontine; "I shall not fail in my part, and I shall
give the signal as the clock chimes half-past eight; you must be ready
on the instant. Here is a letter," continued the girl, as the tears
started to her eyes, "that I have written for my father; you must leave
it on the table when you escape, and it will explain all; he will then,
perhaps, forgive me when he knows that I risk my life for Victor."
Saying which, she left the room and locked the door behind her.

Léontine now hurried her preparations, while the day passed wearily
away to those who were awaiting the hour of their deliverance.

Paul and Dick Stone counted the hours as the neighboring church clock
struck heavily on the bell.

"We shall run to the cove in twelve hours," said Paul, "if this breeze
lasts; it's blowing a gale out at sea, and the 'Polly' 'll fly like a
witch on a broomstick."

"We've got to take her first," replied the wary Dick. "There's many a
slip 'twixt the cup and the lip!"

"We are short of weapons, no doubt," said Paul; "but we must take off
the sword-bayonets from the muskets, and give them to two of the men. I
will be first on board, and knock down Dupuis. Let the men rush to the
main-mast and secure the arms from the rack the moment that they reach
the deck, while you, Dick, seize the helm. I will tell off four men to
loose the sails and to cut the cable directly that we get on board.
This will leave us ten men to do the fighting. If all goes well we
shall find the better part of the French crew down below, and, once in
possession of the deck, they will be at our mercy. This gale of wind
will start the 'Polly' like a wild duck the instant that the cable is
cut, and we shall be round the corner of the island before the corvette
can bring her guns to bear upon us. Then, with a dark night and a heavy
gale, the 'Polly' can take care of herself."

The day at length passed away, and the sun set. The wind roared through
the narrow streets of the town, and whistled loudly around the pointed
towers of the old prison. "There could not be a better night," said
Paul; "the wind roars like a lion, and nothing will be heard by the

As he was speaking the clock struck eight. As the last tone of the bell
died away the lock of the door creaked as the key turned from the
outside; and presently, without a sound of footsteps, thirteen
strapping fellows, who had been liberated by Léontine, softly entered
the room, carrying their shoes strapped to their belts, as had been
directed by Paul.

No time was lost in useless greeting; but the severed bar of the window
was at once made use of as a lever to remove the heavy stones, and in
less than ten minutes an aperture was made sufficiently large for an

Paul now fastened the rope that had been concealed in his mattress to
the center of the iron bar; then, lowering the other end from the
window until it reached the fosse, he fixed the bar across the base, so
that it was secured on either side by the masonry.

All was now ready, and, lest they should be disturbed, Dick Stone,
having received the key from Léontine, locked the door on the inside.

Paul went first. It was with some difficulty that he squeezed his broad
shoulders through the narrow opening; but once without the wall he
nimbly lowered himself to the bottom, a depth of about sixty feet.

In a much shorter time than might be supposed the active sailors had
succeeded in reaching the bottom of the fosse, without having made the
slightest noise. The wind blew louder than before; there was no moon,
and merely a faint light was given at intervals by the stars that every
now and then peeped from between the driving clouds.

Carefully leading the way, Paul crossed the broad fosse, and felt with
his hand the opposite wall, against which he expected to find the rope
that was to have been arranged by Léontine. He was followed noiselessly
by the crew for about twenty yards, when he suddenly halted as he
caught the dangling rope.

With extreme care Paul now climbed, hand over hand, to the top, having
previously whispered to Dick Stone to hold the end of the rope, and to
ascend when he should give a jerk as a signal of safety.

Arrived at the top, on the soft green turf at the edge of the moat,
Paul lay flat upon the ground, and listened. He could see nothing,
therefore he knew that he could not be seen; but he fancied that he
could hear a suppressed voice in the direction of the sentry. He gave a
slight jerk to the rope, and presently Dick Stone arrived, and crept to
Paul's side, quickly followed by all the others. They all remained flat
upon the grass, which, being about a foot in height, effectually
concealed them in the darkness of the night. Paul now crept forward
upon his hands and knees, followed in the same manner by Dick Stone;
the other men had received orders to jump up and join them immediately
upon hearing the signal, "A friend."

In a few minutes Paul was within a dozen yards of the sentry; and as he
and Dick then lay flat upon the earth they could faintly distinguish
two figures standing close together, and in intervals between the gusts
they could hear voices.

We will return to Léontine.

She had not failed in any of her arrangements. The unsuspecting
François had fallen into her snare, and, delighted with the
assignation, he had run great risk in the hope of securing the love of
the charming Léontine. He had borrowed for her a comrade's uniform and
arms; and thus accoutred as a soldier, she had met him at the appointed
hour. They were now standing together by the edge of the moat, and
Léontine had listened to his warm declarations of affection. François
was enraptured; for more than a year he had vainly sought to win her
love. As the belle of the village, Léontine had many admirers; a
certain lieutenant was reported to be a favored suitor; thus what
chance was there for a private such as François? True or false, the
jealous heart of François had believed these reports, and he had
yielded to despair. Judge of his transport when, within the last few
hours, he had been led to hope; and now, when he had nearly given her
up as lost, he almost held her in his arms. Alas! for military
discipline when beauty leads the attack! François thought of nothing
but his love. There was a railing by the edge of the moat, against
which Léontine had rested her musket; the unwary sentry did the same;
and the two weapons leaned peacefully side by side, as the soldier,
intoxicated by his love, suddenly caught her round the waist with both
arms and pressed his lips to her cheek. At this moment the dull clang
of the prison clock struck the half hour. Struggling in his embrace,
Léontine exclaimed: "Oh, if I could call 'a friend!'"

At the same instant with both her hands she slipped into his mouth a
wooden instrument called a gag, that was used to silence uproarious
prisoners. The signal, "A friend," had been given in a loud voice, as
though in reply to the usual challenge, and before the unlucky François
could relieve himself from the gag he was caught from behind in the
tremendous grasp of Paul's arms, while Dick Stone by mistake rushed
upon Léontine; a vigorous smack on the face from her delicate hand
immediately undeceived him.

"Take that musket," whispered Léontine, quickly, "and come along."

At the same time she seized the remaining musket, while Paul pinioned
the arms of their prisoner with his handkerchief, and threatened him
with instant death should he resist.

No time was lost. Paul threw the sentry over his shoulder as though he
had been a lamb, and the whole party hurried after Léontine, who had
led the way to the beach.

This affair had been managed so dexterously and quietly that no sound
had been heard except the reply, "A friend," that was the preconcerted
signal of attack; but upon arrival at the beach the rattling of the
shingle as the large party hurried toward the boat threatened to
attract a dangerous attention.

A large number of boats were drawn up upon the beach, but Léontine,
without a moment's hesitation, led Paul and his party to one that had
the oars already arranged; and the powerful crew, seizing it by the bow
and the stern, ran it along the steep incline and launched it through
the waves.

Not a word had been spoken, but there was a sound of many feet as the
crew jumped into the boat that could not be mistaken. Paul laid his
struggling burden upon the beach, and Léontine, before she leaped into
the boat, whispered in the captive's ear:

"François, if you give the alarm I'll never love you again." With this
coquettish adieu she followed Paul and Dick Stone, who were the last of
the party.

"Steer straight for the 'Polly,' and give way, my lads! for there's no
time to lose," said Paul, who had taken his position in the bow of the
boat with Dick Stone, both of whom were armed with muskets, while two
men with sword-bayonets were ready to follow them.

"Make a rush on board," said Paul, "and knock down everybody without
asking questions; then seize the arms from the rack and chest."

The water was deep in the rocky bay; thus the "Polly" was moored to a
buoy little more than two hundred yards from shore; a light was visible
on board, and the lanterns of the corvette were also burning about
fifty paces distant, where she lay moored by stem and stern.

They now pulled swiftly but silently toward the lugger. Paul's heart
bounded with hope, while Dick Stone, as cool as ice, but determined
upon the event, waited for the command. They neared the vessel. "What
boat's that?" was the sudden challenge from the lugger's deck, as their
boat came within a couple of oars' length. "A friend!" shouted Léontine
in French, and almost in the same instant a man in the bow of the boat
caught hold of the mizzen shrouds of the lugger with his boat-hook, and
held on.

Paul seized a rope, and in one bound he was upon the lugger's deck,
while Dick Stone followed like his shadow. To knock down the first man
with a double-handed thrust with the barrel of his musket was the work
of a moment, at the same instant Dick struck and felled a Frenchman who
had rushed to the arm-chest. A shot was now fired by one of the French
crew, and several men made a dash at the arm-rack, but Paul was there
before them, and with the butt end of his musket he struck down the
leader of the party.

At this moment a loud shrill cry of alarm was heard from the shore.

"_Ha, le sacre François_!" exclaimed Léontine, who had in the meantime
attached the deserted boat to the lugger's stern. "_Ha, le misérable_!"
she cried; "this is a return for my love!"

Two or three shots were now fired by the French crew, but without other
results than to alarm the ship-of-war; the drum beat to quarters,
lights were seen at her ports; a tremendous flash was accompanied by
the report of a cannon as she fired an alarm-gun; this was quickly
answered by a shot from a battery above the town.

The bells of the church and the prison rang wildly as shot after shot
was fired from the battery, and the alarm spread like wild-fire
throughout the port.

In the meantime, while the fight had been hot upon the "Polly's" decks,
Captain Dupuis, who had been asleep when the vessel was first boarded,
now rushed up from the cabin, and meeting Paul he fired a pistol within
a few feet of his chest; fortunately, at that moment Paul was in the
act of raising his musket, and the ball lodged within the tough walnut
stock; the next instant the weapon fell with a crash upon Dupuis's
skull, who reeled backward, and stumbling against the low bulwarks, he
fell overboard and sunk.

Dick Stone, with his musket in one hand that he had not yet discharged,
was now standing at the helm. The English crew had gained the arms from
the rack, and several shots were fired as they drove the French toward
the bows of the lugger, following them up with the bayonet. Many of the
French jumped overboard, calling loudly to the man-of-war for
assistance, and those who were down below were already helpless, as the
companion ladder was guarded by two armed men. The surprise was
complete; Léontine had hauled her boat alongside, and had climbed on
board; the cable was cut, and the sails were let loose; but the danger
had increased. The French crew who had jumped overboard called to the
corvette to fire and sink the lugger. This they had hitherto been
afraid to do, as their own countrymen were on board. A blue light was
now burned upon the decks of the corvette, and distinctly illumined the
scene just as the sails of the "Polly" filled, as her head turned from
the severed cable, and she met the full force of the gale from shore.
In an instant she leaned over, and as the water rippled from her bows
and the boom was slacked off she started like a wild duck frightened
from its nest.

"Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" rang three hearty British cheers as the
clipper lugger glided rapidly through the dark water and passed the
terrible broadside of the corvette within fifty or sixty yards. But
hardly had the "Polly" cleared the deadly row of guns, when, a flash!
and the shock seemed to sweep her deck as the dense smoke rolled across
her in the midst of the roar of a twenty-four-pounder fired from the
last gun of the tier.

A terrible crash almost immediately followed the shock, and the painter
or rope that attaches the boat to the stern of the lugger suddenly
dangled loosely in the water, as the shot had dashed the boat to atoms;
fortunately the "Polly" had just passed the fatal line of fire. Another
wild "hurrah!" replied to the unsuccessful gun, as the lugger, released
from the boat's weight, seemed to fly still quicker through the water.

"Take the helm for a moment," said Dick to a sailor by his side, and
running amidships he called upon Paul, "Give a hand, captain, and we'll
get the Long Tom round."

In an instant Paul put his powerful shoulder to the long six-pounder
that worked on a pivot, and together, with joint exertions, they
trained the gun upon the stern windows of the corvette. Dick Stone had
just beforehand lighted his pipe when standing at the helm, and as the
long gun bore upon its object he suddenly pushed Paul upon one side,
and emptied his fiery bowl upon the touch-hole. Bang! went the gun, as
the six-pound shot crashed through the cabin windows of the corvette,
and through the various bulk-heads, raking her from stem to stern.

"Hurrah!" again shouted the crew, who like true British sailors were
ready for any fight without reckoning the odds when the cannon once
began to speak, while Paul and several men sponged and reloaded the
long gun, as the corvette had lowered several boats to give chase.

"Hurrah for the saucy 'Polly!'" shouted Paul, as he and Dick now
trained the gun upon the leading boat; but at that moment they turned
the sharp headland of the rocky island, and both the corvette and her
boats were obscured from their view.

It was blowing hard, but the water in the bay was perfectly smooth, as
the wind was directly off the shore, and the "Polly" flew like a race-
horse toward the open sea. In a few minutes she passed the last
headland, and rushed at foaming speed over the long swell of the
Atlantic. With the gale fairly on her quarter, there was nothing that
could touch the "Polly." There was no fear of a chase, although the
heavy booming of the alarm-guns could still be heard in the distance.

Three Frenchmen had been killed in the fight, and their bodies, which
now lay on deck, were thrown overboard; two were prisoners down below;
the remainder of the crew had escaped by jumping overboard, with the
exception of the treacherous Captain Dupuis, who had sunk when knocked
down by Paul.

Dick Stone was now at the helm; his pipe was well alight; and could his
features have been distinguished in the dark they would be seen to wear
an unusually cheerful expression as he said to Paul, "It wouldn't have
been purlite of us to leave the Mounseers without a salute, and without
my pipe we couldn't have fired the gun. It's a wonderful thing is a
pipe! Ain't it, captain?"

"Nor'-nor'-east is the course, Dick," replied Paul, who was at that
moment thinking of his wife, and the happiness it would be to meet her
on the following day; at the same time he was anxious lest any
misfortune should have occurred during his long absence.

"Nor'-nor-east it is, captain," replied Dick, with a sailor's
promptitude; "but I can't help larfing when I think of Captain Doopwee,
who has put a cargo on board the 'Polly' all for nothing, and has got
knocked on the head into the bargain. Well, sarve him right, sarve him
right," continued Dick, musingly; "he was a, very purlite varmint, too
purlite to be honest, by a long chalk." After this curt biographical
memoir of the late Captain Dupuis, Dick Stone applied himself to his
pipe and kept the "Polly's" course N.N.E.

While Paul and Dick Stone were upon deck Léontine was lying upon a cot
within the cabin. The excitement of the day had nearly worn her out,
and despite the uneasy movement of the vessel, which tried her more
severely than any danger, she fell asleep in the uniform of a private
in the French chasseurs, and she dreamed happily that her brother
Victor was released.



Almost every ancient or primitive people makes an attempt to explain
how the world and human beings came into existence. They all take it
for granted that things did not simply "happen," but that some being
with intelligence had a hand in the making of things. Accounts as told
by various peoples are here given.

There were various stories of the creation told by the Greeks and
Romans, but the accounts differed only in detail. Most of the Greeks
believed that there was a time when the earth and the sea and the sky
did not exist. All the elements of which they are made existed, but
were jumbled together in a confused mass, which was called Chaos. Over
this Chaos ruled the deities Erebus or Darkness, and Nox or Night,
although it would seem that there could not have been much need of
rulers. Strangely enough, the children of this gloomy pair were Aether
and Hemera, who stood for Light and Day, and they felt that if they
were to become rulers, they wanted a more cheerful realm than Chaos
seemed to be. With the help of Eros (Love), they created Gaea (The
Earth), Uranus (The Sky), and Pontus (The Sea). Uranus married Gaea,
and before long these two took the power from Aether and Hemera and
reigned in their stead. To this god and goddess were born twelve
children--six sons and six daughters--who were known as Titans. As they
were of gigantic size and were extremely strong, their father feared
that they might treat him as he had treated Aether, and to prevent this
he shut them up in an underground cavern.

Naturally Gaea was not pleased with this treatment of her children, so
she helped Saturn, the youngest of the Titans, to escape, and gave him
a scythe with which he might revenge himself on his father.

After defeating Uranus, Saturn released all his brothers and sisters,
and made them swear to be faithful to him as the new ruler. He then
chose as his queen Rhea, a goddess who was both good and beautiful, and
began his reign in happiness.

When his first child was born, however, Saturn remembered that Uranus
had foretold his overthrow by one of his own children, and to prevent
such a disaster he did a very strange and heartless thing---he
swallowed his new-born son. Five children he got rid of in this manner,
but when the sixth, Jupiter, was born, Rhea resolved to save him. She
therefore wrapped up a stone and gave it to her husband instead of the
child, and he, suspecting nothing, swallowed it. The young god grew up
in concealment, and very rapidly he grew, for when he was but a year
old he was strong enough to make successful war on his father and to
take the supreme power from him. And then, strangest thing of all, he
forced Saturn to disgorge all the children he had swallowed.

Either because he was generous or because he thought his kingdom was
too great for him, Jupiter divided it with his brothers, Neptune and
Pluto, but he himself remained supreme.

The gods themselves dwelt not on the earth, but above the top of
Olympus, a mountain peak of Greece; and thus the entire Earth was
uninhabited. However, it was not allowed to remain so, for Jupiter
appointed Prometheus, a Titan, who had helped him in his war against
Saturn, to make an inhabitant for the Earth. Prometheus accordingly
moulded a man out of clay, and taking him before the gods, persuaded
each one to bestow upon him some gift. A woman was made later, and from
these two were descended all the peoples of the earth.


