Part 9 out of 9
subdued feeling, and suffered the tears that had been suffusing her eyes
to roll down her cheeks in large drops, till they bathed the deck.
"Yes, now, my love," continued the colonel, "or I fail in my duty. I go
shortly to stand face to face with your parents, my children; for the
man who, dying, expects not to meet worthy Hugh Griffith and honest Jack
Plowden in heaven can have no clear view of the rewards that belong to
lives of faithful service to the country, or of gallant loyalty to the
king! I trust no one can justly say that I ever forgot the delicacy due
to your gentle sex; but it is no moment for idle ceremony when time is
shortening into minutes, and heavy duties remain to be discharged. I
could not die in peace, children, were I to leave you here in the wide
ocean, I had almost said in the wide world, without that protection
which becomes your tender years and still more tender characters. If it
has pleased God to remove your guardian, let his place be supplied by
those he wills to succeed him!"
Cecilia no longer hesitated, but she arose slowly from her knees, and
offered her hand to Griffith with an air of forced resignation.
Katherine submitted to be led by Barnstable to her side; and the
chaplain, who had been an affected listener to the dialogue, in
obedience to an expressive signal from the eye of Griffith, opened the
prayer-book from which he had been gleaning consolation for the dying
master, and commenced reading, in trembling tones, the marriage service.
The vows were pronounced by the weeping brides in voices more distinct
and audible than if they had been uttered amid the gay crowds that
usually throng a bridal; for though they were the irreclaimable words
that bound them forever to the men whose power over their feelings they
thus proclaimed to the world, the reserve of maiden diffidence was lost
in one engrossing emotion of solemnity, created by the awful presence in
which they stood. When the benediction was pronounced, the head of
Cecilia dropped on the shoulder of her husband, where she wept
violently, for a moment, and then resuming her place at the couch, she
once more knelt at the side of her uncle. Katherine received the warm
kiss of Barnstable passively, and returned to the spot whence she had
Colonel Howard succeeded in raising his person to witness the ceremony,
and had answered to each prayer with a fervent "Amen." He fell back with
the last words; and a look of satisfaction shone in his aged and pallid
features, that declared the interest he had taken in the scene.
"I thank you, my children," he at length uttered, "I thank you; for I
know how much you have sacrificed to my wishes. You will find all my
papers relative to the estates of my wards, gentlemen, in the hands of
my banker in London; and you will also find there my will, Edward, by
which you will learn that Cicely has not come to your arms an
unportioned bride. What my wards are in persons and manners your eyes
can witness, and I trust the vouchers in London will show that I have
not been an unfaithful steward to their, pecuniary affairs!"
"Name it not--say no more, or you will break my heart," cried Katherine,
sobbing aloud, in the violence of her remorse at having ever pained so
true a friend. "Oh! talk of yourself, think of yourself; we are
unworthy--at least I am unworthy of another thought!"
The dying man extended a hand to her in kindness, and continued, though
his voice grew feebler as he spoke:
"Then to return to myself--I would wish to lie, like my ancestors, in
the bosom of the earth--and in consecrated ground."
"It shall be done," whispered Griffith, "I will see it done myself."
"I thank thee, my son," said the veteran; "for such thou art to me in
being the husband of Cicely--you will find in my will that I have
liberated and provided for all my slaves--except those ungrateful
scoundrels who deserted their master--they have seized their own
freedom, and they need not be indebted to me for the same. There is,
Edward, also an unworthy legacy to the king; his majesty will deign to
receive it--from an old and faithful servant, and you will not miss the
trifling gift." A long pause followed, as if he had been summing up the
account of his earthly duties, and found them duly balanced, when he
added, "Kiss me, Cicely--and you, Katherine--I find you have the genuine
feelings of honest Jack, your father.--My eyes grow dim--which is the
hand of Griffith? Young gentleman, I have given you all that a fond old
man had to bestow--deal tenderly with the precious child--we have not
properly understood each other--I had mistaken both you and Mr.
