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The Crater by James Fenimore Cooper

Part 6 out of 9

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could be again put in his possession, it would, itself, give the good
chief such an accession of power, as would place him, at once, on a
level with his competitor, and bring the war back to a struggle on equal
terms. Could this be done with the assistance of the schooner, the moral
effect of such an alliance would, in all probability, secure Ooroony's
ascendency as long as such an alliance lasted.

It would not have been easy to give a clearer illustration of the truth
that "knowledge is power," than the case now before us affords. Here was
a small vessel, of less than a hundred tons in measurement, with a crew
of twelve men, and armed with three guns, that was not only deemed to be
sufficient but which was in fact amply sufficient to change a dynasty
among a people who counted their hosts in thousands. The expedients of
civilized life gave the governor this ascendency, and he determined to
use it justly, and in moderation. It was his wish to avoid bloodshed;
and after learning all the facts he could, he set about his task coolly
and with prudence.

The first thing done, was to carry the schooner in, within reach of shot
of Waally's principal fortress, where his ruling chiefs resided, and
which in fact was the hold where about a hundred of his followers dwelt;
fellows that kept the whole island in fear, and who rendered it
subservient to Waally's wishes. This fortress, fort, or whatever it
should be called, was then summoned, its chief being commanded to quit,
not only the hold, but the island altogether. The answer was a defiance.
As time was given for the reception of this reply, measures had been
taken to support the summons by a suitable degree of concert and
activity. Ooroony landed in person, and got among his friends on the
island, who, assured of the support of the schooner, took up arms to a
man, and appeared in a force that, of itself, was sufficient to drive
Waally's men into the sea. Nevertheless, the last made a show of
resistance until the governor fired his six-pounder at them. The shot
passed through the wooden pickets, and, though it hurt no one, it made
such a clatter, that the chief in command sent out a palm-branch, and
submitted. This bloodless conquest caused a revolution at once, in
several of the less important islands, and in eight-and-forty hours,
Ooroony found himself where he had been when Betts appeared in the
Neshamony. Waally was fain to make the best of matters, and even he came
in, acknowledged his crimes, obtained a pardon, and paid tribute. The
effect of this submission on the part of Waally, was to establish
Ooroony more strongly than ever in authority, and to give him a chance
of reigning peacefully for the remainder of his days. All this was done
in less than a week after the war had begun in earnest, by the invasion
of the Reef!

The governor was too desirous to relieve the anxiety of those he had
left behind him to accept the invitations that he, and his party, now
received to make merry. He traded a little with Ooroony's people,
obtaining many things that were useful in exchange for old iron, and
other articles of little or no value. What was more, he ascertained that
sandal-wood was to be found on Rancocus Island in small quantities, and
in this group in abundance. A contract was made, accordingly, for the
cutting and preparing of a considerable quantity of this wood, which was
to be ready for delivery in the course of three months, when it was
understood that the schooner was to return and take it in. These
arrangements completed, the Friend Abraham White sailed for home.

Instead of entangling himself in the channels to leeward, Mark made the
land well to the northward, entering the group by a passage that led him
quite down to the Reef, as the original island was now uniformly
called, with a flowing sheet. Of course the schooner was seen an hour
before she arrived, and everybody was out on the Reef to greet the
adventurers. Fears mingled with the other manifestations of joy, when
the result of this great enterprise came to be known. Mark had a
delicious moment when he folded the sobbing Bridget to his heart, and
Friend Martha was overcome in a way that it was not usual for her to
betray feminine weakness.

Everybody exulted in the success of the colony, and it was hoped that
the future would be as quiet as it was secure.

But recent events began to give the governor trouble, on other accounts.
The accession to his numbers, as well as the fact that these men were
seamen, and had belonged to the Rancocus, set him thinking on the
subject of his duty to the owners of that vessel. So long as he supposed
him self to be a cast-away, he had made use of their property without
compunction, but circumstances were now changed, and he felt it to be a
duty seriously to reflect on the possibility of doing something for the
benefit of those who had, undesignedly it is true, contributed so much
to his own comfort. In order to give this important subject a due
consideration, as well as to relieve the minds of those at the Peak, the
Abraham sailed for the cove the morning after her arrival at the Reef.
Bridget went across to pay Anne a visit, and most of the men were of the
party. The Neshamony had carried over the intelligence of Waally's
repulse, and of the Abraham's having gone to that chief's island, but
the result of this last expedition remained to be communicated.

The run was made in six hours, and the Abraham was taken into the cove,
and anchored there, just as easily as one of the smaller craft. There
was water enough for anything that floated, the principal want being
that of room, though there was enough even of room to receive a dozen
vessels of size. The place, indeed, was a snug, natural basin, rather
than a port, but art could not have made it safer, or even much more
commodious. It was all so small an island could ever require in the way
of a haven, it not being probable that the trade of the place would
reach an amount that the shipping it could hold would not carry.

The governor now summoned a general council of the colony. The seven
seamen attended, as well as all the others, one or two at the crater
excepted, and the business in hand was entered on soberly, and, in some
respects, solemnly. In the first place, the constitution and intentions
of the colonists were laid before the seven men, and they were asked as
to their wishes for the future. Four of these men, including Brown, at
once signed the constitution, and were sworn in as citizens. It was
their wish to pass their days in that delicious climate, and amid the
abundance of those rich and pleasing islands. The other three engaged
with Mark for a time, but expressed a desire to return to America, after
awhile. Wives were wanting; and this the governor saw, plainly enough,
was a difficulty that must be got over, to keep the settlement
contented. Not that a wife may not make a man's home very miserable, as
well as very happy; but, most people prefer trying the experiment for
themselves, instead of profiting by the experience of others.

As soon as the question of citizenship was decided, and all the
engagements were duly made, the governor laid his question of conscience
before the general council. For a long time it had been supposed that
the Rancocus could not be moved. The eruption had left her in a basin,
or hole, where there was just water enough to float her, while twelve
feet was the most that could be found on the side on which the channel
was deepest. Now, thirteen feet aft was the draught of the ship when she
was launched. This Bob well knew, having been launched in her. But,
Brown had suggested the possibility of lifting the vessel eighteen
inches or two feet, and of thus carrying her over the rock by which she
was imprisoned. Once liberated from that place, every one knew there
would be no difficulty in getting the ship to sea, since in one of the
channels, that which led to the northward, a vessel might actually carry
out fully five fathoms, or quite thirty feet. This channel had been
accurately sounded by the governor himself, and of the fact he was well
assured. Indeed, he had sounded most of the true channels around the
Reef. By true channels is meant those passages that led from the open
water quite up to the crater, or which admitted the passage of vessels,
or boats: while the false were _culs de sac_, through which there were
no real passages.

The possibility, thus admitted, of taking the Rancocus to sea, a grave
question of conscience arose. The property belonged to certain owners in
Philadelphia, and was it not a duty to take it there? It is true, Friend
Abraham White and his partners had received back their money from the
insurers--this fact Bridget remembered to have heard before she left
home; but those insurers, then, had their claims. Now, the vessel was
still sound and seaworthy. Her upper works might require caulking, and
her rigging could not be of the soundest; but, on the whole, the
Rancocus was still a very valuable ship, and a voyage might be made for
her yet. The governor thought that could she get her lower hold filled
with sandal-wood, and that wood be converted into teas at Canton, as
much would be made as would render every one contented with the result
of the close of the voyage, disastrous as had been its commencement.
Then Bridget would be of age shortly, when she would become entitled to
an amount of property that, properly invested, would contribute largely
to the wealth and power of the colony, as well as to those of its

In musing on all these plans, Mark had not the least idea of abandoning
the scheme for colonizing. That was dearer to him now than ever;
nevertheless, he saw obstacles to their execution. No one could navigate
the ship but himself; in truth, he was the only proper person to carry
her home, and to deliver her to her owners, whomsoever those might now
be, and he could not conceal from himself the propriety, as well as the
necessity, of his going in her himself. On the other hand, what might
not be the consequences to the colony, of his absence for twelve months?
A less time than that would not suffice to do all that was required to
be done. Could he take Bridget with him, or could he bear to leave her
behind? Her presence might be necessary for the disposal of the real
estate of which she was the mistress, while her quitting the colony
might be the signal for breaking it up altogether, under the impression
that the two persons most interested in it would never return.

Thus did the management of this whole matter become exceedingly
delicate. Heaton and Betts, and in the end all the rest, were of opinion
that the Rancocus ought to be sent back to America, for the benefit of
those to whom she now legally belonged. Could she get a cargo, or any
considerable amount of sandal-wood, and exchange it for teas by Canton,
the proceeds of these teas might make a very sufficient return for all
the outlays of the voyage, as well as for that portion of the property
which had been used by the colonists. The use of this property was a
very different thing, now, from what it was when Mark and Betts had
every reason to consider themselves as merely shipwrecked seamen. Then,
it was not only a matter of necessity, but, through that necessity, one
of right; but, now, the most that could be said about it, was that it
might be very convenient. The principles of the colonists were yet too
good to allow of their deceiving themselves on this subject. They had,
most of them, engaged with the owners to take care of this property, and
it might be questioned, if such a wreck had ever occurred as to
discharge the crew. The rule in such cases we believe to be, that, as
seamen have a lien on the vessel for their wages, when that lien ceases
to be of value, their obligations to the ship terminate. If the Rancocus
_could_ be carried to America, no one belonging to her was yet legally
exonerated from his duties.

After weighing all these points, it was gravely and solemnly declared
that an effort should first be made to get the ship out of her present
duresse, and that the question of future proceedings should then be
settled in another council. In the mean time, further and more valuable
presents were to be sent to both Ooroony and Waally, from the stores of
beads, knives, axes, &c., that were in the ship, with injunctions to
them to get as much sandal-wood as was possible cut, and to have it
brought down to the coast. Betts was to carry the presents, in the
Neshamony, accompanied by Jones, who spoke the language, when he was to
return and aid in the work upon the vessel.

The duty enjoined in these decisions was commenced without delay. Heaton
and Unus were left at the Peak, as usual, to look after things in that
quarter, and to keep the mill from being idle, while all the rest of the
men returned to the Reef, and set about the work on the ship. The first
step taken was to send down all the spars and rigging that remained
aloft; after which everything was got up out of the hold, and rolled, or
dragged ashore. Of cargo, strictly speaking, the Rancocus had very
little in weight, but she had a great many water-casks, four or five
times as many as would have been put into her in an ordinary voyage.
These casks had all been filled with fresh water, to answer the double
purpose of a supply for the people, and as ballast for the ship. When
these casks were all got on deck, and the water was started, it was
found that the vessel floated several inches lighter than before. The
sending ashore of the spars, sails, rigging, lumber, provisions, &c.,
produced a still further effect, and, after carefully comparing the
soundings, and the present draught of the vessel, the governor found it
would be necessary to lift the last only eight inches, to get her out of
her natural dock. This result greatly encouraged the labourers, who
proceeded with renewed spirit. As it would be altogether useless to
overhaul the rigging, caulk decks, &c., unless the ship could be got out
of her berth, everybody worked with that end in view at first. In the
course of a week, the water-casks were under her bottom, and it was
thought that the vessel would have about an inch to spare. A gale having
blown in the water, and a high tide coming at the same time, the
governor determined to try the experiment of crossing the barrier. The
order came upon the men suddenly, for no one thought the attempt would
be made, until the ship was lifted an inch or two higher. But Mark saw
what the wind had been doing for them, and he lost not a moment. The
vessel was moved, brought head to her course, and the lines were hauled
upon. Away went the Rancocus, which was now moved for the first time
since the eruption!

Just as the governor fancied that the ship was going clear, she struck
aft. On examination it was found that her heel was on a knoll of the
rock, and that had she been a fathom on either side of it, she would
have gone clear. The hold, however, was very slight, and by getting two
of the anchors to the cat-heads, the vessel was canted sufficiently to
admit, of her passing. Then came cheers for success, and the cry of
"walk away with her!" That same day the Rancocus was hauled alongside of
the Reef, made fast, and secured just as she would have been at her own
wharf, in Philadelphia.

