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deck by the companion, as they called him, and a couple of green ropes; I never desire such another companion, nor his worsted twists, again. After taking me to the wind ward, as he called the place where a few other wretched captives were brought up to get a little air; he held out two ropes, asking me, would I be lashed to the larboard. I saw it was folly to resist, and merely took the precaution of selecting the slightest of the two, with which he bound me, a free-born Englishman, to the railing of the vessel. When his back was turned, I managed, unperceived, to raise one of the cumbrous arms and cape of the iron mantle in which he had shrouded me; then, to force the stiff collar a little on one side, and to push the weighty brass hat a little above my eye-brows, that I might just get room enough to breathe freely, and observe what was going on. I looked in vain for the light ship, which I expected; but on our right lay a large heavy vessel moored in the midst of the Atlantic. At first I thought it on fire at the mast-heads, as though it had been struck by lightning ; but on coming alongside, I found that it was lit by three large gas-lanıps: I guessed, therefore, that she belonged to the Gas Company, and was stationed here, to supply the government mails with portable gas, to enable them to see their way across the ocean by night. Indeed, she served as an artificial sun in some respects, as she enabled me in the absence of the sun and moon to see, though with a faint twilight radiance, an immeasurable expanse of waters before us. left, and behind us, I could just observe, by screwing my head round with much difficulty, that we were still in sight of the lamps along the river ; and I overheard two of my fellow prisoners (planning no doubt their escape,) point out to each other, the Conway, and the Beaumaris, and Skerries lights, as they called them, that is, I supposed, light post-coaches, for I never saw anything travel so quickly along as they did. Oh! Jack, that I had but been on the roof of one of them! I would have been, ere long, in London; for, to my great delight, I just then heard St. Paul's strike five—there is uo deceiving me on the tone and time of that clock, Jack; I would know it even here in Upper Canada, where the sound of a bell has never been heard—but guess my surprise and trouble, when the lig bell on board, instead of five, struck one. Explain that, Jack, if you can, by the tables for the equation of time, or the precession of the equinoxes—here were we, evidently after sunset, in the middle of winter, and yet the mean time was one, post meridiem, while it was about six o'clock by London, carrying one for the time of the sound travelling to us.
At that moment the steward came to loosen us, and to say that dinner was ready. I followed below, dispensing with the companion ; and missing a step of the ladder, rolled headlong upon the black cook, who was just helow me, descending with two turkies and a monstrous round of beef, all on one dish. I had no doubt on earth but that I would be cut to pieces with carving knives, before ever I could regain my feet, so I scrambled away under the table, as far as I could, till I found my nose in contact with something so hot and moist, that I feared it was the steam-boiler: it turned out to be one of the turkeys, which, it seems, I had shoved on before me. I immediately conveyed it under my great sieve-cloak, knowing that it would sustain life for
a space, should our oppressor attempt to famish us out again during the voyage. At last a joyous prospect unfolded itself to me; I found that by creeping backwards, I might manage to escape from my woollen prison ; which I accordingly did, witbout incurring notice; for the floor was strewed with dead and dying men, among whom I groped my way with my prize, till I came opposite my nook, and then stood bolt upright, jerking the turkey in before me, and intending to smuggle myself in after it; but the watchful steward apprehended me, inquiring if I“ had not intended to dine ? would not a leg or wing, with oyster sauce, do me good ? he would help me to some.” I suffered myself to be led back, persuaded that he connived at my theft, and was willing to give me an opportunity of adding sauce to my turkey.
On reaching the table, what a lamentable contrast presented itself, to the numbers who had assembled there to breakfast ? At least one half bad perished in the long interval, for want of food and air: not a single female had out ived this period of total inanition !!
My uneasiness was great, when I heard the piratical captain hellowing with oaths for the other turkey, and swearing to rip the cook open, if he did not produce it. The cook looked very hard at me; but either he did not know me perfectly when out of my strange travestie, or the steward had given him the wink to carry on one of their sea-jokes against the company, for he answered intrepidly, that “the t'other there bird had been capsized by the sick lubber, into the swash bucket; but if any body wished, he would fish it out, and serve it up again.” Every one exclaimed against its reproduction, and it remained seething in its own steam between my blankets.
Somehow, the palsy of my diaphragm, proceeding from grief, did not permit me to dine so heartily as might have been expected from my long abstinence; the conversation too was not at all calculated for an anodyne. It was all about the extremities to which these cannibals had been reduced, to satisfy their hunger, in shipwrecks, and on barren rocks: broiled whale and blubber soup were anong the most inviting dishes which they enumerated. One fat porpoise of a fellow, who had sold his wife and children to these kidnappers, gloried in having eaten a portion of Calipash and Calipee, an Indian chieftain and his squaw, (as I conclnded,) whom his crew had taken prisoners on Turtle Island, in St. Lawrence river. No wonder that these stories disgusted me, and inspired me with the apprehension of a similar fate, should our voyage be protracted during many more diurnal revolutions. At last the steward, who kept a keen eye upon me, Heaven knows with what diabolical intentions! asked me, with affected commiseration, if I would walk upon deck.. To this I assented; upon which he gave me liberty to take any cloak that was convenient to me, and to mount the companion. I chose, you may be sure, the lightest, but dispensed with riding upon the shoulders of his companion, as he wanted me. My wonder at this unrestrieted permissiou ceased the moment I had gained the deck, whence I saw the impossibility of escape.
Ah! Jack, the elements were at war with one another; and evil spirits of the storm were whistling among the cordage overhead. The waves on fire, were leaping up to lash the firmament with their finny tails; not a vestige of land was to be seen separating the water from the sky in our front: the moon, now
risen, enabled me to see the verge of the sea ; and I thought that ere long we should be upon its brink, and drop off like the stars, into the concave heavens. In the first instants of my stupor, I remembered the storm in The Pilot, and likened myself to poor Long Tom; but alas! Jack, my situation was infinitely more alarming than his ; for when I turned round to look for the pit and boxes, bebold you! they had vanished; there was not a single spectator, then, in my native land, to weep for me! nay, the land itself had sunk, or the waters had risen, and, for anght I knew, all my friends and countrymen had been ingulphed in the ocean. Oh! my friend, conceive-here was I for the first time, fairly beyond the lamps, off the stones, as I may say, of London; and though I now comprehend fully, that it was nothing but the mountain-billows that intercepted my view of the coast of the city, still the idea of your being submerged was at the time the only explication of this new phenomenon. I had ample scope on deck to study the stars, which were a thousand times more numerous than ever I had seen them, even from the attics in Cheapside: one in particular, attracted a mariner's attention, and he measured its right ascension and declination with a telescope. I heard him say that it was a revolving light, upon which I drew out my opera glass, and found that it was an amazing large planet, that disappeared and reappeared at intervals of a few seconds,-fact, I assure you, Jack, and only to be accounted for, by supposing that it has a luminous and an opaque disk, and revolves round its axis in periods of about two degrees, making day and night there about twenty-six thousand times shorter than ours. How much information rewards travellers for all their perils! I felt gratified to have made this accession to my scientific knowledge; and would almost have been consoled altogether, had I been able to discover
of the mountains or volcanos which astronomers describe and measure so accurately in the planets; but my glass was better calculated for examining faces thau mountains, and as it could detect none of the former, it is very supposable, that the planet is not inbabited by human beings.
Nothing remarkable attracted my observation till we came close upon the Line, which I saw as plain as a pike-staff, lying flat upon the brim of the water just before us. You know, Jack, that day and night are here equal, and can guess what a long period of darkness we had yet to encounter, before the day returned to us; which will amply explain our passage across the Atlantic before the next daybreak. I did not wait to see how they managed to cross the equinoctial line, because I suddenly grew as cold as an icicle, and was already thinking of withdrawing to my cell, when I heard some one mention, that there was a nice brig sailing past us. I had no doubt he meant an ice-berg, which I soon ascertained to be the fact, for it appeared on our right, rising out of the water in huge white pyramids, and shot across our course with inconceivable swiftness. Some of the pirates imagined they discovered human beings on the floe, and fellow with a loud stentorian voice was commissioned to address them in English, as the language most commonly spoken in the empire of the seas, which, you know, Jack, is ours.
This fellow took the precaution of applying an immense red-hot extinguisher to his lips, to
prevent his words from being frozen ere they reached the berg, and Í heard him distinctly demand, “Whence come you? what have you got? whither bound ?” To which the unfortunate cast-away, whom i distinguished for a countryman, as well by his accent, as his recklessness of a horrible death, answered clearly, “From Whitebaven, heavy colds*—to Jericho."'* Thus you see, a British tar will crack his joke to the last; he no doubt saw the impossibility of our yielding him any assistance, and heroically assumed a language of unconcern and intrepidity towards the rivals of his country, whose right of challenging or searching on the seas he sneered at, by giving manifestly false ports and cargo, and then contemptuously smoking his pipe, as, no doubt, the light I perceived proceeded from that instrument, now his sole remaining comfort.
The chill of the air and agitation of the water produced by this floating mass, and the shuddering that came over me for the fate of this poor wretch, soon affected me with a renewal of the heart-ache, which deternined me to steal down to my lair, and try if I could not compose my stomach with one of the drumsticks of my turkey. Luckily I crept into my stall without being heeded, for the steward and boy were at that moment hurrying to and fro, administering physic (tartar-emetic, I should think,) to the few surviving victims on whose sale they had speculated, and had no time to look after me. I have ever found eating a capital specific against sorrow, both because it diverts at the time, and composes immediately after. I exerted myself so well on my bird, with no other tools than a penknife and my Susan's comb, that I could not fail of shortly falling into a sound sleer. How long I continued in that state is utterly unknown to me; but I was awakened by the boy looking into my ward, and exclaiming out, at seeing the bones and fragments, “Lord, how sick he must have been; I never seed the likes before.” I continued listening, that I might learn what was said of my purloin, but happily no farther comment was made; I overheard, however, a whispering between two of the crew, and just comprehended that the captain had altered liis mind, about landing at Kingstown; and was now running up the river, having crossed the bar at high water, with a view of landing at the Custom-house Quay.
This intelligence roused me anew to hopes of escape. It struck me that I might manage to evade their watchfulness during the dark ; and eventually to escape into the country by giving myself out for an emigrant; or, if taken, by passing myself for a Jacobite rebel, who had fled from his country for high-treason; and then the best they could do for me, imagining the worst, would be to send me home again under their Alien Act. I did accordingly grope my way upon deck once more, and saw to my surprise that we were in a lighted land again. The bar of the river, which separated it from the sea, lay, like a broad stone wall, on our left; and innumerable lamps in lines gleamed before us. I durst not expose myself too openly ; wherefore I lay lurking under the tarpaulin that covered the baggage, from which I had the good fortune to extricate my valise and umbrella ; keeping them in readiness for any favourable opportunity that might
* Possibly a mistake for coals and Kerry coast.— Ed.
You may imagine, Jack, my anxiety at that time. At length, after winding past some ships of war, stationed at anchor for the defence of the river, I began to comprehend, by the bustle aboard, and the cessation of the rumbling noise of the machinery, that we were coming to a standstill. We were within a few yards of the quay, when, unable to endure my suspense any longer, I retreated a few steps, and then with a run, (thanks to my gymnastics,) fairly cleared the interval, and landed on my hands and knees. At that instant, a general hollo was raised on deck; and a fellow on shore, who was handling a rope, ran towards me, and attempted to seize me by the collar; but I had started on my feet, and flung away so impetuously from him, as to leave nothing in his hand but a false shirt-breast, and Nancy's lock and comb. “ Shiver my sails,” cried he,“ but it's a female woman in gaskins; if here be’ent her false colours and boarding pikes.” I heard all this very clearly ; for alas ! I had run against some whole timber, and fallen over, dreading every moment recaption and a cruel death: but a volley of oaths now proceeded from on board, directed to my pursuer for letting go the rope ; and I heard them order him to let the
that is, a most uncourteous imprecation against the sex, which I hope there is no sin, nor any profanation, in conveying even in this obscure way to your apprehension.
For heaven's sake, don't allow Nancy to read of the sacrilege committed on her appendages ! but if she should insist upon seeing this part of my memoirs, keep from her the meaning of those black lines applied to the supposed owner of these relics; and excuse me, Jack, as well as you can, for not dying chivalrously for their recovery: call to her mind, that there was no watch within hearing to support me, and that I should have had to face a whole crew of bloodthirsty pirates; who were only deterred from pursuing, or sweeping me off the face of the earth with a broadside of grape-shot, by the misapprehension of my being a woman in disguise.
I did not wait long listening to their rude jests upon their trophies, as they handed them to the steward in recompence for his treatment of me; but crawled forward with my baggage in the direction of the row of lamps, betaking myself to a run, as soon as I gained a short distance. i then struck down a dark road, and following several gloomy turns, arrived at length in a well-lit but deserted street; along which I bent my steps, quaking at the very sound they made, lest it should wake the sleeping inhabitants. I had not gone on far, when I heard a loud snoring proceed from a box, which I rightly guessed to belong to a watchman ; and made up my mind how to behave in case of his challenging me. In effect he roared out in Yankee-English, for me to stap, which I did, knowing the futility of escape. He then advanced, and showed me what a fierce savage I had to cope with. He was clothed in a great grey bear-skin, and had on a close helmet, tied under his chin with a red handkerchief. In his hand he bore a frightful long Indian pike with a recurved hook, that made my blood run cold but to look at. He wanted apparently to know, what I had got in my bundle, and where I was going ; but he interlarded his discourse with so many Indian words, among which I caught honi, trautht, arrah, ushscraw, and