Christopher Dillon, I believe; perhaps I may also have mistaken my duty
to America--but I was too old to change my politics or my religion--I-I-
I loved the king--God bless him--"
His words became fainter and fainter as he proceeded; and the breath
deserted his body with this benediction on his livid lips, which the
proudest monarch might covet from so honest a man.
The body was instantly borne into a stateroom by the attendants; and
Griffith and Barnstable supported their brides into the after-cabin,
where they left them seated on the sofa that lined the stern of the
ship, weeping bitterly, in each other's arms.
No part of the preceding scene had been unobserved by Boltrope, whose
small, hard eyes were observed by the young men to twinkle, when they
returned into the state apartment; and they approached their wounded
comrade to apologize for the seeming neglect that their conduct had
"I heard you were hurt, Boltrope," said Griffith, taking him kindly by
the hand; "but as I know you are not unused to being marked by shot, I
trust we shall soon see you again on deck."
"Ay, ay," returned the master, "you'll want no spy glasses to see the
old hulk as you launch it into the sea. I have had shot, as you say,
before now to tear my running-gear, and even to knock a splinter out of
some of my timbers; but this fellow has found his way into my bread-
room; and the cruise of life is up!"
"Surely the case is not so bad, honest David," said Barnstable; "you
have kept afloat, to my knowledge, with a bigger hole in your skin than
this unlucky hit has made!"
"Ay, ay," returned the master, "that was in my upper works, where the
doctor could get at it with a plug; but this chap has knocked away the
shifting-boards, and I feel as if the whole cargo was broken up. You may
say that Tourniquet rates me all the same as a dead man; for after looking
at the shot-hole, he has turned me over to the parson here, like a piece
of old junk which is only fit to be worked up into something new. Captain
Munson had a lucky time of it! I think you said, Mr. Griffith, that the
old gentleman was launched overboard with everything standing, and that
Death made but one rap at his door, before he took his leave!"
"His end was indeed sudden!" returned Griffith; "but it is what we
seamen must expect."
"And for which there is so much the more occasion to be prepared," the
chaplain ventured to add, in a low, humble, and, perhaps, timid voice.
The sailing-master looked keenly from one to the other as they spoke;
and, after a short pause, he continued, with an air of great submission:
"'Twas his luck; and I suppose it is sinful to begrudge a man his lawful
luck. As for being prepared, parson, that is your business, and not
mine; therefore, as there is but little time to spare, why, the sooner
you set about it the better: and, to save unnecessary trouble I may as
well tell you not to strive to make too much of me; for, I must own it
to my shame, I never took learning kindly. If you can fit me for some
middling berth in the other world, like the one I hold in this ship, it
will suit me as well, and, perhaps, be easier to all hands of us."
If there was a shade of displeasure blended with the surprise that
crossed the features of the divine at this extraordinary limitation of
his duties, it entirely disappeared when he considered more closely the
perfect expression of simplicity with which the dying master uttered his
wishes. After a long and melancholy pause, which neither Griffith or his
friend felt any inclination to interrupt, the chaplain replied:
"It is not the province of man to determine on the decrees of the
merciful dispensations of the Deity; and nothing that I can do, Mr.
Boltrope, will have any weight in making up the mighty and irrevocable
decree. What I said to you last night, in our conversation on this very
subject, must still be fresh in your memory, and there is no good reason
why I should hold a different language to you now,"
"I can't say that I logg'd all that passed," returned the master; "and
that which I do recollect fell chiefly from myself, for the plain reason
that a man remembers his own better than his neighbor's ideas. And this
puts me in mind, Mr. Griffith, to tell you that one of the forty-two's
from the three-decker traveled across the forecastle, and cut the best
bower within a fathom of the clinch, as handily as an old woman would
clip her rotten yarn with a pair of tailor's shears! If you will be so
good as to order one of my mates to shift the cable end-for-end, and
make a new bend of it, I'll do as much for you another time."
"Mention it not," said Griffith; "rest assured that everything shall be
done for the security of the ship in your department-I will superintend
the whole duty in person; and I would have you release your mind from
all anxiety on the subject, to attend to your more important interests
"Why," returned Boltrope, with a little show of pertinacity, "I have an
opinion that the cleaner a man takes his hands into the other world, of
the matters of duty in this the better he will be fitted to handle
anything new.--Now, the parson, here, undertook to lay down the doctrine
last night that it was no matter how well or how ill a man behaved
himself, so that he squared his conscience by the lifts and braces of
faith; which I take to be a doctrine that is not to be preached on
shipboard; for it would play the devil with the best ship's company that
was ever mustered."
"Oh! no--no--dear Mr. Boltrope, you mistook me and my doctrine
altogether!" exclaimed the chaplain; "at least you mistook----"
"Perhaps, sir," interrupted Griffith, gently, "our honest friend will
not be more fortunate now. Is there nothing earthly that hangs upon your
mind, Boltrope? no wish to be remembered to any one, nor any bequest to
make of your property?"
"He has a mother, I know," said Barnstable in a low voice, "he often
spoke of her to me in the night-watches, I think she must still be
The master, who distinctly heard his young shipmates continued for more
than a minute rolling the tobacco, which he still retained, from one
side of his mouth to the other, with an industry that denoted singular
agitation for the man; and raising one of his broad hands, with the
other he picked the worn skin from fingers which were already losing
their brownish yellow hue in the fading color of death, before he
"Why, yes, the old woman still keeps her grip upon life, which is more
than can be said of her son David. The old man was lost the time the
Susan and Dorothy was wrecked on the back of Cape Cod; you remember it,
Mr. Barnstable? you were then a lad, sailing on whaling voyages from the
island: well, ever since that gale, I've endeavored to make smooth water
for the old woman myself, though she has had but a rough passage of it,
at the best; the voyage of life, with her, having been pretty much
crossed by rugged weather and short stores."
"And you would have us carry some message to her?" said Griffith,
"Why, as to messages," continued the master, whose voice was rapidly
growing more husky and broken, "there never has been many compliments--
passed between us, for the reason--that she is not more used to receive
them--than I am to make them. But if any one of you will overhaul--the
purser's books, and see what there is standing here--to my side of the
leaf--and take a little pains to get it to the old woman--you will find
her moored in the lee side of a house--ay, here it is, No. 10 Cornhill,
Boston. I took care--to get her a good warm berth, seeing that a woman
of eighty wants a snug anchorage--at her time of life, if ever."
"I will do it myself, David," cried Barnstable, struggling to conceal
his emotion; "I will call on her the instant we let go our anchor in
Boston harbor; and as your credit can't be large, I will divide my own
purse with her!"
The sailing-master was powerfully affected by this kind offer, the
muscles of his hard, weatherbeaten face working convulsively, and it was
a moment before he could trust his voice in reply.
"I know you would, Dicky, I know you would," he at length uttered,
grasping the hand of Barnstable with a portion of his former strength;
"I know you would give the old woman one of your own limbs, if it would
do a service--to the mother of a messmate--which it would not--seeing
that I am not the son of a--cannibal; but you are out of your own
father's books, and it's too often shoal water in your pockets to help
any one--more especially since you have just been spliced to a pretty
young body--that will want all your spare coppers."
"But I am master of my own fortune," said Griffith, "and am rich."
"Ay, ay, I have heard it said you could build a frigate and set her
afloat all a-taunt-o without thrusting your hand--into any man's purse--
but your own!"
"And I pledge you the honor of a naval officer," continued the young
sailor, "that she shall want for nothing; not eyes the care and
tenderness of a dutiful son."
Boltrope appeared to be choking; he made an attempt to raise his
exhausted frame on the couch; but fell back exhausted and dying, perhaps
a little prematurely, through the powerful and unusual emotions that
were struggling for Boltrope appeared to be choking; he made an attempt
to raise his 'exhausted frame on the couch; but fell back exhausted and
dying, perhaps a little prematurely, through the powerful and unusual
emotions that were struggling for utterance. "God forgive me my
misdeeds!" he at length said, "and chiefly for ever speaking a word
against your discipline; remember the best bower--and look to the slings
of the lower yards--and--and--he'll do it, Dicky, he'll do it! I'm
casting off--the fasts--of life--and so God bless ye all--and give ye
good weather--going large--or on a bowline!"
The tongue of the master failed him, but a look of heart felt
satisfaction gleamed across his rough visage, as its muscles suddenly
contracted, when the faded lineaments slowly settled into the appalling
stiffness of death.
Griffith directed the body to be removed to the apartment of the master,
and proceeded with a heavy heart to the upper deck. The Alacrity had
been unnoticed during the arduous chase of the frigate, and, favored by
daylight, and her light draught of water, she had easily effected her
escape also among the mazes of the shoals. She was called down to her
consort by signal, and received the necessary instructions how to steer
during the approaching night. The British ships were now only to be
faintly discovered like white specks on the dark sea; and as it was
known that a broad barrier of shallow water lay between them, the
Americans no longer regarded their presence as at all dangerous.
When the necessary orders had been given, and the vessels were fully
prepared, they were once more brought up to the wind, and their heads
pointed in the direction of the coast of Holland. The wind, which
freshened towards the decline of the day, hauled round with the sun; and
when that luminary retreated from the eye, so rapid had been the
progress of the mariners, it seemed to sink in the bosom of the ocean,
the land having long before settled into its watery bed. All night the
frigate continued to dash through the seas with a sort of sullen
silence, that was soothing to the melancholy of Cecilia and Katherine,
neither of whom closed an eye during that gloomy period. In addition to
the scene they had witnessed, their feelings were harrowed by the
knowledge that, in conformity to the necessary plans of Griffith, and in
compliance with the new duties he had assumed, they were to separate in
the morning for an indefinite period, and possibly forever.
With the appearance of light, the boatswain sent his rough summons
through the vessel, and the crew were collected in solemn silence in her
gangways to "bury the dead." The bodies of Boltrope, of one or two of
her inferior officers, and of several common men who had died of their
wounds in the night, were, with the usual formalities, committed to the
deep; when the yards of the ship were again braced by the wind, and she
glided along the trackless waste, leaving no memorial, in the midst of
the ever-rolling waters, to mark the place of their sepulture.
When the sun had gained the meridian, the vessels were once more hove-
to, and the preparations were made for a final separation. The body of
Colonel Howard was transferred to the Alacrity, whither it was followed
by Griffith and his cheerless bride, while Katherine hung fondly from
the window of the ship, suffering her own scalding tears to mingle with
the brine of the ocean. After everything was arranged, Griffith waved
his hand to Barnstable, who had now succeeded to the command of the
frigate, and the yards of the latter were braced sharp to the wind, when
she proceeded to the dangerous experiment of forcing her way to the
shores of America, by attempting the pass of the Straits of Dover, and
running the gauntlet through the English ships that crowded their own
Channel; an undertaking, however, for which she had the successful
example of the Alliance frigate, which had borne the stars of America
along the same hazardous path but a few months previously.
In the mean while the Alacrity, steering more to the west drew in
swiftly towards the shores of Holland; and about an hour before the
setting of the sun had approached so nigh as to be once more hove into
the wind, in obedience to the mandate of Griffith. A small, light boat
was lowered into the sea, when the young sailor, and the Pilot, who had
found his way into the cutter unheeded, and almost unseen, ascended from
the small cabin together. The stranger glanced his eyes along the range
of coast, as if he would ascertain the exact position of the vessel, and
then turned them on the sea and the western horizon to scan the weather.
Finding nothing in the appearance of the latter to induce him to change
his determination, he offered his hand frankly to Griffith, and said:
"Here we part. As our acquaintance has not led to all we wished, let it
be your task, sir, to forget we ever met."
Griffith bowed respectfully, but in silence, when the other continued,
shaking his hand contemptuously towards the land:
"Had I but a moiety of the navy of that degenerate republic, the
proudest among those haughty islanders should tremble in his castle, and
be made to feel there is no security against a foe that trusts his own
strength and knows the weakness of his enemy! But," he muttered in a
lower and more hurried voice, "this has been like Liverpool, and--
Whitehaven--and Edinburgh, and fifty more! It is past, sir; let it be
Without heeding the wondering crew, who were collected as curious
spectators of his departure, the stranger bowed hastily to Griffith,
and, springing into the boat, he spread her light sails with the
readiness of one who had nothing to learn even in the smallest matters
of his daring profession. Once more, as the boat moved briskly away from
the cutter, he waved his hand in adieu; and Griffith fancied that even
through the distance he could trace a smile of bitter resignation
lighting his calm features with a momentary gleam. For a long time the
young man stood an abstracted gazer at his solitary progress, watching
the small boat as it glided towards the open ocean, nor did he remember
to order the head-sheets of the Alacrity drawn, in order to put the
vessel again in motion, until the dark speck was lost in the strong
glare that fell obliquely across the water from the setting sun.
Many wild and extraordinary conjectures were tittered among the crew of
the cutter, as she slowly drew in towards her friendly haven, on the
appearance of the mysterious Pilot, during their late hazardous visit to
the coast of Britain, and on his still more extraordinary disappearance,
as it were, amid the stormy wastes of the North Sea. Griffith himself
was not observed to smile, nor to manifest any evidence of his being a
listener to their rude discourse, until it was loudly announced that a
small boat was pressing for their own harbor, across the forefoot of the
cutter, under a single lug-sail. Then, indeed, the sudden and cheerful
lighting of his troubled eye betrayed the vast relief that was imparted
to his feelings by the interesting discovery.
"Come, all you kindred chieftains of the deep,
In mighty phalanx round your brother bend;
Hush every murmur that invades his sleep--
And guard the laurels that o'ershade your friend."
_Lines on Tripp_.
Here, perhaps, it would be wise to suffer the curtain of our imperfect
drama to fall before the reader, trusting that the imagination of every
individual can readily supply the due proportions of health, wealth, and
happiness, that the rigid rules of poetic justice would award to the
different characters of the legend. But as we are not disposed to part
so coldly from those with whom we have long held amicable intercourse,
and as there is no portion of that in reservation which is not quite as
true as all that has been already related, we see no unanswerable reason
for dismissing the dramatis personae so abruptly. We shall, therefore,
proceed to state briefly the outlines of that which befell them in
after-life, regretting, at the same time, that the legitimate limits of
a modern tale will not admit of such dilatation of many a merry or
striking scene as might create the pleasing hope of beholding hereafter
some more of our rude sketches quickened into life by the spirited
pencil of Dunlap.
Following the course of the frigate, then, towards those shores from
which, perhaps, we should never have suffered our truant pen to have
wandered, we shall commence the brief task with Barnstable, and his
laughing, weeping, gay, but affectionate bride--the black-eyed
Katherine. The ship fought her way gallantly, through swarms of the
enemy's cruisers, to the port of Boston, where Barnstable was rewarded
for his services by promotion, and a more regular authority to command
During the remainder of the war, he continued to fill that station with
ability and zeal; nor did he return to the dwelling of his fathers,
which he soon inherited by regular descent, until after peace had
established not only the independence of his country, but his own
reputation as a brave and successful sea-officer. When the Federal
Government laid the foundation of its present navy, Captain Barnstable
was once more tempted by the offer of a new commission to desert his
home; and for many years he was employed among that band of gallant
seamen who served their country so faithfully in times of trial and high
daring. Happily, however, he was enabled to accomplish a great deal of
the more peaceful part of his service accompanied by Katherine, who,
having no children, eagerly profited by his consent to share his
privations and hardships on the ocean. In this manner they passed
merrily, and we trust happily down the vale of life together, Katherine
entirely discrediting the ironical prediction of her former guardian, by
making, everything considered, a very obedient, and certainly, so far as
attachment was concerned, a most devoted wife.
The boy Merry, who in due time became a man, clung to Barnstable and
Katherine, so long as it was necessary to hold him in leading-strings;
and when he received his regular promotion, his first command was under
the shadow of his kinsman's broad pennant. He proved to be in his
meridian, what his youth had so strongly indicated, a fearless, active,
and reckless sailor; and his years might have extended to this hour, had
he not fallen untimely in a duel with a foreign officer.
The first act of Captain Manual, after landing once more on his native
soil, was to make interest to be again restored to the line of the army.
He encountered but little difficulty in this attempt, and was soon in
possession of the complete enjoyment of that which his soul had so long
pined after, "a steady drill." He was in time to share in all the
splendid successes which terminated the war, and also to participate in
his due proportion of the misery of the army. His merits were not
forgotten, however, in the re-organization of the forces, and he
followed both St. Clair and his more fortunate successor, Wayne, in the
western campaigns. About the close of the century, when the British made
their tardy relinquishment of the line of posts along the frontiers,
Captain Manual was ordered to take charge, with his company, of a small
stockade on our side of one of those mighty rivers that sets bounds to
the territories of the Republic in the north. The British flag was
waving over the ramparts of a more regular fortress, that had been
recently built, directly opposite, within the new lines of the Canadas.
Manual was not a man to neglect the observances of military etiquette;
and understanding that the neighboring fort was commanded by a field-
officer, he did not fail to wait on that gentleman, in proper time, with
a view to cultivate the sort of acquaintance that their mutual
situations would render not only agreeable, but highly convenient. The
American martinet, in ascertaining the rank of the other, had not deemed
it at all necessary to ask his name; but when the red-faced, comical-
looking officer with one leg, who met him, was introduced as Major
Borroughcliffe, he had not the least difficulty in recalling to
recollection his quondam acquaintance of St. Ruth. The intercourse
between these worthies was renewed with remarkable gusto, and at length
arrived to so regular a pass that a log cabin was erected on one of the
islands in the river, as a sort of neutral territory, where their
feastings and revels might be held without any scandal to the discipline
of their respective garrisons. Here the qualities of many a saddle of
savory venison were discussed, together with those of sundry pleasant
fowls, as well as of divers strange beasts that inhabit those western
wilds, while, at the same time, the secret places of the broad river
were vexed, that nothing might be wanting that could contribute to the
pleasures of their banquets. A most equitable levy was regularly made on
their respective pockets, to sustain the foreign expenses of this
amicable warfare; and a suitable division of labor was also imposed on
the two commandants, in order to procure such articles of comfort as
were only to be obtained from those portions of the globe where the art
of man had made a nearer approach to the bounties of nature than in the
vicinity of their fortifications. All liquids in which malt formed an
ingredient, as well as the deep-colored wines of Oporto, were suffered
to enter the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and were made to find their way,
under the superintendence of Borroughcliffe, to their destined goal; but
Manual was solely entrusted with the more important duty of providing
the generous liquor of Madeira, without any other restriction on his
judgment than an occasional injunction from his coadjutor that it should
not fail to be the product of the "south side"!
It was not unusual for the young officers of the two garrisons to allude
to the battle in which Major Borroughcliffe had lost his limb--the
English ensign invariably whispering to the American, on such occasions,
that it occurred during the late contest, in a desperate affair on the
north eastern coast of their island, in which the major commanded, in
behalf of his country,--with great credit and signal success; and for
which service he obtained his present rank "without purchase!" A sort of
national courtesy: prevented the two veterans, for by this time both had
earned that honorable title, from participating at all in these delicate
allusions; though whenever, by any accident, they occurred near the
termination of the revels, Borroughcliffe would so far betray his
consciousness of what was passing as to favor his American friend with a
leer of singular significance, which generally produced in the other
that sort of dull recollection which all actors and painters endeavor to
represent by scratching the head. In this manner year after year rolled
by, the most perfect harmony existing between the two posts,
notwithstanding the angry passions that disturbed their respective
countries, when an end was suddenly put to the intercourse by the
unfortunate death of Manual. This rigid observer of discipline never
trusted his person on the neutral island without being accompanied by a
party of his warriors, who were posted as a regular picket, sustaining a
suitable line of sentries; a practice which he also recommended to his
friend, as being highly conducive to discipline, as well as a salutary
caution against a surprise on the part of either garrison. The major,
however, dispensed with the formality in his own behalf, but was
sufficiently good-natured to wink at the want of confidence it betrayed
in his boon companion. On one unhappy occasion, when the discussions oL
a new importation had made a heavy inroad on the morning, Manual left
the hut to make his way towards his picket, in such a state of utter
mental aberration as to forget the countersign when challenged by a
sentinel, when, unhappily, he met his death by a shot from a soldier
whom he drilled to such an exquisite state of insensibility that the man
cared but little whether he killed friend or enemy, so long as he kept
within military usage, and the hallowed limits established by the
articles of war. He lived long enough, however, to commend the fellow
for the deed, and died while delivering an eulogium to Borroughcliffe on
the high state of perfection to which he had brought his command.
About a year before this melancholy event, a quarter-cask of wine had
been duly ordered from the south side of the island of Madeira, which
was, at the death of Manual, toiling its weary way up the rapids of the
Mississippi and the Ohio; having been made to enter by the port of New
Orleans, with the intention of keeping it as long as possible under a
genial sun! The untimely fate of his friend imposed on Borroughcliffe
the necessity of attending to this precious relic of their mutual
tastes; and he procured a leave of absence from his superior, with the
laudable desire to proceed down the streams and superintend its farther
advance in person. The result of his zeal was a high fever, that set in
the day after he reached his treasure: and as the doctor and the major
espoused different theories, in treating a disorder so dangerous in that
climate--the one advising abstemiousness, and the other administering
repeated draughts of the cordial that had drawn him so far from home--
the disease was left to act its pleasure. Borroughcliffe died in three
days; and was carried back and interred by the side of his friend, in
the very hut which had so often resounded with their humors and
festivities. We have been thus particular in relating the sequel of the
lives of these rival chieftains, because, from their want of connection
with any kind heart of the other sex, no widows and orphans were left to
lament their several ends; and furthermore, as they were both mortal,
and might be expected to die at a suitable period, and yet did not
terminate their career until each had attained the mature age of
threescore, the reader can find no just grounds of dissatisfaction at
being allowed this deep glance into the womb of fate.
The chaplain abandoned the seas in time to retrieve his character, a
circumstance which gave no little satisfaction to Katherine, who
occasionally annoyed her worthy husband on the subject of the
informality of their marriage.
Griffith and his mourning bride conveyed the body of Colonel Howard in
safety to one of the principal towns in Holland, where it was
respectfully and sorrowfully interred; after which the young man removed
to Paris, with a view of erasing the sad images which the hurried and
melancholy events of the few preceding days had left on the mind of his
lovely companion. From this place Cecilia held communion, by letter,
with her friend Alice Dunscombe; and such suitable provision was made in
the affairs of her late uncle as the times would permit. Afterwards,
when Griffith obtained the command which had been offered him before
sailing on the cruise in the North Sea, they returned together to
America. The young man continued a sailor until the close of the war,
when he entirely withdrew from the ocean, and devoted the remainder of
his life to the conjoint duties of a husband and a good citizen.
As it was easy to reclaim the estates of Colonel Howard, which, in fact,
had been abandoned more from pride than necessity, and which had never
been confiscated, their joint inheritances made the young couple
extremely affluent; and we shall here take occasion to say that Griffith
remembered his promise to the dying master, and saw such a provision
made for the childless mother as her situation and his character
It might have been some twelve years after the short cruise, which it
has been our task to record in these volumes, that Griffith, who was
running his eyes carelessly over a file of newspapers, was observed by
his wife to drop the bundle from before his face, and pass his hand
slowly across his brow, like a man who had been suddenly struck with
renewed impressions of some former event, or who was endeavoring to
recall to his mind images that had long since faded.
"See you anything in that paper to disturb you, Griffith?" said the
still lovely Cecilia. "I hope that now we have our confederate
government the States will soon recover from their losses--but it is one
of those plans to create a new navy that has met your eye! Ah! truant!
you sigh to become a wanderer again, and pine after your beloved ocean!"
"I have ceased sighing and pining since you have begun to smile," he
returned with a vacant manner, and without removing his hand from his
"Is not the new order of things, then, likely to succeed? Does the
Congress enter into contention with the President?"
"The wisdom and name of Washington will smooth the way for the
experiment, until time shall mature the system. Cecilia, do you remember
the man who accompanied Manual and myself to St. Ruth, the night we
became your uncle's prisoners, and who afterwards led the party which
liberated us, and rescued Barnstable?"
"Surely I do; he was the pilot of your ship, it was then said; and I
remember the shrewd soldier we entertained even suspected that he was
one greater than he seemed."
"The soldier surmised the truth; but you saw him not on that fearful
night, when he carried us through the shoals! and you could not witness
the calm courage with which he guided the ship into those very channels
again, while the confusion of battle was among us!"
"I heard the dreadful din! And I can easily imagine the horrid scene,"
returned his wife, her recollections chasing the color from her cheeks
even at that distance of time; "but what of him? is his name mentioned
in those papers? Ah! they are English prints! you called his name Gray,
If I remember?"
"That is the name he bore with us! He was a man who had formed romantic
notions of glory, and wished everything concealed in which he acted a
part that he thought would not contribute to his renown."
"Can there have been any connection between him and Alice Dunscombe?"
said Cecilia, dropping her work in her lap, in a thoughtful manner. "She
met him alone, at her own urgent request, the night Katherine and myself
saw you in your confinement, and even then my cousin whispered that they
were acquainted! The letter I received yesterday from Alice was sealed
with black, and I was pained with the melancholy, though gentle manner,
in which she wrote of passing from this world into another!"
Griffith glanced his eye at his wife with a look of sudden Intelligence,
and then answered, like one who began to see with the advantages of a
"Cecilia, your conjecture is surely true! Fifty things rushed to my mind
at that one surmise--his acquaintance with that particular spot--his
early life--his expedition--his knowledge of the abbey, all confirm it!
He, altogether, was indeed a man of marked character!"
"Why has he not been among us," asked Cecilia; "he appeared devoted to
"His devotion to America proceeded from desire of distinction, his
ruling passion, and perhaps a little also from resentment at some
injustice which he claimed to have suffered from his own countrymen. He
was a man, and not therefore without foibles--among which may have been
reckoned the estimation of his own acts but they were most daring, and
deserving of praise! neither did he at all merit the obloquy that he
received from his enemies. His love of liberty may be more questionable;
for if he commenced his deeds in the cause of these free States, they
terminated in the service of a despot! He is now dead--but had he lived
in times and under circumstances when his consummate knowledge of his
profession, his cool, deliberate, and even desperate courage, could have
been exercised in a regular and well-supported navy, and had the habits
of his youth better qualified him to have borne, meekly, the honors he
acquired in his age, he would have left behind him no name in its lists
that would have descended to the latest posterity of his adopted
countrymen with greater renown!"
"Why, Griffith," exclaimed Cecilia, in a little surprise, "you are
zealous in his cause! Who was he?"
"A man who held a promise of secrecy while living, which is not at all
released by his death. It is enough to know that he was greatly
instrumental in procuring our sudden union, and that our happiness might
have been wrecked in the voyage of life had we not met the unknown Pilot
of the German Ocean."
Perceiving her husband to rise, and carefully collect the papers in a
bundle, before he left the room, Cecilia made no further remark at the
time, nor was the subject ever revived between them.