As the Norse peoples, in their land which for so large a part of the
year was ice-bound, dreaded the long, hard winter, and looked forward
to the blessings brought by the summer, they imagined that the evil
forces in the world worked through cold and darkness, the good forces
through warmth and light. Thus they feared and hated the "frost
giants," while they loved and reverenced the gods, whom they pictured
as living in a world of brightness and warmth.

According to the Norse religion, or mythology, the world began in a
contest between heat and cold. At first there was no earth; nothing
existed except the yawning abyss, Ginungagap, which separated the
world, or spacer, of mist and cold and darkness, on the north, from the
world of fire and brightness, on the south. The mist world was called
Niflheim; the fire world, Muspelheim. From a great fountain in the mist
world there sprang twelve rivers, which after flowing far from their
source tumbled their waters into the Ginungagap. Here the water was all
turned to ice, with which in time the huge abyss was filled. Sparks and
warm winds from Muspelheim, coming into contact with this ice, melted
it, so that there hung always over the ice chasm a dense vapor. This,
in turn, gradually took shape, and formed the giant Ymir and the cow
Audhumbla; and for a season these were the only two creatures in all
the expanse of space. Ymir fed upon the cow's milk, and she, in turn,
got what nourishment she could by licking the salt and the hoarfrost
from the ice.

One day as the cow licked a huge ice block, there appeared the hair of
some being, and as she remained persistently at the same lump, within a
short time she had set free a beautiful, strong god--the god Bori. Bori
was the ancestor of all the gods, as Ymir was the ancestor of all the
giants; and since the gods were as good as the frost giants were evil,
it was plain enough to both that they could not live together.

The struggle between the races lasted for ages on ages, but finally
Odin, Vili and Ve, the grandsons of Bori, succeeded in putting to death
Ymir, the greatest and worst of the giants. And in killing him they
accomplished much more than they expected; for from his wounds the
blood gushed in such streams that it drowned all the wicked giants
except Bergelmir and his wife, who saved themselves in a boat. Had
they, too, but died, there would have been, to the end of time, no
giants to trouble the gods; but their descendants kept up from
Jotunheim, their home at the end of the world, their plots and warrings
against the gods.

Odin, who was from the first the wisest and strongest of the gods,
gazed upon the huge corpse of the slain giant, and then called the
other gods about him.

"We cannot waste," he said, "the body of this giant. Where is the use
of our power and wisdom if we cannot, out of this evil thing, make
something good and beautiful?"

Eagerly the gods set to work. It was by far the most interesting task
they had ever been called upon to perform, and right well they
performed it. In the exact center of the ice abyss they formed, of
Ymir's flesh, the earth, and about it and through it they caused his
blood to flow, as the sea, the rivers and the lakes. Of his teeth they
made steep cliffs to front the sea, and of his bones they formed
mountains and hills. His curly hair became grass and trees and flowers,
and his eyebrows were set about the new earth as a high fence, to keep
out the revengeful giants. Then, taking up the great skull, the gods
set it over the earth to form the arch of the heavens, while the brains
that it had contained they scattered about as clouds.

No wonder the gods were pleased with their work! But Odin saw that
there was one thing lacking.

"Were we ourselves to dwell on this new created earth," he said, "it
would be well; for to a god's eyes all things are clear. But those whom
we shall fashion to inhabit it shall see with other eyes than ours, and
lights will be needed--lights for day, and lights for night."

This was comparatively easy, after the work that had already been
performed. All the gods set to work catching sparks from Muspelheim,
and there was great rivalry as to which one should collect most. Some
of the sparks were scattered through the sky as stars, but the
brightest ones were put aside and kept for a greater purposes. When
enough had been gathered, the gods made from the whitely glowing ones
the moon; from the fiery red and golden ones, the sun. These lights
they placed in chariots, to which were harnessed swift, tireless
steeds; but it was evident to all that the steeds could not be trusted
to take the chariots across the sky unguided. Feeling that they could
not spare two of their own number for this work, the gods chose Sol
(sun) and Mani (moon), the daughter and son of a giant, who had named
his children after the new lights because of their beauty. The young
drivers were given instructions as to just the hours when they must
begin their journeys across the sky, as to how rapidly they must drive,
and as to the paths they must take; and never did the gods find reason
to be dissatisfied with the work of Sol and Mani.

Then two more chariots were made. To one was harnessed a black horse,
named Hrimfaxi, whose mane dropped hoarfrost and whose bit scattered
dew; while to the other was fastened the beautiful silver-white steed
Skinfaxi, from whose shining mane beams of light were shed through all
the earth. The giantess Night was entrusted with the first of these
chariots, while the young god Day was made the driver of the other.
Each was told to drive about the earth once each twenty-four hours.

The gods could make all these beautiful things, but they could not keep
the giants from making ugly and evil things; and so there were two
fierce wolves, set on by the giants, who constantly chased the sun and
moon across the sky, attempting to catch and devour them. Occasionally
one of these wolves would overtake his prey, and would start to swallow
it, thus producing what was known on earth as an eclipse. But always,
in some way or other, they were frightened away before the light of the
heavens was utterly destroyed. When the gods had expressed their
pleasure in all that had so far been done, Odin said, "Where shall we
fix our own dwelling? Beyond the earth, beyond the ocean, live the
giants; but neither on the earth, nor in the earth, nor above the earth
s there any living thing." "You mistake, Father Odin," cried one of
his sons. "If you but look down, you will see that within the earth are
many living things."

All the gods looked down, and there, sure enough, were innumerable
little creatures crawling in and out of the earth. They had been bred
by the earth, and were little better than maggots; but the gods gave
them a form which somewhat resembled that of the gods themselves,
though smaller, and gave them intelligence and wonderful strength. Some
of the new little creatures were ugly and dark and deformed; these the
gods called gnomes or dwarfs, and to them they gave homes underground,
with power over all that was hidden in the earth. But for the
beautiful, fair creatures whom they called elves and fairies, the gods
made a home somewhat above the earth, where they might live always
among flowers and birds and butterflies.

"And now," said Odin, "let us build our own home in the heavens, above
that of the fairies. This green earth which we have made we shall
reserve for a race to be, which shall be our especial care."

Far in the blue heavens, therefore, above the mountain tops, above the
clouds, was built the wonderful city of Asgard, home of the gods. In
the center was the palace Gladsheim, of pure gold, within whose
precious hall there were set golden thrones for all the gods. Odin had,
too, a great palace of his own, called Valhalla, and each god and each
goddess had a home built of precious metals and adorned with gleaming

Then, last of all, Father Odin turned his thoughts to the making of
man. With two of his brother gods he walked, one day, on the seashore
in the beautiful empty earth which they had made; and suddenly he saw
at his feet the trunks of two trees, an ash and an elm.

"These will serve our purpose," said Odin. But even after he had spoken
he hesitated long, for he knew that it was a solemn thing which they
were about to do-this making of human beings with souls and with the
power to suffer. At last he breathed upon the logs, and behold! they
lived and moved, and assumed a form like that of the gods themselves.
The other two gods bestowed upon them intelligence and beauty; and
then, with blessings upon the newly created pair, the three gods took
their way back to Asgard.

From this first man and woman sprang all the human race, which dwelt
upon the earth under the constant care of the gods. Sometimes, at
sunset, men and women standing in the fields would fancy they caught
gleams from the golden palaces of the gods in the heavens; and often,
when the rain had washed the air, they saw clearly the gorgeous bridge
over which the gods passed from their city of Asgard to the earth. For
this bridge was nothing else than the rainbow.


The various tribes and families of American Indians held different
views as to the origin of the world. Some views differed but slightly,
while in other instances absolutely dissimilar stories were told. One
of the Algonkin tribes told how the queen of heaven, Atahensic, had a
grievous quarrel with her lord, Atahocan. Furious, the king of the
heavens seized his wife and threw her over the walls of the sky. Down,
down, she fell toward the vast abyss of waters which filled all space.
But as she was about to sink into the water, suddenly a tortoise raised
its back above the surface of the waters, and thus afforded her a
resting place. The tortoise grew to an immense size, and finally became
the dwelling place of all human beings. The Indians believed that the
attempts of the tortoise, wearied of one position, to settle itself
more comfortably, caused the earthquakes.

A tradition of the Ottawa Indians is that the earth was found in the
claws and jaws of a muskrat. It grew and grew upon the surface of the
water, and the Great Spirit, who sat above watching its growth, sent
out a wolf and told him to run around the earth and then return to him,
that he might see how large the new island had become. Within a short
time the wolf was back, so the Great Spirit knew that the earth had not
yet become very large. Later he sent out the same messenger again, and
this time the wolf was gone for two years. A third time he sent the
wolf forth, and as he returned no more, the Great Spirit knew that the
earth had become a huge place, fit to live upon.

In the legends of the Athapasca, as in those we have just read, we hear
of the great world of water. A mighty bird, "whose eyes were fire,
whose glances were lightning and the clapping of whose wings was
thunder," suddenly flew down and moved along the surface of the water.
Instantly the earth rose and remained above the surface of the water,
and this same all-powerful bird then called into being the different

The Quiché have a similar legend, but it is very quaintly phrased:
"This is the first word and the first speech. There were neither men
nor brutes; neither birds, fish, nor crabs, stick nor stone, valley nor
mountain, stubble nor forest, nothing but the sky. The face of the land
was hidden. There was naught but the silent sea and the sky. There was
nothing joined, nor any sound, nor thing that stirred; neither any to
do evil, nor to rumble in the heavens, nor a walker on foot; only the
silent waters, only the pacified ocean, only it in its calm. Nothing
was but stillness, and rest, and darkness, and the night." A mighty
wind passed over the surface of this water, and at the sound of it the
solid land arose.

The Indian legends as to the creation of man are as varied as those of
the creation of the world. Some relate that human beings simply sprang
from trees or from stones, but most of them agree in regarding the
Great Spirit, uncreated and eternal, as the creator of man.

The Ojibway legend tells of two cranes, a male and a female, created by
the Great Spirit in the upper world and sent through an opening in the
sky to seek a home for themselves on the earth. They were told that
they might choose any spot as their home, and that upon making choice
they would immediately be changed into a man and a woman. They visited
one place after another, and finally made choice of a land about Lake
Superior, because here they were certain that there would always be
plenty of water and plenty of fish for food. As soon as they alighted
and folded their wings, the Great Spirit turned them into human beings.

The Winnebago Indians believed that after the Great Spirit had created
the earth and the trees and the grass, he took a piece out of his heart
and thereof made a man. Later he made a woman, but a bit of ordinary
flesh served to make her. Thus, the Winnebagoes said, man was wise and
great, but woman was much wanting in sense.

[Footnote: From _The Idea of a University._]


Hence it is that it is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is
one who never inflicts pain. This description is both refined and, as
far as it goes, accurate. He is mainly occupied in merely removing the
obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about
him; and he concurs with their movements rather than takes the
initiative himself. His benefits may be considered as parallel to what
are called comforts or conveniences in arrangements of a personal
nature; like an easy chair or a good fire, which do their part in
dispelling cold and fatigue, though nature provides both means of rest
and animal heat without them. The true gentleman in like manner
carefully avoids whatever may cause a jar or a jolt in the minds of
those with whom he is cast--all clashing of opinion, or collision of
feeling, all restraint, or suspicion, or gloom, or resentment; his
great concern being to make every one at his ease and at home. He has
his eyes on all his company; he is tender towards the bashful, gentle
towards the distant, and merciful towards the absurd; he can recollect
to whom he is speaking; he guards against unseasonable allusions, or
topics which may irritate; he is seldom prominent in conversation, and
never wearisome. He makes light of favors while he does them, and seems
to be receiving when he is conferring. He never speaks of himself
except when compelled, never defends himself by a mere retort; he has
no ears for slander or gossip, is scrupulous in imputing motives to
those who interfere with him, and interprets everything for the best.
He is never mean or little in his disputes, never takes unfair
advantage, never mistakes personalities or sharp sayings for arguments,
or insinuates evil which he dare not say out. From a long-sighted
prudence, he observes the maxim of the ancient sage, that we should
ever conduct ourselves towards our enemy as if he were one day to be
our friend. He has too much good sense to be affronted at insults, he
is too well employed to remember injuries, and too indolent to bear
malice. He is patient, forbearing, and resigned, on philosophical
principles; he submits to pain, because it is inevitable, to
bereavement, because it is irreparable, and to death, because it is his

If he engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined intellect
preserves him from the blundering discourtesy of better, perhaps, but
less educated minds; who, like blunt weapons, tear and hack instead of
cutting clean, who mistake the point in argument, waste their strength
on trifles, misconceive their adversary, and leave the question more
involved than they find it. He may be right or wrong in his opinion,
but he is too clear-headed to be unjust; he is as simple as he is
forcible, and as brief as he is decisive. Nowhere shall we find greater
candor, consideration, indulgence: he throws himself into the minds of
his opponents, he accounts for their mistakes. He knows the weakness of
human reason as well as its strength, its province and its limits.

If he be an unbeliever, he will be too profound and large-minded to
ridicule religion or to act against it; he is too wise to be a
dogmatist or fanatic in his infidelity. He respects piety and devotion;
he even supports institutions as venerable, beautiful, or useful, to
which he does not assent; he honors the ministers of religion, and it
contents him to decline its mysteries without assailing or denouncing
them. He is a friend of religious toleration, and that, not only
because his philosophy has taught him to look on all forms of faith
with an impartial eye, but also from the gentleness and effeminacy of
feeling, which is the attendant on civilization.



Father of all! in every age,
In every clime adored,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!

Thou Great First Cause, least understood:
Who all my sense confined
To know but this, that Thou art good,
And that myself am blind;

Yet gave me, in this dark estate,
And binding nature fast in fate,
Left free the human will.

What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than hell to shun,
That, more than heaven pursue.

What blessings Thy free bounty gives,
Let me not cast away;
For God is paid when man receives:
T' enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to earth's contracted span
Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think Thee Lord alone of man,
When thousand worlds are round.

If I am right, Thy grace impart,
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, oh! teach my heart
To find that better way.

Save me alike from foolish pride,
Or impious discontent,
At aught Thy wisdom has denied,
Or aught Thy goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's woe,
To hide the fault I see;
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.

Mean though I am, not wholly so,
Since quickened by Thy breath;
Oh, lead me wheresoe'er I go,
Through this day's life or death.

This day, be bread and peace my lot:
All else beneath the sun,
Thou know'st if best bestowed or not,
And let Thy will be done.

To Thee, whose temple is all space,
Whose altar earth, sea, skies,
One chorus let all being raise,
All nature's incense rise!



You know we French stormed Ratisbon:
A mile or so away,
On a little mound, Napoleon
Stood on our storming day;
With neck out-thrust, you fancy how,
Legs wide, arms locked behind,
As if to balance the prone brow
Oppressive with its mind.

Just as perhaps he mused, "My plans
That soar, to earth may fall,
Let once my army-leader Lannes
Waver at yonder wall,--"
Out 'twixt the battery-smokes there flew
A rider, bound on bound
Full-galloping: nor bridle drew
Until he reached the mound.

[Illustration: WE'VE GOT YOU RATISBON!]

Then off there flung in smiling joy,
And held himself erect
By just his horse's mane, a boy:
You hardly could suspect---
(So tight he kept his lips compressed,
Scarce any blood came through)

You looked twice ere you saw his breast
Was all but shot in two.

"Well," cried he, "Emperor, by God's grace
We've got you Ratisbon!
The Marshal's in the market place,
And you'll be there anon,
To see your flag-bird flap its vans
Where I, to heart's desire,
Perched him!" The chief's eye flashed; his plans
Soared up again like fire.

The chief's eye flashed; but presently
Softened itself, as sheathes
A film the mother eagle's eye
When her bruised eaglet breathes.
"You're wounded!" "Nay," the soldier's pride
Touched to the quick, he said:
"I'm killed, Sire!" And his chief beside,
Smiling, the boy fell dead.


This little poem is very different from the poems of Longfellow, which
we read a few pages back. It is very nervous and tense, and as you read
it, it seems jerky in movement, not smooth as the waters of the
Charles. Then again, sometimes words are omitted that make it a little
difficult to understand at first reading. Moreover, Browning uses words
in curious ways that Longfellow would not have thought about.

There are many interesting things to learn about this incident,
however, and after we have learned them, we appreciate the poem very
much better. First we need to know the following facts:

_Ratisbon_, or _Regensburg_, is a city in Bavaria, on the Danube River.

Napoleon Bonaparte, the great Emperor of the French, was much the man
the poem shows us.

_Prone brow_ means that Napoleon's brow was inclined forward, that his
head was drooping.

_Lannes_ was a famous French marshal, who showed remarkable powers of
leadership. Both his legs were shot away at the Battle of Aspern, and he
died a few days later at Vienna.

_Out-thrust full-galloping, flag-bird_, are compound words which
Browning has formed for his own use.

_Fancy_ in the fifth line means _can imagine_.

_Vans_ in the fourth stanza is an old word no longer in use. It means

The eagle has what is really a third eyelid, a thin translucent
membrane, which naturalists call the nictitating, or winking, membrane.
It may be drawn over the eye independently of the other lids. You may
have seen ducks, chickens or other birds drawing this milky film back
and forth over their eyes as they looked at you.

_Nor bridle drew_, and _his chief beside_, are phrases in which Browning
has used the words out of their natural order. Can you find other
similar expressions?


1. Incidents:

(a) Napoleon watches the storming of Ratisbon.

(b) He thinks it may be a failure.

(c) He sees a rider galloping from out the smoke of battle.

(d) The rider reaches Napoleon, leaps from his horse and clings to its

(e) The rider announces the fall of Ratisbon.

(f) Napoleon rejoices.

(g) He speaks to the boy of his wound.

(h) The boy answers and falls dead.

2. The whole story might be summed up as follows: _A wounded youth
brings to Napoleon news of the fall of Ratisbon, and expires at the
emperor's feet._


There are just two persons in this little tragedy, a boy and an
emperor. Let us see what they were like; the boy is of greater interest
than the emperor.

1. The Boy:

(a) From the way he rode his horse, we know he must have been strong
and athletic.

(b) He was gay and joyful, for he smiled as he dismounted from his
horse, and he smiled as he fell dead.

(c) That he was strong-willed, we know; for his tightly compressed lips
held back the blood, and he concealed his suffering.

(d) He was courageous: he put the flag in the market place, as we are
told in the fourth stanza.

(e) He was ambitious, we know; for it satisfied his heart's desire to
win Ratisbon.

(f) He was proud, else he would not have noticed that the emperor
called him wounded. Had it been a mere wound, he would never have

2. At different places in the poem, we find that Napoleon was
_ambitious_, yet _anxious_ over the outcome of the battle; that he was
_thoughtful_ and _resourceful_; that while he _rejoiced_ in his victory,
he _sympathized_ with the wounded boy.


The poem is like a little drama or play in one scene. Place Napoleon in
his uniform on a little mound, and see him standing there with his head
thrust forward, looking at the storming of a city a mile or so away.
Things are indistinct in the background because the smoke of the battle
obscures the walls and towers of the city. However, Napoleon is not so
far away but that he hears the roar, and sees the denser clouds rise at
each new discharge of battery guns. From between the clouds comes the
single horse with its youthful rider galloping at full speed, without
an instant's pause, until the mound is reached. We see the young man
leap from his horse and grasp its mane to keep himself from falling,
but though his lips are compressed, we see his eyes smiling brightly as
he tells the emperor the great news.



One of the most daring of those who engaged in the sea-fights of the
American Revolution was Daniel Hawthorne, commander of a privateer, a
man whose courage and enterprise won for him the title of "Bold
Daniel." He came of one of the earliest American families, one that had
been established in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1637, and had contributed
not a little to the fame of that seaport, for his ancestors had been
leaders among those whose stern and narrow views of justice had led
them to persecute the Quakers and later to put to death innocent people
during the awful period of the Salem witchcraft. Yet the same hardihood
and fearless uprightness that had won esteem for Daniel Hawthorne had
distinguished the family from the very first, and was passed on to the
brave commander's descendants. His son Nathaniel, like the long line of
notable men who had gone before him, possessed a strict sense of right
and wrong, much courage and an especial fondness for the adventurous
life on the sea. Though he contributed nothing to the celebrity of his
forefathers, his son and namesake, the novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne,
born in Salem, on July 4, 1804, gained for the old New England family a
glory that will last.

It was in the home built by his father's father that Nathaniel was born
and that he spent the first four years of his life. Yet he was never
privileged to hear from the old captain's lips of the exciting sea-
skirmishes in which the "Fair America," under the command of "Bold
Daniel," had encountered and held her own against British vessels, for
his grandfather had died many years before. Nor did the young boy ever
know the pleasure of companionship with his father, who died in South
America in 1808. In a great measure, too, he was deprived of
association with his mother from the time when, following her husband's
death, she removed with her children to her father's home, in another
part of Salem. So deeply did she feel her loss that she shut herself
away from the world during the remainder of her lifetime, and kept such
strict privacy that she did not even take her meals with her family.
The children were naturally quiet and reserved, and with the example of
their mother's seclusion always before them, they took little part in
the life outside of their home. Nathaniel did not like school, and,
being under the care of relatives who allowed him much freedom, he
missed a considerable part of the early school training that most boys
receive. Yet his time was not wasted, for there were good books in his
home, and these he read of his own free will.

When he was about eight or nine years of age, his mother took her
children to live for a time upon property owned by her family on the
shore of Lake Sebago, in Maine. Then began a period of great delight
for the young boy and his sisters. As the land was mostly covered with
woods and the settlements were far apart, there were endless
opportunities for fishing and hunting and roaming about the woods or
spending long, uninterrupted hours with favorite authors. In the winter
Nathaniel passed much time in skating on Lake Sebago, feeling wholly
free and at home in the midst of the wild life of nature.

So far as the boy's wishes were concerned, these days in Maine might
have continued indefinitely; but his mother, feeling that he needed the
discipline of regular study, sent him back to Salem to be prepared by a
private teacher for entrance into Bowdoin College. The result of this
training was that when he was about eighteen he became a member of the
class at Bowdoin to which Longfellow and Horatio Bridge belonged, and
thus began a career at college in which he proved himself a somewhat
wayward student. The grind and drudgery of courses uninteresting to him
he shunned, yet he would not let himself fail in any work that he
undertook. Subjects that he liked he mastered readily.

Though he found no pleasure in breaking college rules, yet he made no
pretensions to being a model student. He played cards in his room when
he might have been studying, and would go off on a fishing trip when
the fancy took him, without much regard for unfinished lessons. He
looked forward with undisguised pleasure to his vacations spent at
home, and on one occasion was so overcome by his desire to bring his
studies to an end and leave Brunswick that, a short time before the
close of the term, he wrote to his sister Louisa demanding that she
invent an excuse for his return home. After stating five reasons for
thus quitting Bowdoin, he continued:

"If you are at a loss for an excuse, say that mother is out of health;
or that Uncle R. is going a journey on account of his health, and
wishes me to attend him; or that Elizabeth is on a visit at some
distant place, and wishes me to come and bring her home; or that George
Archer has just arrived from sea, and is to sail again immediately, and
wishes to see me before he goes; or that some of my relations are to
die or be married, and my presence is necessary on the occasion. And
lastly, if none of these excuses will suit you, and you can think of no
other, write and order me to come home without any. If you do not, I
shall certainly forge a letter, for I will be at home within a week.
Write the very day you receive this. If Elizabeth were at home, she
would be at no loss for a good excuse. If you will do what I tell you,
I shall be
Your affectionate brother,

"My want of decent clothes will prevent my calling at Mrs. Sutton's.
Write immediately, write immediately, write immediately.

"Haste, haste, post-haste, ride and run, until these shall be
delivered. You must and shall and will do as I desire. If you can think
of a true excuse, send it; if not, any other will answer the same
purpose. If I do not get a letter by Monday, or Tuesday at farthest, I
will leave Brunswick without liberty."

It is an interesting fact that this impetuous young student was
regarded as the finest-looking man at Bowdoin. He was not much less
than six feet tall, and was strong, supple and well proportioned. His
dark hair waved back from a handsomely formed face; and his deep blue
eyes, under their heavy brows, impressed one with their remarkable
brightness and expressiveness.

Though it may seem surprising, it is true that Nathaniel Hawthorne was
not at all conscious in his early youth of the great possibilities that
lay in him to become a writer, and that not until he had advanced in
his college course did he form the purpose of making literature a
profession. As early as sixteen years of age he had written verses that
had been published; yet he was far from believing that he had poetic
power. That he did not at this time take very seriously his ability as
a writer, may be judged from this passage in a letter to his mother
written in March, 1821:

"I am quite reconciled to going to college, since I am to spend the
vacations with you. Yet four years of the best part of my life is a
great deal to throw away. I have not yet concluded what profession I
shall have.

"The being a minister is of course out of the question. I should not
think that even you could desire me to choose so dull a way of life.
Oh, no, mother, I was not born to vegetate forever in one place, and to
live and die as calm and tranquil as--a puddle of water.

"As to lawyers, there are so many of them already that one half of them
(upon a moderate calculation) are in a state of actual starvation.

"A physician, then, seems to be 'Hobson's choice;' but yet I should not
like to live by the diseases and infirmities of my fellow-creatures.
And it would weigh very heavily on my conscience, in the course of my
practice, if I should chance to send any unlucky patient 'ad inferum,'
which being interpreted is, 'to the realms below.' Oh that I was rich
enough to live without a profession!

"What do you think of my becoming an author, and relying for support
upon my pen? Indeed, I think the illegibility of my handwriting is very
author-like. How proud you would feel to see my works praised by the
reviewers, as equal to the proudest productions of the scribbling sons
of John Bull. But authors are always poor devils, and therefore Satan
may take them. I am in the same predicament as the honest gentleman in
'Espriella's Letters,'--

'I am an Englishman, and naked I stand here,
A-musing in my mind what garment I shall wear.'"

However, by the time of his graduation from Bowdoin College he had laid
aside his jesting and doubt, and in the following period of remarkable
seclusion spent in his mother's home in Salem he gave himself to the
work of composition. Thirteen years he passed thus in a sort of ideal
world, so shut away from his neighbors that they scarcely knew of his

Hawthorne always felt that these years of seclusion were peculiarly
significant in his life, in that they enabled him to keep, as he said,
"the dews of his youth and the freshness of his heart." Still, he
realized that he had been much deceived in fancying that there, in his
solitary chamber, he could imagine all passions, all feelings and
states of the heart and mind.

Of all that was written in these years the author gave out for
publication only the romance _Fanshawe,_ which he regarded later
as a very inferior production, and the various stories published at
length in the collection known as _Twice Told Tales._ Fame came
very slowly. Though the worth of these writings was discovered by
people of good literary judgment, it was not of the kind to make them
widely popular. Sometimes the young author was so overcome by
discouragement that it would seem as if only the confidence in his
final success felt by his friends could save him from despair.

Relief from this situation came in a most wholesome way. In 1839 George
Bancroft secured for Hawthorne a position as weigher and gauger in the
Boston Customhouse, and thus his lonely life of brooding came to an
end. In discharging his duties he came into much-needed everyday
contact with practical men and affairs. This office he held for two
years until the Whigs won the presidential election and the Democrats
went out of power. Meanwhile he had written _Grandfather's Chair,_
a collection of children's stories concerning early New England

Somewhat previous to the appointment to the office in the Customhouse
had taken place an event which was even more full of important meaning.
While he was living in Salem he had become acquainted with the Peabody
family and in their home had met the young woman who later became his
wife, and who brought into his life the powerful influence for good
that more than anything else developed the fine qualities of his nature
and drew forth his powers as a writer. He had preferred to live hidden
away from every one if he must give up the beauty and purity of the
thought-world for the harshness and ugliness of the actual world
without. But in his association with Sophia Peabody his faith in the
reality that lay back of his beautiful visions was so strengthened that
he felt a deep peace and joy never known to him before. The loveliness
of her character is shown in her letters, and it is not surprising that
Hawthorne should on one occasion write, in response to a letter from
her, "I never, till now, had a friend who could give me repose; all
have disturbed me, and, whether for pleasure or pain, it was still
disturbance. But peace overflows from your heart into mine. Then I feel
that there is a Now, and that Now must be always calm and happy, and
that sorrow and evil are but phantoms that seem to flit across it."

In the summer of 1842 Hawthorne and Miss Peabody were married and went
to live in the "Old Manse," in Concord. In the preceding year he had
unfortunately invested money in a settlement known as the Brook Farm,
where people of different classes of society were to live together on
an equality, all sharing alike the duties of the farm life, and all
contributing to the expenses of the common living. The experiment
proved a failure and Hawthorne withdrew disgusted. With this hope of
providing for himself and his wife destroyed, he found it necessary to
work industriously, and as a result a new series of stories for
children, the _Mosses from an Old Manse_, appeared in 1846.

In the same year he was made surveyor of the collection of revenue at
the Salem Customhouse. Then for a time he ceased to write, until his
discovery among some rubbish in the customhouse of an old manuscript
that gave him excellent material for a greater work of fiction than he
had ever before attempted, called him back to literary effort. The
actual composition of the book was not begun, however, until the day on
which Hawthorne lost his position as surveyor.

When he made known this unfortunate event to his wife, instead of
becoming depressed, she exclaimed joyfully, "Oh, then, you can write
your book!" and a little later, pulling open a drawer, showed him a
considerable sum of money that she had been saving all unknown to him.
Thus it became possible for him to devote himself to the work that
proved to be his masterpiece, _The Scarlet Letter,_ published in 1850.
The unusual excellence of the romance brought to the writer far-spread
praise and popularity, and he became at length recognized as a foremost
American man of letters.

The Hawthornes now went to live at Lenox, in the mountains of western
Massachusetts. In their delightful home in this place the novelist
produced a second great romance, _The House of the Seven Gables,_ and
then gave up four months to rest. This vacation was largely a playtime
spent with his two older children, Una and Julian, the younger daughter
Rose being then only a baby. He had worked so hard that he was ready for
plenty of fun, and this he and his two young playfellows found in
excursions for wild flowers or nuts, in bathing in the lake or sending
over its surface home-made toy sail-boats, in romping through the woods
or reading or story-telling. After this happy period it is not
surprising that Hawthorne should have written easily and with enjoyment
the _Wonder Book_ for children, a simple and entertaining series of
stories in which old legends are put into attractive new forms.


After the removal from Lenox in 1851, the family stayed for a short time
in West Newton, where _The Blithedale Romance_ was written, and then
settled at the Wayside, the second of the famous homes of Hawthorne in
Concord. Not long afterward were published the _Tanglewood Tales_, which
continue the _Wonder Book_ series; and a biography of his intimate
friend, Franklin Pierce. When in 1853 Pierce became president of the
United States, he appointed Hawthorne to be the consul at Liverpool,
England, and thus came to an end the quiet life at Concord.

The publicity into which Hawthorne's duties as consul brought him was
very disagreeable to one of his retiring disposition. He could feel at
ease only among those whose gentle and sensitive natures responded to
his own; hence attendance at formal dinners, speech making and other
social obligations that forced him often into the company of more or
less uncongenial people, seemed scarcely bearable to him. It was with
relief then, that he resigned the consulate in 1857 and went to live in
southern Europe. The greater part of his time until his return to
America in 1860 was passed in Italy, and near Florence was written the
last of his celebrated romances, _The Marble Faun_.

During the four remaining years of his life, spent at the Wayside, in
Concord, Hawthorne's strength gradually ebbed away. Nevertheless, he
was able to produce _Our Old Home,_ in which he described scenes from
English life, as well as _Septimus Felton_ and parts of two other
romances. In 1864, while traveling for his health through southern New
Hampshire with his friend Franklin Pierce, Hawthorne died in the quiet,
sudden way in which he had hoped that he should pass from earth. He was
buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where a simple headstone marks his

As the cheerfulness and simple beauty of Hawthorne's stories for
children are as light among the gloom and sadness that overshadowed his
works for older people, so his love for children and his delight in
their companionship illumine his character and bring into view his rare
gentleness and purity of nature. In recalling the days when she was a
little girl, his daughter Rose has told us:

"My father's enjoyment of frolicking fun was as hilarious as that
accorded by some of us to wildest comic opera. He had a delicate way of
throwing himself into the scrimmage of laughter, and I do not for an
instant attempt to explain how he managed it. I can say that he lowered
his eyelids when he laughed hardest, and drew in his breath half a
dozen times with dulcet sounds and a murmur of mirth between. Before
and after this performance he would look at you straight from under his
black brows, and his eyes seemed dazzling. I think the hilarity was
revealed in them, although his cheeks rounded in ecstasy. I was a
little roguish child, but he was the youngest and merriest person in
the room when he was amused."

Though the suffering and wrong that he saw in the world deeply
perplexed and saddened him, yet he found so much of happier meaning in
life and expressed this with such marvelous power and grace that no one
to-day holds a worthier place in American literature. That no successor
can take this place nor imitate the subtle beauty of his style, we feel
to be true as we read the lines written by the poet Longfellow, just
after the death of Hawthorne:

"Now I look back, and meadow, manse and stream
Dimly my thought defines;
I only see--a dream within a dream--
The hill-top hearsed with pines.

"I only hear above his place of rest
Their tender undertone,
The infinite longings of a troubled breast,
The voice so like his own.

"There in seclusion and remote from men
The wizard hand lies cold,
Which at its topmost speed let fall the pen,
And left the tale half told.

"Ah! who shall lift that wand of magic power,
And the lost dew regain?
The unfinished window in Aladdin's tower
Unfinished must remain!"

[Footnote: From _Grandfather's Chair._]


Captain John Hull was the mint-master of Massachusetts, and coined all
the money that was made there. This was a new line of business, for in
the earlier days of the colony the current coinage consisted of gold
and silver money of England, Portugal, and Spain. These coins being
scarce, the people were often forced to barter their commodities
instead of selling them.

