Изображения страниц


ANDROC LĒS, from his injured lord in dread
Of instant death, to Libya's desert fled :
Tired of his toilsome flight, and parched with heat,
He spied, at length, a cavern's cool retreat ;
But scarce had given to rest his weary frame,
When, hugest of his kind, a lion came :
He roared, approaching ; but the savage din
To plaintive murmurs changed, arrived within ;
And, with expressive looks, his listed paw
Presenting, aid implored from whoin he saw.

2. The fugitive, through terror at a stand,

Dared not a while afford his trembling hand;
But, bolder grown, at length inher'ent found
A pointed thorn, and drew it from the wound. I
The cure was wrought; he wiped the sāniousEi blood,
And firm and free from pain the lion stood.
Again he seeks the wilds, and day by day
Regales his inmate with the parted prey.
Nor he disdains the dole, though unprepared,
Spread on the ground, and with a lion shared.

3. But thus to live, still lost, sequestered still,

Scarce seemed his lord's revenge a heavier ill !--
Home ! native home! 0, might he but repair !
He must — he will — though death attends him there.
He goes, and, doomed to perish, on the sands
Of the full theatrezi un pitied stands ;
When, lo! the self-same lion from his cage
Flies to devour him, famished into rage.

4. He flies, but, viewing in his purposed prey

The man his healer, pauses on his way,
And softened by remembrance into sweet
And kind composure, crouches at his feet.
Mute with astonishment the assembly gaze :
But why, ye Romans ? Whence your mute amaze ?
All this is natural: Nature bade him rend
An enemy, 118 she bids him spare a friend. COWPER

LXXXIX. —THE RESOLUTE WHALE. 1. The ship Ann Alexander, Captain John S. Deblois, sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts, the first of June, 1850, for a cruise in the South Pacific, in search of sperm-whales. After cruising some months in the Atlantic, and capturing several whales, 103 the vessel" proceeded to the South Pacific; and finally, on the twentieth of August, 1851, reached a favorable spot, in latitude five degrees fifty minutes south, longitude one hundred and two degrees west. On the morning of that day, at about nine o'clock, whales were discovered in the neighborhood, and about noon the crew succeeded in making fast to one. Two boats had gone after the whales — the larboarder and the starboard ; El the former commanded by the first mate, and the latter by Captain Deblois. The whale which they had struck was harpooned by the larboard-boat.

2. After running some time, the whale turned upon the boat, and, rushing at it with tremendous violence, opened its enormous jaws, and taking the boat in, actually crushed it into fragments as small as a common-sized chair! Captain Deblois immediately struck for the scene of the disaster with the starboard-boat, and succeeded, against all expectation, in rescuing the whole of the crew of the demolished boat, nine in number! How they escaped from instant death, when the whale rushed upon them with such violence and seized the boat in its ponderous jaws,138 it is imposgible to say.

3. There were now eighteen men in the starboard-boat, consisting of the captain,93 the first-mate, and the crews of both boats. The frightful disaster had been witnessed from the ship, and the waist-boat was got in readiness and sent to their relief. The distance from the ship was about six miles. As soon as the waist-boat arrived, the crews were divided, and it was determined to pursue the same whale and make another attack upon him. Accordingly they separated, and proceeded at some distance from each other, as is usual on such occasions, after the whale. In a short time they came up to him, and prepared to give him battle.

4. The waist-boat, commanded by the first-mate, was in ad. vance. As soon as the whale perceived the demonstration being made upon him, he turned his course suddenly, and making a tremendous dash at this boat, seized it, also, with his wide-spread jaws, and crushed it into atoms, allowing the men barely time to escape his vengeance by throwing themselves into the ocean. Captain Deblois again seeing the perilous condition of his men, at the risk of mee; the same fate, directed his boat to hasten to their rescue, and in a short time succeeded in saving them all from a death little less horrible than that from which they had already so miraculously escaped.

5. He then ordered the boat to put for the ship as speedily as possible; and no sooner had the order been given, than they discovered the monster of the deep making towards them with his

jaws wiàzy extended. Escape from death now seemed totally out of the question. They were six or seven miles from the ship: relief from that quarter was not to be expected; and the whale, maddened by the woundsel of the harpoon and lances which had been thrown into him, and seemingly animated with the prospect of speedy revenge, was within a few cables: length Fortunately, the monster came up and passed them at a short distance. The boat then made her way to the ship, and they all got on board in safety.

6. After reaching the ship, a boat was despatched for the oars of the demolished boats. As soon as the boat returned with the oars, sail was set, and the ship proceeded after the whale. In a short time she overtook him, and a lance was thrown into his head. She passed on by him, and immediately after it was discovered that the whale was rushing towards her. As he came up, they hauled to the wind, and suffered the monster to pass her. After he had fairly passed, they kept on to attack him again. When the ship had reached within about fifty rods of him, they discovered that the whale had settled down deep below the surface of the water, and, as it was near sundown, they concluded to give up the pursuit. Subsequent events proved, however, that the whale had formed a deadly resolution to destroy the ship.

7. While Captain Deblois was waiting on deck for the reäppearance of the whale, he suddenly saw it approaching at the rate of fifteen miles an hour. In an instant the determined monster struck the ship with tremendous violence, shaking her from stem to stern. She quivered under the impetuosity of the shock as if she had struck upon a rock. Captain Deblois immediately descended into the forecastle, El and there, to his horror, discovered that the whale had struck the ship about two feet from the keel, abreast the foremast, knocking a great hole entirely through her bottom, through which the water roared and rushed in with great force. Springing to the deck, he ordered the mate to cut away the anchors and get the cables overboard to keep the ship from sinking.

8. In doing this, the mate succeeded in relieving only one anchor and getting one cable clear, the other having been fastened around the foremast. The ship was then sinking very rapidly. The captain went into the cabin, where he found three feet of water; he, however, succeeded in procuring a chronometer, EI sex tant, El and chart. Reaching the decks, he ordered the men to clear away the boats, and to get water and provisions, as the ship was heeling over. He again descended to the cabin, but the water was rushing in so rapidly that he could procure nothing

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, expecting 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 left 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.

XC. — A STORM IN THE INDIAN OCEAN. 1. The sky was serene; displaying only a few little copper colored clouds, like reddish vapor, which were moving with a rapidity surpassing that of birds in their flight. But the sea was 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 frequented 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 helm, rolled in the trough53 of the sea, the sport of the wind and the waves.

3. I was upon the quarter-deck, 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 manner 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 even 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.


1. All night the storm had raged, nor ceased, nor paused,

When, as day broke, the maid, through misty air,
Espies far off a wreck, amid the surf,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »