Изображения страниц

At day-break on the joth of June we perceived at a distance, a vessel, which Berwick discovered to be an English privateer.

We had sheltered ourselves under fome trees, where we had formed a kind of hut, from which I went out at fix in the morning, to examine the weather and our canợe. Having crawled a few steps, I perceived, about 200 paces from us, on the beach, two armed men, upon which I ran in, crying, ". I see me

men;" all our party instantly rose up, and Berwick, though the most indispoled, on account of having been so severely ftung in the woods of Sinamary, darted forward towards them, while we concealed ourselves, that our numbers might not alarm them. On seeing our poor Berwick, who scarcely retained the form of a human being, the two foldiers stopped and leveled their muskets at him, on which he fell upon his knees and raised his hands in a suppliant pofture, at the same time crying out, making higns, and pointing to the canoe. The soldiers liftened to him, and came towards him, and at the same time we all surrounded them. We foon found they were two German soldiers of the garrison of Monte Krick, and Pichegru entering into conversation with them, learnt that we were but three leagues from that fort. These men had been sent on duty from Fort Orange, where they would not fail to give an account of the number and fituation of the persons they had found cast away, and therefore we determined to depute two of our party to the commandant of the fort, to ask for succours and exhibit our passports, but at the same time concealing who we were.

We fixed upon Barthélemy and la Rue, whom we caused to drink the remainder of our rum before they set out. At the very time they arrived at Fort Orange, the commandant was dispatching a picquet of fifty men to fetch us away. Our ambassadors declared the object of our voyage, Itating us to be merchants, and describing all the particulars of our being cast away, in confe


M 3

quence of which we had loft all our provisions and effects; and, adding, that the bad state of our canoe, which was almost broken to pieces, would not admit of our putting to sea again after the storm. The commandant received them with great humanity, and have ing ordered them some victuals, fent workmen and negroes to repair our boat and assist in setting it afloat, and to search for our pretended merchandize. When we saw this troop: consisting of about twenty persons at a distance, we were very uneasy, till two of these workmen who spoke French had explained their orders, upon which, having thewed them the canoe, they drew it alhore and began to repair it with the greatest industry and skill.

Ar fix in the evening Barthélemy and la Rue arrived; but they were so much overjoyed and fo agitated, that they did not think of bringing us a bottle of water. We could scarcely believe that Barthélemy had strength enough remaining to perform a journey of eight leagues on these burning lands.

Our canoe being now repaired, and the sea having become smooth, we were desirous of immediately embarking; but were obliged to wait for the tide. In the mean while, the workmen, whom we recompensed as well as we could, and whom we were sorry to de. tain during the night, had orders not to leave us till they saw us at sea. Poor Berwick was growing worse, and as we were obliged to pass this night also amidst hostile insects, it might have proved the last of his life: for it must not be forgotten, that this worthy fellow, whose corporeal strength equaled his courage and generosity, had suffered cruel torments during the two days he had past in the woods of Sinamary, waiting for the appointed, time of our expedition. We had now nor an instant to lose, to save him who had preserved our lives.

At day-break, on the 11th June, Barthélemy, La Rue, Aubry, and Dofronville, set off along the coast to


wards Monte-Krick, to procure food and lodgings for the poor shipwrecked merchants.

Some hours after their departure, and at high water, Pichegru, Willot, le Tellier, and myself, re-entered our canoe, which the workmen vigorously pushed off, and then took their leave of us; while Berwick, though almost dying, resumed the helm. A little before noon, we entered the small river of Monte-Krick, where we landed, while Berwick triumphed in our success, which he considered as the full reward of his kindness and generosity.

The commandant of the post at Monte-Krick had already received our companions with kindness, and had ordered us a spacious, clean, and comfortable room, by the side of the creek. What moment of joy was that of our meeting in this happy place ! Our friends had prepared for us two fowls, some rice, and bread, which, on this occasion, was watered with tears of pleasure and gratitude ! We were alive ! We had escaped our persecutors, the dangers of the waves, and the horrors of famine ! In short, we were free!

Having taken a little nourilhment, though with many precautions, we made fast our boat, which we cherished as if it had been an animated being, and toWards which we felt both affection and gratitude,







[ocr errors]

LETTER II. * DEAR SIR, TAVING in my last epistle delineated my route to

Sidmouth; I now proceed to give you an account of this place and its vicinity,

The friend who had admitted us beneath his hofpitable roof, poffelled a spot remarkable for the neat. ness of its appearance and the felicity of its situation. I eagerly arailed myself of the light of the ensuing day, to ascertain the nature of the place whither I had ar. rived amid the shades of midnight darkness. The house, I found, was inclosed by a garden, highly cultivated, abounding with fruit, and furnishing a prospect both of be ocean and of the surrounding country. At one of its extremities lay a summer house, into which we arcended by a Aight of steps, and from which the sea burst upon the eye of the spectator with uncommon grandeur. Its hoarse resounding murmurs were even thence distinctiy heard by the listening ear; and struck with the

* It may be necessary to apprise the reader that another account of the small pox, at Blandtford, prevails, viz. that the removal of the inhabitants into the open air was favourable to the disease, and thus operated to produce among the faculty a more cool treatment of it. Be this as it may, it is proper that both accounts should be mentioned. The reader will be pleased to correct, with his pen, a typographical error in the last let. les-- hats, for hops, in the article of Weyhill fair.



[ocr errors]

contemplation of so immense a body of water, I was ready to exclaim with Thomson :

And, THOU, majestic main,
A world of secret wonders in thyself,
Sound his ftupendous praise, whuse greater voice

Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall!
Instead of attempting to describe Sidmouth with my

pen, I will present you with an account obligingly drawn up by my friend, with which you will be much pleased. His residence at the place for many years, joined to the inquisitive turn of mind which he is known to possess, well fitted him for the delineation of the subject.

"Sidmouth is feated at the bottom of the immense bay which is formed by the two noted head lands, Portland Point and the Start Point. It was, formerly, a place of considerable note, and poffeffed an ample harbour for hipping, and an extensive trade : but such have been the eneroachments of the ever restless ocean upon this part of our coasts, that its port is now loft, and its trade annihilated. Different geographers, speaking of this place, tell us that its harbour is now choaked up by Tand; but this is palpably an inaccuracy, as the harbour was certainly not formed by any inlet of the sea, and consequently could not be filled up by the accumulation of marine substances. The fact is, the land to the weftward of the town, formerly projected far beyond its present boundary into the sea, and probably formed a Bight-Bay, or natural pier, within which vessels sought refuge in time of danger. This supposition is the more plautible, as immense rocks are now feen at low water, Atretching far from the point just mentioned, in a fouthern direction, and pointing out to the observing eye an eligible basis for the re-erection of such a work : nay, more, there are those who can recollect a chain of rocks similar to the very picturesque one which yet rears its head and defies the buffetings of the waves, which followed


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »