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  • 1838
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wounded man, while Eve, attended by Ann Sidley, ascended the ship and made her way into the cabins, in the best manner the leaning position of the vessel allowed. Here they found less confusion than might have been expected, the scene being ludicrous, rather than painful, for Mr. Monday was in his state-room excluded from sight.

In the first place, the _soi-disant_ Sir George Templemore was counting over his effects, among which he had discovered a sad deficiency in coats and pantaloons. The Arabs had respected the plunder, by compact, with the intention of making a fair distribution on the reef; but, with a view to throw a sop to the more rapacious of their associates, one room had been sacked by the permission of the sheiks. This unfortunate room happened to be that of Sir George Templemore, and the patent razors, the East Indian dressing case, the divers toys, to say nothing of innumerable vestments which the young man had left paraded in his room, for the mere pleasure of feasting his eyes on them, had disappeared.

“Do me the favour, Miss Effingham,” he said, appealing to Eve, of whom he stood habitually in awe, from the pure necessity of addressing her in his distress, or of addressing no one, “do me the favour to look into my room, and see the unprincipled manner in which I have been treated. Not a comb nor a razor left; not a garment to make myself decent in! I’m sure such conduct is quite a disgrace to the civilization of barbarians even, and I shall make it a point, to have the affair duly represented to his majesty’s minister the moment I arrive in New York. I sincerely hope you have been better treated, though I think, after this specimen of their principles, there is little hope for any one: I’m sure we ought to be grateful they did not strip the ship. I trust we shall all make common cause against them the moment we arrive.”

“We ought, indeed, sir,” returned Eve, who, while she had known from the beginning of his being an impostor, was willing to ascribe his fraud to vanity, and who now felt charitable towards him on account of the spirit he had shown in the combat; “though I trust we shall have escaped better. Our effects were principally in the baggage-room, and that, I understand from Captain Truck, has not been touched.”

“Indeed you are very fortunate, and I can only wish that the same good luck had happened to myself. But then, you know, Miss Effingham, that one has need of his little comforts, and, as for myself, I confess to rather a weakness in that way.”

“Monstrous prodigality and wastefulness!” cried Saunders, as Eve passed on towards her own cabin, willing to escape any more of Sir George’s complaints. “Just be so kind, Miss Effingham, ma’am, to look into this here pantry, once! Them niggers, I do believe, have had their fingers in every thing, and it will take Toast and me a week to get things decorous and orderly again. Some of the shrieks” (for so the steward styled the chiefs) “have been yelling well in this place, I’ll engage, as you may see, by the manner in which they have spilt the mustard and mangled that cold duck. I’ve a most mortal awersion to a man that cuts up poultry against the fibers; and, would you think it, Miss Effingham, ma’am, that the last gun Mr. Blunt fired, dislocated, or otherwise diwerted, about half a dozen of the fowls that happened to be in the way; for I let all the poor wretches out of the coops, that they might make their own livings should we never come back. I should think that as polite and experienced a gentleman as Mr. Blunt might have shot the Arabs instead of my poultry!”

“So it is,” thought Eve, as she glanced into the pantry and proceeded. “What is considered happiness to-day gets to be misery to-morrow, and the rebukes of adversity are forgotten the instant prosperity resumes its influence. Either of these men, a few hours since, would have been most happy to have been in this vessel, as a home, or a covering for their heads, and now they quarrel with their good fortune because it is wanting in some accustomed superfluity or pampered indulgence.”

We shall leave her with this wholesome reflection uppermost, to examine into the condition of her own room, and return to the deck.

As the hour was still early, Captain Truck having once quieted his feelings, went to work with zeal, to turn the late success to the best account. The cargo that had been discharged was soon stowed again, and the next great object was to get the ship afloat previously to hoisting in the new spars. As the kedges still lay on the reef, and all the anchors remained in the places where they had originally been placed, there was little to do but to get ready to heave upon the chains as soon as the tide rose. Previously to commencing this task, however, the intervening time was well employed in sending, down the imperfect hamper that was aloft, and in getting up shears to hoist out the remains of the foremast, as well as the jury mainmast, the latter of which, it will be remembered, was only fitted two days before. All the appliances used on that occasion being still on deck, and every body lending a willing hand, this task was completed by noon. The jury-mast gave little trouble, but was soon lying on the bank; and then Captain Truck, the shears having been previously shifted, commenced lifting the broken foremast, and just as the cooks announced that the dinner was ready for the people, the latter safely deposited the spar on the sands.

“‘Here, a sheer hulk, lies poor Tom Bowline,'” said Captain Truck to Mr. Blunt, as the crew came up the staging in their way to the galley, in quest of their meal. “I have not beheld the Montauk without a mast since the day she lay a new-born child at the ship-yards. I see some half a dozen of these mummified scoundrels dodging about on the shore yet, though the great majority, as Mr. Dodge would say, have manifested a decided disposition to amuse them selves with a further acquaintance with the Dane. In my humble opinion, sir, that poor deserted ship will have no more inside of her by night, than one of Saunders’ ducks that have been dead an hour. That hearty fellow, Mr. Monday, is hit, I fear, between wind and water, Leach?”

“He is in a bad way, indeed, as I understand from Mr John Effingham, who very properly allows no one to disturb him, keeping the state-room door closed on all but himself and his own man.”

‘Ay, ay, that is merciful; a man likes a little quiet when he is killed. As soon as the ship is more fit to be seen however, it will become my duty to wait on him in order to see that nothing is wanting. We must offer the poor man the consolations of religion, Mr. Blunt.”

“They would certainly be desirable had we one qualified for the task.”

“I can’t say as much in that way for myself, perhaps, as I might, seeing that my father was a priest. But then, we masters of packets have occasion to turn our hands to a good many odd jobs. As soon as the ship is snug, I shall certainly take a look at the honest fellow. Pray, sir, what became of Mr. Dodge in the skirmish?”

Paul smiled, but he prudently answered, “I believe he occupied himself in taking notes of the combat, and I make no doubt will do you full justice in the Active Inquirer, as soon as he gets its columns again at his command.”

“Too much learning, as my good father used to say, has made him a little mad. But I have a grateful heart to-day, Mr. Blunt, and will not be critical. I did not perceive Mr. Dodge in the conflict, as Saunders calls it, but there were so many of those rascally Arabs, that one had not an opportunity of seeing much else. We must get the ship outside of this reef with as little delay as possible, for to tell you a secret”–here the captain dropped his voice to a whisper–“there are but two rounds a-piece left for the small arms, and only one cartridge for the four-pounder. I own to you a strong desire to be in the offing.”

“They will hardly attempt to board us, after the specimen they have had of what we can do.”

“No one knows, sir; no one knows. They keep pouring down upon the coast like crows on the scent of a carrion, and once done with the Dane, we shall see them in hundreds prowling around us like wolves. How much do we want of high water?”

“An hour, possibly. I do not think there is much time to lose before the people get to work at the windlass.”

Captain Truck nodded, and proceeded to look into the condition of his ground-tackle. It was a joyous but an anxious moment when the hand-spikes were first handled, and the slack of one of the chains began to come in. The ship had been upright several hours, and no one could tell how hard she would hang on the bottom. As the chain tightened, the gentlemen, the officers included, got upon the bows and looked anxiously at the effect of each heave; for it was a nervous thing to be stranded on such a coast, even after all that had occurred.

“She winks, by George!” cried the captain; “heave together, men, and you will stir the sand!”

The men did heave, gaining inch by inch, until no effort could cause the ponderous machine to turn. The mates, and then the captain, applied their strength in succession, and but half a turn more was gained. Everybody was now summoned, even to the passengers, and the enormous strain seemed to threaten to tear the fabric asunder; and still the ship was immoveable.

“She hangs hardest forward, sir,” said Mr. Leach: “suppose we run up the stern-boat?”

This expedient was adopted, and so nearly were the counteracting powers balanced, that it prevailed. A strong heave caused the ship to start, an inch more of tide aided the effort, and then the vast hull slowly yielded to the purchase, gradually turning towards the anchor, until the quick blows of the pall announced that the vessel was fairly afloat again.

“Thank God for that, as for all his mercies!” said Captain Truck. “Heave the hussy up to her anchor, Mr. Leach, when we will cast an eye to her moorings.”

All this was done, the ship being effectually secured, with due attention to a change in the wind, that now promised to be permanent. Not a moment was lost; but, the sheers being still standing, the foremast of the Dane was floated alongside, fastened to, and hove into its new berth, with as much rapidity as comported with care. When the mast was fairly stepped, Captain Truck rubbed his hands with delight, and immediately commanded his subordinate to rig it, although by this time the turn of the day had considerably passed.

“This is the way with us seamen, Mr. Effingham,” he observed; “from the fall to the fight, and then again from the fight to the fall. Our work, like women’s, is never done; whereas you landsmen knock off with the sun, and sleep while the corn grows. I have always owed my parents a grudge for bringing me up to a dog’s life.”

“I had understood it was a choice of your own, captain.”

“Ay–so far as running away and shipping without their knowledge was concerned, perhaps it was; but then it was their business to begin at the bottom, and to train me up in such a manner that I would not run away. The Lord forgive me, too, for thinking amiss of the two dear old people; for, to be candid with you, they were much too good to have such a son; and I honestly believe they loved me more than I loved myself. Well, I’ve the consolation of knowing I comforted the old lady with many a pound of capital tea after I got into the China trade, ma’amselle.”

“She was fond of it?” observed the governess politely.

“She relished it very much, as a horse takes to oats, or a child to custard. That, and snuff and grace, composed her principal consolations.”

“_Quoi?_” demanded the governess, looking towards Paul for an explanation.

“_Grace, mademoiselle; la grace de Dieu._”

“_Bien!”_

“It’s a sad misfortune, after all, to lose a mother, ma’amselle. It is like cutting all the headfasts, and riding altogether by the stern; for it is letting go the hold of what has gone before to grapple with the future. It is true that I ran away from my mother when a youngster, and thought little of it! but when she took her turn and ran away from me, I began to feel that I had made a wrong use of my legs. What are the tidings from poor Mr. Monday?”

“I understand he does not suffer greatly, but that he grows weaker fast,” returned Paul. “I fear there is little hope of his surviving such a hurt.”

The captain had got out a cigar, and had beckoned to Toast for a coal; but changing his mind suddenly, he broke the tobacco into snuff, and scattered it about the deck.

“Why the devil is not that rigging going up, Mr. Leach?” he cried, fiercely. “It is not my intention to pass the winter at these moorings, and I solicit a little more expedition.”

“Ay, ay, sir,” returned the mate, one of a class habitually patient and obedient; “bear a hand, my lads, and get the strings into their places.”