For instance, if a man wanted to buy a coat, he perhaps exchanged a
bear-skin for it. If he wished for a barrel of molasses, he might
purchase it with a pile of pine boards. Musket-bullets were used
instead of farthings. The Indians had a sort of money called wampum,
which was made of clam-shells, and this strange sort of specie was
likewise taken in payment of debts by the English settlers. Bank-bills
had never been heard of. There was not money enough of any kind, in
many parts of the country, to pay the salaries of the ministers, so
that they sometimes had to take quintals of fish, bushels of corn, or
cords of wood instead of silver or gold.

As the people grew more numerous and their trade one with another
increased, the want of current money was still more sensibly felt. To
supply the demand the general court passed a law for establishing a
coinage of shillings, sixpences, and threepences. Captain John Hull was
appointed to manufacture this money, and was to have about one shilling
out of every twenty to pay him for the trouble of making them.

Hereupon all the old silver in the colony was handed over to Captain
John Hull. The battered silver cans and tankards, I suppose, and silver
buckles, and broken spoons, and silver buttons of worn-out coats, and
silver hilts of swords that had figured at court,--all such curious old
articles were doubtless thrown into the melting pot together. But by
far the greater part of the silver consisted of bullion from the mines
of South America, which the English buccaneers--who were little better
than pirates--had taken from the Spaniards and brought to

All this old and new silver being melted down and coined, the result
was an immense amount of splendid shillings, sixpences, and
threepences. Each had the date 1652 on the one side and the figure of a
pine tree on the other. Hence they were called pine-tree shillings. And
for every twenty shillings that he coined, you will remember, Captain
John Hull was entitled to put one shilling into his own pocket.

The magistrates soon began to suspect that the mint-master would have
the best of the bargain. They offered him a large sum of money if he
would but give up that twentieth shilling which he was continually
dropping into his own pocket. But Captain Hull declared himself
perfectly satisfied with the shilling. And well he might be, for so
diligently did he labor that in a few years his pockets, his money-
bags, and his strong box were overflowing with pine-tree shillings.

When the mint-master had grown very rich a young man, Samuel Sewell by
name, came a-courting to his only daughter. His daughter--whose name I
do not know, but we will call her Betsey--was a fine, hearty damsel, by
no means so slender as some young ladies of our own days. On the
contrary, having always fed heartily on pumpkin pies, doughnuts, Indian
puddings, and other Puritan dainties, she was as round and plump as a
pudding herself. With this round, rosy Miss Betsey did Samuel Sewell
fall in love. As he was a young man of good character, industrious in
his business, and a member of the church, the mint-master very readily
gave his consent.

"Yes, you may take her," said he, in his rough way, "and you'll find
her a heavy burden enough."

On the wedding-day we may suppose that honest John Hull dressed himself
in a plum-colored coat, all the buttons of which were made of pine-tree
shillings. The buttons of his waist-coat were sixpences, and the knees
of his small clothes were buttoned with silver threepences. Thus
attired, he sat with great dignity in Grandfather's chair, and, being a
portly old gentleman, he completely filled it from elbow to elbow. On
the opposite side of the room, between her bridemaids, sat Miss Betsey.
She was blushing with all her might, and looked like a full-blown peony
or a great red apple.

There, too, was the bridegroom, dressed in a fine purple coat and gold-
lace waistcoat, with as much finery as the Puritan laws and customs
would allow him to put on. His hair was cropped close to his head,
because Governor Endicott had forbidden any man to wear it below the
ears. But he was a very personable young man, and so thought the bride-
maids and Miss Betsey herself.

The mint-master also was pleased with his new son-in-law, especially as
he had courted Miss Betsey out of pure love, and had said nothing at
all about her portion. So, when the marriage ceremony was over, Captain
Hull whispered a word to two of his men-servants, who immediately went
out, and soon returned lugging in a large pair of scales. They were
such a pair as wholesale merchants use for weighing bulky commodities,
and quite a bulky commodity was now to be weighed in them.

"Daughter Betsey," said the mint-master, "get into one side of these

Miss Betsey--or Mrs. Sewell, as we must now call her--did as she was
bid, like a dutiful child, without any question of the why and
wherefore. But what her father could mean, unless to make her husband
pay for her by the pound (in which case she would have been a dear
bargain), she had not the least idea.

"And now," said honest John Hull to the servants, "bring that box

The box to which the mint-master pointed was a huge, square, iron-bound
oaken chest; it was big enough, my children, for all four of you to
play at hide-and-seek in. The servants tugged with might and main, but
could not lift this enormous receptacle, and were finally obliged to
drag it across the floor. Captain Hull then took a key from his girdle,
unlocked the chest, and lifted its ponderous lid. Behold! it was full
to the brim of bright pine-tree shillings fresh from the mint, and
Samuel Sewell began to think that his father-in-law had got possession
of all the money in the Massachusetts treasury. But it was only the
mint-master's honest share of the coinage.


Then the servants, at Captain Hull's command, heaped double handfuls of
shillings into one side of the scales while Betsey remained in the
other. Jingle, jingle, went the shillings as handful after handful was
thrown in, till, plump and ponderous as she was, they fairly weighed
the young lady from the floor.

"There, son Sewell!" cried the honest mint-master, resuming his seat in
Grandfather's chair, "take these shillings for my daughter's portion.
Use her kindly and thank Heaven for her. It is not every wife that's
worth her weight in silver."



The breaking waves dash'd high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches toss'd;

And the heavy night hung dark
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moor'd their bark
On the wild New England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted, came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;

Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear;--
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.

Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard and the sea;
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free!

The ocean eagle soar'd
From his nest by the white wave's foam;
And the rocking pines of the forest roar'd--
This was their welcome home!

There were men with hoary hair
Amidst that pilgrim band;--
Why had _they_ come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?

There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.

What sought they thus afar?--
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?
They sought a faith's pure shrine!

Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod.
They have left unstain'd what there they found--
Freedom to worship God.

[Footnote: From _Grandfather's Chair._]


Picture to yourselves, my dear children, a handsome old-fashioned room,
with a large open cupboard at one end, in which is displayed a
magnificent gold cup with some other splendid articles of gold and
silver plate. In another part of the room, opposite to a tall looking-
glass, stands our beloved chair, newly polished and adorned with a
gorgeous cushion of crimson velvet tufted with gold.

In the chair sits a man of strong and sturdy frame, whose face has been
roughened by northern tempests and blackened by the burning sun of the
West Indies. He wears an immense periwig flowing down over his
shoulders. His coat has a wide embroidery of golden foliage, and his
waistcoat likewise is all flowered over and bedizened with gold. His
red, rough hands, which have done many a good day's work with the
hammer and adze, are half covered by the delicate lace ruffles at his
wrists. On a table lies his silver-hilted sword, and in a corner of the
room stands his gold-headed cane, made of a beautifully polished West
India wood.

Somewhat such an aspect as this did Sir William Phipps present when he
sat in Grandfather's chair after the king had appointed him governor of
Massachusetts. Truly, there was need that the old chair should be
varnished and decorated with a crimson cushion in order to make it
suitable for such a magnificent-looking personage.

But Sir William Phipps had not always worn a gold-embroidered coat, nor
always sat so much at his ease as he did in Grandfather's chair. He was
a poor man's son, and was born in the province of Maine, where he used
to tend sheep upon the hills in his boyhood and youth. Until he had
grown to be a man he did not even know how to read and write. Tired of
tending sheep, he next apprenticed himself to a ship-carpenter, and
spent about four years in hewing the crooked limbs of oak trees into
knees for vessels.

In 1673, when he was twenty-two years old, he came to Boston, and soon
afterward was married to a widow who had property enough to set him up
in business. It was not long, however, before he lost all the money
that he had acquired by his marriage and became a poor man again. Still
he was not discouraged. He often told his wife that some time or other
he should be very rich and would build a "fair brick house" in the
Green Lane of Boston.

Do not suppose, children, that he had been to a fortune-teller to
inquire his destiny. It was his own energy and spirit of enterprise and
his resolution to lead an industrious life that made him look forward
with so much confidence to better days.

Several years passed away, and William Phipps had not yet gained the
riches which he promised to himself. During this time he had begun to
follow the sea for a living. In the year 1684 he happened to hear of a
Spanish ship which had been cast away near the Bahama Islands, and
which was supposed to contain a great deal of gold and silver. Phipps
went to the place in a small vessel, hoping that he should be able to
recover some of the treasure from the wreck. He did not succeed,
however, in fishing up gold and silver enough to pay the expenses of
his voyage.