Now the caulkers began their part of the job. When caulked and scraped,
she was painted, her rigging was overhauled and got into its places, the
masts and yards were sent aloft, and all the sails were overhauled. A
tier of casks, filled with fresh water, was put into her lower hold for
ballast, and all the stores necessary for the voyage were sent on board
her. Among other things overhauled were the provisions. Most of the beef
and pork was condemned, and no small part of the bread; still, enough
remained to take the ship's company to a civilized port. So reluctant
was the governor to come to the decision concerning the crew, that he
even bent sails before a council was again convened. But there was no
longer any good excuse for delay. Betts had long been back, and brought
the report that the sandal-wood was being hauled to the coast in great
quantities, both factions working with right good will. In another month
the ship might be loaded and sail for America.

To the astonishment of every one, Bridget appeared in the council, and
announced her determination to remain behind, while her husband carried
the ship to her owners. She saw and felt, the nature of his duty, and
could consent to his performing it to the letter. Mark was quite taken
by surprise by this heroic and conscientious act in his young wife, and
he had a great struggle with himself on the subject of leaving her
behind him. Heaton, however, was so very prudent, and the present
relations with their neighbours--neighbours four hundred miles
distant--were so amicable, the whole matter was so serious, and the duty
so obvious, that he finally acquiesced, without suffering his doubts to
be seen.

The next thing was to select a crew. The three men who had declined
becoming citizens of the colony, Johnson, Edwards, and Bright, all able
seamen, went as a matter of course. Betts would have to go in the
character of mate, though Bigelow might have got along in that
capacity. Betts knew nothing of navigation, while Bigelow might find
his way into port on a pinch. On the other hand, Betts was a prime
seaman--a perfect long-cue, in fact--whereas the most that could be said
of Bigelow, in this respect, was that he was a stout, willing fellow,
and was much better than a raw hand. The governor named Betts as his
first, and Bigelow as his second officer. Brown remained behind, having
charge of the navy in the governor's absence. He had a private interview
with Mark, however, in which he earnestly requested that the governor
would have the goodness "to pick out for him the sort of gal that he
thought would make a fellow a good and virtuous wife, and bring her out
with him, in whatever way he might return." Mark made as fair promises
as the circumstances of the case would allow, and Brown was satisfied.

It was thought prudent to have eight white men on board the ship, Mark
intending to borrow as many more of Ooroony's people, to help pull and
haul. With such a crew, he thought he might get along very well. Wattles
chose to remain with his friend Brown; but Dickinson and Harris, though
ready and willing to return, wished to sail in the ship. Like Brown,
they wanted wives, but chose to select them for themselves. On this
subject Wattles said nothing. We may add here, that Unus and Juno were
united before the ship sailed. They took up land on the Peak, where Unus
erected for himself a very neat cabin. Bridget set the young couple up,
giving the furniture, a pig, some fowls, and other necessaries.

At length the day for sailing arrived. Previously to departing, Mark had
carried the ship through the channel, and she was anchored in a very
good and safe roadstead, outside of everything. The leave-taking took
place on board her. Bridget wept long in her husband's arms, but finally
got so far the command of herself, as to assume an air of encouraging
firmness among the other women. By this time, it was every way so
obvious Mark's presence would be indispensable in America, that his
absence was regarded as a necessity beyond control. Still it was hard to
part for a year, nor was the last embrace entirely free from anguish.
Friend Martha Betts took leave of Friend Robert with a great appearance
of calmness, though she felt the separation keenly. A quiet,
warm-hearted woman, she had made her husband very happy; and Bob was
quite sensible of her worth. But to him the sea was a home, and he
regarded a voyage round the world much as a countryman would look upon a
trip to market. He saw his wife always in the vista created by his
imagination, but she was at the end of the voyage.

At the appointed hour, the Rancocus sailed, Brown and Wattles going down
with her in the Neshamony as far as Betto's group, in order to bring
back the latest intelligence of her proceedings. The governor now got
Ooroony to assemble his priests and chiefs, and to pronounce a taboo on
all intercourse with the whites for one year. At the end of that time,
he promised to return, and to bring with him presents that should render
every one glad to welcome him back. Even Waally was included in these
arrangements; and when Mark finally sailed, it was with a strong hope
that in virtue of the taboo, of Ooroony's power, and of his rival's
sagacity, he might rely on the colony's meeting with no molestation
during his absence. The reader will see that the Peak and Reef would be
in a very defenceless condition, were it not for the schooner. By means
of that vessel, under the management of Brown, assisted by Wattles,
Socrates and Unus, it is true, a fleet of canoes might be beaten off;
but any accident to the Abraham would be very likely to prove fatal to
the colony, in the event of an invasion. Instructions were given to
Heaton to keep the schooner moving about, and particularly to make a
trip as often as once in two months, to Ooroony's country, in order to
look after the state of things there. The pretence was to be
trade--beads, hatchets, and old iron being taken each time, in exchange
for sandal-wood; but the principal object was to keep an eye on the
movements, and to get an insight into the policy, of the savages.

After taking in a very considerable quantity of sandal-wood, and
procuring eight active assistants from Ooroony the Rancocus got under
way for Canton. By the Neshamony, which saw her into the offing, letters
were sent back to the Reef, when the governor squared away for his port.
At the end of fifty days, the ship reached Canton, where speedy and
excellent sale was made of her cargo. So very lucrative did Mark make
this transaction, that, finding himself with assets after filling up
with teas, he thought himself justified in changing his course of
proceeding. A small American brig, which was not deemed fit to double
the capes, and to come-on a stormy coast, was on sale. She could run
several years in a sea as mild as the Pacific, and Mark purchased her
for a song. He put as many useful things on board her as he could find,
including several cows, &c. Dry English cows were not difficult to find,
the ships from Europe often bringing out the animals, and turning them
off when useless. Mark was enabled to purchase six, which, rightly
enough, he thought would prove a great acquisition to the colony. A
plentiful supply of iron was also provided, as was ammunition, arms, and
guns. The whole outlay, including the cost of the vessel, was less than
seven thousand dollars; which sum Mark knew he should receive in
Philadelphia, on account of the personal property of Bridget, and with
which he had made up his mind to replace the proceeds of the
sandal-wood, thus used, did those interested exact it. As for the
vessel, she sailed like a witch, was coppered and copper-fastened, but
was both old and weak. She had quarters, having been used once as a
privateer, and mounted ten sixes. Her burthen was two hundred tons, and
her name the Mermaid. The papers were all American, and in perfect rule.

The governor might not have made this purchase, had it not been for the
circumstance that he met an old acquaintance in Canton, who had got
married in Calcutta to a pretty and very well-mannered English girl--a
step that lost him his berth, however/on board a Philadelphia ship.
Saunders was two or three years Mark's senior, and of an excellent
disposition and diameter. When he heard the history of the colony, he
professed a desire to join it, engaging to pick up a crew of Americans,
who were in his own situation, or had no work on their hands, and to
take the brig to the Reef. "This arrangement was made and carried out;
the Mermaid sailing for the crater" the day before the Rancocus left for
Philadelphia, having Bigelow on board as pilot and first officer; while
Woolston shipped an officer to supply his place. The two vessels met in
the China seas, and passed a week in company, when each steered her
course; the governor quite happy in thinking that he had made this
provision for the good of his people. The arrival of the Mermaid would
be an eventful day in the colony, on every account; and, the
instructions of Saunders forbidding his quitting the islands until the
end of the year, her presence would be a great additional means of

It is unnecessary for us to dwell on the passage of the Rancocus. In due
time she entered the capes of the Delaware, surprising all interested
with her appearance. Friend Abraham White was dead, and the firm
dissolved. But the property had all been transferred, to the insurers by
the payment of the amount underwritten, and Mark made his report at the
office. The teas were sold to great advantage, and the whole matter was
taken fairly into consideration. After deducting the sum paid the firm,
principal and interest, the insurance company resolved to give the ship,
and the balance of the proceeds of the sale, to Captain Woolston, as a
reward for his integrity and prudence. Mark had concealed nothing, but
stated what he had done in reference to the Mermaid, and told his whole
story with great simplicity, and with perfect truth. The result was,
that the young man got, in addition to the ship, which was legally
conveyed to him, some eleven thousand dollars in hard money. Thus was
honesty shown to be the best policy!

It is scarcely necessary to say that his success made Mark Woolston a
great man, in a small way. Not only was he received with open arms by
all of his own blood; but Dr. Yardley now relented, and took him by the
hand. A faithful account was rendered of his stewardship; and Mark
received as much ready money, on account of his wife, as placed somewhat
more than twenty thousand dollars at his disposal. With this money he
set to work, without losing a day, to make arrangements to return to
Bridget and the crater; for he always deemed that his proper abode, in
preference to the Peak. In this feeling, his charming wife coincided;
both probably encouraging a secret interest in the former, in
consequence of the solitary hours that had been passed there by the
young husband, while his anxious partner was far away.

Chapter XX.

"There is no gloom on earth, for God above
Chastens in love;
Transmuting sorrows into golden joy
Free from alloy.
His dearest attribute is still to bless,
And man's most welcome hymn is grateful cheerfulness."

Moral Alchemy.

The mode of proceeding now required great caution on the part of Mark
Woolston. His mind was fully made up not to desert his islands, although
this might easily be done, by fitting out the ship for another voyage,
filling her with sandal-wood, and bringing off all who chose to abandon
the place. But Woolston had become infatuated with the climate, which
had all the witchery of a low latitude without any of its lassitude. The
sea-breezes kept the frame invigorated, and the air reasonably cool,
even at the Reef; while, on the Peak, there was scarcely ever a day, in
the warmest months, when one could not labour at noon. In this respect
the climate did not vary essentially from that of Pennsylvania, the
difference existing in the fact that there was no winter in his new
country. Nothing takes such a hold on men as a delicious climate. They
may not be sensible of all its excellencies while in its enjoyment, but
the want of it is immediately felt, and has an influence on all their
pleasures. Even the scenery-hunter submits to this witchery of climate,
which casts a charm over the secondary beauties of nature, as a sweet
and placid temper renders the face of woman more lovely than the colour
of a skin, or the brilliancy of fine eyes. The Alps and the Apennines
furnish a standing proof of the truth of this fact. As respects
grandeur, a startling magnificence, and all that at first takes the
reason, as well as the tastes, by surprise, the first are vastly in
advance of the last; yet, no man of feeling or sentiment, probably ever
dwelt a twelve-month amid each, without becoming more attached to the
last. We wonder at Switzerland, while we get to love Italy. The
difference is entirely owing to climate; for, did the Alps rise in a
lower latitude, they would be absolutely peerless.

But Mark Woolston had no thought of abandoning the crater and the Peak.
Nor did he desire to people them at random, creating a population by any
means, incorporating moral diseases in his body politic by the measures
taken to bring it into existence. On the contrary, it was his wish,
rather, to procure just as much force as might be necessary to security,
so divided in pursuits and qualities as to conduce to comfort and
civilization, and then to trust to the natural increase for the growth
that might be desirable in the end. Such a policy evidently required
caution and prudence. The reader will perceive that governor Woolston
was not influenced by the spirit of trade that is now so active,
preferring happiness to wealth, and morals to power.

Among Woolston's acquaintances, there was a young man of about his own
age, of the name of Pennock, who struck him as a person admirably suited
for his purposes. This Pennock had married very young, and was already
the father of three children. He began to feel the pressure of society,
for he was poor. He was an excellent farmer, accustomed to toil, while
he was also well educated, having been intended for one of the
professions. To Pennock Mark told his story, exhibited his proofs, and
laid bare his whole policy, under a pledge of secresy, offering at the
same time to receive his friend, his wife, children, and two unmarried
sisters, into the colony. After taking time to reflect and to consult,
Pennock accepted the offer as frankly as it had been made. From this
time John Pennock relieved the governor, in a great measure, of the duly
of selecting the remaining emigrants, taking that office on himself.
This allowed Mark to attend to his purchases, and to getting the ship
ready for sea. Two of his own brothers, however, expressed a wish to
join the new community, and Charles and Abraham Woolston were received
in the colony lists. Half-a-dozen more were admitted, by means of direct
application to the governor himself, though the accessions were
principally obtained through the negotiations and measures of Pennock.
All was done with great secrecy, it being Mark's anxious desire, on many
accounts, not to attract public attention to his colony.

The reasons were numerous and sufficient for this wish to remain
unknown. In the first place, the policy of retaining the monopoly of a
trade that must be enormously profitable, was too obvious to need any
arguments to support it. So long as the sandal-wood lasted, so long
would it be in the power of the colonists to coin money; while it was
certain that competitors would rush in, the moment the existence of this
mine of wealth should be known. Then, the governor apprehended the
cupidity and ambition of the old-established governments, when it should
be known that territory was to be acquired. It was scarcely possible for
man to possess any portion of this earth by a title better than that
with which Mark Woolston was invested with his domains. But, what is
right compared to might! Of his native country, so abused in our own
times for its rapacity, and the desire to extend its dominions by any
means, Mark felt no apprehension. Of all the powerful nations of the
present day, America, though not absolutely spotless, has probably the
least to reproach herself with, on the score of lawless and purely
ambitious acquisitions. Even her conquests in open war have been few,
and are not yet determined in character. In the end, it will be found
that little will be taken that Mexico could keep; and had that nation
observed towards this, ordinary justice and faith, in her intercourse
and treaties, that which has so suddenly and vigorously been done, would
never have even been attempted.

It may suit the policy of those who live under the same system, to decry
those who do not; but men are not so blind that they cannot see the sun
at noon-day. One nation makes war because its consul receives the rap of
a fan; and men of a different origin, religion and habits, are coerced
into submission as the consequence. Another nation burns towns, and
destroys their people in thousands, because their governors will not
consent to admit a poisonous drug into their territories: an offence
against the laws of trade that can only be expiated by the ruthless
march of the conqueror. Yet the ruling men of both these communities
affect a great sensibility when the long-slumbering young lion of the
West rouses himself in his lair, after twenty years of forbearance, and
stretches out a paw in resentment for outrages that no other nation,
conscious of his strength, would have endured for as many months,
because, forsooth, he _is_ the young lion of the West. Never mind: by
the time New Zealand and Tahiti are brought under the yoke, the
Californians may be admitted to an equal participation in the rights of
American citizens.

The governor was fully aware of the danger he ran of having claims, of
some sort or other, set up to his islands, if he revealed their
existence; and he took the greatest pains to conceal the fact. The
arrival of the Rancocus was mentioned in the papers, as a matter of
course; but it was in a way to induce the reader to suppose she had met
with her accident in the midst of a naked reef, and principally through
the loss of her men; and that, when a few of the last were regained, the
voyage was successfully resumed and terminated. In that day, the great
discovery had not been made that men were merely incidents of
newspapers; but the world had the folly to believe that newspapers were
incidents of society, and were subject to its rules and interests. Some
respect was paid to private rights, and the reign of gossip had not

[Footnote 4: We hold in our possession a curious document, the
publication of which might rebuke this spirit of gossip, and give a
salutary warning to certain managers of the press, who no sooner
hear a rumour than they think themselves justified in embalming it
among the other truths of their daily sheets. The occurrences of
life brought us in collision, legally, with an editor; and we
obtained a verdict against him. Dissatisfied with defeat, as is apt
to be the case, he applied for a new trial. Such an application was
to be sustained by affidavits, and he made his own, as usual. Now,
in this affidavit, our competitor swore distinctly and
unequivocally, to certain alleged facts (we think to the number of
six), every one of which was untrue. Fortunately for the party
implicated, the matter sworn to was purely _ad captandum_ stuff,
and, in a legal sense, not pertinent to the issue. This prevented
it from being perjury in law. Still, it was all untrue, and nothing
was easier than to show it. Now, we do not doubt that the person
thus swearing _believed_ all that he swore to, or he would not have
had the extreme folly to expose himself as he did; but he was so
much in the habit of publishing gossip in his journal, that, when
an occasion arrived, he did not hesitate about swearing to what he
had read in other journals, without taking the trouble to inquire
if it were true! One of these days we may lay all this, along with
much other similar proof of the virtue there is in gossip, so
plainly before the world, that he who runs may read.]

In the last century, however, matters were not carried quite so far as
they are at present. No part of this community, claiming any portion of
respectability, was willing to publish its own sense of inferiority so
openly, as to gossip about its fellow-citizens, for no more direct
admissions of inferiority can be made than this wish to comment on the
subject of any one's private concerns. Consequently Mark and his islands
escaped. There was no necessity for his telling the insurers anything
about the Peak, for instance, and on that part of the subject,
therefore, he wisely held his tongue. Nothing, in short, was said of any
colony at all. The manner in which the crew had been driven away to
leeward, and recovered, was told minutely, and the whole process by
which the ship was saved. The property used, Mark said had been
appropriated to his wants, without going into details, and the main
results being so very satisfactory, the insurers asked no further.

As soon as off the capes, the governor set about a serious investigation
of the state of his affairs. In the way of cargo, a great many articles
had been laid in, which experience told him would be useful. He took
with him such farming tools as Friend Abraham White had not thought of
furnishing to the natives of Fejee, and a few seeds that had been
overlooked by that speculating philanthropist. There were half a dozen
more cows on board, as well as an improved breed of hogs. Mark carried
out, also, a couple of mares, for, while many horses could never be much
needed in his islands, a few would always be exceedingly useful. Oxen
were much wanted, but one of his new colonists had yoked his cows, and
it was thought they might be made useful, in a moderate degree, until
their stouter substitutes could be reared. Carts and wagons were
provided in sufficient numbers. A good stock of iron in bars was laid
in, in addition to that which was wrought into nails, and other useful
articles. Several thousand dollars in coin were also provided, being
principally in small pieces, including copper. But all the emigrants
took more or less specie with them.

A good deal of useful lumber was stowed in the lower hold, though the
mill by this time furnished a pretty good home supply. The magazine was
crammed with ammunition, and the governor had purchased four light
field-guns, two three-pounders and two twelve-pound howitzers, with
their equipments. He had also brought six long, iron twelves, ship-guns,
with their carriages &c. The last he intended for his batteries, the
carronades being too light for steady work, and throwing their shot too
wild for a long range. The last could be mounted on board the different
vessels. The Rancocus, also, had an entire new armament, having left all
her old guns but two behind her. Two hundred muskets were laid in, with
fifty brace of pistols. In a word, as many arms were provided as it was
thought could, in any emergency, become necessary.

But it was the human portion of his cargo that the governor, rightly
enough, deemed to be of the greatest importance. Much care had been
bestowed on the selection, which had given all concerned in it not a
little trouble. Morals were the first interest attended to. No one was
received but those who bore perfectly good characters. The next thing
was to make a proper division among the various trades and pursuits of
life. There were carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, tailors, shoemakers,
&c., or, one of each, and sometimes more. Every 'man was married, the
only exceptions being in the cases of younger brothers and sisters, of
whom about a dozen were admitted along with their relatives. The whole
of the ships' betwixt decks was fitted up for the reception of these
emigrants, who were two hundred and seven in number, besides children.
Of the last there were more than fifty, but they were principally of an
age to allow of their being put into holes and corners.

Mark Woolston was much too sensible a man to fall into any of the
modern absurdities on the subject of equality, and a community of
interests. One or two individuals, even in that day, had wished to
accompany him, who were for forming an association in which all property
should be shared in common, and in which nothing was to be done but that
which was right. Mark had not the least objection in the world to the
last proposition, and would have been glad enough to see it carried out
to the letter, though he differed essentially with the applicants, as to
the mode of achieving so desirable an end. He was of opinion that
civilization could not exist without property, or property without a
direct personal interest in both its accumulation and its preservation.
They, on the other hand, were carried away by the crotchet that
community-labour was better than individual labour, and that a hundred
men would be happier and better off with their individualities
compressed into one, than by leaving them in a hundred subdivisions, as
they had been placed by nature. The theorists might have been right, had
it been in their power to compress a hundred individuals into one, but
it was riot. After all their efforts, they would still remain a hundred
individuals, merely banded together under more restraints, and with less
liberty than are common.

Of all sophisms, that is the broadest which supposes personal liberty is
extended by increasing the power of the community. Individuality is
annihilated in a thousand things, by the community-power that already
exists in this country, where persecution often follows from a man's
thinking and acting differently from his neighbours, though the law
professes to protect him. The reason why this power becomes so very
formidable, and is often so oppressively tyrannical in its exhibition,
is very obvious. In countries where the power is in the hands of the
few, public sympathy often sustains the man who resists its injustice;
but no public sympathy can sustain him who is oppressed by the public
itself. This oppression does not often exhibit itself in the form of
law, but rather in its denial. He, who has a clamour raised against him
by numbers, appeals in vain to numbers for justice, though his claim may
be clear as the sun at noon-day. The divided responsibility of bodies
of men prevents anything like the control of conscience, and the most
ruthless wrongs are committed, equally without reflection and without

Mark Woolston had thought too much on the subject, to be the dupe of any
of these visionary theories. Instead of fancying that men never knew
anything previously to the last ten years of the eighteenth century, he
was of the opinion of the wisest man who ever lived, that 'there was
nothing new under the sun.' That 'circumstances might alter cases' he
was willing enough to allow, nor did he intend to govern the crater by
precisely the same laws as he would govern Pennsylvania, or Japan; but
he well understood, nevertheless, that certain great moral truths
existed as the law of the human family, and that they were not to be set
aside by visionaries; and least of all, with impunity.

Everything connected with the colony was strictly practical. The
decision of certain points had unquestionably given the governor
trouble, though he got along with them pretty well, on the whole. A
couple of young lawyers had desired to go, but he had the prudence to
reject them. Law, as a science, is a very useful study, beyond a
question; but the governor, rightly enough, fancied that his people
could do without so much science for a few years longer. Then another
doctor volunteered his services. Mark remembered the quarrels between
his father and his father-in-law, and thought it better to die under one
theory than under two. As regards a clergyman, Mark had greater
difficulty. The question of sect was not as seriously debated half a
century ago as it is to-day; still it was debated. Bristol had a very
ancient society, of the persuasion of the Anglican church, and Mark's
family belonged to it. Bridget, however, was a Presbyterian, and no
small portion of the new colonists were what is called Wet-Quakers; that
is, Friends who are not very particular in their opinions or
observances. Now, religion often caused more feuds than anything else:
still it was impossible to have a priest for every persuasion, and one
ought to suffice for the whole colony. The question was of what sect
should that one clergyman be? So many prejudices were to be consulted,
that the governor was about to abandon the project in despair, when
accident determined the point. Among Heaton's relatives was a young man
of the name of Hornblower, no bad appellation, by the way, for one who
had to sound so many notes of warning, who had received priest's orders
from the hands of the well-known Dr. White, so long the presiding Bishop
of America, and whose constitution imperiously demanded a milder climate
than that in which he then lived. As respects him, it became a question
purely of humanity, the divine being too poor to travel on his own
account, and he was received on board the Rancocus, with his wife, his
sister, and two children, that he might have the benefit of living
within the tropics. The matter was fully explained to the other
emigrants, who could not raise objections if they would, but who really
were not disposed to do so in a case of such obvious motives. A good
portion of them, probably, came to the conclusion that Episcopalian
ministrations were better than none, though, to own the truth, the
liturgy gave a good deal of scandal to a certain portion of their
number. _Reading_ prayers was so profane a thing, that these individuals
could scarcely consent to be present at such a vain ceremony; nor was
the discontent, on this preliminary point, fully disposed of until the
governor once asked the principal objector how he got along with the
Lord's Prayer, which was not only written and printed, but which usually
was committed to memory! Notwithstanding this difficulty, the emigrants
did get along with it without many qualms, and most of them dropped
quietly into the habit of worshipping agreeably to a liturgy, just as if
it were not the terrible profanity that some of them had imagined. In
this way, many of our most intense prejudices get lost in new

It is not our intention to accompany the Rancocus, day by day, in her
route. She touched at Rio, and sailed again at the end of eight and
forty hours. The passage round the Horn was favourable, and having got
well to the westward, away the ship went for her port. One of the cows
got down, and died before it could be relieved, in a gale off the cape;
but no other accident worth mentioning occurred. A child died with
convulsions, in consequence of teething, a few days later; but this did
not diminish the number on board, as three were born the same week. The
ship had now been at sea one hundred and sixty days, counting the time
passed at Rio, and a general impatience to arrive pervaded the vessel.
If the truth must be said, some of the emigrants began to doubt the
governor's ability to find his islands again, though none doubted of
their existence. The Kannakas, however, declared that they began to
smell home, and it is odd enough, that this declaration, coming as it
did from ignorant men who made it merely on a fanciful suggestion,
obtained more credit with most of the emigrants, than all the governor's
instruments and observations.

One day, a little before noon it was, Mark appeared on deck with his
quadrant, and as he cleaned the glasses of the instrument, he announced
his conviction that the ship would shortly make the group of the crater.
A current had set him further north than he intended to go, but having
hauled up to south-west, he waited only for noon to ascertain his
latitude, to be certain of his position. As the governor maintained a
proper distance from his people, and was not in the habit of
making-unnecessary communications to them, his present frankness told
for so much the more, and it produced a very general excitement in the
ship. All eyes were on the look-out for land, greatly increasing the
chances of its being shortly seen. The observation came at noon, as is
customary, and the governor found he was about thirty miles to the
northward of the group of islands he was seeking. By his calculation, he
was still to the eastward of it, and he hauled up, hoping to fall in
with the land well to windward. After standing on three hours in the
right direction, the look-outs from the cross-trees declared no land was
visible ahead. For one moment the dreadful apprehension of the group's
having sunk under another convulsion of nature crossed Mark's mind, but
he entertained that notion for a minute only. Then came the cry of "sail
ho!" to cheer everybody, and to give them something else to think of.

This was the first vessel the Rancocus had seen since she left Rio. It
was to windward, and appeared to be standing down before the wind. In an
hour's time the two vessels were near enough to each other to enable the
glass to distinguish objects; and the quarter-deck, on board the
Rancocus, were all engaged in looking at the stranger.

"'Tis the Mermaid," said Mark to Betts, "and it's all right. Though what
that craft can be doing here to windward of the islands is more than I
can imagine!"

"Perhaps, sir, they's a cruising arter us," answered Bob. "This is about
the time they ought to be expectin' on us; and who knows but Madam
Woolston and Friend Marthy may not have taken it into their heads to
come out a bit to see arter their lawful husbands?"

The governor smiled at this conceit, but continued his observations in

"She behaves very strangely, Betts," Mark, at length, said. "Just take a
look at her. She yaws like a galliot in a gale, and takes the whole road
like a drunken man. There can be no one at the helm."

"And how lubberly, sir, her canvas is set! Just look at that
main-taw-sail, sir; one of the sheets isn't home by a fathom, while the
yard is braced in, till it's almost aback!"

The governor walked the deck for five minutes in intense thought, though
occasionally he stopped to look at the brig, now within a league of
them. Then he suddenly called out to Bob, to "see all clear for action,
and to get everything ready to go to quarters."

This order set every one in motion. The women and children were hurried
below, and the men, who had been constantly exercised, now, for five
months, took their stations with the regularity of old seamen. The guns
were cast loose--ten eighteen-pound carronades and two nines, the new
armament--cartridges were got ready, shot placed at hand, and all the
usual dispositions for combat were made. While this was doing, the two
vessels were fast drawing nearer to each other, and were soon within
gun-shot. But, no one on board the Rancocus knew what to make of the
evolutions of the Mermaid. Most of her ordinary square-sails were set,
though not one of them all was sheeted home, or well hoisted. An attempt
had been made to lay the yards square, but one yard-arm was braced in
too far, another not far enough, and nothing like order appeared to have
prevailed at the sail-trimming. But, the of the brig was the most
remarkable. Her general course would seem to be dead before the wind;
but she yawed incessantly, and often so broadly, as to catch some of her
light sails aback. Most vessels take a good deal of room in running down
before the wind, and in a swell; but the Mermaid took a great deal more
than was Common, and could scarce be said to look any way in particular.
All this the governor observed, as the vessels approached nearer and
nearer, as well as the movements of those of the crew who showed
themselves in the rigging.

"Clear away a bow-gun," cried Mark, to Betts--"something dreadful must
have happened; that brig is in possession of the savages, who do not
know how to handle her!"

This announcement produced a stir on board the Rancocus, as may well be
imagined. If the savages had the brig, they probably had the group also;
and what had become of the colonists? The next quarter of an hour was
one of the deepest expectation with all in the ship, and of intense
agony with Mark. Betts was greatly disturbed also; nor would it have
been safe for one of Waally's men to have been within reach of his arm,
just then. Could it be possible that Ooroony had yielded to temptation
and played them false? The governor could hardly believe it; and, as for
Betts, he protested loudly it could not be so.

"Is that bow-gun ready?" demanded the governor.

"Ay, ay, sir; all ready."

"Fire, but elevate well--we will only frighten them, at first. We betide
them, if they resist."

Betts did fire, and to the astonishment of everybody, the brig returned
a broadside! But resistance ceased with this one act of energy, if it
could be so termed. Although five guns were actually fired, and nearly
simultaneously, no aim was even attempted. The shot all flew off at a
tangent from the position of the ship; and no harm was done to any but
the savages themselves, of whom three or four were injured by the
recoils. From the moment the noise and smoke were produced, everything
like order ceased on board the brig, which was filled with savages. The
vessel broached to, and the sails caught aback. All this time, the
Rancocus was steadily drawing nearer, with an intent to board; but,
unwilling to expose his people, most of whom were unpractised in
strife, in a hand-to-hand conflict with ferocious savages, the governor
ordered a gun loaded with grape to be discharged into the brig. This
decided the affair at once. Half a dozen were killed or wounded; some
ran below; a few took refuge in the top; but most, without the slightest
hesitation, jumped overboard. To the surprise of all who saw them, the
men in the water began to swim directly to windward; a circumstance
which indicated that either land or canoes were to be found in that
quarter of the ocean. Seeing the state of things on board the brig, Mark
luffed up under her counter, and laid her aboard. In a minute, he and
twenty chosen men were on her decks; in another, the vessels were again
clear of each other, and the Mermaid under command.

No sooner did the governor discharge his duties as a seaman, than he
passed below. In the cabin he found Mr. Saunders, (or Captain Saunders,
as he was called by the colonists,) bound hand and foot. His steward was
in the same situation, and Bigelow was found, also a prisoner, in the
steerage. These were all the colonists on board, and all but two who had
been on board, when the vessel was taken.

Captain Saunders could tell the governor very little more than he saw
with his own eyes. One fact of importance, however, he could and did
communicate, which was this: Instead of being to windward of the crater,
as Mark supposed, he was to leeward of it; the currents no doubt having
set the ship to the westward faster than had been thought. Rancocus
Island would have been made by sunset, had the ship stood on in the
course she was steering when she made the Mermaid.

But the most important fact was the safety of the females. They were all
at the Peak, where they had lived for the last six months, or ever since
the death of the good Ooroony had again placed Waally in the ascendant.
Ooroony's son was overturned immediately on the decease of the father,
who died a natural death, and Waally disregarded the taboo, which he
persuaded his people could have no sanctity as applied to the whites.
The plunder of these last, with the possession of the treasure of iron
and copper that was to be found in their vessels, had indeed been the
principal bribe with which the turbulent and ambitious chief regained
his power. The war did not break out, however, as soon as Waally had
effected the revolution in his own group. On the contrary, that wily
politician had made so many protestations of friendship after that
event, which he declared to be necessary to the peace of his island; had
collected so much sandal-wood, and permitted it to be transferred to the
crater, where a cargo was already stored; and had otherwise made so many
amicable demonstrations, as completely to deceive the colonists. No one
had anticipated an invasion; but, on the contrary, preparations were
making at the Peak for the reception of Mark, whose return had now been
expected daily for a fortnight.

The Mermaid had brought over a light freight of wood from Betto's group,
and had discharged at the crater. This done, she had sailed with the
intention of going out to cruise for the Rancocus, to carry the news of
the colony, all of which was favourable, with the exception of the death
of Ooroony and the recent events; but was lying in the roads, outside of
everything--the Western Roads, as they were called, or those nearest to
the other group--waiting for the appointed hour of sailing, which was to
be the very morning of the day in which she was fallen in with by the
governor. Her crew consisted only of Captain Saunders, Bigelow, the cook
and steward, and two of the people engaged at Canton--one of whom was a
very good-for-nothing Chinaman. The two last had the look-out, got
drunk, and permitted a fleet of hostile canoes to get alongside in the
dark, being knocked on the head and tossed overboard, as the penalty of
this neglect of duty. The others owed their lives to the circumstance of
being taken in their sleep, when resistance was out of the question. In
the morning, the brig's cable was cut, sail was set, after a fashion,
and an attempt was made to carry the vessel over to Betto's group. It is
very questionable whether she ever could have arrived; but that point
was disposed of by the opportune appearance of the Rancocus.

Saunders could communicate nothing of the subsequent course of the
invaders. He had been kept below the whole time, and did not even know
how many canoes composed the fleet. The gang in possession of the
Mermaid was understood, however, to be but a very small part of Waally's
force present, that chief leading in person. By certain
half-comprehended declarations of his conquerors, Captain Sauriders
understood that the rest had entered the channel, with a view to
penetrate to the crater, where Socrates, Unus and Wattles were
residing with their wives and families, and where no greater force was
left when the Mermaid sailed. The property there, however, was out of
all proportion in value to the force of those whose business it was to
take care of it. In consequence of the Rancocus's removal, several
buildings had been constructed on the Reef, and one house of very
respectable dimensions had been put up on the Summit. It is true, these
houses were not very highly finished; but they were of great value to
persons in the situation of the colonists. Most of the hogs, moreover,
were still rooting and tearing up the thousand-acre prairie; where,
indeed, they roamed very much in a state of nature. Socrates
occasionally carried to them a boat-load of 'truck' from the crater, in
order to keep up amicable relations with them; but they were little
better than so many wild animals, in one sense, though there had not yet
been time materially to change their natures. In the whole, including
young and old, there must have been near two hundred of these animals
altogether, their increase being very rapid. Then, a large amount of the
stores sent from Canton, including most of the iron, was in store at the
crater; all of which would lay at the mercy of Waally's men; for the
resistance to be expected from the three in possession, could not amount
to much.

The governor was prompt enough in his decision, as soon as he understood
the facts of the case. The first thing was to bring the vessels close by
the wind, and to pass as near as possible over the ground where the
swimmers were to be found; for Mark could not bear the idea of
abandoning a hundred of his fellow-creatures in the midst of the ocean,
though they were enemies and savages. By making short stretches, and
tacking two or three times, the colonists found themselves in the midst
of the swimmers; not one in ten of whom would probably ever have
reached the land, but for the humanity of their foe. Alongside of the
Mermaid were three or four canoes; and these were cast adrift at the
right moment, without any parleying. The Indians were quick enough at
understanding the meaning of this, and swam to the canoes from all
sides, though still anxious to get clear of the vessels. On board the
last canoe the governor put all his prisoners, when he deemed himself
happily quit of the whole gang.

There were three known channels by which the Rancocus could be carried
quite up to the crater. Mark chose that which came in from the
northward, both because it was the nearest, and because he could lay his
course in it, without tacking, for most of the way. Acquainted now with
his position, Mark had no difficulty in finding the entrance of this
channel. Furnishing the Mermaid with a dozen hands, she was sent to the
western roads, to intercept Waally's fleet, should it be coming out with
the booty. In about an hour after the Rancocus altered her course, she
made the land; and, just as the sun was setting, she got so close in as
to be able to anchor in the northern roads, where there was not only a
lee, but good holding-ground. Here the ship passed the night, the
governor not liking to venture into the narrow passages in the dark.

Chapter XXI.

"Fancy can charm and feeling bless
With sweeter hours than fashion knows;
There is no calmer quietness,
Than home around the bosom throws."


Although the governor deemed it prudent to anchor for the night, he did
not neglect the precaution of reconnoitring. Betts was sent towards the
Reef, in a boat well armed and manned, in order to ascertain the state
of things in that quarter. His instructions directed him to push
forward as far as he could, and if possible to hold some sort of
communication with Socrates, who might now be considered as commander at
the point assailed.

Fortunate was it that the governor bethought him of this measure. As
Betts had the ship's launch, which carried two lugg-sails, his progress
was both easy and rapid, and he actually got in sight of the Reef before
midnight. To his astonishment, all seemed to be tranquil, and Betts at
first believed that the savages had completed their work and departed.
Being a bold fellow, however, a distant reconnoitring did not satisfy
him; and on he went, until his boat fairly lay alongside of the natural
quay of the Reef itself. Here he landed, and marched towards the
entrance of the crater. The gate was negligently open, and on entering
the spacious area, the men found all quiet, without any indications of
recent violence. Betts knew that those who dwelt in this place, usually
preferred the Summit for sleeping, and he ascended to one of the huts
that had been erected there. Here he found the whole of the little
garrison of the group, buried in sleep, and totally without any
apprehension of the danger which menaced them. As it now appeared,
Waally's men had not yet shown themselves, and Socrates knew nothing at
all of what had happened to the brig.

Glad enough was the negro to shake hands with Betts, and to hear that
Master Mark was so near at hand, with a powerful reinforcement. The
party already arrived might indeed be termed the last, for the governor
had sent with his first officer, on this occasion, no less than
five-and-twenty men, each completely armed. With such a garrison, Betts
deemed the crater safe, and he sent back the launch, with four seamen in
it, to report the condition in which he had found matters, and to
communicate all else that he had learned. This done, he turned his
attention to the defences of the place.

According to Socrates' account, no great loss in property would be
likely to occur, could the colonists make good the Reef against their
invaders. The Abraham was over at the Peak, safe enough in the cove, as
was the Neshamony and several of the boats, only two or three of the
smaller of the last being with him. The hogs and cows were most
exposed, though nearly half of the stock was now habitually kept on the
Peak. Still, a couple of hundred hogs were on the prairie, as were no
less than eight horned cattle, including calves. The loss of the last
would be greatly felt, and it was much to be feared, since the creatures
were very gentle, and might be easily caught. Betts, however, had fewer
apprehensions touching the cattle than for the hogs, since the latter
might be slain with arrows, while he was aware that Waally wished to
obtain the first alive.

Agreeably to the accounts of Socrates, the progress of vegetation had
been very great throughout the entire group. Grass grew wherever the
seed was sown, provided anything like soil existed, and the prairie was
now a vast range, most of which was green, and all of which was firm
enough to bear a hoof. The trees, of all sorts, were flourishing also,
and Belts was assured he would not know the group again when he came to
see it by daylight, All this was pleasant intelligence, at least, to the
eager listeners among the new colonists, who had now been so long on
board ship, that anything in the shape of _terra firma_, and of verdure
appeared to them like paradise. But Betts had too many things to think
of, just then, to give much heed to the eulogium of Socrates, and he
soon bestowed all his attention on the means of defence.

As there was but one way of approaching the crater, unless by water, and
that was along the hog pasture and across the plank bridge, Bob felt the
prudence of immediately taking possession of the pass. He ordered
Socrates to look to the gate, where he stationed a guard, and went
himself, with ten men, to make sure of the bridge. It was true, Waally's
men could swim, and would not be very apt to pause long at the basin;
but, it would be an advantage to fight them while in the water, that
ought not to be thrown away. The carronades were all loaded, moreover;
and these precautions taken, and sentinels posted, Betts suffered his
men to sleep on their arms, if sleep they could. Their situation was so
novel, that few availed themselves of the privilege, though their
commanding officer, himself, was soon snoring most musically.

As might have been, expected, Waally made his assault just as the day
appeared. Before that time, however, the launch had got back to the
ship, and the latter was under way, coming fast towards the crater.
Unknown to all, though anticipated by Mark, the Mermaid had entered the
western passage, and was beating up through it, closing fast also on
Waally's rear. Such was the state of things, when the yell of the
assailants was heard.

Waally made his first push for the bridge, expecting to find it
unguarded, and hoping to cross it unresisted. He knew that the ship was
gone, and no longer dreaded _her_ fire; but he was fully aware that the
Summit had its guns, and he wished to seize them while his men were
still impelled by the ardour of a first onset. Those formidable engines
of war were held in the most profound respect by all his people, and
Waally knew the importance of success in a rapid movement. He had
gleaned so much information concerning the state of the Reef, that he
expected no great resistance, fully believing that, now he had seized
the Mermaid, his enemies would be reduced in numbers to less than
half-a-dozen. In all this, he was right enough; and there can be no
question that Socrates and his whole party, together with the Reef, and
for that matter, the entire group, would have fallen into his hands, but
for the timely arrival of the reinforcement. The yell arose when it was
ascertained that the bridge was drawn in, and it was succeeded by a
volley from the guard posted near it, on the Reef. This commenced the
strife, which immediately raged with great fury, and with prodigious
clamour. Waally had all his muskets fired, too, though as yet he saw no
enemy, and did not know in what direction to aim, He could see men
moving about on the Reef, it is true, but it was only at moments, as
they mostly kept themselves behind the covers. After firing his muskets,
the chief issued an order for a charge, and several hundreds of his
warriors plunged into the basin, and began to swim towards the point to
be assailed. This movement admonished Betts of the prudence of retiring
towards the gate, which he did in good order, and somewhat deliberately.
This time, Waally actually got his men upon the Reef without a panic and
without loss. They landed in a crowd, and were soon rushing in all
directions, eager for plunder, and thirsting for blood. Betts was
enabled, notwithstanding to enter the gate, which he did without delay,
perfectly satisfied that all efforts of his to resist the torrent
without must be vain. As soon as his party had entered, the gate was
closed, and Betts was at liberty to bestow all his care on the defence
of the crater.

The great extent of the citadel, which contained an area of not less
than a hundred acres, it will be remembered, rendered its garrison very
insufficient for a siege. It is probable that no one there would have
thought of defending it, but for the certainty of powerful support being
at hand. This certainty encouraged the garrison, rendering their
exertions more ready and cheerful. Betts divided his men into parties of
two, scattering them along the Summit, with orders to be vigilant, and
to support each other. It was well known that a man could not enter from
without unless by the gate, or aided by ladders, or some other
mechanical invention. The time necessary to provide the last would bring
broad daylight, and enable the colonists to march such a force to the
menaced point, as would be pretty certain to prove sufficient to resist
the assailants. The gate itself was commanded by a carronade, and was
watched by a guard.

Great was the disappointment of Waally when he ascertained, by personal
examination, that the Summit could not be scaled, even by the most
active of his party, without recourse to assistance, by means of
artificial contrivances. He had the sagacity to collect all his men
immediately beneath the natural walls, where they were alone safe from
the fire of the guns, but where they were also useless. A large pile of
iron, an article so coveted, was in plain sight, beneath a shed, but he
did not dare to send a single hand to touch it, since it would have
brought the adventurer under fire. A variety of other articles, almost
as tempting, though not perhaps of the same intrinsic value, lay also in
sight, but were tabooed by the magic of powder and balls. Eleven hundred
warriors, as was afterwards ascertained, landed on the Reef that
eventful morning, and assembled under the walls of the crater. A hundred
more remained in the canoes, which lay about a league off, in the
western passage, or to leeward, awaiting the result of the enterprise.

The first effort made by Waally was to throw a force upward, by rearing
one man on another's shoulders. This scheme succeeded in part, but the
fellow who first showed his head above the perpendicular part of the
cliff, received a bullet in his brains. The musket was fired by the
hands of Socrates. This one discharge brought down the whole fabric,
several of those who fell sustaining serious injuries, in the way of
broken bones. The completely isolated position of the crater, which
stood, as it might be, aloof from all surrounding objects, added
materially to its strength in a military sense, and Waally was puzzled
how to overcome difficulties that might have embarrassed a more
civilized soldier. For the first time in his life, that warrior had
encountered a sort of fortress, which could be entered only by regular
approaches, unless it might be carried by a _coup de main_. At the
latter the savages were expert enough, and on it they had mainly relied;
but, disappointed in this respect, they found themselves thrown back on
resources that were far from being equal to the emergency.

Tired of inactivity, Waally finally decided on making a desperate
effort. The ship-yard was still kept up as a place for the repairing of
boats, &c., and it always had more or less lumber lying in, or near it.
Selecting a party of a hundred resolute men, and placing them under the
orders of one of his bravest chiefs, Waally sent them off, on the run,
to bring as much timber, boards, planks, &c., as they could carry,
within the cover of the cliffs. Now, Betts had foreseen the probability
of this very sortie, and had levelled one of his carronades, loaded to
the muzzle with canister, directly at the largest pile of the planks. No
sooner did the adventurers appear, therefore, than he blew his match.
The savages were collected around the planks in a crowd, when he fired
his gun. A dozen of them fell, and the rest vanished like so much dust
scattered by a whirlwind.

Just at that moment, the cry passed along the Summit that the Rancocus
was in sight. The governor must have heard the report of the gun, for he
discharged one in return, an encouraging signal of his approach. In a
minute, a third came from the westward, and Betts saw the sails of the
Mermaid over the low land. It is scarcely necessary to add, that the
reports of the two guns from a distance, and the appearance of the two
vessels, put an end at once to all Waally's schemes, and induced him to
commence, with the least possible delay, a second retreat from the spot
which, like Nelson's frigates, might almost be said to be imprinted on
his heart.

Waally retired successfully, if not with much dignity. At a given signal
his men rushed for the water, plunged in and swam across the basin
again. It was in Betts's power to have killed many on the retreat, but
he was averse to shedding blood unnecessarily. Fifty lives, more or
less, could be of no great moment in the result, as soon as a retreat
was decided on; and the savages were permitted to retire, and to carry
off their killed and wounded without molestation. The last was done by
wheeling forward the planks, and crossing at the bridge.

It was far easier, however, for Waally to gain his canoes, than to know
which way to steer after he had reached them. The Mermaid cut off his
retreat by the western passage, and the Rancocus was coming, fast along
the northern. In order to reach either the eastern, or the southern, it
would be necessary to pass within gun-shot of the Reef, and, what was
more, to run the gauntlet between the crater and the Rancocus. To this
danger Waally was compelled to submit, since he had no other means of
withdrawing his fleet. It was true, that by paddling to windward, he
greatly lessened the danger he ran from the two vessels, since it would
not be in their power to overtake him in the narrow channels of the
group, so long as he went in the wind's eye. It is probable that the
savages understood this, and that the circumstance greatly encouraged
them in the effort they immediately made to get into the eastern
passage. Betts permitted them to pass the Reef, without firing at them
again, though some of the canoes were at least half an hour within the
range of his guns, while doing so. It was lucky for the Indians that the
Rancocus did not arrive until the last of their party were as far to
windward as the spot where the ship had anchored, when she was first
brought up by artificial means into those waters.

Betts went off to meet the governor, in order to make in early report of
his proceedings. It was apparent that the langer was over, and Woolston
was not sorry to find that success was obtained without recourse to his
batteries. The ship went immediately alongside of the natural quay, and
her people poured ashore, in a crowd, the instant a plank could be run
out, in order to enable them to do so. In an hour the cows were landed,
and were grazing in the crater, where the grass was knee-high, and
everything possessing life was out of the ship, the rats and
cock-roaches perhaps excepted. As for the enemy, no one now cared for
them. The man aloft said they could be seen, paddling away as if for
life, and already too far for pursuit. It would have been easy enough
for the vessels to cut off the fugitives by going into the offing again,
but this was not the desire of any there, all being too happy to be rid
of them, to take any steps to prolong the intercourse.

Great was the delight of the colonists to be once more on the land.
Under ordinary circumstances, the immigrants might not have seen so many
charms in the Reef and crater, and hog-lot; but five months at sea have
a powerful influence in rendering the most barren spot beautiful.
Barrenness, however, was a reproach that could no longer be justly
applied to the group, and most especially to those portions of it which
had received the attention of its people. Even trees were beginning to
be numerous, thousands of them having been planted, some for their
fruits, some for their wood, and-others merely for the shade. Of
willows, alone, Socrates with his own hand had set out more than five
thousand, the operation being simply that of thrusting the end of a
branch into the mud. Of the rapidity of the growth, it is scarcely
necessary to speak; though it quadrupled that known even to the most
fertile regions of America.

Here, then, was Mark once more at home, after so long a passage. There
was his ship, too, well freighted with a hundred things, all of which
would contribute to the comfort and well-being of the colonists! It was
a moment when the governor's heart was overflowing with gratitude, and
could he then have taken Bridget and his children in his arms, the cup
of happiness would have been full. Bridget was not forgotten, however,
for in less than half an hour after the ship was secured Betts sailed in
the Neshamony, for the Peak; he was to carry over the joyful tidings,
and to bring the 'governor's lady' to the Reef. Ere the sun set, or
about that time, his return might be expected, the Neshamony making the
trip in much less time than one of the smaller boats. It was not
necessary, however, for Betts to go so far, for when he had fairly
cleared Cape South, and was in the strait, he fell in with the Abraham,
bound over to the Reef. It appeared that some signs of the hostile
canoes had been seen from the Peak, as Waally was crossing from Rancocus
Island, and, after a council, it had been decided to send the Abraham
across, to notify the people on the Reef of the impending danger, and to
aid in repelling the enemy. Bridget and Martha had both come in the
schooner; the first, to look after the many valuables he had left at the
'governor's house,' on the Summit, and the last, as her companion.

We leave the reader to imagine the joy that was exhibited, when those on
board the Abraham ascertained the arrival of the Rancocus! Bridget was
in ecstasies, and greatly did she exult in her own determination to
cross on this occasion, and to bring her child with her. After the first
burst of happiness, and the necessary explanations had been made, a
consultation was had touching what was next to be done. Brown was in
command of the Abraham, with a sufficient crew, and Betts sent him to
windward, outside of everything, to look after the enemy. It was thought
desirable not only to see Waally well clear of the group, but to force
him to pass off to the northward, in order that he might not again
approach the Reef, as well as to give him so much annoyance on his
retreat, as to sicken him of these expeditions for the future. For such
a service the schooner was much the handiest of all the vessels of the
colonists, since she might be worked by a couple of hands, and her
armament was quite sufficient for all that was required of her, on the
occasion. Brown was every way competent to command, as Betts well knew,
and he received the females on board the Neshamony, and put about,
leaving the schooner to turn to windward.

Bridget reached the Reef before it was noon. All the proceedings of that
day had commenced so early, that there had been time for this. The
governor saw the Neshamony. as she approached, and great, uneasiness
beset him He knew she had not been as far as the Peak, and supposed that
Waally's fleet had intercepted her, Betts coming back for
reinforcements. But, as the boat drew near, the fluttering of female
dresses was seen, and then his unerring glass let him get a distant view
of the sweet face of his young wife. From that moment the governor was
incapable of giving a coherent or useful order, until Bridget had
arrived. Vessels that came in from the southward were obliged to pass
through the narrow entrance, between the Reef and the Hog Lot, where was
the drawbridge so often mentioned. There was water enough to float a
frigate, and it was possible to take a frigate through, the width being
about fifty feet, though as yet nothing larger than the Friend Abraham
White had made the trial. At this point, then, Woolston took his
station, waiting the arrival of the Neshamony, with an impatience he was
a little ashamed of exhibiting.

Betts saw the governor, in good time, and pointed him out to Bridget,
who could hardly be kept on board the boat, so slow did the progress of
the craft now seem. But the tender love which this young couple bore
each other was soon to be rewarded; for Mark sprang on board the
Neshamony as she went through the narrow pass, and immediately he had
Bridget folded to his heart.

Foreigners are apt to say that we children of this western world do not
submit to the tender emotions with the same self-abandonment as those
who are born nearer to the rising sun; that our hearts are as cold and
selfish as our manners; and that we live more for the lower and
grovelling passions, than for sentiment and the affections. Most
sincerely do we wish that every charge which European jealousy, and
European superciliousness, have brought against the American character,
was as false as this. That the people of this country are more
restrained in the exhibition of all their emotions, than those across
the great waters, we believe; but, that the last _feel_ the most, we
shall be very unwilling to allow. Most of all shall we deny that the
female form contains hearts more true to all its affections, spirits
more devoted to the interests of its earthly head, or identity of
existence more perfect than those with which the American wife clings
to her husband. She is literally "bone of his bone, and flesh of his
flesh." It is seldom that her wishes cross the limits of the domestic
circle, which to her is earth itself, and all that it contains which is
most desirable. Her husband and children compose her little world, and
beyond them and their sympathies, it is rare indeed that her truant
affections ever wish to stray. A part of this concentration of the
American wife's existence in these domestic interests, is doubtless
owing to the simplicity of American life and the absence of temptation.
Still, so devoted is the female heart, so true to its impulses, and so
little apt to wander from home-feelings and home-duties, that the
imputation to which there is allusion, is just that, of all others, to
which the wives of the republic ought not to be subject.

It was even-tide before the governor was again seen among his people. By
this time, the immigrants had taken their first survey of the Reef, and
the nearest islands, which the least sanguine of their numbers admitted
quite equalled the statements they had originally heard of the
advantages of the place. It was, perhaps, fortunate that the fruits of
the tropics were so abundant with Socrates and his companions. By this
time, oranges abounded, more than a thousand trees having, from time to
time, been planted in and around the crater, alone. Groves of them were
also appearing in favourable spots, on the adjacent islands. It is true,
these trees were yet too young to produce very bountifully; but they had
begun to bear, and it was thought a very delightful thing, among the
fresh arrivals from Pennsylvania, to be able to walk in an orange grove,
and to pluck the fruit at pleasure!

As for figs, melons, limes, shaddocks, and even cocoa-nuts, all were now
to be had, and in quantities quite sufficient for the population. In
time, the colonists craved the apples of their own latitude, and the
peach; those two fruits, so abundant and so delicious in their ancient
homes; but the novelty was still on them, and it required time to learn
the fact that we tire less of the apple, and the peach, and the potato,
than of any other of the rarest gifts of nature. That which the potato
has become among vegetables, is the apple among fruits; and when we rise
into the mere luscious and temporary of the bountiful products of
horticulture, the peach (in its perfection) occupies a place altogether
apart, having no rival in its exquisite flavour, while it never produces
satiety. The peach and the grape are the two most precious of the gifts
of Providence, in the way of fruits.

That night, most of the immigrants slept in the ship; nearly all of
them, however, for the last time. About ten in the forenoon, Brown came
running down to the Reef, through the eastern passage, to report Waally
well off, having quitted the group to windward, and made the best of his
way towards his own islands, without turning aside to make a
starting-point of Rancocus. It was a good deal questioned whether the
chief would find his proper dominions, after a run of four hundred
miles; for a very trifling deviation from the true course at starting,
would be very apt to bring him out wide of his goal. This was a matter,
however, that gave the colonists very little concern. The greater the
embarrassments encountered by their enemies, the less likely would they
be to repeat the visit; and should a few perish, it might be all the
better for themselves. The governor greatly approved of Brown's course
in not following the canoes, since the repulse was sufficient as it was,
and there was very little probability that the colony would meet with
any further difficulty from this quarter, now that it had got to be so

That day and the next, the immigrants were busy in landing their
effects, which consisted of furniture, tools and stores, of one sort and
another. As the governor intended to send, at once, forty select
families over to the Peak, the Abraham was brought alongside of the
quay, and the property of those particular families was, as it came
ashore, sent on board the schooner. Males and females were all employed
in this duty, the Reef resembling a beehive just at that point. Bill
Brown, who still commanded the Abraham, was of course present; and he
made an occasion to get in company with the governor, with whom he held
the following short dialogue:

"A famous ship's company is this, sir, you've landed among us, and some
on 'em is what I calls of the right sort!"

"I understand you, Bill," answered Mark, smiling. "Your commission has
been duly executed; and Phoebe is here, ready to be spliced as soon as
there shall be an opportunity."

"_That_ is easily enough made, when people's so inclined," said Bill,
fidgeting. "If you'd be so good, sir, as just to point out the young
woman to me, I might be beginning to like her, in the meanwhile."

"_Young?_ Nothing was said about that in the order, Bill. You wished a
wife, invoiced and consigned to yourself; and one has been shipped,
accordingly. You must consider the state of the market, and remember
that the article is in demand precisely as it is youthful."

"Well, well, sir, I'll not throw her on your hands, if she's old enough
to be my mother; though I do rather suppose, Mr. Woolston, you stood by
an old shipmate in a foreign land, and that there is a companion
suitable for a fellow of only two-and-thirty sent out?"

"Of that you shall judge for yourself, Bill. Here she comes, carrying a
looking-glass, as if it were to look at her own pretty face; and if she
prove to be only as good as she is good-looking, you will have every
reason to be satisfied. What is more, Bill, your wife does not come
empty-handed, having a great many articles that will help to set you up
comfortably in housekeeping."

Brown was highly pleased with the governor's choice, which had been made
with a due regard to the interests and tastes of the absent shipmate.
Phoebe appeared well satisfied with her allotted husband; and that very
day the couple was united in the cabin of the Abraham. On the same
occasion, the ceremony was performed for Unus and Juno, as well as for
Peters and his Indian wife; the governor considering it proper that
regard to appearances and all decent observances, should be paid, as
comported with their situation.

About sunset of the third day after the arrival of the Rancocus, the
Abraham sailed for the Peak, having on board somewhat less than a
hundred of the immigrants, including females and children. The Neshamony
preceded her several hours, taking across the governor and his family.
Mark longed to see his sister Anne, and his two brothers participated in
this wish, if possible, in a still more lively manner.

The meeting of these members of the same family was of the most touching
character. The young men found their sister much better established than
they had anticipated, and in the enjoyment of very many more comforts
than they had supposed it was in the power of any one to possess in a
colony still so young. Heaton had erected a habitation for himself, in a
charming grove, where there were water, fruits, and other conveniences,
near at hand, and where his own family was separated from the rest of
the community. This distinction had been conferred on him, by common
consent, in virtue of his near affinity to the governor, whose
substitute he then was, and out of respect to his education and original
rank in life. Seamen are accustomed to defer to station and authority,
and are all the happier for the same; and the thought of any jealousy on
account of this privilege, which as yet was confined to Mark and Heaton,
and their respective families, had not yet crossed the mind of any one
on the island.

About twelve, or at midnight, the Abraham entered the cove. Late as was
the hour, each immigrant assumed a load suited to his or her strength,
and ascended the Stairs, favoured by the sweet light of a full moon.
That night most of the new-comers passed in the groves, under tents or
in an arbour that had been prepared for them; and sweet was the repose
that attended happiness and security, in a climate so agreeable.

Next morning, when the immigrants came out of their temporary dwellings,
and looked upon the fair scene before them, they could scarcely believe
in its reality! It is true, nothing remarkable or unexpected met their
eyes in the shape of artificial accessories; but the bountiful gifts of
Providence, and the natural beauties of the spot, as much exceeded their
anticipations as it did their power of imagining such glories! The
admixture of softness and magnificence made a whole that they had never
before beheld in any other portion of the globe; and there was not one
among them all that did not, for the moment, feel and speak as if he or
she had been suddenly transformed to an earthly paradise.

Chapter XXII.

"You have said they are men;
As such their hearts are something."


The colony had now reached a point when it became necessary to proceed
with method and caution. Certain great principles were to be
established, on which the governor had long reflected, and he was fully
prepared to set them up, and to defend them, though he knew that ideas
prevailed among a few of his people, which might dispose them to cavil
at his notions, if not absolutely to oppose him. Men are fond of change;
half the time, for a reason no better than that it is change; and, not
unfrequently, they permit this wayward feeling to unsettle interests
that are of the last importance to them, and which find no small part of
their virtue in their permanency.

Hitherto, with such slight exceptions as existed in deference to the
station, not to say rights of the governor, everything of an
agricultural character had been possessed in common among the colonists.
But this was a state of things which the good sense of Mark told him
could not, and ought not to last. The theories which have come into
fashion in our own times, concerning the virtues of association, were
then little known and less credited. Society, as it exists in a legal
form, is association enough for all useful purposes, and sometimes too
much; and the governor saw no use in forming a wheel within a wheel. If
men have occasion for each other's assistance to effect a particular
object, let them unite, in welcome, for that purpose; but Mark was fully
determined that there should be but one government in his land, and that
this government should be of a character to encourage and not to depress
exertion. So long as a man toiled for himself and those nearest and
dearest to him, society had a security for his doing much, that would be
wanting where the proceeds of the entire community were to be shared in
common; and, on the knowledge of this simple and obvious truth did our
young legislator found his theory of government. Protect all in their
rights equally, but, that done, let every man pursue his road to
happiness in his own way; conceding no more of his natural rights than
were necessary to the great ends of peace, security, and law. Such was
Mark's theory. As for the modern crotchet that men yielded _no_ natural
right to government, but were to receive all and return nothing, the
governor, in plain language, was not fool enough to believe it. He was
perfectly aware that when a man gives authority to society to compel him
to attend court as a witness, for instance, he yields just so much of
his natural rights to society, as might be necessary to empower him to
stay away, if he saw fit; and, so on, through the whole of the very long
catalogue of the claims which the most indulgent communities make upon
the services of their citizens. Mark understood the great desideratum to
be, not the setting up of theories to which every attendant fact gives
the lie, but the ascertaining, as near as human infirmity will allow,
the precise point at which concession to government ought to terminate,
and that of uncontrolled individual freedom commence. He was not
visionary enough to suppose that he was to be the first to make this
great discovery; but he was conscious of entering on the task with the
purest intentions. Our governor had no relish for power for power's
sake, but only wielded it for the general good. By nature, he was more
disposed to seek happiness in a very small circle, and would have been
just as well satisfied to let another govern, as to rule himself, had
there been another suited to such a station. But there was not. His own
early habits of command, the peculiar circumstances which had first put
him in possession of the territory, as if it were a special gift of
Providence to himself, his past agency in bringing about the actual
state of things, and his property, which amounted to more than that of
all the rest of the colony put together, contributed to give him a title
and authority to rule, which would have set the claims of any rival at
defiance, had such a person existed. But there was no rival; not a
being present desiring to see another in his place.

The first step of the governor was to appoint his brother, Abraham
Woolston, the secretary of the colony. In that age America had very
different notions of office, and of its dignity, of the respect due to
authority, and of the men who wielded it, from what prevail at the
present time. The colonists, coming as they did from America, brought
with them the notions of the times, and treated their superiors
accordingly. In the last century a governor was "_the_ governor," and
not "_our_ governor," and a secretary "_the_ secretary," and not "_our_
secretary," men now taking more liberties with what they fancy their
own, than was their wont with what they believed had been set over them
for their good. Mr. Secretary Woolston soon became a personage,
accordingly, as did all the other considerable functionaries appointed
by the governor.

The very first act of Abraham Woolston, on being sworn into office, was
to make a registry of the entire population. We shall give a synopsis of
it, in order that the reader may understand the character of the
materials with which the governor had room to work, viz:--

Males, 147
Male Adults, 113
Male Children, 34
Male Married 101
Females, 158
Female Adults, 121
Female Children, 37
Female Married, 101
Widowers 1
Widows, 4
Seamen, 38
Mechanics, 26
Physician, 1
Student in Medicine, 1
Lawyer, 1
Clergyman, 1
Population, 305

Here, then, was a community composed already of three hundred and five
souls. The governor's policy was not to increase this number by further
immigration, unless in special cases, and then only after due
deliberation and inquiry. Great care had been taken with the characters
of the present settlers, and careless infusions of new members might
undo a great deal of good that had already been done. This matter was
early laid before the new council, and the opinions of the governor met
with a unanimous concurrence.

On the subject of the council, it may be well to say a word. It was
increased to nine, and a new election was made, the incumbents holding
their offices for life. This last provision was made to prevent the
worst part, and the most corrupting influence of politics, viz., the
elections, from getting too much sway over the public mind. The new
council was composed as follows, viz:--

Messrs. Heaton,
C. Woolston, }
A. Woolston, } the governor's brothers
Wilmot, and

These names belonged to the most intelligent men of the colony, Betts
perhaps excepted; but his claims were too obvious to be slighted. Betts
had good sense moreover, and a great deal of modesty. All the rest of
the council had more or less claims to be gentlemen, but Bob never
pretended to that character. He knew his own qualifications, and did not
render himself ridiculous by aspiring to be more than he really was;
still, his practical knowledge made him a very useful member of the
council, where his opinions were always heard with attention and
respect. Charlton and Wilmot were merchants, and intended to embark
regularly in trade; while Warrington, who possessed more fortune than
any of the other colonists, unless it might be the governor, called
himself a farmer, though he had a respectable amount of general science,
and was well read in most of the liberal studies.

Warrington was made judge, with a small salary, all of which he gave to
the clergyman, the Rev. Mr. White. This was done because he had no need
of the money himself, and there was no other provision for the parson
than free contributions. John Woolston, who had read law, was named
Attorney-General, or colony's Attorney, as the office was more modestly
styled; to which duties he added those of surveyor-general. Charles
received his salary, which was two hundred and fifty dollars, being in
need of it. The question of salary, as respects the governor, was also
settled. Mark had no occasion for the money, owning all the vessels,
with most of the cargo of the Rancocus, as well as having brought out
with him no less a sum than five thousand dollars, principally in
change--halves, quarters, shillings and six-pences. Then a question
might well arise, whether he did not own most of the stock; a large part
of it was his beyond all dispute, though some doubts might exist as to
the remainder. On this subject the governor came to a most wise
decision. He was fully aware that nothing was more demoralizing to a
people than to suffer them to get loose notions on the subject of
property. Property of all kinds, he early determined, should be most
rigidly respected, and a decision that he made shortly after his return
from America, while acting in his capacity of chief magistrate, and
before the new court went into regular operation, was of a character to
show how he regarded this matter. The case was as follows:--

Two of the colonists, Warner and Harris, had bad blood between them.
Warner had placed his family in an arbour within a grove, and to
"aggravate" him, Harris came and walked before his door, strutting up
and down like a turkey-cock, and in a way to show that it was intended
to annoy Warner. The last brought his complaint before the governor. On
the part of Harris, it was contended that no _injury_ had been done the
property of Harris, and that, consequently, no damages could be claimed.
The question of title was conceded, _ex necessitate rerum_. Governor
Woolston decided, that a man's rights in his property were not to be
limited by positive injuries to its market value. Although no grass or
vegetables had been destroyed by Harris in his walks, he had _molested_
Warner in such an enjoyment of his dwelling; as, in intendment of law,
every citizen was entitled to in his possessions. The trespass was an
aggravated one, and damages were given accordingly. In delivering his
judgment, the governor took occasion to state, that in the
administration of the law, the rights of every man would be protected
in the fullest extent, not only as connected with pecuniary
considerations, but as connected with all those moral uses and feelings
which contribute to human happiness. This decision met with applause,
and was undoubtedly right in itself. It was approved, because the
well-intentioned colonists had not learned to confound liberty with
licentiousness; but understood the former to be the protection of the
citizen in the enjoyment of all his innocent tastes, enjoyments and
personal rights, after making such concessions to government as are
necessary to its maintenance. Thrice happy would it be for all lands,
whether they are termed despotisms or democracies, could they thoroughly
feel the justice of this definition, and carry out its intention in

The council was convened the day succeeding its election. After a few
preliminary matters were disposed of, the great question was laid before
it, of a division of property, and the grant of real estate. Warrington
and Charles Woolston laid down the theory, that the fee of all the land
was, by gift of Providence, in the governor, and that his patent, or
sign-manual, was necessary for passing the title into other hands. This
theory had an affinity to that of the Common Law, which made the prince
the suzerain, and rendered him the heir of all escheated estates. But
Mark's humility, not to say his justice, met this doctrine on the
threshold. He admitted the sovereignty and its right, but placed it in
the body of the colony, instead of in himself. As the party most
interested took this view of the case, they who were disposed to regard
his rights as more sweeping, were fain to submit. The land was therefore
declared to be the property of the state. Ample grants, however, were
made both to the governor and Betts, as original possessors, or
discoverers, and it was held in law that their claims were thus
compromised. The grants to Governor Woolston included quite a thousand
acres on the Peak, which was computed to contain near thirty thousand,
and an island of about the same extent in the group, which was
beautifully situated near its centre, and less than a league from the
crater. Betts had one hundred acres granted to him, near the crater
also. He refused any other grant, as a right growing out of original
possession. Nor was his reasoning bad on the occasion. When he was
driven off, in the Neshamony, the Reef, Loam Island, Guano Island, and
twenty or thirty rocks, composed all the dry land. He had never seen the
Peak until Mark was in possession of it, and had no particular claim
there. When the council came to make its general grants, he was willing
to come in for his proper share with the rest of the people, and he
wanted no more. Heaton had a special grant of two hundred acres made to
him on the Peak, and another in the group of equal extent, as a reward
for his early and important services. Patents were made out, at once, of
these several grants, under the great seal of the colony; for the
governor had provided parchment, and wax, and a common seal, in
anticipation of their being all wanted. The rest of the grants of land
were made on a general principle, giving fifty acres on the Peak, and
one hundred in the group, to each male citizen of the age of twenty-one
years; those who had not yet attained their majority being compelled to
wait. A survey was made, and the different lots were numbered, and
registered by those numbers. Then a lottery, was made, each man's name
being put in one box, and the necessary numbers in another. The number
drawn against any particular name was the lot of the person in question.
A registration of the drawing was taken, and printed patents were made
out, signed, sealed, and issued to the respective parties. We say
printed, a press and types having been brought over in the Rancocus, as
well as a printer. In this way, then, every male of full age, was put in
possession of one hundred and fifty acres of land, in fee.

As the lottery did not regard the wishes of parties, many private
bargains were made, previously to the issuing of the patents, in order
that friends and connections might be placed near to each other. Some
sold their rights, exchanging with a difference, while others sold
altogether on the Peak, or in the group, willing to confine their
possessions to one or the other of these places. In this manner Mr,
Warrington, or Judge Warrington, as he was now called, bought three
fifty-acre lots adjoining his own share on the Peak, and sold his
hundred-acre lot in the group. The price established by these original
sales, would seem to give a value of ten dollars an acre to land on the
Peak, and of three dollars an acre to land in the group. Some lots,
however, had a higher value than others, all these things being left to
be determined by the estimate which the colonists placed on their
respective valuations. As everything was conducted on a general and
understood principle, and the drawing was made fairly and in public,
there was no discontent; though some of the lots were certainly a good
deal preferable to others. The greatest difference in value existed in
the lots in the group, where soil and water were often wanted; though,
on the wholes much more of both was found than had been at first
expected. There were vast deposits of mud, and others of sand, and
Heaton early suggested the expediency of mixing the two together, by way
of producing fertility. An experiment of this nature had been tried,
under his orders, during the absence of the governor, and the result was
of the most satisfactory nature; the acre thus manured producing

As it was the sand that was to be conveyed to the mud, the toil was much
less than might have been imagined. This sand usually lay near the
water, and the numberless channels admitted of its being transported in
boats along a vast reach of shore. Each lot having a water front, every
man might manure a few acres, by this process, without any great
expense; and no sooner were the rights determined, and the decisions of
the parties made as to their final settlements, than many went to work
to render the cracked and baked mud left by the retiring ocean fertile
and profitable. Lighters were constructed for the purpose, and the
colonists formed themselves into gangs, labouring in common, and
transporting so many loads of sand to each levee, as the banks were
called, though not raised as on the Mississippi, and distributing it
bountifully over the surface. The spade was employed to mix the two
earths together.

Most of the allotments of land, in the group, were in the immediate
neighbourhood of the Reef. As there were quite a hundred of them, more
than ten thousand acres of the islands were thus taken up, at the start.
By a rough calculation, however, the group extended east and west
sixty-three miles, and north and south about fifty,--the Reef being a
very little west and a very little south of its centre. Of this surface
it was thought something like three-fourths was dry land, or naked rock.
This would give rather more than a million and a half of acres of land;
but, of this great extent of territory, not more than two-thirds could
be rendered available for the purposes of husbandry, for want of soil,
or the elements of soil. There were places where the deposit of mud
seemed to be of vast depth, while in others it did not exceed a few
inches. The same was true of the sands, though the last was rarely of as
great depth as the mud, or alluvium.

A month was consumed in making the allotments, and in putting the
different proprietors in possession of their respective estates. Then,
indeed, were the results of the property-system made directly apparent.
No sooner was an individual put in possession of his deed, and told that
the lot it represented was absolutely his own, to do what he pleased
with it, than he went to work with energy and filled with hopes, to turn
his new domains to account. It is true that education and intelligence,
if they will only acquit themselves of their tasks with disinterested
probity, may enlighten and instruct the ignorant how to turn their means
to account; but, all experience proves that each individual usually
takes the best care of his own interests, and that the system is wisest
which grants to him the amplest opportunity so to do.

To work all went, the men forming themselves into gangs, and aiding each
other. The want of horses and neat cattle was much felt, more especially
as Heaton's experience set every one at the sand, as the first step in a
profitable husbandry: wheelbarrows, however, were made use of instead of
carts, and it was found that a dozen pair of hands could do a good deal
with that utensil, in the course of a day. All sorts of contrivances
were resorted to in order to transport the sand, but the governor
established a regular system, by which the lighter should deliver one
load at each farm, in succession. By the end of a month it was found
that a good deal had been done, the distances being short and the other
facilities constantly increasing by the accession of new boats.

All sorts of habitations were invented. The scarcity of wood in the
group was a serious evil, and it was found indispensable to import that
material. Parts of Rancocus Island were well wooded, there growing among
other trees a quantity of noble yellow pines. Bigelow was sent across in
the Abraham to set up a mill, and to cut lumber. There being plenty of
water-power, the mill was soon got at work, and a lot of excellent
plank, boards, &c., was shipped in the schooner for the crater.
Shingle-makers were also employed, the cedar abounding, as well as the
pine. The transportation to the coast was the point of difficulty on
Rancocus Island as well as elsewhere; none of the cattle being yet old
enough to be used. Socrates had three pair of yearling steers, and one
of two years old breaking, but it was too soon to set either at work.
With the last, a little very light labour was done, but it was more to
train the animals, than with any other object.

On Rancocus Island, however, Bigelow had made a very ingenious canal,
that was of vast service in floating logs to the mill. The dam made a
long narrow pond that penetrated two or three miles up a gorge in the
mountains, and into this dam the logs were rolled down the declivities,
which were steep enough to carry anything into the water. When cut into
lumber, it was found that the stream below the mill, would carry small
rafts down to the sea.

While all these projects were in the course of operation, the governor
did not forget the high interests connected with his foreign relations;
Waally was to be looked to, and Ooroony's son to be righted. The council
was unanimously of opinion that sound policy required such an exhibition
of force on the part of the colony, as should make a lasting impression
on their turbulent neighbours. An expedition was accordingly fitted out,
in which the Mermaid, the Abraham, and a new pilot-boat built schooner
of fifty tons burthen, were employed. This new schooner was nearly ready
for launching when the Rancocus returned, and was put into the water for
the occasion. She had been laid down in the cove, where Bigelow had
found room for a sufficient yard, and where timber was nearer at hand,
than on the Reef. As Rancocus Island supplied the most accessible and
the best lumber, the council had determined to make a permanent
establishment on it, for the double purposes of occupation and building
vessels. As the resources of that island were developed, it was found
important on other accounts, also. Excellent clay for bricks was found,
as was lime-stone, in endless quantities. For the purposes of
agriculture, the place was nearly useless, there not being one thousand
acres of good arable land in the whole island; but the mountains were
perfect mines of treasure in the way of necessary supplies of the sorts

A brick-yard was immediately cleared and formed, and a lime-kiln
constructed. Among the colonists, it was easy to find men accustomed to
work in all these familiar branches. The American can usually turn his
hand to a dozen different pursuits; and, though he may not absolutely
reach perfection in either, he is commonly found useful and reasonably
expert in all. Before the governor sailed on his expedition against
Waally, a brick-kiln and a lime-kiln were nearly built, and a vast
quantity of lumber had been carried over to the Reef. As sandal-wood had
been collecting for the twelve months of her late absence, the Rancocus
had also been filled up, and had taken in a new cargo for Canton. It was
not the intention of the governor to command his ship this voyage; but
he gave her to Saunders, who was every way competent to the trust. When
all was ready, the Rancocus, the Mermaid, the Abraham, and the Anne, as
the new pilot-boat schooner was called, sailed for Betto's group: it
being a part of the governor's plan to use the ship, in passing, with a
view to intimidate his enemies. In consequence of the revolution that
had put Waally up again, every one of the Kannakas who had gone out in
the Rancocus on her last voyage, refused to go home, knowing that they
would at once be impressed into Waally's service; and they all now
cheerfully shipped anew, for a second voyage to foreign lands. By this
time, these men were very useful; and the governor had a project for
bringing up a number of the lads of the islands, and of making use of
them in the public service. This scheme was connected with his
contemplated success, and formed no small part of the policy of the day.

The appearance of so formidable a force as was now brought against
Waally, reduced that turbulent chief to terms without a battle. About
twenty of his canoes had got separated from the rest of the fleet in a
squall, while returning from the unsuccessful attempt on the Reef, and
they were never heard of more; or, if heard of, it was in uncertain
rumours, which gave an account of the arrival of three or four canoes at
some islands a long way to-leeward, with a handful of half-starved
warriors on board. It is supposed that all the rest perished at sea.
This disaster had rendered Waally unpopular among the friends of those
who were lost; and that unpopularity was heightened by the want of
success in the expedition itself. Success is all in all, with the common
mind; and we daily see the vulgar shouting at the heels of those whom
they are ready to crucify at the first turn of fortune. In this good
land of ours, popularity adds to its more worthless properties the
substantial result of power; and it is not surprising that so many
forget their God in the endeavour to court the people. In time, however,
all of these persons of mistaken ambition come to exclaim, with
Shakspeare's Wolsey--

"Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies."

Waally's power, already tottering through the influence of evil fortune,
crumbled entirely before the force Governor Woolston now brought against
it. Although the latter had but forty whites with him, they came in
ships, and provided with cannon; and not a chief dreamed of standing by
the offender, in this his hour of need. Waally had the tact to
comprehend his situation, and the wisdom to submit to his fortune. He
sent a messenger to the governor with a palm-branch, offering to restore
young Ooroony to all his father's authority, and to confine himself to
his strictly inherited dominions. Such, in fact, was the basis of the
treaty that was now made, though hostages were taken for its fulfilment.
To each condition Waally consented; and everything was settled to the
entire satisfaction of the whites and to the honour and credit of young
Ooroony. The result was, in substance, as we shall now record.

In the first place, one hundred lads were selected and handed over to
the governor, as so many apprentices to the sea. These young Kannakas
were so many hostages for the good behaviour of their parents; while the
parents, always within reach of the power of the colonists, were so many
hostages for the good behaviour of the Kannakas. Touching the last,
however, the governor had very few misgivings, since he believed it very
possible so to treat, and so to train them, as to make them fast
friends. In placing them on board the different vessels, therefore,
rigid instructions were given to their officers to be kind to these
youngsters; and each and all were to be taught to read, and instructed
in the Christian religion. The Rev. Mr. Hornblower took great interest
in this last arrangement, as did half the females of the colony. Justice
and kind treatment, in fact, produced their usual results in the cases
of these hundred youths; every one of whom got to be, in the end, far
more attached to the Reef, and its customs, than to their own islands
and their original habits. The sea, no doubt, contributed its share to
this process of civilization; for it is ever found that the man who gets
a thorough taste for that element, is loth to quit it again for _terra

One hundred able-bodied men were added to the recruits that the governor
obtained in Betto's group. They were taken as hired labourers, and not
as hostages. Beads and old iron were to be their pay, with fish-hooks,
and such other trifles as had a value in their eyes; and their
engagement was limited to two months. There was a disposition among a
few of the colonists to make slaves of these men, and to work their
lands by means of a physical force obtained in Betto's group; but to
this scheme the council would not lend itself for a moment. The governor
well knew that the usefulness, virtue, and moral condition of his
people, depended on their being employed, and he had no wish to
undermine the permanent prosperity of the colony, by resorting to an
expedient that might do well enough for a short time, but which would
certainly bring its own punishment in the end.

Still, an accession of physical force, properly directed, would be of
great use in this early age of the colony. The labourers were
accordingly engaged; but this was done by the government, which not only
took the control of the men, but which also engaged to see them paid the
promised remuneration. Another good was also anticipated from this
arrangement. The two groups must exist as friends or as enemies. So long
as young Ooroony reigned, it was thought there would be little
difficulty in maintaining amicable relations; and it was hoped that the
intercourse created by this arrangement, aided by the trade in
sandal-wood, might have the effect to bind the natives to the whites by
the tie of interest.

The vessels lay at Betto's group a fortnight, completing all the
arrangements made; though the Rancocus sailed on her voyage as soon as
the terms of the treaty were agreed on, and the Anne was sent back to
the Reef with the news that the war had terminated. As for Waally, he
was obliged to place his favourite son in the hands of young Ooroony,
who held the youthful chief as a hostage for his father's good

Chapter XXIII.

"Thou shalt seek the beach of sand
Where the water bounds the elfin land;
Thou shalt watch the oozy brine
Till the sturgeon leaps in the bright moonshine,
Then dart the glistening arch below,
And catch a drop from his silver bow;
The water-sprites will wield their arms,
And dash around, with roar and rave,
And vain are the woodland spirit's charms,
They are the imps that rule the wave.
Yet trust thee in thy single might;
If thy heart be pure, and thy spirit right,
Thou shalt win the warlike fight."


A twelvemonth passed, after the return of the expedition against Betto's
group, without the occurrence of any one very marked event. Within that
time, Bridget made Mark the father of a fine boy, and Anne bore her
fourth, child to Heaton. The propagation of the human species, indeed,
flourished marvellously, no less than seventy-eight children having been
born in the course of that single year. There were a few deaths, only
one among the adults, the result of an accident, the health of the
colony having been excellent. An enumeration, made near the close of the
year, showed a total of three hundred and seventy-nine souls, including
those absent in the Rancocus, and excluding the Kannakas.

As for these Kannakas, the results of their employment quite equalled
the governor's expectations. They would not labour like civilized men,
it is true, nor was it easy to make them use tools; but at lifts, and

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