“Leach,” continued the captain, more kindly, and still working his fingers unconsciously, “come this way, my good friend. I have not expressed to you, Mr. Leach, all I wish to say of your good conduct in this late affair. You have stood by me like a gallant fellow throughout the whole business, and I shall not hesitate about saying as much when we get in. It is my intention to write a letter to the owners, which no doubt they’ll publish; for, whatever they have got to say against America, no one will deny it is easy to get any thing published. Publishing is victuals and drink to the nation. You may depend on having justice done you.”

“I never doubted it, Captain Truck.”

“No, sir; and you never winked. The mainmast does not stand up in a gale firmer than you stood up to the niggers.”

“Mr. Effingham, sir–and Mr. Sharp–and particularly Mr. Blunt–“

“Let me alone to deal with them. Even Toast acted like a man. Well, Leach, they tell me poor Monday must slip, after all.”

“I am very sorry to hear it, sir; Mr. Monday laid about him like a soldier!”

“He did, indeed; but Bonaparte himself has been obliged to give up the ghost, and Wellington must follow him some day; even old Putnam is dead. Either you or I, or both of us, Leach, will have to throw in some of the consolations of religion on this mournful occasion.”

“There is Mr. Effingham, sir, or Mr. John. Effingham, elderly gentlemen with more scholarship.”

“That will never do. All they can offer, no doubt, will be acceptable, but we owe a duty to the ship. The officers of a packet are not graceless-horse-jockeys, but sober, discreet men, and it becomes them to show that they have some education, and the right sort of stuff in them on an emergency. I expect you will stand by me, Leach, on this melancholy occasion, as stoutly as you stood by me this morning.”

“I humbly hope, sir, not to disgrace the vessel, but it is likely Mr. Monday is a Church-of-England-man, and we both belong to the Saybrook Platform!”

“Ah! the devil!–I forgot that! But religion is religion; old line or new line; and I question if a man so near unmooring will be very particular. The great thing is consolation, and that we must contrive to give him, by hook or by crook, when the proper moment comes; and now, Mr. Leach, let the people push matters, and we shall have every, thing up forward, and that mainmast stepped yet by ‘sunset;’ or it would be more literal to say ‘_sun-down_;'” Captain Truck, like a true New-England-man, invariably using a provincialism that has got to be so general in America.

The work proceeded with spirit, for every one was anxious to get the ship out of a berth that was so critical, as well from the constant vicinity of the Arabs as from the dangers of the weather. The wind baffled too, as it is usual on the margin of the trades, and at times it blew from the sea, though it continued light, and the changes were of short continuance. As Captain Truck hoped, when the people ceased work at night, the fore and fore-top-sail-yards were in their places, the top-gallant-mast was fitted, and, with the exception of the sails, the ship was what is called a-tanto, forward. Aft, less had been done, though by the assistance of the supernumeraries, who continued to lend their aid, the two lower masts were stepped, though no rigging could be got over them. The men volunteered to work by watches through the night, but to this Captain Truck would not listen, affirming that they had earned their suppers and a good rest, both of which they should have.

The gentlemen, who merely volunteered an occasional drag, cheerfully took the look-outs, and as there were plenty of fire-arms, though not much powder, little apprehension was entertained of the Arabs. As was expected, the night passed away tranquilly, and every one arose with the dawn refreshed and strengthened.

The return of day, however, brought the Arabs down upon the shore in crowds; for the last gale, which had been unusually severe, and the tidings of the wrecks, which had been spread by means of the dromedaries far and wide, had collected a force on the coast that began to be formidable through sheer numbers. The Dane had been effectually emptied, and plunder had the same effect on these rapacious barbarians that blood is known to produce on the tiger. The taste had begotten an appetite, and from the first appearance of the light, those in the ship saw sighs of a disposition to renew the attempt on their liberty.

Happily, the heaviest portion of the work was done, and Captain Truck determined, rather than risk another conflict with a force that was so much augmented, to get the spars on board, and to take the ship outside of the reef, without waiting to complete her equipment. His first orders, therefore, when all hands were mustered, were for the boats to get in the kedges and the stream anchor, and otherwise to prepare to move the vessel. In the mean time other gangs were busy in getting the rigging over the mast-heads, and in setting it up. As the lifting of the anchors with boats was heavy work, by the time they were got on board and stowed it was noon, and all the yards were aloft, though not a sail was bent in the vessel.

Captain Truck, while the people were eating, passed through the ship examining every stay and shroud: there were some make-shifts it is true, but on the whole he was satisfied, though he plainly saw that the presence of the Arabs had hurried matters a little, and that a good many drags would have to be given as soon as they got beyond danger, and that some attention must be paid to seizings still, what had been done would answer very well for moderate weather, and it was too late to stop to change.

The trade wind had returned, and blew steadily as if finally likely to stand; and the water outside of the reef was smooth enough to permit the required alterations, now that the heavier spars were in their places.

The appearance of the Montauk certainly was not as stately and commanding as before the wreck, but there was an air of completeness about it that augured well. It was that of a ship of seven hundred tons, fitted with spars intended for a ship of five hundred. The packet a little resembled a man of six feet, in the coat of a man of five feet nine, and yet the discrepancy would not be apt to be noticed by any but the initiated. Everything essential was in its place, and reasonably well secured, and, as the Dane had been rigged for a stormy sea, Captain Truck fell satisfied he might, in his present plight, venture on the American coast even in winter, without incurring unusual hazard.

As soon as the hour of work arrived, therefore, a boat was sent to drop a kedge as near the inlet as it would be safe to venture, and a little to windward of it. By making a calculation, and inspecting his buoys, which still remained where he had placed them, Captain Truck found that he could get a narrow channel of sufficient directness to permit the ship to be warped as far as this point in a straight line. Every thing but the boats was now got on board, the anchor by which they rode was hove up, and the warp was brought to the capstan, when the vessel slowly began to advance towards the inlet.

This movement was a signal to the Arabs, who poured down on both reefs in hundreds, screaming and gesticulating like maniacs. It required good nerves and some self-reliance to advance in the face of such a danger, and this so much the more, as the barbarians showed themselves in the greatest force on the northern range of rocks, which offered a good shelter for their persons, completely raked the channel, and, moreover, lay so near the spot where the kedge had been dropped, that one might have jerked a stone from the one to the other. To add to the awkwardness of the affair, the Arabs began to fire with those muskets that are of so little service in close encounters, but which are notorious for sending their shot with great precision from a distance. The bullets came thick upon the ship, though the stoutness of the bulwarks forward, and their height, as yet protected the men.

In this dilemma, Captain Truck hesitated about continuing to haul ahead, and he sent for Mr. Blunt and Mr. Leach for a consultation. Both these gentlemen advised perseverance, and as the counsel of the former will succinctly show the state of things, it shall be given in his own words.

“Indecision is always discouraging to one’s friends, and encouraging to one’s enemies,” he said, “and I recommend perseverance. The nearer we haul to the rocks, the greater will be our command of them, while the more the chances of the Arabs’ throwing their bullets on our decks will be diminished. Indeed, so long as we ride head to wind, they cannot fire low enough to effect their object from the northern reef, and on the southern they will not venture very near, for want of cover. It is true it will be impossible for us to bend our sails or to send out a boat in the face of so heavy a fire, while our assailants are so effectually covered; but we may possibly dislodge them with the gun, or with our small-arms, from the decks. If not, I will head a party into the tops, from which I will undertake to drive them out of the reach of our muskets in five minutes.”

“Such a step would be very hazardous to those who ventured aloft.”

“It would not be without danger, and some loss must be expected; but they who fight must expect risks.”

“In which case it will be the business of Mr. Leach and myself to head the parties aloft. If we are obliged to console the dying, damn me, but we are entitled to the privilege of fighting the living.”

“Ay, ay, sir,” put in the mate; “that stands to reason.”

“There are three tops, gentlemen,” returned Paul, mildly, “and I respect your rights too much to wish to interfere with them. We can each take one, and the effect will be in proportion to the greater means we employ,–one vigorous assault being worth a dozen feints.”

Captain Truck shook Paul heartily by the hand, and adopted his advice. When the young man had retired, he turned to the mate, and said–

“After all, these men-of-war’s men are a little beyond us in the science of attack and defence, though I think I could give him a hint in the science of signs. I have had two or three touches at privateering in my time, but no regular occupation in your broadside work. Did you see how Mr. Blunt handled his boat yesterday? As much like two double blocks and a steady drag, as one belaying-pin is like another, and as coolly as a great lady in London looks at one of us in a state of nature. For my part, Leach, I was as hot as mustard, and ready to cut the throat of the best friend I had on earth; whereas he was smiling as I rowed past him, though I could hardly see his face for the smoke of his own gun.”

“Yes, sir, that’s the way with your regular builts. I’ll warrant you he began young, and had kicked all the passion out of himself on old salts, by the time he was eighteen. He doesn’t seem, neither, like one of the true d–n-my-eye breed; but it’s a great privilege to a man in a passion to be allowed to kick when and whom he likes.”

“Not he. I say Leach, perhaps he might lend us a hand when it comes to the pinch with poor Monday. I have a great desire that the worthy fellow should take his departure decently.”

“Well, sir, I think you had better propose it. For my part, I’m quite willing to go into all three of the tops alone, rather than disappoint a dying man.”

The captain promised to look to the matter, and then they turned their attention to the ship, which in a few more minutes was up as near the kedge as it was prudent to haul her.

Chapter XXVIII.

Speed, gallant bark, the tornado is past; Staunch and secure thou hast weather’d the blast; Now spread thy full sails to the wings of the morn, And soon the glad haven shall greet thy return.

_Park_.

The Montauk now lay close to the inlet, and even a little to windward of its entrance; but the channel was crooked, not a sail was bent, nor was it possible to bend one properly without exposing the men to the muskets of the Arabs, who, from firing loosely, had got to be more wary and deliberate, aiming at the places where a head or an arm was occasionally seen. To prolong this state of things was merely to increase the evil, and Captain Truck determined to make an effort at once to dislodge his enemies.

With this view the gun was loaded in-board, filled nearly to the muzzle with slugs, and then it was raised with care to the top-gallant-forecastle, and cautiously pushed forward near the gunwale. Had the barbarians understood the construction of a vessel, they might have destroyed half the packet’s crew while they were thus engaged about the forecastle by firing through the planks; but, ignorant of the weakness of the defences, they aimed altogether at the openings, or over the rails.

By lowering the gaff the spanker was imperfectly bent; that is to say, it was bent on the upper leach. The boom was got in under cover of the hurricane-house, and of the bundle of the sail; the out-hauler was bent, the boom, replaced, the sail being hoisted with a little and a hurried lacing, to the luff. This was not effected without a good deal of hazard, though the nearness of the bows of the vessel to the rocks prevented most of the Arabs from perceiving what passed so far aft. Still, others nearer to the shore caught glimpses of the actors, and several narrow escapes were the consequence. The second mate, in particular, had a shot through his hat within an inch of his head. By a little management, notwithstanding, the luff of the spanker was made to stand tolerably well; and the ship had at least the benefit of this one sail.

The Dane had been a seaman of the old school; and, instead of the more modern spenser, his ship had been fitted with old-fashioned stay-sails. Of these it was possible to bend the main and mizzen stay-sails in tolerable security, provided the ends of the halyards could be got down. As this, however, would be nearly all aftersail, the captain determined to make an effort to overhaul the buntlines and leachlines of the foresail, at the same time that men were sent aloft after the ends of the halyards. He also thought it possible to set a fore-topmast stay-sail flying.

No one was deceived in this matter. The danger and the mode of operating were explained clearly, and then Captain Truck asked for volunteers. These were instantly found; Mr. Leach and the second mate setting the example by stepping forward as the first two. In order that the whole procedure may be understood, however, it shall be explained more fully.

Two men were prepared to run up on the fore-yard at the word. Both of these, one of whom was Mr. Leach, carried three small balls of marline, to the end of each of which was attached a cod-hook, the barb being filed off in order to prevent its being caught. By means of these hooks the balls were fastened to the jackets of the adventurers. Two others stood ready at the foot of the main and mizzen riggings. By the gun lay Paul and three men; while several of the passengers, and a few of the best shots among the crew, were stationed on the forecastle, armed with muskets and fowling-pieces.

“Is everybody ready?” called out the captain from the quarter-deck.

“All ready!” and “Ay! ay, sir!” were answered from the different points of the ship.

“Haul out the spanker!”

As soon as this sail was set, the stern of the ship swung round towards the inlet, so as to turn the bow on which the gun was placed towards the part of the reef where the Arabs were in greatest numbers.

“Be steady, men! and do not hurry yourselves, though active as wild-cats! Up, and away!”

The two fore-yard men, and the two by the after-masts, sprang into the rigging like squirrels, and were running aloft before the captain had done speaking.–At the same instant one of the three by the gun leaped on the bowsprit, and ran out towards the stay. Paul, and the other two, rose and shoved the gun to its berth; and the small-arms men showed themselves at the rails.

So many, all in swift motion, appearing at the same moment in the rigging, distracted the attention of the Arabs for an instant, though scattering shots were fired. Paul knew that the danger would be greatest when the men aloft Were stationary, and he was in no haste. Perhaps for half a minute he was busy in choosing his object, and in levelling the gun, and then it was fired. He had chosen the moment well; for Mr. Leach and his fellow adventurers were already on the fore-yard, and the Arabs had arisen from their covers in the eagerness of taking aim. The small-arms men poured in their volley, and then little more could be done in the way of the offensive, nearly all the powder in the ship having been expended.

It remains to tell the result of this experiment.–Among the Arabs a few fell, and those most exposed to the fire from the ship were staggered, losing near a minute in their confusion; but those more remote maintained hot discharges after the first surprise. The whole time occupied in what we are going to relate was about three minutes; the action of the several parts going on simultaneously.

The adventurer forward, though nearest to the enemy, was least exposed. Partly covered by the bowsprit, he ran nimbly out on that spar till he reached the stay. Here he cut the stop of the fore-topmast halyards, overhauled the running part, and let the block swing in. He then hooked a block that he had carried out with him, and in which the bight of a rope had been rove through the thimble, and ran in as fast as possible. This duty, which had appeared the most hazardous of all the different adventures, on account of the proximity of the bowsprit to the reef, was the first done, and with the least real risk; the man being partly concealed by the smoke of the gun, as well as by the bowsprit. He escaped uninjured.

As the two men aft pursued exactly the same course, the movements of one will explain those of the other. On reaching the yard, the adventurer sprang on it, caught the hook of the halyard-block, and threw himself off without an instant’s hesitation, overhauling the halyards by his weight. Men stood in readiness below to check the fall by easing off the other end of the rope, and the hardy fellow reached the deck in safety. This seemed a nervous undertaking to the landsmen; but the seamen who so well understood the machinery of their vessel, made light of it.

On the fore-yard, Mr. Leach passed out on one yard-arm, and his co-adventurer, a common seaman, on the other. Each left a hook in the knot of the inner buntline, as he went out, and dropped the ball of marline on deck. The same was done at the outer buntlines, and at the leachlines. Here the mate returned, according to his orders, leaped upon the rigging, and thence upon a backstay, when he slid on deck with a velocity that set aim at defiance. Notwithstanding the quickness of his motions, Mr. Leach received a trifling hit on the shoulder, and several bullets whizzed near him.

The seaman on the other yard-arm succeeded equally well, escaping the smallest injury, until he had secured the leachline, when, knowing the usefulness of, obtaining it, for he was on the weather side of the ship, he determined to bring in the end of the reef-tackle with him. Calling out to let go the rope on the deck, he ran out to the lift, bent over and secured the desired end, and raised himself erect, with the intention to make a run in, on the top of the yard. Captain Truck and the second mate had both commanded him to desist in vain, for impunity from harm had rendered him fool-hardy. In this perilous position he even paused to give a cheer. The cry was scarcely ended when he sprang off the yard several feet upwards and fell perpendicularly towards the sea, carrying the rope in his hand. At first, most on board believed the man had jumped into the water as the least hazardous means of getting down, depending on the rope, and on swimming, for his security; but Paul pointed out the spot of blood that stained the surface of the sea, at the point where he had fallen. The reef-tackle was rounded cautiously in, and its end rose to the surface without the hand that had so lately grasped it. The man himself never re-appeared.

Captain Truck had now the means of setting three stay-sails, the spanker, and the fore-course; sails sufficient, he thought, to answer his present purposes.–The end of the reef-tackle, that had been so dearly bought, was got in, by means of a light line, which was thrown around it.

The order was now given to brail the spanker, and to clap on and weigh the kedge, which was done by the run. As soon as the ship was free of the bottom, the fore-topmast-stay-sail was set flying, like a jib-top-sail, by hauling out the tack, and swaying upon the halyards. The sheet was hauled to windward, and the helm put down; of course the bows of the ship began to fall off, and, as soon, as her head was sufficiently near her course, the sheet was drawn, and the wheel shifted.

Captain Truck now ordered the foresail, which, by this time was ready, to be set. This important sail was got on the vessel, by bending the buntlines and leachlines to its head, and by hauling out the weather-head-cringle by means of the reef tackle. As soon as this broad spread of canvas was on the ship, her motion was accelerated, and she began to move away from the spot, followed by the furious cries and menaces of the Arabs. To the latter no one paid any heed, but they were audible until drowned in distance. Although aided by all her spars, and the force of the wind on her hull, a body as large as the Montauk required some little time to overcome the _vis inertiæ_, and several anxious minutes passed before she was so far from the cover of the Arabs as to prevent their clamour from seeming to be in the very ears of those on board. When this did occur, it brought inexpressible relief, though it perhaps increased the danger, by increasing the chances of the bullets hitting objects on deck.

The course at first was nearly before the wind, when the flat rock, so often named, being reached, the ship was compelled to haul up on an easy bowline, in order to pass to windward of it. Here the stay-sails aft and the spanker were set, which aided in bringing the vessel to the wind, and the fore-tack was brought down. By laying straight out of the pass, a distance of only a hundred yards, the vessel would be again clear of every thing, and beyond all the dangers of the coast, so long as the present breeze stood. But the tide set the vessel bodily towards the rock, and her condition did not admit of pressing hard upon a bowline. Captain Truck was getting to be uneasy, for he soon perceived that they were nearing the danger, though very gradually, and he began to tremble for his copper. Still the vessel drew steadily ahead, and he had hopes of passing the outer edge of the rocks in safety. This outer edge was a broken, ragged, and pointed fragment, that would break in the planks should the vessel rest upon it an instant, while falling in that constant heaving and setting of the ocean, which now began to be very sensibly felt. After all his jeopardy, the old mariner saw that his safety was at a serious hazard, by one of those unforeseen but common risks that environ the seaman’s life.

“Luff! luff! you can,” cried Captain Truck, glancing his eye from the rock to the sails, and from the sails to the rock. “Luff, sir–you are at the pinch!”

“Luff it is sir!” answered the man at the wheel, who stood abaft the hurricane-house, covered by its roof, over which he was compelled to look, to get a view of the sails. “Luff I may, and luff it is, sir.”

Paul stood at the captain’s side, the crew being ordered to keep themselves as much covered as possible, on account of the bullets of the Arabs, which were at this time pattering against the vessel, like hail at the close of a storm.

“We shall not weather that point of ragged rock,” exclaimed the young man, quickly; “and if we touch it the ship will be lost.”

“Let her claw off,” returned the old man sternly. “Her cutwater is up with it already. Let her claw off.”

The bows of the ship were certainly up with the danger, and the vessel was slowly drawing ahead; but every moment its broadside was set nearer to the rock, which was now within fifty feet of them. The fore-chains were past the point, though little hope remained of clearing it abaft. A ship turns on her centre of gravity as on a pivot, the two ends inclining in opposite directions; and Captain Truck hoped that as the bows were past the danger, it might be possible to throw the after-part of the vessel up to the wind, by keeping away, and thus clear the spot entirely.

“Hard up with your helm!” he shouted, “hard up!–Haul down the mizzen-stay-sail, and give her sheet!”

The sails were attended to, but no answer came from the wheel, nor did the vessel change her course.

“Hard up, I tell you, sir–hard up–hard up, and be d—d to you!”

The usual reply was not made. Paul sprang through the narrow gangway that led to the wheel. All that passed took but a minute, and yet it was the most critical minute that had yet befallen the Montauk; for had she touched that rock but for an instant, human art could hardly have kept her above water an hour.

“Hard up, and be d—d to you!” repeated Captain Truck, in a voice of thunder, as Paul darted round the corner of the hurricane-house.

The seaman stood at the wheel, grasping its spokes firmly, his eyes aloft as usual, but the turns of the tiller rope showed that the order was not obeyed.

“Hard up, man, hard up! are you mad?” Paul uttered these words as he sprang to the wheel, which he made whirl with his own hands in the required direction. As for the seaman, he yielded his hold without resistance, and fell like a log, as the wheel flew round. A ball had entered his back, and passed through his heart, and yet he had stood steadily to the spokes, as the true mariner always clings to the helm while life lasts.

The bows of the ship fell heavily off, and her stern pressed up towards the wind; but the trifling delay so much augmented the risk, that nothing saved the vessel but the formation of the run and counter, which, by receding as usual, allowed room to escape the dangerous point, as the Montauk hove by on a swell.