But before he returned he was told of another Spanish ship or galleon
which had been cast away near Porto de la Plata. She had now lain as
much as fifty years beneath the waves. This old ship had been laden
with immense wealth, and hitherto nobody had thought of the possibility
of recovering any part of it from the deep sea which was rolling, and
tossing it about. But, though it was now an old story, and the most
aged people had almost forgotten that such a vessel had been wrecked,
William Phipps resolved that the sunken treasure should again be
brought to light.

He went to London and obtained admittance to King James, who had not
yet been driven from his throne. He told the king of the vast wealth
that was lying at the bottom of the sea. King James listened with
attention, and thought this a fine opportunity to fill his treasury
with Spanish gold. He appointed William Phipps to be captain of a
vessel called the _Rose Algier_, carrying eighteen guns and
ninety-five men. So now he was Captain Phipps of the English navy.

Captain Phipps sailed from England in the _Rose Algier_, and cruised for
nearly two years in the West Indies, endeavoring to find the wreck of
the Spanish ship. But the sea is so wide and deep that it is no easy
matter to discover the exact spot where a sunken vessel lies. The
prospect of success seemed very small, and most people would have
thought that Captain Phipps was as far from having money enough to
build a "fair brick house" as he was while he tended sheep.

The seamen of the _Rose Algier_ became discouraged and gave up all hope
of making their fortunes by discovering the Spanish wreck. They wanted
to compel Captain Phipps to turn pirate. There was a much better
prospect, they thought, of growing rich by plundering vessels which
still sailed in the sea than by seeking for a ship that had lain
beneath the waves full half a century. They broke out in open mutiny,
but were finally mastered by Phipps and compelled to obey his orders.
It would have been dangerous, however, to continue much longer at sea
with such a crew of mutinous sailors, and, besides, the _Rose Algier_
was leaky and unseaworthy. So Captain Phipps judged it best to return to

Before leaving the West Indies he met with a Spaniard, an old man, who
remembered the wreck of the Spanish ship and gave him directions how to
find the very spot. It was on a reef of rocks a few leagues from Porto
de la Plata.

On his arrival in England, therefore, Captain Phipps solicited the king
to let him have another vessel and send him back again to the West
Indies. But King James, who had probably expected that the _Rose Algier_
would return laden with gold, refused to have anything more to do with
the affair. Phipps might never have been able to renew the search if the
Duke of Albemarle and some other noblemen had not lent their assistance.
They fitted out a ship and gave the command to Captain Phipps. He sailed
from England and arrived safely at Porto de la Plata, where he took an
adze and assisted his men to build a large boat.

The boat was intended for the purpose of going closer to the reef of
rocks than a large vessel could safely venture. When it was finished
the captain sent several men in it to examine the spot where the
Spanish ship was said to have been wrecked. They were accompanied by
some Indians who were skilful divers and could go down a great way into
the depths of the sea.

The boat's crew proceeded to the reef of rocks and rowed round and
round it a great many times. They gazed down into the water, which was
so transparent that it seemed as if they could have seen the gold and
silver at the bottom had there been any of those precious metals there.
Nothing, however, could they see--nothing more valuable than a curious
sea-shrub which was growing beneath the water in a crevice of the reef
of rocks. It flaunted to and fro with the swell and reflux of the
waves, and looked as bright and beautiful as if its leaves were gold.

"We won't go back empty-handed," cried an English sailor, and then he
spoke to one of the Indian divers: "Dive down and bring me that pretty
sea-shrub there. That's the only treasure we shall find."

Down plunged the diver, and soon rose dripping from the water, holding
the sea-shrub in his hand. But he had learned some news at the bottom
of the sea.

"There are some ship's guns," said he the moment he had drawn breath,
"some great cannon, among the rocks near where the shrub was growing."


No sooner had he spoken than the English sailors knew that they had
found the very spot where the Spanish galleon had been wrecked so many
years before. The other Indian divers immediately plunged over the
boat's side and swam headlong down, groping among the rocks and sunken
cannon. In a few moments one of them rose above the water with a heavy
lump of silver in his arms. The single lump was worth more than a
thousand dollars. The sailors took it into the boat, and then rowed
back as speedily as they could, being in haste to inform Captain Phipps
of their good luck.

But, confidently as the captain had hoped to find the Spanish wreck,
yet, now that it was really found, the news seemed too good to be true.
He could not believe it till the sailors showed him the lump of silver.

"Thanks be to God!" then cried Captain Phipps. "We shall every man of
us make our fortunes!"

Hereupon the captain and all the crew set to work with iron rakes and
great hooks and lines fishing for gold and silver at the bottom of the
sea. Up came the treasure in abundance. Now they beheld a table of
solid silver, once the property of an old Spanish grandee. Now they
found a sacramental vessel which had been destined as a gift to some
Catholic church. Now they drew up a golden cup fit for the King of
Spain to drink his wine out of. Perhaps the bony hand of its former
owner had been grasping the precious cup and was drawn up along with
it. Now their rakes or fishing lines were loaded with masses of silver
bullion. There were also precious stones among the treasure, glittering
and sparkling so that it is a wonder how their radiance could have been

There is something sad and terrible in the idea of snatching all this
wealth from the devouring ocean, which had possessed it for such a
length of years. It seems as if men had no right to make themselves
rich with it. It ought to have been left with the skeletons of the
ancient Spaniards who had been drowned when the ship was wrecked, and
whose bones were now scattered among the gold and silver.

But Captain Phipps and his crew were troubled with no such thoughts as
these. After a day or two they lighted on another part of the wreck,
where they found a great many bags of silver dollars. But nobody could
have guessed that these were moneybags. By remaining so long in the
salt water they had become covered over with a crust which had the
appearance of stone, so that it was necessary to break them in pieces
with hammers and axes. When this was done a stream of silver dollars
gushed out upon the deck of the vessel.

The whole value of the recovered treasure--plate, bullion, precious
stones, and all--was estimated at more than two millions of dollars. It
was dangerous even to look at such a vast amount of wealth. A sea-
captain who had assisted Phipps in the enterprise utterly lost his
reason at the sight of it. He died two years afterward, still raving
about the treasures that lie at the bottom of the sea. It would have
been better for this man if he had left the skeletons of the
shipwrecked Spaniards in quiet possession of their wealth.

Captain Phipps and his men continued to fish up plate, bullion, and
dollars as plentifully as ever till their provisions grew short. Then,
as they could not feed upon gold and silver any more than old King
Midas could, they found it necessary to go in search of better
sustenance. Phipps resolved to return to England. He arrived there in
1687. and was received with great joy by the Duke of Albemarle and
other English lords who had fitted out the vessel. Well they might
rejoice, for they took by far the greater part of the treasure to

The captain's share, however, was enough to make him comfortable for
the rest of his days. It also enabled him to fulfil his promise to his
wife by building a "fair brick house" in the Green Lane of Boston. The
Duke of Albemarle sent Mrs. Phipps a magnificent gold cup worth at
least five thousand dollars. Before Captain Phipps left London, King
James made him a knight, so that, instead of the obscure ship-carpenter
who had formerly dwelt among them, the inhabitants of Boston welcomed
him on his return as the rich and famous Sir William Phipps.

He was too active and adventurous a man to sit still in the quiet
enjoyment of his good fortune. In 1690 he went on a military expedition
against the French colonies in America, conquered the whole Province of
Acadia, and returned to Boston with a great deal of plunder. In the
same year Sir William took command of an expedition against Quebec, but
did not succeed in capturing the city. In 1692, King William III
appointed him governor of Massachusetts.

THE HUTCHINSON MOB [Footnote: From _Grandfather's Chair_.]


On the evening of the 26th of August, 1765, a bonfire was kindled in
King Street. It flamed high upward, and threw a ruddy light over the
front of the Town-house, on which was displayed a carved representation
of the royal arms. The gilded vane of the cupola glittered in the
blaze. The kindling of this bonfire was the well-known signal for the
populace of Boston to assemble in the street.

Before the tar barrels of which the bonfire was made were half burned
out a great crowd had come together. They were chiefly laborers and
seafaring men, together with many young apprentices and all those idle
people about town who are ready for any kind of mischief. Doubtless
some schoolboys were among them.

While these rough figures stood round the blazing bonfire you might
hear them speaking bitter words against the high officers of the
province. Governor Bernard, [Footnote: It was Governor Francis Bernard
who did much to hasten on the Revolutionary War. He was very harsh in
his treatment of the colonists, and it was on his representation of
their secret traitorous designs that the British ordered troops
stationed in Boston. This aroused a violent opposition, which was not
quelled before war finally broke out.] Hutchinson, [Footnote: This
Thomas Hutchinson was the last royal governor of the Province of
Massachusetts Bay. He was born in Boston, and was a descendant of the
famous Anne Hutchinson. At the time of the incident described in this

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest