Images de page
PDF
ePub

for some papers which he bad forgot. Long before dawn, we liad all assemJust as he came upon deck again, a bled on the point of the rock already tremendous sea took the vessel astern, mentioned ; and the first beams of and swept him overboard. Mrs Monti morning showed Mr Monti opposite fainted away. Captain Burder imme- to the place where we stood, and divi. diately cut the barge rope, and order- ded from us by what appeared to be an ed the crew to make for the island, arm of the sea, about one hundred and saying it was absurd even to think of fifty yards wide. After exchanging a saving my companion's life, and that few words with his wife, he set out to we would be more than fortunate if compass its head, and thus get round we escaped a similar fate ourselves. to us, while Samno went to meet him. The men rowed furiously, and we soon We waited their arrival impatiently gained the rock, and landed in safety, for nearly half an hour, and then saw ibough not until the bows of the boat the negro coming towards us with had been stove in by the violent per- looks of despair.

" We are all decussiops she underwent while we ceived," cried he; "this is not an arm were getting ashore.

of the sea, but a channel between two It was so dark that none of us at- distinct islands; we are on one, and Mr tempted to explore the apparently iso- Monti is

Monti is on the other; he cannot poslated spot upon which we had been sibly reach us, unless he swims across, obliged to take refuge ; and my or is brought over in a boat. What is thoughts were chiefly directed to the to be done?” This intelligence filled recovery of Mrs Monti, who continued Mrs Monti and me with dismay, for in a state of insensibility for a con- both knew that the boat was totally siderable time, and revived only to unfit for service, and that her husband feel the agonizing conviction that her could not swim. Every one appeared husband was no more. Captain Burder in some measure to participate in our and his crew stood watching the distress and disappointment, except schooner, as she rapidly went to pieces, Captain Burder, who, when asked if and had a great deal of conversation there were any means of rescuing Mr among themselves, which the noise of Monti, said that it behoved him to the sea prevented me from overhearing. get across the channel as he best could.

About an hour after we had landed, Mr Monti soon appeared on the opSamno came running to me, and whis- posite rock, and explained the hope. pered that he believed Mr Monti was lessness of bis situation more fully still alive, for he bad recently heard than Samno had done. The channel some one shouting at a distance. I had a rapid current, the set of which, immediately accompanied him to a pro- we perceived, would vary with the jecting point of rock, about one hun- ebb and flow of the tide; but it was so dred yards off, and we both called as strong that even an expert swimmer loud as we could. A voice, which I could scarcely hope to baffle its force, instantly recognised to be that of my and reach the adverse shore. No friend, answered us, but it was some effectual plan of relief suggested time before we were able to distinguish itself to any of our minds; but it was what he said. At last I ascertained evidently necessary that something that he had reached the shore by should speedily be done; for though clinging to part of the wreck, and that we had picked up a considerable he could not then gain the spot on quantity of wrecked provisions, Mr which we stood, on account of an arm Monti had none of any kind. We of the sea, which extended into the therefore saw at once that he must interior of the island, but tbat he either risk his life upon the sea, or would immediately endeavonr to find perish with hunger. his way round the head of it. On In the afternoon, under the influhearing this, I entreated him to desist ence of these convictions, he began to from any such attempt till day-light collect together all the pieces of plank should render it a secure and succes. he could find; and having torn up his fal one. He at last consented, and I shirt and handkerchief into stripes, he hastened to Mrs Monti, and commu- bound the timber together, so as to nicated the joyful tidings of her hus. form a sort of raft. This he conveyed band's preservation, which affected to the utter extremity of his own her nearly as much as her previous island, hoping that the sweep of the belief in his death had done.

current might carry him, when embarked, to the lower end of the oppo- in strolling along the shores of the site shore. These preparations were island, which I could do with pleasure viewed with torturing suspense and and safety, for the moon and stars anxiety by Mrs Monti and me; and successively yielded light enough to when her husband had placed himself direct my steps. Neither did Captain upon the raft, she grew half frantic Burder nor his crew seem inclined to with alarm, and entreated him to de- take any repose. When I happened sist. However, after a few moments to pass the spot where they were, I of irresolution, he pushed off, and was always heard them disputing about wbirled rapidly along by the stream. the way in which they should manage

None of us dared to speak, scarcely to leave the rock; and it appeared even to breathe, during this soul from their conversation that the wreck absorbing crisis.

Several of the crew of the schooner had been much more stood upon the edge of the cliffs with complete and sudden than they had ropes in their hands, waiting to afford anticipated or intended. I also the adventurous navigator assistance gathered from some accidental hints, as he passed; and their hopes of being that they did not regret that Mr able to do so were strengthened, Monti was now out of the way—his when they observed the influence avowed knowledge of their plans which an eddy had in drawing the raft having excited a good deal of alarm towards the shore. Mr Monti was and anxiety among them. soon within seven or eight yards of us. At daybreak no vestige of the raft One of the seamen then seized the end or its unfortunate navigator was disof the rope, and made a strong effort coverable, and I forgot my own deso. to throw it towards the raft; but he late prospects in thinking of the fate lost his balance, and fell into the of Mr Monti

, and trying to believe water, dragging the line along with that he might still be in life, although him. The golden moment elapsed, and conclusions to the contrary were forced the object of our solicitude was quickly upon my mind by a consideration of swept away far beyond our reach. His the dangers that surrounded him, and wife relapsed into insensibility, but of the limited means he had of success. not before she had seen the form of fully contending against them. Imher husband receding from her eyes, mediately after sunrise, the crew bauland at the mercy of a boundless ocean. ed up the damaged boat, and began to

The man who had the misfortune repair her with some fragments of the to cause this disastrous result, was schooner, which had that morning allowed to clamber up the rocks quite floated ashore. They soon rendered disregarded, the attention of all being her in a manner sea-worthy, and I fixed upon Mr Monti, who floated so found that the mate and crew intended fast into the open sea, that we per setting out in search of relief, while ceived we had no chance of beholding Captain Burder, and Mrs Monti, and him much longer. He waved his her maid, and I, were to remain till hands to us several times, with an air they returned. Accordingly, in the of resignation, but we thought we once afternoon they put off, taking Samno or twice observed him endeavouring to with them, on the ground that they impel the raft towards our island, by would require him to assist at the using his arms as oars, and then suddenly desist, as if conscious of the hope- It appeared to me rather strange lessness of the attempt. Fortunately that Captain Burder should not acthe weather had become very calm, company his crew, and direct the exand we knew that there was no chance pedition, though he said he remained of his sinking while it continued so, behind to show the two females that and while the planks that supported neither he nor his men had any intenhim kept together. We watched him tion of abandoning them. till it grew dark, and then set about tended to be satisfied with this explaproviding ourselves with a place of nation, but nevertheless determined shelter for the night; during the whole to watch his motions. Mrs Monti of which, Mrs Monti, in her indescri- and her maid had taken up their bable anguish, forgot all that had abode in a small rocky recess, which passed, and even where she was, and sheltered them in some measure from talked, laughed, and wept alternately. the weather, and I had conveyed thi

I spent the greater part of the night ther the best provisious I could select

oars.

I prefrom the quantity washed ashore, but mising to keep watch in front of the did not intrude myself upon them, for recess, and prevent the future intru1 perceived that my presence was pain. sions of Captain Burder, who contiful to the former, by recalling the nued for some time on the spot where image of her husband.

I had left him, and then got upon his Having chosen a place of repose in feet, and retired out of sight. the vicioity of the recess, I retired to I armed myself with a piece of a it soon after sunset, and endeavoured broken oar, which I found among the to sleep; but notwithstanding the fa- cliffs, and began to walk backwards tigues of the preceding night, I conti- and forwards in front of the recess. nued awake so long that I resolved to My situation was now such a perplexwalk abroad and solicit the tranquili- ing one, that I felt more anxious and zing effects of the fresh air. As I uneasy than ever. I feared lest Capemerged beyond the projecting rock tain Burder should attack me unabehind which I had formed my couch, wares, or gain access to Mrs Monti if I saw Captain Burder stealing along I relaxed my vigilance one moment; on tiptoe. Fortunately he did not ob- and sleep was therefore out of the serve me, and I immediately sbrunk question. I paced along the rocks like back into the shade, that I might a sentinel, starting at every sound, watch his steps unseen by him. He and ardently wishing for dawn, alproceeded cautiously towards the re- ugh I knew that there was no cess, and having looked round a mo- chance of its bringing me any relief. ment, entered it. I grew alarmed, and I did not dare to sit down, lest I hastened to the spot, but remained should slumber. I counted the waves outside, and listened attentively. I as they burst along the shore, and heard Mrs Monti suddenly utter an watched the stars successively rising exclamation of surprise, and say, and setting on opposite sides of the * Pray, sir, why do you intrude your- horizon ;-at one time fancying I saw self here?"_"I come to inquire how my enemy lurking in some neighbouryou are," replied Captain Burder, ing cavity, and at another trying to * and to ask if I can be of any service discover the white sails of an approachto you."-"None, none," answered ing vessel. I observed Mrs Monti's she; “this is an extraordinary time servant occasionally appear at the enfor such a visit. I beg you will leave trance of their wild abode, and look me.”—" Are you not afraid to remain around, as if to ascertain that I still here alone ?" said Captain Burder.- kept watch, and then quietly return *I have my attendant, sir," returned within. Mrs Monti haughtily. -"No, no," Shortly after midnight, while tacried the former, “ you know well king my round along the cliffs, I met enough you have sent her across the Captain Burder. We both started island for water, and I have taken ad- back, and surveyed each other for vantage of her absence to have a little a little time without speaking. “Do conversation with you—You are a not suppose,” said he, at length, “that beautiful creature, and—”“ Cap- the attack you made upon me this tain Burder," exclaimed she, in a tone evening shall remain unresented or of alarm, " do you really dare?-Be- unpunished. You have behaved most gone !—Touch me not!"-I heard a villanously-You took advantage of shriek, I rushed into the recess, and, me, like an assassin, when I was off seizing the insolent villain behind by my guard.”—" And shall not hesitate the collar of his coat, dragged him to do so again,” returned I, "if I backwards a considerable way, and chance to find you insulting Mrs then dashed him twice upon the rocks, Monti.” — “You talk boldly," cried with all the force I was master of. He he; "are you aware that you cannot could not rise, but lay groaning with leave this island unless I choose ?"pain, and vainly attempting to speak. “No, I am not."-" Then learn that

I now bastened to Mrs Monti, it is so," exclaimed he, stamping his whose agitation I endeavoured to re- foot. “My crew have gone to secure lieve and compose, by assurances of a small vessel, and when they return, unremitting protection, and by the we shall depart in it, taking the fehope of our soon being able to leave males with us, and leaving you here. the island. When her attendant re- In the meantime, be thankful that turned I left them together, after pro- your life bas not been the forfeit of

som.

this evening's temerity.” “Your the recital. On reaching Mrs Monti's crew," said I, “ will not be so merci. abode, I retired, lest my presence less as to abandon me, even although should impose any restraint upon the you order them to do so. I ask no- feelings of the happy couple. In a thing from you-only keep at a dis- little time my friend came forward, tance from the recess. I advise this with his wife leaning on his arm. for your own sake." “ This language Their countenances were as radiant as won't last long,” cried he, quivering the smooth expanse of ocean before with rage; "why don't I pitch you us, which received the full influences over the cliffs this moment?—But no, of a dazzling sun upon its glassy boyou shall die a slower death." He “Yonder sloop," said the denow hurried furiously away, but oncelighted husband, “ that rides so beauor twice stopped short, as if half de- tifully at anchor, will convey us hence termined to return and attack me. this evening. How graceful she looks! However, he restrained his passion, Her sails absolutely appear to be frin, and soon disappeared among the rocks. ged with gold !" Yes," returned

A miserable fate, which we had no Mrs Monti, “I believe the enchanted visible means of avoiding, seemed now galley which, as fairy legends tell us, to impend over Mrs Monti and me. conveyed Cherry and Fair Star from I leaned against a precipice near her the Island of Cyprus, did not appear a place of refuge, and gave way to the more divine object to their eyes than most melancholy anticipations, which this does to mine.” “But," said Mr absorbed me so completely, that I did Monti, “I must now give you the not discover that it was day, till the particulars of my preservation. I driftsun had got completely above the ho- ed about the ocean nearly three hours, rizon. Then, on changing my posi- and then came within sight of the tion, and looking towards the sea, I sloop, which lay to whenever she obobserved a sloop at anchor, about half served me. The captain sent out his a mile from the shore, and a boat full boat to pick me up. I immediately of men approaching.

told my story, and entreated him to I did not for a moment doubt that steer for this island, which he readily they were Captain Burder's crew, and consented to do, for he is one of the that the vessel belonged to them; and Bahama wreckers, who make it their I hastened towards the landing-place, business to cruize about in search of that I might solicit their interference distressed vessels. We would have arin behalf of Mrs Monti and myself, rived here much sooner, but the wind before their commander could bave was a-head, and we lay at anchor all an opportunity of steeling their hearts night, the intricacy of the navigation against us. The boat, which had now around this rendering it dangerous to touched the shore, was concealed from continue sailing after sunset. My premy view by a projecting rock. A server shall not go unrewarded, and I man who stood on the top of it called shall be the more able to do him jusme by name. I looked up, and start- tice in this respect, as Harriet informs ed back, and then rushed into his me that her maid, by your directions, arms—it was Mr Monti himself. “My secured most of our money and valudear friend,” cried I, “ Heaven, I see ables about her person before she left has afforded you that protection which the schooner.” I lately feared was on the point of be- Mr Monti had informed the master ing withdrawn from us. Eternally of the sloop, that he believed Captain blessed be the hour of your return!" Burder had cast away the schooner _“I have indeed had a wonderful for her insurance, and the former propreservation,” returned he," and you ceeded to the place where she was shall soon hear all — but how is my wrecked, and succeeded in fishing up Harriet ?" "Safe and well, as yet," some bales and packages, which, on bereplied I; “ you have just arrived in ing opened, were found to contain notime."

thing but sand and rubbish. This discoAs we hastened towards the recess, very afforded satisfactory proof of CapI related briefly all that had happen- tain Burder's guilt, but still we were at a ed since the preceding morning, to loss how to act, knowing that we could which he listened with intense and not legally take him into custody. shuddering anxiety, and seemed inde. However, in the course of the day the scribably relieved when I had finished whole crew returned in the boat, having exhausted their stock of provi. Providence, in a few days. Captain sions, and failed to meet with any Burder and his mate were immediatevessel, or reach an inhabited island. ly apprehended on our evidence, and Manks, the master of the sloop, now committed for trial. However, they proposed to take them on board his both managed to escape from prison, vessel, and carry them into port; and and, having stolen a boat, put to sea; they all consented to accompany him, and it was supposed either reached except Captain Burder and his mate, the coast of Cuba, or were picked up both of whom probably suspected that by some Spanish pirate, as no one Mr Monti intended giving informa- saw or heard anything of them while tion against them. But seeing no other we remained upon the island. All means of leaving the island, they at cause of detention being thus remolength accepted Manks's offer, and we ved, Mr and Mrs Monti and I emall embarked on board the sloop about barked for St Thomas, our place of noon, and shortly set sail.

destination, and reached it after a most We arrived safely at Nassau, New agreeable and prosperous voyage.

MILMAN'S BELSHAZZAR.

The poem opens with the descent river side are thrown wide to receive of the Destroying Angel. He declares the King, and his train, and his sumpbis mission against Babylon; and takes tuous oblation. An alternate hymn is his station on the wreck of that tower chaunted by the Seventy Priests of the which the guilty forefathers of the de- Temple, and by the suppliants in anvoted city had built in their attempt swer, the first celebrating the triumphs to scale the heavens. As he unfolds of Chaldea's king, the others of her his wings to embrace and encompass God. his prey, for a moment they eclipse Kalassan, the high-priest, desires and darken the rising sun.

to know the object of Belshazzar's viIt is the day of the feast of Bel. sit to the Temple on their day of high The priests appear assembled before solemnity, intimating that whatever the Temple.

he may demand of their God, with " KALASSAN-THE PRIESTS.

these splendid offerings, is not likely

to be refused him. The King's supFirst Priest. Didst thon behold it ?

plication has reference to the war, with Second Priest. What! First Priest. 'Tis gone, 'tis past

which the Persians, and their subject And yet but now 'twas there, a cloudy and confederate nations, beleaguer his darkness,

walls. But what it is precisely that That, swallowing up the rays of the orient he desires of the God, whether interSun,

position or simply information, be Cast back a terrible nighto'er all the City. hardly seems himself, we think, disThird Priest. Who stands aghast at this tinctly to know. He professes to have triumphant hour !

an inquiry to make; but, when proI tell thee that our Dreamers have be- pounded, it appears to be more in the holden

nature of a reproach, than of a useful Majestic visions. The besieging Mede

interrogation. These are his words. Was cast, with all his chariots, steeds, and men,

Belshazzar. Declare ye to our Gods, Into Euphrates' bosom.

Thus saith Belshazzar : Wherefore am I Kalassan. Do ye marvel

call'd But now that it was dark? yon orient Sun, The King of Babylon, the scepter'd heir The Lord of Light, withdrew his dawning of Nabonassar's sway, if still my sight beams,

Must be infested by rebellious arms, Till he could see the glory of the world, That hem my city round; and frantic crics Belshazzar, in his gilded galley riding Of onset, and the braying din of battle Across Euphrates."

Disturb mysweet and wontedfestalsongs ?"' The pomp of supplication is now The Queen-mother, Nitocris, supadvancing on the Euphrates; and the plies the response of the Gods, in a brazen gates of the Temple along the proud and taunting answer, upbraiding

• Belshazzar, a Dramatic Poem, by the Rev. H. H. Milman, Professor of Poetry in the University of Oxford. 8vo. London, Murray, 1822.

« PrécédentContinuer »