« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
He then came back upon deck, ordered all hands into the boats and was the last to leave the ship, which he did by throwing himself into the sea, and swimming to the nearest boat.
9. The ship was on her beam-ends, her topgallant-yards under water. The men then pushed off some distance from her, expect ing her to sink in a very short time. Upon an examination of the stores they had been able to save, it was discovered that they had only twelve quarts of water, and not a mouthful of provisions of any kind. The boats contained eleven men each, were leaky, and, night coming on, it was found necessary to bale all night to keep from sinking.
10. Next day, at daylight, they returned to the ship, no one daring to venture on board but the captain. With a single hatchet he cut away the mast, when the ship righted. The boats then came up, and the men, by the sole aid of spades, cut away the chain-cable from around the foremast, which got the ship nearly on her keel. The men then tied ropes around their bodies, got into the sea, and cut holes through the decks to get out provisions. They could procure nothing but about five gallons of vinegar and twenty pounds of wet bread. The ship threatened to sink, and they deemed it imprudent to remain by her longer; so they set sail in her boats, and Teft her.
11. They were then in a dreadful state of anxiety, as it was doubtful whether they should be able to reach land or see any vessel. With faint hopes of being rescued, they directed their course northerly, and on the twenty-second of August, at about five o'clock P. M., they had the indescribable joy of discerning a ship in the distance. They made a signal, and were soon answered, and in a short time they were reached by the good ship Nantucket, of Nantucket, Massachusetts, Captain Gibbs, who took them all on board, clothed and fed them, and extended to them every possible hospitality.
Aledala 1 XC. — A STORM IN THE INDIAN OCEAN. 1. The sky was serene; displaying only a few little coppercolored clouds, like reddish vapor, which were moving with a rapidity surpassing that of birds in their flight. But the sea wag furrowed by five or six long and lofty swells, like chains of hills, between which large and deep valleys extend. Each of these aquatic hills formed two or three distinct eminences, one above the other. From the curving summits, the wind swept the foam like streaming manes, reflecting here and there all the tints of
the rainbow. It also bore along with it over the briny valleys a whirl of fine white spray, resembling the dust which rises from a great frequent'ed avenue on a dry summer day.
2. What appeared most formidable was the indication that some of the summits of these hills, pushed forward from their bases by the violence of the wind, unfurled into enormous vaults, which broke and rolled over upon themselves, roaring and foaming with a fall that would have engulfed the largest ship had it found itself under their ruins. The condition of our vessel concurred with that of the sea to render our position frightful. Our mainmast had been broken the night before by the lightning, and our foremast, with our only sail, had been carried away that morning by the gale. The vessel, incapable of obeying her heim, rolled in the trough*3 of the sea, the sport of the wind and the Waves.
3. I was upon the quarter-fleck, hanging on to the mizzenshrouds, and trying to familiarize myself with this tremendous spectacle. As one of these mountainous piles of water approached us, I judged that the summit was more than fifty feet above my head. The base of this stupendous wave, passing under our vessel, made it incline so that the main-yards were half dipped in the sea, and the heels of the masts were so under water that we thought we were upset. Our staggering vessel, when it found itself on the crest of the surge, shook and righted for a moment, but the next was prostrated in an equally perilous man. ner on the descending slope of the wave, while a volume of water poured from under with the rapidity of a sluice, forming a large sheet of foam.
4. We remained in this situation, between life and death, from sunrise to three o'clock in the afternoon. It was impossible to give or receive consolation by word of mouth. So violent was the wind, that one could not make himself heard eren by shouting close in his companion's ear. The blast seemed to bear away the sound of the voice, permitting nothing to be heard but its own wild howling, mingled with the creaking and rattling of the cordage, and the hoarse thunder of the surges, striving like sa vage beasts for our destruction.
ORIGINAL TRANSLATION FROM ST. PIERRE,
XCI. — TUE HEROISM OF GRACE DARLING.
When, as day broke, the maid, through misty air,
Beating on one of those disastrous isles, -
Or thither thronged for refuge. 2. With quick glance
Daughter and sire through optic-glass discern,
A few may yet be saved.” 3. The daughter's words,
Her earnest tone, and looks beaming with faith,
4. Each grasps an oar, and struggling on they go,
Rivalsei in effort ; and, alike intent,
May brighten more and more! 5 True to the mark,
They stem the current of that perilous gõrge,
Can scarcely trust liis eyes, when he perceives
7. But why prolong the tale,
Casting weak words amid a host ,f thoughts
8. Shout, ye waves !169
Send forth a sound of triumph. Waves and winds,
9. And would that some immortal voice — a voicel65
Fitly attūned to all!3 that gratitude
XCII. — THE PRAIRIES OF THE WEST.
1. The attraction of the prairieel consists in its extent, its carpet of verdure and flowers, its undulating surface, its groves, and the fringe of timber by which it is surrounded. Of all these, the latter is the most expressive feature; it is that which gives character to the landscape, which imparts the shape and marks the boundary of the plain. If the prairie be small, its greatest beauty consists in the vicinity of the surrounding margin of woodland, which resembles the shore of a lake, indented with deep vistas like bays and inlets, and throwing out long points like capeset and headlands; while occasionally these points approach 60 close on either hand, that the traveller passes through a narrow avënue or strait, where the shadows of the woodland fall upon his path, and then again emerges into another prairie.
2. Where the plain is large, the forest outline is seen in the far perspective, like the dim shore when peneli at a distance from the ocean. The eye sometimes roams over the green meadow