Paul could not see the nearness of the escape, but the purity of the water permitted Captain Truck and his mates to observe it with a distinctness that almost rendered them breathless. Indeed there was an instant when the sharp rock was hid beneath the counter, and each momentarily expected to hear the grating of the fragment, as it penetrated the vessel’s bottom.

“Relieve that man at the wheel, and send him hither this moment,” said Captain Truck, in a calm stern voice, that was more ominous than an oath.

The mate called a seaman, and passed aft himself to execute the order. In a minute he and Paul returned, bearing the body of the dead mariner, when all was explained.

“Lord, thy ways are unsearchable!” muttered the old master, uncovering himself, as the corpse was carried past, “and we are but as grains of seed, and as the vain butterflies in thy hand!”

The rock once cleared, an open ocean lay to leeward of the packet, and bringing the wind a little abaft the beam, she moved steadily away from those rocks that had been the witnesses of all her recent dangers. It was not long before she was so distant that all danger from the Arabs ceased. The barbarians, notwithstanding, continued a dropping fire and furious gesticulations, long after their bullets and menaces became matters of indifference to those on board.

The body of the dead man was laid between the masts, and the order was passed to bend the sails. As all was ready, in half an hour the Montauk was standing off the land under her three topsails, the reef now distant nearly a league. The courses came next, when the top-gallant yards were crossed and the sails set; the lighter canvas followed, and some time before the sun disappeared, the ship was under studding-sails, standing to the westward, before the trades.

For the first time since he received the intelligence that the Arabs were the masters of the ship, Captain Truck now felt real relief. He was momentarily happy after the combat, but new cares had pressed upon him so soon, that he could scarcely be said to be tranquil. Matters were now changed. His vessel was in good order, if not equipped for racing, and, as he was in a low latitude, had the trade winds to befriend him, and no longer entertained any apprehension of his old enemy the Foam, he felt as if a mountain had been removed from his breast.

“Thank God,” he observed to Paul, “I shall sleep to-night without dreaming of Arabs or rocks, or scowling faces at New York. They may say that another man might have shown more skill in keeping clear of such a scrape, but they will hardly say that another man could have got out of it better. All this handsome outfit, too, will cost the owners nothing–literally nothing; and I question if the poor Dane will ever appear to claim the sails and spars. I do not know that we are in possession of them exactly according to the law of Africa, for of that code I know little; or according to the law of nations, for Vattel, I believe, has nothing on the subject; but we are in possession so effectually, that, barring the nor’-westers on the American coast, I feel pretty certain of keeping them until we make the East River.”

“It might be better to bury the dead,” said Paul; for he knew Eve would scarcely appear on deck as long as the body remained in sight. “Seamen, you know, are superstitious on the subject of corpses.”

“I have thought of this; but hoped to cheat those two rascals of sharks that are following in our wake, as if they scented their food. It is an extraordinary thing, Mr. Blunt, that these fish should know when there is a body in a ship, and that they will follow it a hundred leagues to make sure of their prey.”

“It would be extraordinary, if true; but in what manner has the fact been ascertained?”

“You see the two rascally pirates astern?” observed Mr. Leach.

“Very true; but we might also see them were there no dead body about the ship. Sharks abound in this latitude, and I have seen several about the reef since we went in.

“They’ll be disappointed as to poor Tom Smith,” said the mate, “unless they dive deep for him. I have lashed one of Napoleon’s busts to the fine fellow’s feet, and he’ll not fetch up until he’s snugly anchored on the bottom.”

“This is a fitting hour for solemn feelings,” said the captain, gazing about him at the heavens and the gathering gloom of twilight. “Call all hands to bury the dead, Mr. Leach. I confess I should feel easier myself as to the weather, were the body fairly out of the ship.”

While the mate went forward to muster the people, the captain took Paul aside with a request that he would perform the last offices for the deceased.

“I will read a chapter in the Bible myself,” he said; “for I should not like the people to see one of the crew go overboard, and the officers have no word to say in the ceremonies; it might beget disrespect, and throw a slur on our knowledge; but you man-of-war’s-men are generally more regularly brought up to prayers than us liners, and if you have a proper book by you, I should feel infinitely obliged if you would give us a lift on this melancholy occasion.”

Paul proposed that Mr. Effingham should be asked to officiate, as he knew that gentleman read prayers in his cabin, to his own party, night and morning.

“Does he?” said the captain; “then he is my man, for he must have his hand in, and there will be no stammering or boggling. Ay, ay; he will fetch through on one tack. Toast, go below, and present my compliments to Mr. Effingham, and say I should like to speak to him; and, harkee, Toast, desire him to put a prayer-book in his pocket, and then step into my state-room, and bring up the Bible you will find under the pillow. The Arabs had a full chance at the plunder; but there is something about the book that always takes care of it. Few rogues, I’ve often remarked, care about a Bible. They would sooner steal ten novels than one copy of the sacred writ. This of mine was my mother’s, Mr. Blunt, and I should have been a better man had I overhauled it oftener.”

We pass over most of the arrangements, and come at once to the service, and to the state of the ship, just as her inmate were assembled on an occasion which no want of formality can render any thing but solemn and admonitory. The courses were hauled up, and the main-topsail had been laid to the mast, a position in which a ship has always an air of stately repose. The body was stretched on a plank that lay across a rail, the leaden bust being enclosed in the hammock that enveloped it. A spot of blood on the cloth alone betrayed the nature of the death. Around the body were grouped the crew, while Captain Truck and his mates stood at the gangway. The passengers were collected on the quarter-deck, with Mr. Effingham, holding a prayer-book, a little in advance.

The sun had just dipped into the ocean, and the whole western horizon was glorious with those soft, pearly, rainbow hues that adorn the evening and the morning of a low latitude, during the soft weather of the autumnal months. To the eastward, the low line of coast was just discernible by the hillocks of sand, leaving the imagination to portray its solitude and wastes. The sea in all other directions was dark and gloomy, and the entire character of the sunset was that of a grand picture of ocean magnificence and extent, relieved by a sky in which the tints came and went like the well-known colours of the dolphin; to this must be added the gathering gloom of twilight.

Eve pressed the arm of John Effingham, and gazed with admiration and awe at the imposing scene.

“This is the seaman’s grave!” she whispered.

“And worthy it is to be the tomb of so gallant a fellow. The man died clinging to his post; and Powis tells me that his hand was loosened from the wheel with difficulty.”

They were silent, for Captain Truck uncovered himself, as did all around him, placed his spectacles, and opened the sacred volume. The old mariner was far from critical in his selections of readings, and he usually chose some subject that he thought would most interest his hearers, which were ordinarily those that most interested himself. To him Bible was Bible, and he now turned to the passage in the Acts of the Apostles in which the voyage of St. Paul from Judea to Rome is related. This he read with steadiness, some quaintness of pronunciation, and with a sort of breathing elasticity, whenever he came to those verses that touched particularly on the navigation.

Paul maintained his perfect self-command during this extraordinary exhibition, but an unbidden smile lingered around the handsome and chiseled mouth of Mr. Sharp. John Effingham’s curved face was sedate and composed, while the females were too much impressed to exhibit any levity. As to the crew, they listened in profound attention, occasionally exchanging glances whenever any of the nautical expedients struck them as being out of role.

As soon as this edifying chapter was ended, Mr. Effingham commenced the solemn rites for the dead. At the first sound of his voice, a calm fell on the vessel as if the spirit of God had alighted from the clouds, and a thrill passed through the frames of the listeners. Those solemn words of the Apostle commencing with “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet he shall live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, he shall never die,” could not have been better delivered. The voice, intonation, utterance, and manner, of Mr. Effingham, were eminently those of a gentleman; without pretension, quiet, simple, and mellow, while, on the other hand, they were feeling, dignified, distinct, and measured.

When he pronounced the words “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and though, after my skin, worms destroy my body, yet in my flesh shall I see God,” &c. &c. the men stared about them as if a real voice from heaven had made the declaration, and Captain Truck looked aloft like one expecting a trumpet-blast. The tears of Eve began to flow as she listened to the much-loved tones; and the stoutest heart in that much tried ship quailed. John Effingham made the responses of the psalm steadily, and Mr. Sharp and Paul soon joined him. But the profoundest effect was produced when the office reached those consoling but startling words from the Revelations commencing with, “I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me write, from henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord,” &c. Captain Truck afterwards confessed that he thought he heard the very voice, and the men actually pressed together in their alarm. The plunge of the body was also a solemn instant. It went off the end of the plank feet foremost, and, carried rapidly down by the great weight of the lead, the water closed above it, obliterating every trace of the seaman’s grave. Eve thought that its exit resembled the few brief hours that draw the veil of oblivion around the mass of mortals when they disappear from earth.

Instead of asking for the benediction at the close of the ceremony, Mr. Effingham devoutly and calmly commenced the psalm of thanksgiving for victory, “If the Lord had not been on our side, now may we say, if the Lord himself had not been on our side, when men rose up against us, they would have swallowed us up quick, when they were so wrathfully displeased with us.” Most of the gentlemen joined in the responses, and the silvery voice of Eve sounded sweet and holy amid the breathings of the ocean. _Te Deum Laudamus,_ “We praise thee, O God! we acknowledge thee to be the Lord!” “All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting;” closed the offices, when Mr. Effingham dismissed his congregation with the usual layman’s request for the benediction.

Captain Truck had never before been so deeply impressed with any religious ceremony, and when it ceased he looked wistfully over the side at the spot where the body had fallen, or where it might be supposed to have fallen— for the ship had drifted some distance–as one takes a last look at the grave of a friend.

“Shall we fill the main-topsail, sir?” demanded Mr. Leach, after waiting a minute or two in deference to his commander’s feelings; “or shall we hook on the yard-tackles, and stow the launch?”

“Not yet, Leach; not yet. It will be unkind to poor Jack to hurry away from his grave so indecently. I have observed that the people about the river always keep in sight till the last sod is stowed, and the rubbish is cleared away. The fine fellow stood to those spokes as a close-reefed topsail in a gale stands the surges of the wind, and we owe him this little respect.”

“The boats, sir?”

“Let them tow awhile longer. It will seem like deserting him to be rattling the yard-tackles and stowing boats directly over his head. Your gran’ther was a priest, Leach, and I wonder you don’t see the impropriety of hurrying away from a grave. A little reflection will hurt none of us.”

The mate admired at a mood so novel for his commander, but he was fain to submit. The day was fast closing notwithstanding, and the skies were losing their brilliancy in hues that were still softer and more melancholy, as if nature delighted, too, in sympathizing with the feelings of these lone mariners!

Chapter XXIX.

Sir, ’tis my occupation to be plain.

LEAR.

The barbarians had done much less injury to the ship and her contents than under the circumstances could have been reasonably hoped. The fact that nothing could be effectually landed where she lay was probably the cause, the bales that had actually been got out of the ship, having been put upon the bank with a view to lighten her, more than for any other reason. The compact, too, between the chiefs had its influence probably, though it could not have lasted long with so strong temptations to violate it constantly before the eyes of men habitually rapacious.

Of course, one of the first things after each individual had ascertained his own losses, was to inquire into those of his neighbours, and the usual party in the ladies’ cabin was seated around the sofa of Eve, about nine in the evening, conversing on this topic, after having held a short but serious discourse on their recent escape.

“You tell me, John, that Mr. Monday has a desire to sleep?” observed Mr. Effingham, in the manner in which one puts an interrogation.

“He is easier, and dozes. I have left my man with him, with orders to summon me the instant he awakes.”

A melancholy pause succeeded, and then the discourse took the channel from which it had been diverted.

“Is the extent of our losses in effects known?” asked Mr. Sharp. “My man reports some trifling _deficit_, but nothing of any value.”

“Your counterfeit,” returned Eve, smiling, “has been the principal sufferer. One would think by his plaints, that not a toy is left in Christendom.”

“So long as they have not stolen from him his good name, I shall not complain, as I may have some use for it when we reach America, of which now, God be praised! there are some flattering prospects.”

“I understand from my connexions that the person who is known in the main cabin as Sir George Templemore, is not the person who is known as such in this,” observed John Effingham, bowing to Mr. Sharp, who returned his salute as one acknowledges an informal introduction. “There are certainly weak men to be found in high stations all over the world, but you will probably think I am doing honour to my own sagacity, when I say, that I suspected from the first that he was not the true Amphitryon. I had heard of Sir George Templemore, and had been taught to expect more in him than even a man of fashion–a man of the world–while this poor substitute can scarcely claim to be either.”

John Effingham so seldom complimented that his kind words usually told, and Mr. Sharp acknowledged the politeness, more gratified than he was probably willing to acknowledge to himself. The other could have heard of him only from Eve and her father, and it was doubly grateful to be spoken of favourably in such a quarter: he thought there was a consciousness in the slight suffusion that appeared on the face of the daughter, which led him to hope that even the latter had not considered him unworthy of recollection; for he cared but little for the remembrances of Mr. Effingham, if they could all be transferred to his child.

“This person, who does me the honour to relieve me from the trouble of bearing my own name,” he resumed, “cannot be of very lofty pretensions, or he would have aspired higher. I suspect him of being merely one of those silly young countrymen of mine, of whom so many crowd stage-coaches and packets, to swagger over their less ambitious fellow-mortals with the strut and exactions of the hour.”

“And yet, apart from his folly in ‘sailing under false colours,’ as our worthy captain would call it, the man seems well enough.”

“A folly, cousin Jack,” said Eve with laughing eyes though she maintained a perfect demureness with her beautiful features–“that he shares in common with so many others!”

“Very true, though I suspect he has climbed to commit it, while others have been content to descend. The man himself behaved well yesterday, showing steadiness as well as spirit in the fray.”

“I forgive him his usurpation for his conduct on that occasion,” returned Mr. Sharp, “and wish with all my heart the Arabs had discovered less affection for his curiosities. I should think that they must find themselves embarrassed to ascertain the uses of some of their prizes; such for instance, as the button-hooks, the shoe-horn, knives with twenty blades, and other objects that denote a profound civilization.”

“You have not spoken of your luck, Mr. Powis,” added Mr. Effingham; “I trust you have fared as well as most of us, though had they visited their enemies according to the injury received from them, you would be among the heaviest of the sufferers.”

“My loss,” replied Paul, mournfully, “is not much in pecuniary value, though irreparable to me.”

A look of concern betrayed the general interest, for as he really seemed sad, there was a secret apprehension that his loss even exceeded that which his words would give them reason to suppose. Perceiving the curiosity that was awakened, and which was only suppressed by politeness, the young man added,

“I miss a miniature that, to me, is of inestimable value.”

Eve’s heart throbbed, while her eyes sunk to the carpet. The others seemed amazed, and after a brief pause, Mr. Sharp observed–

“A painting on its own account would hardly possess much value with such barbarians. Was the setting valuable?”

“It was of gold, of course, and had some merit in the way of workmanship. It has probably been taken as curious rather than for its specific value; though to me, as I have just said, the ship itself could scarcely be of more account–certainly not as much prized.”

“Many light articles have been merely mislaid; taken away through curiosity or idleness, and left where the individual happened to be at the moment of changing his mind,” said John Effingham: “several things of mine have been scattered through the cabins in this manner, and I understand that divers vestments of the ladies have found their way into the state-rooms of the other cabin; particularly a nightcap of Mademoiselle Viefville’s, that has been discovered in Captain Truck’s room, and which that gallant seaman has forthwith condemned as a lawful waif. As he never uses such a device on his head, he will be compelled to wear it next his heart. He will be compelled to convert it into a _liberty_-cap.”

“_Ciel!_ if the excellent captain will carry us safe to New York,” coolly returned the governess, “he shall have the prize, _de tout mon coeur; c’est un homme brave, et c’est aussi un brave homme, à sa façon_”

“Here are _two_ hearts concerned in the affair already, and no one can foresee the consequences; but,” turning to Paul, “describe, this miniature, if you please, for there are many in the vessel, and yours is not the only one that has been mislaid.”

“It was a miniature of a female, and one, too, I think, that would be remarked for her beauty.”

Eve felt a chill at her heart.

“If, sir, it is the miniature of an elderly lady,” said Ann Sidley, “perhaps it is this which I found in Miss Eve’s room, and which I intended to give to Captain Truck in order that it might reach the hands of its right owner.”

Paul took the miniature, which he regarded coldly for a moment, and then returned to the nurse.

“Mine is the miniature of a female under twenty,” he said, colouring as he spoke; “and is every way different from this.”

This was the painful and humiliating moment when Eve Effingham was made to feel the extent and the nature of the interest she took in Paul Powis. On all the previous occasions in which her feelings had been strongly awakened on his account, she had succeeded in deceiving herself as to the motive, but now the truth was felt in that overwhelming form that no sensitive heart can distrust.

No one had seen the miniature, though all observed the emotion with which Paul spoke of it, and all secretly wondered of whom it could be.

“The Arabs appear to have some such taste for the fine arts as distinguishes the population of a mushroom American city,” said John Effingham; “or one that runs to portraits, which are admired while the novelty lasts, and then are consigned to the first spot that offers to receive them.”

“Are _your_ miniatures all safe, Eve?” Mr. Effingham inquired with interest; for among them was one of her mother that he had yielded to her only through strong parental affection, but which it would have given him deep pain to discover was lost, though John Effingham, unknown to him, possessed a copy.

“It is with the jewellery in the baggage-room, dearest father, and untouched of course. We are fortunate that our passing wants did not extend beyond our comfort and luckily they are not of a nature to be much prized by barbarians. Coquetry and a ship have little in common, and Mademoiselle Viefville and myself had not much out to tempt the marauders.”

As Eve uttered this, both the young men involuntarily turned their eyes towards her, each thinking that a being so fair stood less in need than common of the factitious aid of ornaments. She was dressed in a dark French chintz, that her maid had fitted to her person in a manner that it would seem none but a French assistant can accomplish, setting off her falling shoulders, finely moulded bust, and slender-rounded waist, in a way to present a modest outline of their perfection. The dress had that polished medium between fashion and its exaggeration, that always denotes a high association, and perhaps a cultivated mind–certainly a cultivated taste–offending neither usage on the one hand, nor self-respect and a chaste appreciation of beauty on the other. Indeed Eve was distinguished for that important acquisition to a gentlewoman, an intellectual or refined toilette; not intellect and refinement in extravagance and caricature, but as they are displayed in fitness, simplicity, elegance, and the proportions. This much, perhaps, she owed to native taste, as the slight air of fashion, and the high air of a gentlewoman, that were thrown about her person and attire, were the fruits of an intimate connexion with the best society of half the capitals of the European continent. As an unmarried female, modesty, the habits of the part of the world in which she had so long dwelt, and her own sense of propriety, caused her to respect simplicity of appearance; but through this, as it might be in spite of herself, shone qualities of a superior order. The little hand and foot, so beautiful and delicate, the latter just peeping from the dress under which it was usually concealed, appeared as if formed expressly to adorn a taste that was every way feminine and alluring.

“It is one of the mysteries of the grand designs of Providence, that men should exist in conditions so widely distant from each other,” said John Effingham abruptly, “with a common nature that can be so much varied by circumstances. It is almost humiliating to find one’s-self a man, vhen beings like these Arabs are to be classed as fellows.”

“The most instructed and refined, cousin Jack, may get a useful lesson, notwithstanding your disrelish for the consanguinity, from this very identity of nature,” said Eve, who made a rally to overcome feelings that she deemed girlish and weak. “By showing us what we might be ourselves, we get an admonition of humility; or by reflecting on the difference that is made by education, does it not strike you that there is an encouragement to persevere until better things are attained?”

“This globe is but a ball, and a ball, too, insignificant, even when compared with the powers of man,” continued the other. “How many navigators now circle it! even you, sir, may have done this, young as you still are,” turning to Paul, who made a bow of assent; “and yet, within these narrow limits, what wonderful varieties of physical appearance, civilization, laws, and even of colour, do we find, all mixed up with points of startling affinity.”

“So far as a limited experience has enabled me to judge,” observed Paul, “I have every where found, not only the same nature, but a common innate sentiment of justice that seems universal; for even amidst the wildest scenes of violence, or of the most ungovernable outrages, this sentiment glimmers through the more brutal features of the being. The rights of property, for instance, are every where acknowledged; the very wretch who steals whenever he can, appearing conscious of his crime, by doing it clandestinely, and as a deed that shuns observation. All seem to have the same general notions of natural justice, and they are forgotten only through the policy of systems, irresistible temptation, the pressure of want, or the result of contention.”

“Yet, as a rule, man every where oppresses his weaker fellow.”

“True; but he betrays consciousness of his error, directly or indirectly. One can show his sense of the magnitude of his crime even by the manner of defending it. As respects our late enemies, I cannot say I felt any emotion of animosity while the hottest engaged against them, for their usages have rendered their proceedings lawful.”

“They tell me,” interrupted Mr. Effingham, “that it is owing to your presence of mind and steadiness that more blood was not shed unnecessarily.”

“It may be questioned,” continued Paul, noticing this compliment merely by an inclination of the head, “if civilized people have not reasoned themselves, under the influence of interest, into the commission of deeds quite as much opposed to natural justice as anything done by these barbarians. Perhaps no nation is perfectly free from the just imputation of having adopted some policy quite as unjustifiable in itself as the system of plunder maintained among the Arabs.”

“Do you count the rights of hospitality as nothing?”

“Look at France, a nation distinguished for refinement, among its rulers, at least. It was but the other day that the effects of the stranger who died in her territory were appropriated to the use of a monarch wallowing in luxury. Compare this law with the treaties that invited strangers to repair to the country, and the wants of the monarch who exhibited the rapacity, to the situation of the barbarians from whom we have escaped, and the magnitude of the temptation we offered, and it does not appear that the advantage is much with Christians. But the fate of shipwrecked mariners all over the world is notorious. In countries the most advanced in civilization they are plundered, if there is an opportunity, and, at need, frequently murdered.”

“This is a frightful picture of humanity,” said Eve shuddering. “I do not think that this charge can be justly brought against America.”

“That is far from certain. America has many advantages to weaken the temptation to crime, but she is very far from perfect. The people on some of her coasts have been accused of resorting to the old English practice of showing false lights, with a view to mislead vessels, and of committing cruel depredations on the wrecked. In all things I believe there is a disposition in man to make misfortune weigh heaviest on the unfortunate. Even the coffin in which we inter a friend costs more than any other piece of work of the same amount of labour and materials.”

“This is a gloomy picture of humanity, to be drawn by one so young,” Mr. Effingham mildly rejoined.

“I think it true. All men do not exhibit their selfishness and ferocity in the same way; but there are few who do not exhibit both. As for America, Miss Effingham, she is fast getting vices peculiar to herself and her system, and, I think, vices which bid fair to bring her down, ere long, to the common level, although I do not go quite so far in describing her demerits as some of the countrymen of Mademoiselle Viefville have gone.”

“And what may that have been?” asked the governess eagerly, in English.

“_Pourrie avant d’être mûre. Mûre_, America is certainly far from being; but I am not disposed to accuse her yet of being quite_pourrie._”

“We had flattered ourselves,” said Eve, a little reproachfully, “with having at last found a countryman in Mr. Powis.”

“And how would that change the question? Or do you admit that an American can be no American, unless blind to the faults of the country, however great?”

“Would it be generous for a child to turn upon a parent that all others assail?”

“You put the case ingeniously, but scarcely with fairness. It is the duty of the parent to educate and correct the child, but it is the duty of the citizen to reform and improve the character of his country. How can the latter be done, if nothing but eulogies are dealt in? With foreigners, one should not deal too freely with the faults of his country, though even with the liberal among them one would wish to be liberal, for foreigners cannot repair the evil; but with one’s countrymen I see little use and much danger, in observing a silence as to faults. The American, of all others, it appears to me, should be the boldest in denouncing the common and national vices, since he is one of those who, by the institutions themselves, has the power to apply the remedy.”

“But America is an exception, I think, or perhaps it would be better to say I _feel_, since all other people deride at, mock her, and dislike her. You will admit this yourself, Sir George Templemore?”

“By no means: in England, now, I consider America to be particularly well esteemed.”

Eve held up her pretty hands, and even Mademoiselle Viefville, usually so well-toned and self-restrained, gave a visible shrug.

“Sir George means in his country,” dryly observed John Effingham.

“Perhaps the parties would better understand each other,” said Paul, coolly, “were Sir George Templemore to descend to particulars. He belongs himself to the liberal school, and may be considered a safe witness.”

“I shall be compelled to protest against a cross-examination on such a subject,” returned the baronet, laughing. “You will be satisfied, I am certain, with my simple declaration. Perhaps we still regard the Americans as _tant soit peu_ rebels; but that is a feeling that will soon cease.”

“That is precisely the point on which I think liberal Englishman usually do great justice to America, while it is on other points that they betray a national dislike.”

“England believes America hostile to herself; and if love creates love, dislike creates dislike.”

“This is at least something like admitting the truth of the charge, Miss Effingham,” said John Effingham, smiling, “and we may dismiss the accused. It is odd enough that England should consider America as rebellious, as is the case with many Englishmen, I acknowledge, while, in truth, England herself was the rebel, and this, too, in connexion with the very questions that produced the American revolution.”

“This is quite new,” said Sir George, “and I confess some curiosity to see how it can be made out.”

John Effingham did not hesitate about stating his case.

“In the first place you are to forget professions and names,” he said, “and to look only at facts and things. When America was settled, a compact was made, either in the way of charters or of organic laws, by which all the colonies had distinct rights, while, on the other hand, they confessed allegiance to the king. But in that age the English monarch _was_ a king. He used his veto on the laws, for instance, and otherwise exercised his prerogatives. Of the two, he influenced parliament more than parliament influenced him. In such a state of things, countries separated by an ocean might be supposed to be governed equitably, the common monarch feeling a common parental regard for all his subjects. Perhaps distance might render him even more tender of the interest of those who were not present to protect themselves.”

“This is putting the case loyally, at least,” said Sir George, as the other paused for a moment.

“It is precisely in that light that I wish to present it. The degree of power that parliament possessed over the colonies was a disputed point; but I am willing to allow that parliament had all power.”

“In doing which, I fear, you will concede all the merits,” said Mr. Effingham.

“I think not. Parliament then ruled the colonies absolutely and legally, if you please, under the Stuarts; but the English rebelled against these Stuarts, dethroned them, and gave the crown to an entirely new family–one with only a remote alliance with the reigning branch. Not satisfied with this, the king was curtailed in his authority; the prince, who might with justice be supposed to feel a common interest in all his subjects, became a mere machine in the hands of a body who represented little more than themselves, in fact, or a mere fragment of the empire, even in theory; transferring the control of the colonial interest from the sovereign himself to a portion of his people, and that, too, a small portion. This was no longer a government of a prince who felt a parental concern for all his subjects, but a government of a _clique_ of his subjects, who felt a selfish concern only for their own interests.”

“And did the Americans urge this reason for the revolt?” asked Sir George. “It sounds new to me.”

“They quarreled with the results, rather than with the cause. When they found that legislation was to be chiefly in the interests of England, they took the alarm, and seized their arms, without stopping to analyse causes. They probably were mystified too much with names and professions to see the real truth, though they got some noble glimpses of it.”

“I have never before heard this case put so strongly,” cried Paul Powis, “and yet I think it contains the whole merit of the controversy as a principle.”

“It is extraordinary how nationality blinds us,” observed Sir George, laughing. “I confess, Powis,”–the late events had produced a close intimacy and a sincere regard between these two fine young men,–“that I stand in need of an explanation.”

“You can conceive of a monarch,” continued John Effingham, “who possesses an extensive and efficient power?”

“Beyond doubt; nothing can be plainer than that.”

“Fancy this monarch to fall into the hands of a fragment of his subjects, who reduce his authority to a mere profession, and begin to wield it for their own especial benefit, no longer leaving, him a free agent, though always using the authority in his name.”

“Even that is easily imagined.”

“History is full of such instances. A part of the subjects, unwilling to be the dupes of such a fraud, revolt against the monarch in name, against the cabal in fact. Now who are the real rebels? Profession is nothing. Hyder Ally never seated himself in the presence of the prince he had deposed, though he held him captive during life.”

“But did not America acquiesce in the dethronement of the Stuarts?” asked Eve, in whom the love of the right was stronger even than the love of country.

“Beyond a doubt, though America neither foresaw nor acquiesced in all the results. The English themselves, probably, did not’ foresee the consequences of their own revolution; for we now find England almost in arms against the consequences of the very subversion of the kingly power of which I have spoken. In England it placed a portion of the higher classes in possession of authority, at the expense of all the rest of the nation; whereas, as respects America, it set a remote people to rule over her, instead of a prince, who had the same connexion with his colonies as with all the rest of his subjects. The late English reform is a peaceable revolution; and America would very gladly have done the same thing, could she have extricated herself from the consequences, by mere acts of congress. The whole difference is, that America, pressed upon by peculiar circumstances, preceded England in the revolt about sixty years, and that this revolt was against an usurper, and not against the legitimate monarch, or against the sovereign himself.”

“I confess all this is novel to me,” exclaimed Sir George.

“I have told you, Sir George Templemore, that, if you stay long enough in America, many novel ideas will suggest themselves. You have too much sense to travel through the country seeking for petty exceptions that may sustain your aristocratical prejudices, or opinions, if you like that better; but will be disposed to judge a nation, not according to preconceived notions, but according to visible facts.”

“They tell me there is a strong bias to aristocracy in America; at least such is the report of most European travellers.”

“The report of men who do not reflect closely on the meaning of words. That there are real aristocrats in opinion in America is very true; there are also a few monarchists, or those who fancy themselves monarchists.”

“Can a man be deceived on such a point?”

“Nothing is more easy. He who would set up a king merely in name, for instance, is not a monarchist, but a visionary, who confounds names with things.”

“I see you will not admit of a balance in the state.”

“I shall contend that there must be a preponderating authority in every government, from which it derives its character; and if this be not the king, that government is not a real monarchy, let the laws be administered in whose name they may. Calling an idol Jupiter does not convert it into a god. I question if there be a real monarchist left in the English empire at this very moment. They who make the loudest professions that way strike me as being the rankest aristocrats, and a real political aristocrat is, and always has been, the most efficient enemy of kings.”

“But we consider loyalty to the prince as attachment to the system.”

“That is another matter; for in that you may be right enough, though it is ambiguous as to terms.”

“Sir–gentlemen–Mr. John Effingham, sir,” interrupted Saunders, “Mr. Monday is awake, and so werry conwalescent–I fear he will not live long. The ship herself is not so much conwerted by these new spars as poor Mr. Monday is conwerted since he went to sleep.”

“I feared this,” observed John Effingham, rising. “Acquaint Captain Truck with the fact, steward: he desired to be sent for at any crisis.”

He then quitted the cabin, leaving the rest of the party wondering that they could have been already so lost to the situation of one of their late companions, however different from themselves he might be in opinions and character. But in this they merely showed their common connexion with all the rest of the great family of man, who uniformly forget sorrows that do not press too hard on self, in the reaction of their feelings.

Chapter XXX.

Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?

ISAIAH.

The principal hurt of Mr. Monday was one of those wounds that usually produce death within eight-and-forty hours. He had borne the pain with resolution; and, as yet, had discovered no consciousness of the imminent danger that was so apparent to all around him. But a film had suddenly past from before his senses; and, a man of mere habits, prejudices, and animal enjoyments, he had awakened at the very termination of his brief existence to something like a consciousness of his true position in the moral world, as well as of his real physical condition. Under the first impulse of such an alarm, John Effingham had been sent for; and he, as has been seen, ordered Captain Truck to be summoned. In consequence of the previous understanding these two gentlemen and Mr. Leach appeared at the state-room door at the same instant. The apartment being small it was arranged between them that the former should enter first, having been expressly sent for; and that the others should be introduced at the pleasure of the wounded man.

“I have brought my Bible, Mr. Leach,” said the captain when he and the mate were left alone, “for a chapter is the very least we can give a cabin-passenger, though I am a little at a loss to know what particular passage will be the most suitable for the occasion. Something from the book of Kings would be likely to suit Mr. Monday, as he is a thorough-going king’s man.”

“It is so long since I read that particular book, sir,” returned the mate, diligently thumbing his watch-key, “that I should be diffident about expressing an opinion. I think, however, a little Bible might do him good.”

“It is not an easy matter to hit a conscience exactly between wind and water. I once thought of producing an impression on the ship’s company by reading the account of Jonah and the whale as a subject likely to attract their attention, and to show them the hazards we seamen run; but, in the end, I discovered that the narration struck them all aback as a thing not likely to be true. Jack can stand any thing but a fish story, you know, Leach.”

“It is always better to keep clear of miracles at sea, I believe, sir, when the people are to be spoken to: I saw some of the men this evening wince about that ship of St. Paul’s carrying out anchors in a gale.”

“The graceless rascals ought to be thankful they are not at this very moment trotting through the great desert lashed to dromedaries’ tails! Had I known that, Leach, I would have read the verse twice! But Mr. Monday is altogether a different man, and will listen to reason. There is the story of Absalom, which is quite interesting; and perhaps the account of the battle might be suitable for one who dies in consequence of a battle; but, on the whole, I remember my worthy old father used to say that a sinner ought to be well shaken up at such a moment.”

“I fancy, sir, Mr. Monday has been a reasonably steady man as the world goes. Seeing that he is a passenger, I should try and ease him off handsomely, and without any of these Methodist surges.”

“You may be right, Leach, you may be right; do as foil would be done by is the golden rule after all. But, here comes Mr. John Effingham; so I fancy we may enter.”

The captain was not mistaken, for Mr. Monday had just taken a restorative, and had expressed a desire to see the two officers. The state-room was a small, neat, and even beautifully finished apartment, about seven feet square. It had originally been fitted with two berths; but, previously to taking possession of the place, John Effingham had caused the carpenter to remove the upper, and Mr. Monday now lay in what had been the lower bed. This situation placed him below his attendant, and in a position where he might be the more easily assisted. A shaded lamp lighted the room, by means of which the captain caught the anxious expression of the dying man’s eye, as he took a seat himself.

“I am grieved to see you in this state, Mr. Monday.” said the master, “and this all the more since it has happened in consequence of your bravery in fighting to regain my ship. By rights this accident ought to have befallen one of the Montauk’s people, or Mr. Leach, here, or even myself, before it befel you.”

Mr. Monday looked at the speaker as if the intended consolation had failed of its effect, and the captain began to suspect that he should find a difficult subject for his new ministrations. By way of gaining time, he thrust an elbow into the mate’s side as a hint that it was now his turn to offer something.

“It might have been worse, Mr. Monday,” observed Leach, shifting his attitude like a man whose moral and physical action moved _pari passu:_ “it might have been much worse, I once saw a man shot in the under jaw, and he lived a fortnight without any sort of nourishment!”

Still Mr. Monday gazed at the mate as if he thought matters could not be much worse.

“That _was_ a hard case,” put in the captain; “why, the poor fellow had no opportunity to recover without victuals.

“No, sir, nor any drink. He never swallowed a mouthful of liquor of any sort from the time he was hit, until he took the plunge when we threw him overboard.”

Perhaps there is truth in the saying that “misery loves company,” for the eye of Mr. Monday turned towards the table on which the bottle of cordial still stood, and from John Effingham, had just before helped him to swallow, under the impression that it was of no moment what he took. The captain understood the appeal, and influenced by the same opinion concerning the hopelessness of the patient’s condition, besides being kindly anxious to console him, he poured out a small glass, all of which he permitted the other to drink. The effect was instantaneous, for it would seem this treacherous friend is ever to produce a momentary pleasure as a poor compensation for its lasting pains.

“I don’t feel so bad, gentleman,” returned the wounded man with a force of voice that startled his visitors. “I feel better–much better, and am very glad to see you. Captain Truck, I have the honor to drink your health.”

The captain looked at the mate as if he thought their visit was twenty-four hours too soon, for live, all felt sure, Mr. Monday could not. But Leach, better placed to observe the countenance of the patient, whispered his commander that it was merely “a catspaw, and will not stand.”

“I am very glad to see you both, gentlemen,” continued Mr. Monday, “and beg you to help yourselves.”

The captain changed his tactics. Finding his patient so strong and cheerful, he thought consolation would be more easily received just at that moment, than it might be even half an hour later.

“We are all mortal, Mr. Monday–“

“Yes, sir; all very mortal.”

“And even the strongest and boldest ought occasionally to think of their end.”

“Quite true, sir; quite true. The strongest and boldest. When do you think we shall get in, gentlemen?”

Captain Truck afterwards affirmed that he was “never before taken so flat aback by a question as by this.” Still he extricated himself from the dilemma with dexterity, the spirit of proselytism apparently arising within him in proportion as the other manifested indifference to his offices.

“There is a port to which we are all steering, my dear sir,” he said; “and of which we ought always to bear in mind the landmarks and beacons, and that port is heaven.”

“Yes,” answered Mr Leach, “a port that, sooner or later, will fetch us all up.”

Mr. Monday gazed from one to the other, and something like the state of feeling, from which he had been aroused by the cordial, began to return.

“Do you think me so bad, gentlemen?” he inquired, with a little of the eagerness of a startled man.

“As bad as one bound direct to so good a place as I hope and trust is the case with you, can be,” returned the captain, determined to follow up the advantage he had gained. “Your wound, we fear, is mortal, and people seldom remain long in this wicked world with such sort of hurts.”

“If he stands that,” thought the captain, “I shall turn him over, at once, to Mr. Effingham.”

Mr. Monday did not stand it. The illusion produced by the liquor, although the latter still sustained his pulses, had begun to evaporate, and the melancholy truth resumed its power.

“I believe, indeed, that I am near my end, gentlemen,” he said faintly; and am thankful–for–for this consolation.”

“Now will be a good time to throw in the chapter,” whispered Leach; “he seems quite conscious, and very contrite.”

Captain Truck, in pure despair, and conscious of his own want of judgment, had determined to leave the question of the selection of this chapter to be decided by chance. Perhaps a little of that mysterious dependence on Providence which renders all men more or less superstitions, influenced him; and that he hoped a wisdom surpassing his own might direct him to a choice. Fortunately, the book of Psalms is near the middle of the sacred volume, and a better disposition of this sublime repository of pious praise and spiritual wisdom could not have been made; for the chance-directed peruser of the Bible will perhaps oftener open among its pages than at any other place.

If we should say that Mr. Monday felt any very profound spiritual relief from the reading of Captain Truck, we should both overrate the manner of the honest sailor, and the intelligence of the dying man. Still the solemn language of praise and admiration had an effect, and, for the first time since childhood, the soul of the latter was moved. God and judgment passed before his imagination, and he gasped for breath in a way that induced the two seamen to suppose the fatal moment had come, even sooner than they expected. The cold sweat stood upon the forehead of the patient, and his eyes glared wildly from one to the other. The paroxysm, however, was transient, and he soon settled down into a state of comparative calmness, pushing away the glass that Captain Truck offered, in mistaken kindness, with a manner of loathing.

“We must comfort him, Leach,” whispered the captain; “for I see he is fetching up in the old way, as was duly laid down by our ancestors in the platform. First, groanings and views of the devil, and then consolation and hope. We have got him into the first category, and we ought now, in justice, to bring to, and heave a strain to help him through it.”

“They generally give ’em prayer, in the river, in this stage of the attack,” said Leach. “If you can remember a short prayer, sir, it might ease him off.”

Captain Truck and his mate, notwithstanding the quaintness of their thoughts and language, were themselves solemnly impressed with the scene, and actuated by the kindest motives. Nothing of levity mingled with their notions, but they felt the responsibility of officers of a packet, besides entertaining a generous interest in the fate of a stranger who had fallen, fighting manfully at their side. The old man looked awkwardly about him, turned the key of the door, wiped his eyes, gazed wistfully at the patient, gave his mate a nudge with his elbow to follow his example, and knelt down with a heart momentarily as devout as is often the case with those who minister at the altar. He retained the words of the Lord’s prayer, and these he repeated aloud, distinctly, and with fervour, though not with a literal conformity to the text. Once Mr. Leach had to help him to the word. When he rose, the perspiration stood on his forehead, as if he had been engaged in severe toil.

Perhaps nothing could have occurred more likely to strike the imagination of Mr. Monday than to see one, of the known character and habits of Captain Truck, thus wrestling with the Lord in his own behalf. Always obtuse and dull of thought, the first impression was that of wonder; awe and contrition followed. Even the mate was touched, and he afterwards told his companion on deck, that “the hardest day’s work he had ever done, was lending a hand to rouse the captain through that prayer.”

“I thank you, sir,” gasped Mr. Monday, “I thank you–Mr. John Effingham–now, let me see Mr. John Effingham. I have no time to lose, and wish to see _him_”

The captain rose to comply, with the feelings of a man who had done his duty, and, from that moment, he had a secret satisfaction at having so manfully acquitted himself, Indeed, it has been remarked by those who have listened to his whole narrative of the passage, that he invariably lays more stress on the scene in the state-room, than on the readiness and skill with which he repaired the damages sustained by his own ship, through the means obtained from the Dane, or the spirit with which he retook her from the Arabs.

John Effingham appeared in the state-room, where the captain and Mr. Leach left him alone with the patient Like all strong-minded men, who are conscious of their superiority over the rest of their fellow creatures, this gentleman felt disposed to concede most to those who were the least able to contend with him. Habitually sarcastic and stern, and sometimes forbidding, he was now mild and discreet. He saw, at a glance, that Mr. Monday’s mind was alive to novel feelings, and aware that the approach of death frequently removes moral clouds that have concealed the powers of the spirit while the animal part of the being was in full vigour, he was surprised at observing the sudden change that was so apparent in the countenance of the dying man.

“I believe, sir, I have been a great sinner,” commenced Mr. Monday, who spoke more feebly as the influence of the cordial evaporated, and in short and broken sentences.

“In that you share the lot of all,” returned John Effingham. “We are taught that no man of himself, no unaided soul, is competent to its own salvation. Christians look to the Redeemer for succour.”

“I believe I understand you, but I am a business man, sir, and have been taught that reparation is the best atonement for a wrong.”

“It certainly should be the _first_”

“Yes, indeed it should, sir. I am but the son of poor parents, and may have been tempted to some things that are improper. My mother, too, I was her only support. Well, the Lord will pardon it, if it were wrong, as I dare say it might have been. I think I should have drunk less and thought more, but for this affair–perhaps it is not yet too late.”

John Effingham listened with surprise, but with the coolness and sagacity that marked his character. He saw the necessity, or at least the prudence, of there being another witness present. Taking advantage of the exhaustion of the speaker, he stepped to the door of Eve’s cabin, and signed Paul to follow him. They entered the state-room together, when John Effingham took Mr. Monday soothingly by the hand, offering him a nourishment less exciting than the cordial, but which had the effect to revive him.

“I understand you, sir,” continued Mr. Monday, looking at Paul; “it is all very proper; but I have little to say–the papers will explain it all. Those keys, sir–the upper drawer of the bureau, and the red morocco case–take it all–this is the key. I have kept everything together, from a misgiving that an hour would come. In New York you will have time–it is not yet too late.”

As the wounded man spoke at intervals, and with difficulty, John Effingham had complied with his directions before he ceased. He found the red morocco case, took the key from the ring, and showed both to Mr. Monday, who smiled and nodded approbation. The bureau contained paper, wax, and all the other appliances of writing. John Effingham inclosed the case in a strong envelope, and affixed to it three seals, which he impressed with his own arms; the then asked Paul for his watch, that the same might be done with the seal of his companion. After this precaution, he wrote a brief declaration that the contents had been delivered to the two, for the purpose of examination, and for the benefit of the parties concerned, whoever they might be, and signed it. Paul did the same, and the paper was handed to Mr. Monday, who had still strength to add his own signature.

“Men do not usually trifle at such moments,” said John Effingham, “and this case may contain matter of moment to wronged and innocent persons. The world little knows the extent of the enormities that are thus committed. Take the case, Mr. Powis, and lock it up with your effects, until the moment for the examination shall come.”

Mr. Monday was certainly much relieved after this consignment of the case into safe hands, trifles satisfying the compunctions of the obtuse. For more than an hour he slumbered. During this interval of rest, Captain Truck appeared at the door of the state-room to inquire into the condition of the patient, and, hearing a report so favourable, in common with all whose duty did not require them to watch, he retired to rest. Paul had also returned, and offered his services, as indeed did most of the gentlemen; but John Effingham dismissed his own servant even, and declared it was his intention not to quit the place that night. Mr. Monday had reposed confidence in him, appeared to be gratified by his attentions and presence, and he felt it to be a sort of duty, under such circumstances, not to desert a fellow-creature in his extremity. Any thing beyond some slight alleviation of the sufferer’s pains was hopeless; but this, he rightly believed, he was as capable of administering as another.

Death is appalling to those of the most iron nerves, when it comes quietly and in the stillness and solitude of night. John Effingham was such a man; but he felt all the peculiarity of his situation as he sat alone in the state-room by the side of Mr. Monday, listening to the washing of the waters that the ship shoved aside, and to the unquiet breathing of his patient. Several times he felt a disposition to steal away for a few minutes, and to refresh himself by exercise in the pure air of the ocean; but as often was the inclination checked by jealous glances from the glazed eye of the dying man, who appeared to cherish his presence as his own last hope of life. When John Effingham wetted the feverish lips, the look he received spoke of gratitude and thanks, and once or twice these feelings were audible in whispers. He could not desert a being so helpless, so dependent; and, although conscious that he was of no material service beyond sustaining his patient by his presence, he felt that this was sufficient to exact much heavier sacrifices.

During one of the troubled slumbers of the dying man, his attendant sat watching the struggles of his countenance, which seemed to betray the workings of the soul that was about to quit its tenement, and he mused on the character and fate of the being whose departure for the world of spirits he himself was so singularly called on to witness!

“Of his origin I know nothing,” thought John Effingham, “except by his own passing declarations, and the evident fact that, as regards station, it can scarcely have reached mediocrity. He is one of those who appear to live for the most vulgar motives that are admissible among men of any culture, and whose refinement, such as it is, is purely of the conventional class of habits. Ignorant, beyond the current opinions of a set; prejudiced in all that relates to nations, religions, and characters; wily, with an air of blustering honesty; credulous and intolerant; bold in denunciations and critical remarks, without a spark of discrimination, or any knowledge but that which has been acquired under a designing dictation; as incapable of generalizing as he is obstinate in trifles; good-humoured by nature, and yet querulous from imitation:–for what purposes was such a creature brought into existence to be hurried out of it in this eventful manner?” The conversation of the evening recurred to John Effingham, and he inwardly said, “If there exist such varieties of the human race among nations, there are certainly as many species, in a moral sense, in civilized life itself. This man has his counterpart in a particular feature in the every-day American absorbed in the pursuit of gain; and yet how widely different are the two in the minor points of character! While the other allows himself no rest, no relaxation, no mitigation of the eternal gnawing of the vulture rapacity, this man has made self-indulgence the constant companion of his toil; while the other has centered all his pleasures in gain, this Englishman, with the same object in view, but obedient to national usages, has fancied he has been alleviating his labours by sensual enjoyments. In what will their ends differ? From the eyes of the American the veil will be torn aside when it is too late, perhaps, and the object of his earthly pursuit will be made the instrument of his punishment, as he sees himself compelled to quit it all for the dark uncertainty of the grave; while the blusterer and the bottle-companion sinks into a forced and appalled repentance, as the animal that has hitherto upheld him loses its ascendency.”

A groan from Mr. Monday, who now opened his glassy eyes, interrupted these musings. The patient signed for the nourishment, and he revived a little.

“What is the day of the week?” he asked, with an anxiety that surprised his kind attendant.

“It is, or rather it _was_, Monday; for we are now past midnight.”

“I am glad of it, sir–very glad of it.”

“Why should the day of the week be of consequence to you now?”

“There is a saying, sir–I have faith in sayings–they told me I was born of a Monday, and should die of a Monday.”

The other was shocked at this evidence of a lingering and abject superstition in one who could not probably survive many hours, and he spoke to him of the Saviour, and of his mediation for man. All this could John Effingham do at need; and he could do it well, too, for few had clearer perceptions of this state of probation than himself. His weak point was in the pride and strength of his character; qualities that indisposed him in his own practice to rely on any but himself, under the very circumstances which would impress on others the necessity of relying solely on God. The dying man heard him attentively, and the words made a momentary impression.

“I do not wish to die, sir,” Mr. Monday said suddenly, after a long pause.

“It is the general fate; when the moment arrives, we ought to prepare ourselves to meet it.”

“I am no coward, Mr. Effingham.”

“In one sense I know you are not, for I have seen you proved. I hope you will not be one in any sense. You are now in a situation in which manhood will avail you nothing: your dependence should be placed altogether on God.”

“I know it, sir–I try to feel thus; but I do not wish to die.”

“The love of Christ is illimitable,” said John Effingham, powerfully affected by the other’s hopeless misery.

“I know it–I hope it–I wish to believe it. Have _you_ a mother, Mr. Effingham?”

“She has been dead many years.”

“A wife?”

John Effingham gasped for breath, and one might have mistaken him, at the moment, for the sufferer.

“None: I am without parent, brother, sister, wife, or child. My nearest relatives are in this ship.”

“I am of little value; but, such as I am, my mother will miss me. We can have but one mother, sir.”

“This is very true. If you have any commission or message for your mother, Mr. Monday, I shall have great satisfaction in attending to your wishes.”

“I thank you, sir; I know of none. She has her notions on religion, and–I think it would lessen her sorrow to hear that I had a Christian burial.”

“Set your heart at rest on that subject: all that our situation will allow, shall be done.”

“Of what account will it all be, Mr. Effingham? I wish I had drunk less, and thought more.”

John Effingham could say nothing to a compunction that was so necessary, though so tardy.

“I fear we think too little of this moment in our health and strength, sir.”

“The greater the necessity, Mr. Monday, of turning our thoughts towards that divine mediation which alone can avail us, while there is yet opportunity.”

But Mr. Monday was startled by the near approach of death, rather than repentant. He had indurated his feelings by the long and continued practice of a deadening self-indulgence, and he was now like a man who unexpectedly finds himself in the presence of an imminent and overwhelming danger, without any visible means of mitigation or escape. He groaned and looked around him, as if he sought something to cling to, the spirit he had shown in the pride of his strength availing nothing. All these, however, were but passing emotions, and the natural obtusity of the man returned.

“I do not think, sir,” he said, gazing intently at John Effingham, “that I have been a very great sinner.”

“I hope not, my good friend; yet none of us are so free from spot as not to require the aid of God to fit us for his holy presence.”

“Very true, sir–very true, sir. I was duly baptized and properly confirmed.”

“Offices which are but pledges that we are expected to redeem.”

“By a regular priest and bishop, sir;–orthodox and dignified clergymen!”

“No doubt: England wants none of the forms of religion. But the contrite heart, Mr. Monday, will be sure to meet with mercy.”

“I feel contrite, sir; very contrite.”

A pause of half an hour succeeded, and John Effingham thought at first that his patient had again slumbered; but, looking more closely at his situation, he perceived that his eyes often opened and wandered over objects near him. Unwilling to disturb this apparent tranquillity, the minutes were permitted to pass away uninterrupted, until Mr. Monday spoke again of his own accord.

“Mr. Effingham–sir–Mr. Effingham,” said the dying man.

“I am near you, Mr. Monday, and will not leave the room.”

“Bless you, bless you, do not _you_ desert me!”

“I shall remain: set your heart at rest, and let me know your wants.”

“I want life, sir!”

“That is the gift of God, and its possession depends solely on his pleasure. Ask pardon for your sins, and remember the mercy and love of the blessed Redeemer.”

“I try, sir. I do not think I have been a _very_ great sinner.”

“I hope not: but God can pardon the penitent, however great their offences.”

“Yes, sir, I know it–I know it. This affair has been so unexpected, I have even been at the communion-table, sir: yes, my mother made me commune. Nothing was neglected, sir.”

John Effingham was often proud and self-willed in his communications with men, the inferiority of most of his fellow-creatures to himself, in principles as well as mind, being too plainly apparent not to influence the opinions of one who did not too closely study his own failings; but, as respects God, he was habitually reverent and meek. Spiritual pride formed no part of his character, for he felt his own deficiency in the Christian qualities, the main defect arising more from a habit of regarding the infirmities of others than from dwelling too much on his own merits. In comparing himself with perfection, no one could be more humble; but in limiting the comparison to those around him, few were prouder, or few more justly so, were it permitted to make such a comparison at all. Prayer with him was not habitual, or always well ordered, but he was not