Infomotions, Inc.Jack in the Forecastle or, Incidents in the Early Life of Hawser Martingale / Sleeper, John Sherburne

Author: Sleeper, John Sherburne
Title: Jack in the Forecastle or, Incidents in the Early Life of Hawser Martingale
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Title: Jack in the Forecastle

Author: John Sherburne Sleeper

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                      JACK IN THE FORECASTLE

              by John Sherburne Sleeper (1794-1878)

Chapter I
Farewell to New England

I was born towards the close of the last century, in a village
pleasantly situated on the banks of the Merrimack, in
Massachusetts.  For the satisfaction of the curious, and the
edification of the genealogist, I will state that my ancestors
came to this country from England in the middle of the
seventeenth century.  Why they left their native land to seek an
asylum on this distant shore   whether prompted by a spirit of
adventure, or with a view to avoid persecution for religion's
sake   is now unknown.  Even if they "left their country for
their country's good," they were undoubtedly as respectable,
honest, and noble, as the major part of those needy ruffians who
accompanied William the Conqueror from Normandy in his successful
attempt to seize the British crown, and whose descendants now
boast of their noble ancestry, and proudly claim a seat in the
British House of Peers.

From my earliest years I manifested a strong attachment to
reading; and as matters relating to ships and sailors captivated
my boyish fancy, and exerted a magic influence on my mind, the
"Adventures of Robinson Crusoe," "Peter Wilkins," "Philip
Quarle," and vagabonds of a similar character, were my favorite
books.  An indulgence in this taste, and perhaps an innate
dispostion to lead a wandering, adventurous life, kindled in my
bosom a strong desire, which soon became a fixed resolution, TO
GO TO SEA.  Indeed, this wish to go abroad, to encounter dangers
on the mighty deep, to visit foreign countries and climes, to
face shipwrecks and disasters, became a passion.  It was my
favorite theme of talk by day, and the subject of my dreams by
night.  As I increased in years my longing for a sailor's life
also increased; and whenever my schoolfellows and myself were
conversing about the occupations we should select as the means of
gaining a livelihood hereafter, I invariably said, "I will be a

Had my parents lived, it is possible that this deep-seated
inclination might have been thwarted; that my destiny might have
taken another shape.  But my father died while I was quite young,
and my mother survived him but a few years.  She lived long
enough, however, to convince me that there is nothing more pure,
disinterested, and enduring than a mother's love, and that those
who are deprived of this blessing meet at the outset of their
pilgrimage a misfortune which can never be remedied.  Thus,
before I had numbered fifteen years, I found myself thrown a waif
on the waters of life, free to follow the bent of my inclination
to become a sailor.

Fortune favored my wishes.  Soon after the death of my parents, a
relation of my mother was fitting out a vessel in Portsmouth,
N.H., for a voyage to Demarara; and those who felt an interest in
my welfare, conceiving this a good opportunity for me to commence
my salt-water career, acceded to my wishes, and prevailed on my
relative, against his inclination, to take me with him as a cabin

With emotions of delight I turned my back on the home of my
childhood, and gayly started off to seek my fortune in the world,
with no other foundation to build upon than a slender frame, an
imperfect education, a vivid imagination, ever picturing charming
castles in the air, and a goodly share of quiet energy and
perseverance, modified by an excess of diffidence, which to this
day I have never been able to overcome.

I had already found in a taste for reading a valuable and never-
failing source of information and amusement.  This attachment to
books has attended me through life, and been a comfort and solace
in difficulties, perplexities, and perils.  My parents, also,
early ingrafted on my mind strict moral principles; taught me to
distinguish between right and wrong; to cherish a love of truth,
and even a chivalric sense of honor and honesty.  To this,
perhaps, more than to any other circumstance, may be attributed
whatever success and respectability has attended my career
through life.  It has enabled me to resist temptations to evil
with which I was often surrounded, and to grapple with and
triumph over obstacles that might otherwise have overwhelmed me.

When I reached Portsmouth, my kinsman, Captain Tilton, gave me an
ungracious reception.  He rebuked me severely for expressing a
determination to go to sea.

"Go to sea!" he exclaimed in a tone of the most sovereign
contempt.  "Ridiculous!  You are a noodle for thinking of such a
thing.  A sailor's life is a dog's life at best!  Besides, you
are not fit for a sailor, either by habits, taste, or
constitution.  With such a pale face, and slight figure, and
sheepish look, how can you expect to fight the battle of life on
the ocean, and endure all the crosses, the perils, and the rough-
and-tumble of a sailor's life?  Hawser, you are not fit for a
sailor.  You had much better go home and try something else."

Finding me unconvinced by his arguments, and unshaken in my
determination, he concluded his remarks by asking me abruptly the
startling question, "Are you ready to die?"

I replied, that I had not bestowed much thought on the subject;
but frankly admitted I was not altogether prepared for such a
solemn event.

"Then, Hawser," said he with marked emphasis, "if you are not
prepared to die   to die of YELLOW FEVER   don't go to Demarara
at this season of the year!"  And he left the room abruptly,
apparently disgusted at my obstinacy.

On the following day, Captain Tilton took me on board the brig
Dolphin.  I did not mark her imperfections, which were many.  She
was a vessel, bound on a voyage to a foreign port, and,
therefore, I was charmed with her appearance.  In my eyes she was
a model of excellence; as beautiful and graceful as the
celebrated barge in which Cleopatra descended the Cyndnus to meet
Mark Antony.

The captain led me to the mate, who was busily engaged about the
decks.  "Mr. Thompson," said he, "here is a lad who wants to go
to sea, and I have foolishly engaged to take him as a cabin boy.
Keep him on board the brig; look sharp after him; don't let him
have an idle moment; and, if possible, make him useful in some
way until the vessel is ready for sea."

Mr. William Thompson was a worthy man, who subsequently became a
shipmaster and merchant of great respectability in Portsmouth.
He treated me with consideration and kindness, and took pleasure
in teaching me the details of the business I was about to

During the few days in which the Dolphin lay at the wharf I
gained much nautical information.  I learned the names of the
different parts of a vessel; of the different masts, and some
portions of the rigging.  But the great number of ropes excited
my admiration.  I thought a lifetime would hardly suffice to
learn their different names and purposes.  I accomplished
successfully the feat of going aloft; and one memorable day,
assisted the riggers in "bending sails," and received an ill-
natured rebuke from a crusty old tar, for my stupidity in failing
to understand him when he told me to "pass the gasket: while
furling the fore-topsail.  Instead of passing the gasket around
the yard, I gravely handed him a marlinspike!

In the course of my desultory reading, I had learned that vessels
at sea were liable to "spring a leak," which was one of the most
dreaded perils of navigation; and I had a vague notion that the
hold of a ship was always so arranged that a leak could be
discovered and stopped.  I was, therefore, not a little puzzled
when I found the hold of the Dolphin was crammed with lumber; not
a space having been left large enough to stow away the ghost of a
belaying pin.  Finding the captain in a pleasant mood one day, I
ventured to ask him what would be the consequence if the brig
should spring a leak in her bottom.

"Spring a leak in her bottom!" he replied, in his gruff manner;
"why, we should go to the bottom, of course"

The brig was now ready for sea.  The sailors were shipped, and I
watched them closely as they came on board, expecting to find the
noble-looking, generous spirited tars I had become so familiar
with in books.  It happened, however, that three out of the five
seamen who composed the crew were "old English men-of-war's-men,"
and had long since lost any refinement of character or rectitude
of principle they originally possessed.  They were brought on
board drunk by the landlord with whom they boarded; for the "old
tars" of those days   fifty years ago   had no homes; when on
shore all they cared for was a roof to shelter them, and plenty
of grog, in which they would indulge until their money was gone,
when they would go to sea and get more.

Now ensued the bustle incident to such occasions.  Captain
William Boyd, who had volunteered to pilot the brig down the
harbor, came on board; the sails were hoisted; the deck was
crowded with persons to take leave of their friends, or gratify a
morbid curiosity; and what with the numerous questions asked, the
running to and fro, the peremptory commands of the mate, the
unmusical singing and shouting of the crew as they executed the
various orders, together with the bawling of the handcartmen and
truckmen as they brought down the last of the trunks, chests,
stores, and provisions, my brain was in a whirl of excitement; I
hardly knew whether I stood on my head or my heels.

At last the captain came down the wharf, accompanied by Joshua
Haven, one of the owners, and some friends, who had made
arrangements to proceed in the brig so far as the mouth of the
harbor.  The single rope which connected the Dolphin with the
shore was cast loose; the pilot gave some orders; that were Greek
to me, in a loud and energetic tone; the men on the wharf gave
three cheers, which were heartily responded to by the temporary
passengers and crew; and with a pleasant breeze from the
westward, we sailed merrily down the river.

Some few persons lingered on the wharf, and continued for a time
to wave their handkerchiefs in token of an affectionate farewell
to their friends.  I seemed to stand alone while these
interesting scenes were enacted.  I took no part in the warm
greetings or the tender adieus.  I had bidden farewell to my
friends and relatives in another town some days before; and no
one took sufficient interest in my welfare to travel a few miles,
look after my comforts, and wish me a pleasant voyage as I left
my native land.

Although from the reception I had met with I had little reason to
expect present indulgences or future favors from my kinsman who
commanded the brig, I did not regret the step I had taken.  On
the contrary, my bosom bounded with joy when the last rope was
severed, and the vessel on whose decks I proudly stood was
actually leaving the harbor of Portsmouth, under full sail, bound
to a foreign port.  This was no longer "the baseless fabric of a
vision."  The dream of my early years had come to pass; and I
looked forward with all the confidence of youth to a bold and
manly career, checkered it might be with toil and suffering, but
replete with stirring adventure, whose wild and romantic charms
would be cheaply won by wading through a sea of troubles.  I now
realized the feeling which has since been so well described by
the poet:

"A life on the ocean wave,
A home on the rolling deep,
Where the scattered waters rave,
And the winds their revels keep.

"Like an eagle caged, I pine
On this dull, unchanging shore;
O, give me the flashing brine,
The spray, and the tempest's roar."

Chapter II

The Dolphin was what is termed, in nautical parlance, an
"hermaphrodite brig," of about one hundred and fifty tons burden;
and had been engaged, for some twelve or fifteen years, in the
West India trade.  This vessel could not with propriety be
regarded as a model of grace and beauty, but gloried in bluff
bows, a flat bottom, and a high quarter-deck; carried a large
cargo for her tonnage, and moved heavily and reluctantly through
the water.

On this particular voyage, the hold of the brig, as I have
already stated, was filled with lumber; and thirty-five thousand
feet of the same article were carried on deck, together with an
indefinite quantity of staves, shooks, hoop poles, and other
articles of commerce too numerous to mention.  On this enormous
deck-load were constructed, on each side, a row of sheep-pens,
sufficiently spacious to furnish with comfortable quarters some
sixty or seventy sheep; and on the pens, ranged along in
beautiful confusion, was an imposing display of hen-coops and
turkey-coops, the interstices being ingeniously filled with
bundles of hay and chunks of firewood.  The quarter-deck was
"lumbered up" with hogsheads of water, and casks of oats and
barley, and hen-coops without number.

With such a deck-load, not an unusually large one in those days,
the leading trucks attached to the fore-rigging were about half
way between the main deck and the foretop.  It was a work of
difficulty and danger to descend from the deck-load to the
forecastle; but to reach the foretop required only a hop, skip,
and a jump.  The locomotive qualities of this craft, misnamed the
Dolphin, were little superior to those of a well constructed
raft; and with a fresh breeze on the quarter, in spite of the
skill of the best helmsman, her wake was as crooked as that of
the "wounded snake," referred to by the poet, which "dragged its
slow length along."

It was in the early part of July, in the year 1809, that the brig
Dolphin left Portsmouth, bound on a voyage to Dutch Guiana, which
at that time, in consequence of the malignant fevers that
prevailed on the coast, was not inaptly termed "the grave of
American seamen."  The crew consisted of the captain and mate,
five sailors, a green hand to act as cook, and a cabin boy.
There was also a passenger on board, a young man named Chadwick,
who had been residing in Portsmouth, and was going to Demarara,
in the hope   which fortunately for him was not realized   of
establishing himself in a mercantile house.

The forecastle being, for obvious reasons, untenable during the
outward passage, these ten individuals, when below deck, were
stowed away in the cabin and steerage, amid boxes, bales, chests,
barrels, and water casks, in a manner somewhat miscellaneous, and
not the most commodious or comfortable.  Indeed, for several days
after we left port, the usual and almost only access to the cabin
was by the skylight; and those who made the cabin their home,
were obliged to crawl on all fours over the heterogeneous mass of
materials with which it was crowded, in order to reach their

The owners of the brig must have calculated largely on favorable
weather during the passage; for had we experienced a gale on the
coast, or fallen in with the tail-end of a hurricane in the
tropics, the whole deck-load would have been swept away, and the
lives of the ship's company placed in imminent peril.  The
weather, however, proved remarkably mild, and the many
inconveniences to which the crew were subjected were borne with
exemplary patience, and sometimes even regarded as a capital

We passed the Whale's Back at the mouth of the Piscataqua, and
the Isles of Shoals loomed up through the hazy atmosphere; and
although the wind was light, and the sea apparently smooth, the
brig began to have a motion   an awkward, uneasy motion   for
which I could not account, and which, to my great annoyance,
continued to increase as we left the land.  I staggered as I
crossed the quarter-deck, and soon after we cleared the harbor,
came near pitching overboard from the platform covering the
sheep-pens.  My head was strangely confused, and a dizziness
seized me, which I in vain struggled to shake off.  My spirits,
so gay and buoyant as we sailed down the harbor, sunk to zero.

At length I could not resist the conviction that I was assailed
with symptoms of seasickness, a malady which I had always held in
contempt, believing it to exist more in imagination than in fact,
and which I was determined to resist, as unsailor-like and
unmanly.  Other symptoms of a less equivocal description, soon
placed the character of my illness beyond a doubt.  My woe-begone
looks must have betrayed my feelings, for one of the men told me,
with a quizzical leer, that old Neptune always exacted toll in
advance from a green hand for his passage over the waters.

Mr. Thompson, who seemed to pity my miserable condition, gravely
assured me that exercise was a capital thing as a preventive or
cure for seasickness, and advised me to try the pump.  I followed
his advice: a few strokes brought up the bilge water, than which
nothing at that time could have been more insufferably nauseous!
I left the pump in disgust, and retiring to the after part of the
quarter-deck, threw myself down on a coil of rope, unable longer
to struggle with my fate.  There I remained unnoticed and uncared
for for several hours, when, the wind having changed, the rope
which formed my bed, and proved to be the "main sheet," was
wanted, and I was unceremoniously ejected from my quarters, and
roughly admonished to "go below and keep out of the way!"  I
crawled into the cabin, and, stretched on some boxes, endeavored
to get a little sleep; but the conglomeration of smells of a most
inodorous character, which, as it seemed to my distempered fancy,
pervaded every part of the vessel, prevented my losing a sense of
suffering in sleep.

As I lay musing on the changes which a few days had wrought in my
condition, and, borne down by the pangs of seasickness, was
almost ready to admit that there was prose as well as poetry in a
sailor's life, I was startled by a terrific noise, the
announcement, I supposed, of some appalling danger.  I heard
distinctly three loud knocks on the deck at the entrance of the
steerage, and then a sailor put his head down the companion-way,
and in a voice loud, cracked, and discordant, screamed in a tone
which I thought must have split his jaws asunder, "LA-AR-BO-A-RD
W-A-T-CH A-H-O-O-Y."

In spite of my sickness I started from my uncomfortable resting
place, scrambled into the steerage, and by a roll of the brig was
tumbled under the steps, and suffered additional pains and
apprehensions before I ascertained that the unearthly sounds
which had so alarmed me were nothing more than the usual mode of
"calling the watch," or in other words, the man with the
unmusical voice had gently hinted to the sleepers below that
"turn-about was fair play," and they were wanted on deck.

To add to my troubles, the wind in the morning shifted to the
south-east, and thus became a head wind, and the old brig became
more restless than ever, and pitched and rolled to leeward
occasionally with a lurch, performing clumsy antics in the water
which my imagination never pictured, and which I could neither
admire nor applaud.

For several days we were beating about Massachusetts Bay and St.
George's Bank, making slow progress on our voyage.  During that
time I was really seasick, and took little note of passing
events, being stretched on the deck, a coil of rope, or a chest,
musing on the past or indulging in gloomy reflections in regard
to the future.  Seasickness never paints ideal objects of a
roseate hue.  Although I was not called upon for much actual
work, I received no sympathy for my miserable condition; for
seasickness, like the toothache, is seldom fatal, notwithstanding
it is as distressing a malady as is found in the catalogue of
diseases, and one for which no preventive or cure, excepting
time, has yet been discovered.  Time is a panacea for every ill;
and after the lapse of ten or twelve days, as the brig was
drawing towards the latitude of Bermuda, my sickness disappeared
as suddenly as it commenced; and one pleasant morning I threw
aside my shore dress, and with it my landsman's habits and
feelings.  I donned my short jacket and trousers, and felt every
inch a sailor!

The Bermudas are a cluster of small islands and rocks lying in
the track of vessels bound from New England to the West Indies.
The climate is mild, and the atmosphere remarkably salubrious,
while the trace of ocean in the vicinity has long been noted for
severe squalls at every season of the year.  A squall at sea   no
unusual occurrence   is often the cause of anxiety, being
attended with danger.  Sometimes the rush of wind is so violent
that nothing will resist its fury, and before the alarm is given
and the canvas reduced, the masts are blown over the side or the
vessel capsized.  Therefore, on the approach of a squall, a
vigilant officer will be prepared for the worst, by shortening
sail and making other arrangements for averting the threatened

I hardly knew how it happened, but one afternoon when we were a
little to the northward of Bermuda, and should have kept a
lookout for squalls, we were favored with a visit from one of a
most energetic character.  Its sudden approach from under the lee
was either unnoticed or unheeded until the captain accidentally
came on deck.  He was instantly aware of the perilous condition
of the brig, for the "white caps" of the waves could be
distinctly seen, and even the roar of the wind could be heard as
it rushed towards us over the water.  Before any orders could be
executed   before the sails could be taken in, the yards braced
round, or even the helm shifted, the tempest broke over us.  The
rain fell in torrents, the wind blew with tremendous violence,
and a scene of indescribable confusion ensued.

The captain stood near the companion-way, much excited, giving
directions with energy and rapidity.   "Hard up your helm!" said
he; "Hard up!  Lower away the mainsail!  Let go the peak
halliards!  Why DON'T you put the helm hard up?  Let go all the
halliards fore and aft!  Clew down the fore-topsail!  Haul in the
starboard braces!  There   steady with the helm!"

The mate and sailors were running about the decks, looking
frightened and bewildered, eagerly casting loose some ropes, and
pulling desperately upon others; the sails were fluttering and
shaking, as if anxious to quit the spars and fly away to unknown
regions; the brig felt the force of the wind, and for a few
moments was pressed over on her side until her beam ends were in
the water; and what with the shouting of the captain, the
answering shouts of the mate, the unearthly cries of the sailors,
as they strove to execute the orders so energetically given; the
struggling of the canvas, the roaring of the winds and the waves,
the creaking of the cordage, the beating of the rain against the
decks, and the careening of the vessel, it is not remarkable that
I felt somewhat alarmed and excited, as well as deeply interested
in witnessing for the first time in my life A SQUALL AT SEA.

The squall was of short duration; although the rain continued for
a time, the wind, after a few minutes, gave but little
inconvenience.  In the course of an hour the murky clouds had
disappeared, the sun shone out brightly as it was sinking towards
the horizon, and the brig was again pursuing her way towards her
destined port, urged slowly along by a light but favorable

Having got my sea legs on, I could proudly strut about among the
lumber and sheep-pens without fear of rolling overboard.  I found
the sailors a rough but good-natured set of fellows, with but
little refinement in ideas or language.  Although they amused
themselves with my awkwardness, and annoyed me with practical
jokes, they took a pride and pleasure in inducting me into the
mysteries of their craft.  They taught me the difference between
a granny knot and a square knot; how to whip a rope's end; form
splices; braid sinnett; make a running bowline, and do a variety
of things peculiar to the web-footed gentry.  Some of them also
tried hard, by precept and example, but in vain, to induce me to
chew tobacco and drink grog!  Indeed, they regarded the ability
to swallow a stiff glass of New England rum, without making a wry
face, as one of the most important qualifications of a sailor!

The "old men-of-war's-men" had passed through strange and
eventful scenes; they were the type of a class of men which have
long since passed away; they could spin many a long and
interesting yarn, to which I listened with untiring eagerness.
But no trait in their character astonished me more than their
uncontrollable passion for intoxicating drinks.  As cabin boy, it
was my duty to serve out to the crew a half pint of rum a day.
These old Tritons eagerly looked forward to the hour when this
interesting ceremony came off; their eyes sparkled as they
received their allotted portion of this enemy to the human race;
and they practised every art to procure, by fair means or foul,
an increased allowance.  If by accident or shrewd management one
of them succeeded in obtaining half a glass more than he was
fairly entitled to, his triumph was complete.   But if he
imagined he had not received the full quantity which was his due,
ill humor and sulky looks for the next twenty-four hours bore
testimony to his anger and disappointment.  These men ignored the
good old proverb that "bread is the staff of life," and at any
time, or at all times, would prefer grog to bread.

In those days it was believed that ardent spirit would strengthen
the constitution, and enable a man to endure hardship and perform
labor to a greater extent that would be the case if he drank
nothing stronger than water.  Rum was, therefore, included among
the ship's stores as an important means of keeping the ship's
company in good humor, reviving their spirits and energies when
overcome with fatigue or exposure, and strengthening them for a
hard day's work.

Those days have passed away.  It is now known that those
doctrines were false; that spiritous liquors, as a drink, never
benefit mankind, but have proved one of the greatest scourges
with which the human race has been afflicted.  It is no longer
believed that grog will insure the faithful performance of a
seaman's duty, and it is excluded from our ships, so far as the
forecastle is concerned; and if it were never allowed to visit
the cabin, the crews, in some cases, would lead happier lives,
there would be fewer instances of assault and battery, revolts
and shipwrecks, and the owners and underwriters would find the
balance at the end of the voyage more decidedly in their favor.

Among the customs on shipboard which attracted my particular
attention, was the manner in which the sailors partook of their
meals.  There was no tedious ceremony or fastidious refinement
witnessed on these occasions.  At twelve o'clock the orders were
promptly given, "Call the watch!  Hold the reel!  Pump ship!  Get
your dinners!"  With never-failing alacrity the watch was called,
the log thrown, and the ship pumped.  When these duties were
performed, a bustle was seen about the camboose, or large cooking
stove, in which the meals were prepared.  In pleasant weather it
was usual for the sailors to take their meals on deck; but no
table was arranged, no table-cloth was spread, no knives and
forks or spoons were provided, no plates of any description were
furnished, or glass tumblers or earthen mugs.  The preliminary
arrangements were of the simplest description.

The signal being given, the cook hastily transferred from his
boilers whatever food he had prepared, into a wooden vessel,
called a kid, resembling in size and appearance a peck measure.
The kid with its contents was deposited on the spot selected; a
bag or box, containing ship's biscuits was then produced,
dinner was ready, and all hands, nothing loth, gathered around
the kid and commenced operations.

The usual fare was salt beef and bread, varied at stated times or
according to circumstances; and this has probably for centuries
been the standing dish for the forecastle in English and American
ships.  On this passage, the Sunday dinner varied from the usual
routine by the addition of fresh meat.  Every Sabbath morning a
sheep, the finest and fattest of the flock, was missing from the
pens.  Portions of the animal, however, would appear a few hours
afterwards in the shape of a luscious sea-pie for the sailors,
and in various inviting shapes during the following week to the
inmates of the cabin.  This loss of property was recorded by Mr.
Thompson in the ship's log-book, with his accustomed accuracy,
and with Spartan brevity.  The language he invariably used was,
"A sheep died this day."

Among the crew of the Dolphin were two weather-beaten tars, who
were as careless of their costumes as of their characters.  They
recked little how ridiculously they looked, excepting in one
respect.  They could each boast of a magnificent head of hair,
which they allowed to grow to a great length on the back of the
head, where it was collected and fashioned into enormous queues,
which, when permitted to hang down, reached to the small of their
backs, and gave them the appearance of Chinese mandarins, or
Turkish pachas of a single tail.  These tails were their pets
the only ornaments about their persons for which they manifested
any interest.  This pride in their queues was the weak point in
their characters.  Every Sunday they performed on each other the
operation of manipulating the pendulous ornaments, straightening
them out like magnified marlinspikes, and binding them with
ribbons or rope-yarns, tastily fastened at the extremity by a
double bow knot.

Queues, in those days, were worn on the land as well as on the
sea, and were as highly prized by the owners.  On the land, they
were harmless enough, perhaps, and seldom ungratefully interfered
with the comfort of their benefactors or lured them into scrapes.
On shipboard the case was different, and they sometimes proved
not only superfluous but troublesome.

On our homeward passage a case occurred which illustrated the
absurdity of wearing a queue at sea   a fashion which has been
obsolete for many years.  A gale of wind occurred on the coast,
and the crew were ordered aloft to reef the fore-topsail.  Jim
Bilton, with his queue snugly clubbed and tucked away beneath his
pea-jacket, was first on the yard, and passed the weather ear-
ring; but, unfortunately, the standing rigging had recently been
tarred, and his queue, escaping from bondage, was blown about,
the sport of the wind, and after flapping against the yard, took
a "round turn" over the lift, and stuck fast.  Jim was in an
awkward position.  He could not immediately disengage his queue,
and he could not willingly or conveniently leave it aloft.  All
hands but himself were promptly on deck, and ready to sway up the
yard.  The mate shouted to him in the full strength of his lungs
to "Bear a hand and lay in off the yard," and unjustly berated
him as a "lubber," while the poor fellow was tugging away, and
working with might and main, to disengage his tail from the lift,
in which he at length succeeded, but not without the aid of his

I was greatly troubled during this passage by the impure
character of the water.  I had been taught to place a high value
on water as a beverage; but when we had been three weeks at sea,
and had entered the warm latitudes, on knocking a bung from one
of the water casks on the quarter-deck, there issued an odor of
"an ancient and fish-like" nature, which gave offence to my
olfactories.  On tasting the water, I found to my disgust that it
was impregnated with a flavor of a like character, and after it
was swallowed this flavor would cling to the palate with
provoking tenacity for several minutes.  The sailors smacked
their lips over it once or twice, and pronounced it "from fair to
middling."   When boiled, and drank under the name of tea or
coffee, it might have deserved that character; but when taken
directly from the cask, and quaffed in hot weather, as a pleasant
and refreshing beverage it was a signal failure.

To the inmates of the cabin, myself excepted, the peculiar flavor
of the water served as an excuse, if any were required, for
drawing liberally on the brandy kegs and liquor cases.  A little
"dash of spirit" removed the unpleasant taste by adding another,
which, to my unsophisticated palate, was equally offensive.  The
water in every cask proved of a similar character; and I could
hardly imagine how use, or even necessity, could reconcile a
person to such water as that.  The problem was solved, but not
entirely to my satisfaction, on my next voyage.

The duties of cabin boy were of a nature different from my
occupations in previous years.  They engrossed a considerable
portion of my time; and though they were not the kind of duties I
most loved to perform, I endeavored to accommodate my feelings to
my situation, comforting myself with the belief that the voyage
would not be of long duration, and that I was now taking the
first step in the rugged path which led to fame and fortune.

I devoted the hours which I could spare from my appropriate
duties to the acquisition of a knowledge of seamanship, and
developing its mysteries.  I was fond of going aloft when the
vessel was rolling or pitching in a strong breeze.  I loved to
mount upon the top-gallant yard, and from that proud eminence,
while rocking to and fro, look down upon the sails and spars of
the brig, take a bird's eye view of the deck, and scan the
various operations; look at the foam beneath the bows, or at the
smooth, eddying, serpentine track left far behind.  I also loved
to gaze from this elevated position upon the broad ocean, bounded
on every side by the clear and distant horizon   a grand and
sublime sight.  And then I indulged in daydreams of the most
pleasing description, and built gay and fantastic castles in the
air, which my reason told me the next moment would never be

Chapter III

One morning, soon after daybreak, as I was lying asleep in my
berth, I was awakened by a trampling on deck and loud shouts.
Aware that something unusual had occurred, I lost no time in
hastening to the scene of action.   Ere I reached the deck, I
heard the word "porpoises" uttered in a loud key by one of the
sailors, which explained the cause of the excitement.

The mate, with sparkling eye and rigid features, in which
determination was strongly stamped, as if resolved "to do or
die," was busily engaged in fitting a line to the harpoon, which
had been sharpened and prepared for use some days before.  I cast
my eye to windward, and saw the ocean alive with fish.  Hundreds
of porpoises were swimming around the brig, crossing the bows, or
following in the wake, or leaping out of water and snuffing the
air, and racing with each other as if for a wager; passing so
rapidly through the liquid element that it wearied the eye to
follow them.

The mate was soon ready with the harpoon, and took his station on
the bowsprit, within six feet of the water.  The line, one end of
which was fastened to the harpoon, was rove through a block
attached to the main-topmast stay; and the cook, one of the
sailors, and myself firmly grasped the rope, and stood ready,
whenever the word might be given, to bowse the unsuspecting and
deluded victim out of his native element and introduce him to the
ship's company.

Mr. Thompson stood on the bowsprit, poising the death-dealing
instrument, and with a keen eye watched the gambols of the fish.
He looked as formidable and fierce as a Paladin intent on some
daring and desperate enterprise.  As I eyed him with admiration
and envy I wondered if the time would ever arrive when, clad with
authority, I should exercise the privilege of wielding the
harpoon and striking a porpoise!  Several of these interesting
fish, not aware of the inhospitable reception awaiting them, and
seemingly prompted by curiosity, rapidly approached the brig.
"Stand by, my lads!" exclaimed the mate, his face lighted by a
gleam of anticipated triumph.  One huge fellow passed directly
beneath the bowsprit, and Mr. Thompson let drive the harpoon with
all the strength and energy he possessed.  We hauled upon the
line with vigor   alas!  It required but little exertion to haul
it in; the mate had missed his mark.

In a few minutes another of these portly inhabitants of the deep
came rolling along with a rowdy, swaggering gait, close to the
surface of the water.  The mate, cool and collected, took a
careful aim, and again threw the iron, which entered his victim,
and then shouted with the voice of a Stentor, "Haul in!  Haul
in!" And we did haul in; but the fish was strong and muscular,
and struggled hard for liberty and life.  In spite of our prompt
and vigorous exertions, he was dragged under the brig's bottom;
and if he had not been struck in a workmanlike manner, the
harpoon would have drawn out, and the porpoise would have
escaped, to be torn to pieces by his unsympathizing companions.
As it was, after a severe struggle on both sides, we roused him
out of the water, when the mate called for the jib down-haul,
with which he made a running bowline, which was clapped over his
tail and drawn tight; and in this inglorious manner he was hauled
in on the deck.

The porpoise is a fish five or six feet in length, weighing from
one hundred and fifty to three hundred pounds.  The name is
derived from the Italian word PORCO-PERCE, or hog-fish; and
indeed this animal resembles a hog in many respects.  It has a
long head, terminated by a projection of its jaws, which are well
filled with sharp teeth, white as polished ivory.  The body is
covered with a coat of fat, or blubber, from one to three inches
in thickness, which yields abundance of excellent oil; and the
flesh beneath is not very unlike that of a hog, but more oily,
coarser, and of a darker color.  The flesh, excepting the
harslet, is not much prized, though some sailors are fond of it,
and rejoice at the capture of a porpoise, which gives them an
agreeable change of diet.

A few days after this event, being to the southward of Bermuda, I
climbed to the fore-top-gallant yard, and casting my eyes around,
saw on the verge of the horizon a white speck, which made a
singular appearance, contrasting, as it did, with the dark hue of
the ocean and the clear azure of a cloudless sky, I called to a
sailor who was at work in the cross-trees, and pointed it out to
him.  As soon as he saw it he exclaimed, "Sail, ho!"

The captain was on the quarter-deck, and responded to the
announcement by the inquiry of "Where away?"

"About three points on the larboard bow," was the rejoinder.

We had not spoken a vessel since we left Portsmouth.  Indeed, we
had seen none, excepting a few fishing smacks on St. George's
Bank.  The sight of a vessel on the broad ocean ordinarily
produces considerable excitement; and this excitement is of a
pleasing character when there is no reason to believe the
stranger an enemy.  It varies the incidents of a tedious passage,
and shows that you are not alone on the face of the waters; that
others are traversing the ocean and tempting its dangers, urged
by a love of adventure or thirst of gain.

The captain looked at the strange vessel through his spy-glass,
and said it was standing towards us.  We approached each other
rapidly, for the stranger carried a cloud of sail, and was
evidently a fast sailer.  By the peculiar color and cut of the
canvas, the captain was led to believe we were about to be
overhauled by a British man-of-war.  This announcement gave me
pleasure.  I longed for an opportunity to behold one of that
class of vessels, of which I had heard so much.  But all the crew
did not participate in my feelings.  Two of the sailors, whom I
had good reason to believe were not "native Americans," although
provided with American protections, looked unusually grave when
the captain expressed his opinion, manifested no little anxiety,
and muttered bitter curses against the English men-of-war!

I then learned that the British navy   "the wooden walls of Old
England"   whose vaunted prowess was in every mouth, was manned
almost exclusively by men who did not voluntarily enter the
service, prompted by a feeling of patriotism, a sense of honor,
or the expectation of emolument, but were victims to the unjust
and arbitrary system of impressment.

It is singular that in the early part of the present century,
when Clarkson, Wilberforce, and other philanthropists, with a
zeal and perseverance which reflects immortal honor on their
names, labored unceasingly and successfully to abolish an
important branch of the African slave trade, no voice was raised
in the British parliament to abolish the impressment of seamen
a system of slavery as odious, unjust and degrading, as was ever
established by a despotic government!

At that time Great Britain was engaged in sanguinary wars, and
her flag was borne by her ships on every sea.  It was difficult
to man her navy, the pay being small, and the penalties for
misconduct or venial errors terribly severe.  Therefore, when on
the ocean, British ships of war in want of men were in the habit
of impressing sailors from merchant vessels, and often without
regard to national character.  American ships were fired at,
brought to, and strictly searched by these tyrants of the ocean;
and when foreigners were found on board, whether British, Swedes,
Dutch, Russians, Norwegians, or Spaniards, they were liable to be
claimed as fit persons to serve "His Majesty."  In spite of
remonstrances and menaces, they were conveyed on board the
British men-of-war, doomed to submit to insult and injustice, and
to risk their lives while fighting in quarrels in which they felt
no interest.

British seamen were seized wherever met, whether pursuing their
lawful business on the high seas, or while on shore walking
quietly through the streets of a city or town; even in the bosom
of their families, or when quietly reposing on their pillows!
Press-gangs, composed of desperate men, headed by resolute and
unscrupulous officers, were constantly on the lookout for men,
and took them, sometimes after hard fighting, and dragged them
away to undergo the horrors of slavery on board a man-of-war!

It is not remarkable that a sailor in those days should have
dreaded a "man-of-war" as the most fearful of evils, and would
resort to desperate means to avoid impressment or escape from
bondage.  Those few fortunate men, who, by resolution or cunning,
had succeeded in escaping from their sea-girt prisons, detailed
the treatment they had received with minute and hideous accuracy
to others; and that they could not have exaggerated the
statements is proved by the risks they voluntarily encountered to
gain their freedom.  The bullets of the marines on duty, the fear
of the voracious shark in waters where they abounded, the dangers
of a pestilential climate, or the certainty, if retaken, of being
subjected to a more revolting and excruciating punishment than
was every devised by the Spanish Inquisition   FLOGGING THROUGH
THE FLEET   could not deter British seamen from attempting to
flee from their detested prison-house.

American seamen were sometimes forcibly taken from American
ships, and their protestations against the outrage, and their
repeated declarations, "I am an American citizen!" served only as
amusement to the kidnappers.  Letters which they subsequently
wrote to their friends, soliciting their aid, or the intercession
of the government, seldom reached their destination.  It was
rarely that the poor fellows were heard of after they were
pressed on board a man-of-war.  They died of disease in
pestilential climates, or fell in battle while warring in behalf
of a government they hated, and principles with which they had no

This gross violation of the laws of nations and the principles of
justice furnished one of the strongest motives for the war which
was declared in 1812.

Nor were these insults on the part of British cruisers confined
to American merchant ships.  Our government vessels were, in more
than one instance, boarded with a view to examine the crews and
take the men, if any, who happened to be born under the British
flag.  A successful attempt was made in the case of the
Chesapeake, which frigate, under the command of Commodore Barron,
made a feeble show of resistance, and was fired into in a time of
peace, several of her crew killed and wounded, and compelled to
strike her colors!  The Chesapeake was then boarded, and the
Englishmen found on board were seized upon and transferred to the
British ship!

 An attempt of a similar kind was made some years before, but
with a different result.  When the heroic Tingey commanded the
Ganges, in 1799, being off Cape Nicola Mole, he was boarded by a
boat from the English frigate Surprise, and a demand was very
coolly made that all the Englishmen on board the Ganges should be
given up, as they were wanted for the service of His Majesty,
George III!

Captain Tingey returned the following noble reply: "Give my
respects to your commander; the respects of Captain Tingey, of
the American navy; and tell him from me, that A PUBLIC SHIP
succeed in a contest with you, but I will die at my quarters
before a man shall be taken from my ship!"

The crew gave three cheers, hastened with alacrity to their guns,
and called for "Yankee Doodle."  The captain of the Surprise,
although one of the bravest officers in the British service, on
hearing the determination of the Yankee, chose rather to continue
on his cruise than do battle for dead men.

In less than an hour after the strange sail was seen from the
decks of the Dolphin the surmises of the captain were proved to
be correct.  The stranger was undoubtedly an English brig-of-war
of the largest class.  We could see the port-holes, through which
the cannon protruded, and distinguish the gleam of muskets and
cutlasses, and other instruments of destruction.  The sails were
so large and so neatly fitted, and the hull was so symmetrical in
its model, and the brig glided along so gracefully over the
waves, that I was charmed with her appearance, and could hardly
express my satisfaction.

We continued on our course, with the American ensign flying, our
captain hoping that this emissary of John Bull, seeing the
character of our vessel, which no one could mistake, would suffer
us to pass on our way unmolested, when a volume of flame and
smoke issued from the bow of the sloop-of-war, and a messenger,
in the shape of a cannon ball, came whistling over the waves,
and, after crossing our bows in a diagonal direction, and
striking the surface of the water several times, buried itself in
a huge billow at no great distance.  This was language that
required no interpreter.  It was a mandate that must be obeyed.
The helm was ordered "hard-a-lee," the foresail hauled up, and
the topsail laid to the mast.

The armed brig hoisted British colors, and her boat was soon
alongside the Dolphin.  An officer sprang on board, followed by
several sailors.  With an off-hand, swaggering air, the officer
addressed Captain Tilton, demanding where we were from, whither
we were bound, and the character of our cargo.  He then expressed
an intention to examine the ship's papers, and went with the
captain into the cabin for that purpose.  When they returned on
deck, Captain Tilton ordered the mate to summon aft the crew.
This was not a work of difficulty, for they were standing in the
waist, deeply interested spectators of the proceedings.  At least
three of them were trembling with fear, and speculating on the
chances of being again impressed on board an English man-of-war.

"Where are these men's protections?" demanded the lieutenant.

By "protection," was meant a printed certificate, under the
signature and seal of the collector of one of the revenue
districts in the United States, stating that the person, whose
age, height, and complexion were particularly described, had
adduced satisfactory proof of being an American citizen.  An
American seaman found without this document, whether in a foreign
port or on the high seas, was looked upon as an Englishman,
notwithstanding the most conclusive proof to the contrary, and
regardless of his rights or the engagements by which he might be
bound, was dragged on board a man-of-war as a lawful prize.

"Here are the protections," said Captain Tilton, handing the
papers to the Englishman.

The men were, one by one, examined, to see if the descriptions
corresponded with their persons.  They were found to correspond

The officer was not to be easily balked of his prey.  Turning
suddenly to one of them, a weather-beaten, case-hardened old tar,
who wore a queue, and whose name was borne on the shipping paper
as Harry Johnson, he sternly asked, "How long is it since you
left His Majesty's service?"

The poor fellow turned pale as death.  He lifted his hand to his
hat, in a most anti-republican style, and stammered out something

"'Tis of no use, Johnson," exclaimed the officer.  "I see how it
is; and we must be better acquainted.  Your protection was
obtained by perjury.  Get ready to go in the boat."

In vain Captain Tilton represented that Johnson was sailing under
the American flag; that he had the usual certificate of being an
American citizen; that his vessel was already short manned,
considering the peculiar character of the cargo, and if his crew
should be reduced, he might find himself unable to manage the
brig in heavy weather, which there was reason to expect at that
season in the latitude of the West Indies.

To these representations the lieutenant replied in a brief and
dry manner.  He said the man was an Englishman, and was wanted.
He repeated his orders to Johnson, in a more peremptory tone, to
"go in the boat."

To the threats of the captain that he would lay the matter before
Congress, and make it a national affair, the officer seemed
altogether indifferent.  He merely bade his trembling victim
"bear a hand," as he wished to return to the brig without delay.

When Johnson saw there was no alternative, that his fate was
fixed, he prepared to meet it like a man.  He looked at the
American ensign, which was waving over his head, and said it was
a pity the American flag could not protect those who sailed under
it from insult and outrage.  He shook each of us by the hand,
gave us his best wishes, and followed his baggage into the boat,
which immediately shoved off.

The officer told Captain Tilton that when the British ensign was
hauled down, he might fill away, and proceed on his voyage.  In
about fifteen minutes the ensign was hauled down.  Orders were
given to fill away the foretopsail.  The helm was put up, and we
resumed our course for Demarara.

Steering to the southward, we reached that narrow belt of the
Atlantic, called "the doldrums," which lies between the variable
and the trade winds.  This tract is from two to three degrees in
width, and is usually fallen in with soon after crossing the
thirtieth degree of latitude.  Here the wind is apt to be light
and baffling at all seasons; and sometimes calms prevail for
several days.  This tract of ocean was once known as the "horse
latitudes," because many years ago vessels from Connecticut were
in the habit of taking deck-loads of horses to the West India
islands, and it not unfrequently happened that these vessels,
being for the most part dull sailers, were so long detained in
those latitudes that their hay, provender, and water were
expended, and the animals died of hunger and thirst.

The Dolphin was a week in crossing three degrees of latitude.
Indeed it was a calm during a considerable portion of that time.
This drew largely on the patience of the captain, mate, and all
hands.  There are few things so annoying to a sailor at sea as a
calm.  A gale of wind, even a hurricane, with its life, its
energy, its fury, though it may bring the conviction of danger,
is preferred by an old sailor to the dull, listless monotony of a

These slow movements in the "horse latitudes" were not
distasteful to me.  A calm furnished abundant food for curiosity.
The immense fields of gulf-weed, with their parasitical
inhabitants, that we now began to fall in with; the stately
species of nautilus, known as he Portuguese man-of-war, floating
so gracefully, with its transparent body and delicate tints; and
the varieties of fish occasionally seen, including the flying-
fish, dolphin, boneta, and shark, all furnish to an inquiring
mind subjects of deep and abiding interest.  My wonder was also
excited by the singularly glassy smoothness of the surface of the
water in a dead calm, while at the same time the long, rolling
waves, or "seas," kept the brig in perpetual motion, and swept
past as if despatched by some mysterious power on a mission to
the ends of the earth.

Several kinds of fish that are met with on the ocean are really
palatable, and find a hearty welcome in the cabin and the
forecastle.  To capture these denizens of the deep, a line, to
which is attached a large hook baited with a small fish, or a
piece of the rind of pork, shaped to resemble a fish, is
sometimes kept towing astern in pleasant weather.  This was the
custom on board the Dolphin; and one afternoon, when the brig,
fanned by gentle zephyrs, hardly had "steerage way," my attention
was aroused by an exulting shout from the man at the helm,
followed by a solemn asserveration, that "a fish was hooked at

All was bustle and excitement.  Discipline was suddenly relaxed,
and the captain, mate, and crew mounted the taffrail forthwith to
satisfy their curiosity in regard to the character of the
prowling intruder, which was distinctly seen struggling in the
wake.  It proved to be a shark.  But the fellow disdained to be
captured by such ignoble instruments as a cod line and a halibut
hook.  He remained comparatively passive for a time, and allowed
himself to be hauled, by the united efforts of the crew, some
three or four fathoms towards the brig, when, annoyed by the
restraint imposed upon him, or disliking the wild and motley
appearance of the ship's company, he took a broad sheer to
starboard, the hook snapped like a pipestem, and the hated
monster swam off in another direction, wagging his tail in the
happy consciousness that he was "free, untrammelled, and

"Never mind," said Mr. Thompson, making an effort to console
himself for the disappointment, "we'll have the rascal yet."

The shark manifested no disposition to leave our neighborhood, or
in any other way showed displeasure at the trick we had played
him.  On the contrary, he drew nearer the vessel, and moved
indolently and defiantly about, with his dorsal fin and a portion
of his tail above the water.  He was undoubtedly hungry as well
as proud, and it is well known that sharks are not particular
with regard to the quality of their food.  Every thing that is
edible, and much which is indigestible, is greedily seized and
devoured by these voracious fish.

We had no shark hook on board; nevertheless, the mate lost no
time in making arrangements to capture this enemy of sailors.  He
fastened a piece of beef to the end of a rope and threw it
overboard, letting it drag astern.  This attracted the attention
of the shark, who gradually approached the tempting morsel,
regarding it with a wistful eye, but with a lurking suspicion
that all was not right.

It was now seen that the shark was not alone, but was attended by
several fish of small size, beautifully mottled, and measuring
from four to eight or ten inches in length.  They swam boldly
around the shark, above and beneath him, and sometimes passed
directly in front of his jaws, while the shark manifested no
desire to seize his companions and satisfy his hunger.  These
were "pilot fish," and in the neighborhood of the tropics a shark
is seldom seen without one or more attendants of this

Two of these pilot fish swam towards the beef, examined it
carefully with their eyes, and rubbed it with their noses, and
then returned to their lord and master.  It required but a slight
stretch of the imagination to suppose that these well-meaning
servants made a favorable report, and whispered in his ear that
"all was right," and thus unwittingly betrayed him to his ruin.

Be that as it will, the shark now swam boldly towards the beef,
as if eager to devour it; but Mr. Thompson hauled upon the rope
until the precious viand was almost directly beneath the
taffrail.  In the mean time the mate had caused a running
bowline, or noose, to be prepared from a small but strong rope.
This was lowered over the stern into the water, and by a little
dexterous management, the shark was coaxed to enter it in his
eagerness to get at the beef.  The mate let fall the running part
of the bowline and hauled upon the other, and to the utter
bewilderment of the hungry monster, he found himself entrapped
in the power of his mortal enemies   being firmly and
ingloriously fastened by the tail.  When he discovered the
inhospitable deception of which he was the victim he appeared
angry, and made furious efforts to escape; but the rope was
strong, and his struggles served only to draw the noose tighter.

The shark was hauled on board, and made a terrible flouncing on
the quarter-deck before he could be despatched.  It was
interesting to witness the eagerness with which he was assailed
by the sailors.  This animal is regarded as their most inveterate
foe, and they seize with avidity any chance to diminish the
numbers of these monsters of the deep.  It was some time before
he would succumb to the murderous attacks of his enemies.  He
wreaked his vengeance on the ropes around him, and severed them
with his sharp teeth as completely and smoothly as if they had
been cut with a knife.  But when his head was nearly cut off, and
his skull beat in by the cook's axe and handspikes, the shark,
finding further resistance impossible as well as useless,
resigned himself to his fate.

Sharks not unfrequently follow a vessel in moderate weather for
several days, and in tropical latitudes sometimes lurk under a
ship's bottom, watching a chance to gratify their appetites.  For
this reason it is dangerous for a person to bathe in the sea
during a calm, as they are by no means choice in regard to their
food, but will as readily make a meal from the leg of a sailor as
from the wing of a chicken.

Mr. Thompson related a case which occurred on board a vessel
belonging to Portsmouth, the year before, and to which he was a
witness.  One Sunday morning, in the warm latitudes, while the
sea was calm, a young man, on his first voyage, quietly undressed
himself, and without a word to any one, thoughtlessly mounted the
cathead and plunged into the water.  He swam off some distance
from the ship, and laughing and shouting, seemed greatly to
admire the refreshing exercise.  The captain, on being informed
of his imprudent conduct, called to him, rebuked him severely,
and ordered him to return immediately to the ship.  The young
sailor turned about, wondering what impropriety there could be in
taking a pleasant bath during such sultry weather.  He swam
beneath the fore-chain-wales, and took hold of a rope to aid him
in getting on board.  A couple of his shipmates also seized him
by the wrists to assist him in climbing up the side.  For a
moment he remained motionless, with half his body in the water,
when a huge shark, that had been lying in wait under the ship's
bottom, seized him by the leg.  The unfortunate young man uttered
the most piteous screams, and every one was instinctively aware
of the cause of his terrible agony.  The captain ordered the men
who held the arms of the sufferer to "hold on," and jumped in the
chain-wale himself to assist them.  By main strength the poor
fellow was dragged fainting on board; but his foot was torn off,
together with a portion of the integuments of the leg, and the
bones were dreadfully crushed.  He lived in agony a few days,
when he expired.  Incidents of this nature will satisfactorily
account for the hatred which a sailor bears towards a shark.

Chapter IV

     On the day succeeding the capture of the shark a fine breeze
sprung up.  Once more the white foam appeared beneath the bows,
as the old brig plunged, and rolled, and wriggled along on her
way towards Demarara.  With a strong breeze on the quarter, it
required not only labor, but skill, to steer the interesting
craft.  One of the "old salts," having been rebuked by the
captain for steering wildly, declared, in a grave but respectful
tone, that he could steer as good a trick at the helm as any man
who ever handled a marlinspike; but he "verily believed the old
critter knew as much as a Christian, and was obstinately
determined to turn round and take a look at her starn!"

The regular "trade wind" now commenced, and there was a prospect,
although still a distant one, of ultimately reaching the port to
which we were bound.  The trade winds blow almost constantly from
one direction, and prevail in most parts of the Atlantic and
Pacific Oceans, between the latitudes of twenty-eight degrees
north and twenty-eight degrees south.  In northern latitudes the
trade wind blows from north-east, or varies but a few points from
that direction.  South of the equator it blows constantly from
the south-east; and the "south-east trade" is more steady than
the trade wind north of the line.

It often happens that vessels bound to the United States from
India, after passing the Cape of Good Hope, steer a course nearly
north-west, carrying studding-sails on both sides,
uninterruptedly, through fifteen or twenty degrees of latitude.

The cause of the trade winds is supposed to be the joint
influence of the higher temperature of the torrid zone and the
rotation of the earth on its axis.  On the equator, and extending
sometimes a few degrees on either side, is a tract where light
easterly winds, calms, and squalls, with thunder, lightning, and
inundating rains, prevail.

From what I have said, it will be seen that vessels bound from
the American coast to the West Indies or Guiana should steer to
the eastward in the early part of their passage, while they have
the advantage of variable winds.  And this precaution is the more
important, as these vessels, being generally dull sailers and
deeply laden, will fail to reach their port if they fall to
leeward, unless by returning north into the latitude of the
variable winds, and making another trial, with the benefit of
more experience.

In those days there were no chronometers in use, and but few of
our West India captains were in possession of a sextant, or
indeed able to work a lunar observation.  The latitude was
accurately determined every day by measuring the altitude of the
sun as it passed the meridian.  To ascertain the longitude was a
more difficult matter.  They were obliged to rely mainly on their
dead reckoning; that is, to make a calculation of the course and
distance run daily, from the points steered by the compass and
the rate as indicated by the log-line and half-glass.  A
reckoning on such a basis, where unknown currents prevail, where
a vessel is steered wildly, or where the rate of sailing may be
inaccurately recorded, is liable to many errors; therefore it was
customary with all prudent masters, in those days, especially if
they distrusted their own skill or judgment in keeping a
reckoning to KEEP WELL TO THE EASTWARD.  This was a general rule,
and looked upon as the key to West India navigation.  Sometimes a
vessel bound to the Windward Islands, after reaching the latitude
of her destined port, found it necessary to "run down," steering
due west, a week or ten days before making the land.

An incident occurred in those waters, a few weeks after we passed
over them, which will illustrate this mode of navigation, and the
consequences that sometimes attend it.  A large brig belonging to
an eastern port, and commanded by a worthy and cautious man, was
bound to St. Pierre in Martinico.  The latitude of that island
was reached in due time, but the island could not bee seen, the
captain having steered well to the eastward.  The brig was put
before the wind, and while daylight lasted every stitch of canvas
was spread, and every eye was strained to catch a glimpse of the
high land which was expected to loom up in the western horizon.
This proceeding continued for several days; the brig carrying a
press of sail by day, and lying to by night, until patience
seemed no longer a virtue.  The worthy captain began to fear he
had not steered far enough to the eastward, but had been carried
by unknown currents to leeward of his port, and that the first
land he should make might prove to be the Musquito coast on the
continent.  He felt anxious, and looked in vain for a vessel from
which he could obtain a hint in regard to his true position.
Neither land nor vessel could he meet with.

At the close of the fifth day after he had commenced "running
down," no land, at sunset, was in sight from the top-gallant
yard; and at eight o'clock the brig was again hove to.  The
captain declared with emphasis, that unless he should make the
island of Martinico on the following day, he would adopt some
different measures.  The nature of those measures, however, he
never was called upon to explain.  In the morning, just as the
gray light of dawn was visible in the east, while a dark cloud
seemed to hang over the western horizon, all sail was again
packed on the brig.  A fresh breeze which sprung up during the
night gave the captain assurance that his passage would soon be
terminated; and terminated it was, but in a manner he hardly
anticipated, and which he certainly had not desired.  The brig
had not been fifteen minutes under way when the dreadful sound of
breakers was heard   a sound which strikes dismay to a sailor's
heart.  The dark cloud in the west proved to be the mountains of
Martinico, and the brig was dashed upon the shore.  The vessel
and cargo were lost, and it was with difficulty the crew were

Captain Tilton, however, was a good navigator.  He had been a
European trader, understood and practised "lunar observations,"
and always knew with sufficient accuracy the position of the

Few things surprised me more on my first voyage to sea than the
sudden and mysterious manner in which the coverings of the head
were spirited away from the decks of the Dolphin.  Hats, caps,
and even the temporary apologies for such articles of costume,
were given unwittingly and most unwillingly to the waves.  A
sudden flaw of wind, the flap of a sail, an involuntary jerk of
the head, often elicited an exclamation of anger or a torrent of
invectives from some unfortunate being who had been cruelly
rendered bareheaded, attended with a burst of laughter from
unsympathizing shipmates.

The inimitable Dickens, in his best production, says, with all
the shrewdness and point of a practical philosopher, "There are
very few moments in a man's existence when he experiences so much
ludicrous distress, or meets with so little commiseration, as
when he is in pursuit of his own hat."  But, unfortunately, on
shipboard, if a man's hat is taken off by the wind, he cannot
chase it and recover it; nor is it swept from his sight into the
DEPTHS of the sea.  On looking astern, he will see it gracefully
and sportively riding on the billows, as if unconscious of any
impropriety, reckless of the inconvenience which such desertion
may cause its rightful proprietor, and an object of wonder, it
may be, to the scaly inhabitants of old Neptune's dominions.

Before we reached Demarara every hat and cap belonging to the
ship's company, with a single exception, had been involuntarily
given, as a propitiatory offering, to the god of Ocean.  This
exception was a beaver hat belonging to the captain; and this
would have followed its leaders, had it not been kept in a case
hermetically sealed.   After the captain's stock of sea-going
hats and caps had disappeared he wore around his head a kerchief,
twisted fancifully, like a turban.  Others followed his example,
while some fashioned for themselves skullcaps of fantastic shapes
from pieces of old canvas; so that when we reached Demarara we
looked more like a ship's company of Mediterranean pirates than
honest Christians.

I became accustomed to a sea life, and each succeeding day
brought with it some novelty to wonder at or admire.  The sea is
truly beautiful, and has many charms, notwithstanding a fresh-
water poet, affecting to be disgusted with its monotony, has ill
naturedly vented his spleen by describing the vanities of a sea
life in two short lines:

"Where sometimes you ship a sea,
And sometimes see a ship."

Yet in spite of its attractions, there are few persons, other
than a young enthusiast on his first voyage, who, after passing
several weeks on the ocean, are not ready to greet with gladness
the sight of land, although it may be a desolate shore or a
barren island.  Its very aspect fills the heart with joy, and
excites feelings of gratitude to Him, whose protecting hand has
led you safely through the dangers to which those who frequent
the waste of waters are exposed.

The gratification of every man on board the Dolphin may therefore
be conceived, when, after a passage of FIFTY-THREE DAYS, in a
very uncomfortable and leaky vessel, a man, sent one morning by
the captain to the fore-top-gallant yard, after taking a bird's
eye view from his elevated position, called out, in a triumphant
voice, LAND, HO!

The coast of Guiana was in sight.

Guiana is an extensive tract of country, extending along the sea
coast from the Orinoco to the Amazon.  When discovered in 1504,
it was inhabited by the Caribs.  Settlements, however, were soon
made on the shore by the Dutch, the French, and the Portuguese;
and the country was divided into several provinces.  It was
called by the discoverers "the wild coast," and is accessible
only by the mouths of its rivers   the shores being every where
lined with dangerous banks, or covered with impenetrable forests.
Its appearance from the sea is singularly wild and uncultivated,
and it is so low and flat that, as it is approached, the trees
along the beach are the first objects visible.  The soil,
however, is fertile, and adapted to every variety of tropical
production,   sugar, rum, molasses, coffee, and cacao being its
staple commodities.

To the distance of thirty or forty miles from the sea coast the
land continues level, and in the rainy season some districts are
covered with water.  Indeed, the whole country bordering on the
coast is intersected with swamps, marshes, rivers, artificial
canals, and extensive intervals.  This renders it unhealthy; and
many natives of a more genial clime have perished in the
provinces of Guiana by pestilential fevers.

These marshes and forests are nurseries of reptiles.  Alligators
of immense size are found in the rivers, creeks, and pools, and
serpents are met with on the swampy banks of the river, as large
as the main-topmast of a merchant ship, and much larger!  The
serpents being amphibious, often take to the water, and being
driven unconsciously down the rivers by the currents, have been
fallen in with on the coast several miles from the land.

An incident took place on this coast in 1841, on board the bark
Jane, of Boston, Captain Nickerson, which created quite a
sensation on the decks of that vessel.  The bark was ready for
sea, and had anchored in the afternoon outside the bar at the
mouth of the Surinam River, when the crew turned in and the watch
was set that night.  The bark was a well-conditioned, orderly
vessel, harboring no strangers, interlopers, or vagrants of any

The next morning, soon after daybreak, the mate put his hand into
an open locker, at a corner of the round-house, for a piece of
canvas, when it came in contact with a soft, clammy substance,
which, to his consternation and horror, began to move!  He drew
back, uttering an exclamation, in a voice so loud and startling
as to alarm the captain and all hands, who hastened on deck in
time to see an enormous serpent crawl sluggishly out of the
closet, and stretch himself along the deck, with as much coolness
and impudence as if he thought he really belonged to the brig,
and with the monkeys and parrots, constituted a portion of the
ship's company!

Not so thought Captain Nickerson and the brave men with him.  The
word was passed along   "There is a snake on board, as long as
the main-top bowline!  Kill him, kill him!"

The sailors seized handspikes, the cook flourished his
tormentors, the mate wielded an axe, and the captain grasped a
pistol!  Thus equipped and armed, they rushed to the encounter.

The reptile found himself among foes instead of friends.  Where
he looked for hospitality and kind treatment he found cruelty,
oppression, and even murder!  He saw it was useless to contend
against his fate when the odds were so decidedly against him, and
wisely made no resistance.  He was stabbed by the cook, cudgelled
by the crew, brained by the mate, and shot by the captain.  And,
adding insult to injury, he was stripped of his skin, which was
beautifully variegated and measured fourteen feet in length, and
brought to Boston, where it was examined and admired by many of
the citizens.

This snake was doubtless an aboma, a species of serpent of large
size and great beauty, which is not venomous.  In attempting to
cross the river, it had probably been drifted down with the
current, and carried out to sea.  It might have been swimming
about in the waters for some time without finding a resting-
place, and, having fallen in with a vessel at anchor, thought no
harm would accrue to itself or others if it should silently glide
on board through the rudder-hole, and take up its residence for
the night.  But Captain Nickerson entertained a different
opinion.  He looked upon "his snakesnip" as an "ugly customer,"
and gave him a reception as such.

In the course of the day on which land was discovered we reached
the mouth of Demarara River, and received a pilot on board, and a
queer-looking fellow, for a pilot I thought him.  He was a negro,
with a skin dark as ebony, which shone with an exquisite polish.
His costume was simplicity itself   consisting of an old straw
hat, and a piece of coarse "osnaburg" tied around the waist!  But
he was active and intelligent, notwithstanding his costume and
color, and carried the brig over the bar in safety.  Soon after
twilight the Dolphin was snugly anchored in smooth water in the
river opposite the capital of the province.

The next morning, at an early hour, I went on deck, anxious to
scrutinize the surrounding objects.  The river was about a mile
and a half wide, the tide flowed with great rapidity, and the
waters were turbid in the extreme.  The shores were lined with
trees and shrubs, presenting nothing of an attractive character.
A number of vessels, chiefly English and American, were moored in
the river, engaged in taking in or discharging cargoes; and
sundry small schooners, called "droghers," manned by blacks,
nearly naked, were sailing up or down the river, laden with

The town, half concealed in the low, swampy grounds, appeared
insignificant and mean, and the wharves and landing places at the
river's side were neither picturesque nor beautiful.  The
architecture of the houses, however, with porticoes, verandas,
and terraces, excited my admiration.  I also saw, in the
distance, palm and cocoanut trees, and banana and plantain
shrubs, with leaves six or eight feet long.  These Various
objects, with the sultry stagnation of the atmosphere, and the
light and airy costume of those of the inhabitants I had seen
convinced me that I was not laboring under a dream, but was
actually in a foreign port, two thousand miles from home, and in
a tropical climate.

The following day being Sunday, I accompanied Mr. Thompson on a
visit to the market, in order to obtain a supply of fresh
provisions and vegetables.  I was surprised to find the public
market open on the Sabbath.  The very idea of such a custom
conflicted with my pre-conceived notions of propriety and
religion.  But Sunday was a great holiday in Demarara   indeed
the only day which the slaves on the plantations could call their
own.  On Sunday they were allowed to visit each other, frolic as
they pleased, cultivate their little gardens, make their
purchases at the shops which were open on that day, and carry
their produce to market.

Hence the spacious market square, in the midst of the town, was
covered with articles of traffic.  The venders were chiefly negro
women, who exposed for sale immense quantities of yams, tomatoes,
cassava bread, sugar-cane, plantains, water-cresses, oranges,
bananas, avocado pears, etc., with fancy articles of almost every

The scene was a novel and interesting one.  The market women were
habited in garments of a marvelously scanty pattern, better
adapted to the sultry character of the climate than to the
notions of delicacy which prevail among civilized people in a
more northern clime.  The head-dress consisted, in almost every
instance, of a calico kerchief, of gaudy colors, fantastically
wreathed around the head.  They were respectful in their
deportment, exhibited their wares to the best advantage, and with
cheerful countenances and occasional jokes, accompanied with
peals of merry laughter, seemed happier than millionaires or
kings!  Their dialect was a strange jumble of Dutch, English, and
African.  All were fond of talking, and, like aspiring
politicians in happy New England, neglected no chance to display
their extraordinary power of language.  And such a jabbering,
such a confusion of tongues, as I listened to that Sunday morning
in the market-place of Demarara, overwhelmed me with wonder, and
days elapsed before I could get the buzz out of my head!

In answer to inquiries relative to the health of the place, it
was gratifying to learn that the province had not been so free
from yellow fever at that season for several years.  While the
Dolphin remained in port but few fatal cases occurred in the
harbor, and the origin of those could be traced to intemperance
or other imprudent conduct.  There was no serious sickness on
board the brig while we remained, and only one "regular drunken
scrape."  This occurred a few days after we arrived in port.  Two
of the crew, on some plausible pretext, one afternoon obtained
leave of Mr. Thompson to go on shore.  He cautioned them to keep
sober, and be early on board, and they solemnly promised to
comply with his instructions.

But these "noble old tars" had no sooner set their feet upon the
land than they rushed to a grog shop.  It is well know that grog
shops are found in abundance in all parts of the world where
civilization extends its genial influence.  Temptations of the
most alluring character are every where offered to weak-minded
and unprincipled men to abandon the prerogative of reason and
become brutes.  In exchange for their money, these sailors
procured the means of becoming drunk!  They quarreled with the
shopkeeper, insulted his customers, were severely threshed for
their brutality and insolence, and were finally picked up in the
street, and brought on board by two of the crew of an American
vessel which was moored near the Dolphin.

They looked wretchedly enough.  Their clothes, which were neat
and trim when they went ashore, were mostly torn from their
backs, their faces were bruised and bloody, and their eyes
surrounded by livid circles.  Their shipmates, seeing their
degraded condition, assisted them on board, and persuaded them to
go into the forecastle, which was now appropriated to the
accommodation of the ship's company.  But instead of retiring to
their berths, and sleeping off the effects of their liquor, these
men determined to have a ROW.

The craziest of them made his way on deck, and began to sing, and
dance, and halloo like a madman.  One of his shipmates, named
Wilkins, remonstrated against such unruly conduct, and received
in return a blow on the side of the head, which sent him with
great force against the gunwale.  The peacemaker, indignant at
such unexpected and undeserved treatment, returned the blow with
interest.  The other inebriate, hearing the disturbance, came to
the assistance of his drunken companion.  A general fight ensued;
some heavy blows were interchanged, and for a few minutes there
was a scene of confusion, profanity, and hard fighting on the
decks of the Dolphin, which showed me a new, and not very
attractive phase in the sailor's character.

Mr. Thompson, armed with authority and a heaver, soon made his
appearance among them, and with the assistance of the sober ones,
after a severe struggle, succeeded in mastering and pinioning the
two men, who, though in full possession of their physical
faculties, were actually crazed with alcoholic drinks.  When thus
rendered harmless, their yells were terrific, until it was found
necessary for the peace of the harbor to GAG THEM; which was done
by gently placing an iron pump-bolt between the jaws of each of
the maniacs, and fastening it by a rope-yarn behind the ear.
Thus, unable to give utterance to their feelings, and exhausted
by fruitless struggles, they fell asleep.

In the morning cool reflection came.  They looked as ruefully as
Don Quixote after his battle with the shepherds, and bore as many
marks of the prowess of their opponents.  But, unlike "the Knight
of the Rueful Countenance," they seemed heartily ashamed of their
exploits, and promised better behavior in future.

Nevertheless, a few days after this affair, Jim Bilton, one of
the men who had figured so conspicuously in the row, and owed
Wilkins a grudge for the black eye he had received in the melee,
challenged his shipmate to a "fair stand-up fight!"

The challenge was accepted; but as the main deck of the brig was
still "lumbered up," and the forecastle furnished a field
altogether too confined for such recreations, it was agreed that
this "stand-up fight" should take place while each of the
combatants were sitting astride a chest!  Accordingly a large
chest was roused up from below, and placed athwart-ships on the
forecastle, between the bowsprit bitts and the cathead.  The
parties took their seats on the ends of the chest, facing each
other, and the business was to be settled by hard knocks.

The men faced each other boldly, some weighty compliments were
interchanged, when Bilton, to avoid a favor from his antagonist
which in all probability would have finished him, slipped off the
end of the chest, to the disgust of his shipmates and his own
everlasting disgrace.

One of the crew, however, who was ingenious at expedients, and
determined to see fair play, by means of a hammer and a tenpenny
nail fastened both parties firmly to the chest by the seats of
their canvas trousers.  There being no longer a possibility of
BACKING OUT, the battle was resumed, but did not last long; for
Bilton soon received a blow on his left temple, which, in spite
of the tenpenny nail, knocked him off the chest, and decided the

Chapter V

A circumstance occurred not long before our arrival at Demarara,
which, being somewhat remarkable in its character, furnished a
fruitful theme for conversation and comment.  This was the
arrival of a vessel from Cadiz, with only one person on board.

It seems that a Captain Shackford, of Portsmouth, N.H., was the
master and owner of a sloop of some sixty or eighty tons.  He
proceeded to Cadiz, and there took in a cargo for Guiana.  When
on the eve of sailing, his crew, dissatisfied with some of his
proceedings, left the vessel.

Captain Shackford, a resolute but eccentric man, resolved not to
be disappointed in his calculations, or delayed in his voyage by
the desertion of his crew, and boldly put to sea on the day
appointed for sailing, trusting in his own unaided efforts and
energies to manage the vessel on a passage across the ocean of
thirty-five hundred miles.  He was seventy-four days on his
passage; but brought his vessel into port in tolerable order,
having experienced no difficulty on his way, and losing only one
day of his reckoning.

The arrival of a vessel in Demarara, under such singular
circumstances, caused quite a sensation among the authorities,
and gave rise to suspicions by no means favorable to the
character of the captain as an honest man, and which his long,
tangled locks and hirsute countenance   for he had not combed his
hair or shaved his face during the passage   tended to confirm.
It was thought by some that a mutiny might have broken out among
the crew of the sloop, which resulted in scenes of violence and
bloodshed, and that this wild-looking man was the only survivor
of a desperate struggle between the officers and crew.  Indeed,
he looked not unlike a mutineer and murderer.

Captain Shackford was indignant at these suspicions, and would
hardly deign to give explanations.  It was fortunate for him that
some vessels belonging to Portsmouth were in the harbor, the
captains of which recognized him as an old acquaintance, and
vouched for his character as an honest, well-meaning man,
although at times indulging in strange freaks, more akin to
madness than method.  He was released from arrest, and
subsequently disposed of his merchandise at remunerating prices,
and with a cargo of assorted articles, and a crew, sailed for a
port in the United States.

After the cargo of the Dolphin was discharged, preparations were
made for receiving a return cargo, to consist principally of
molasses.  The process of taking in and stowing a cargo of this
description is a peculiar one; and as I shall recur to this
subject hereafter, I avail myself of this opportunity to
describe, briefly, the mode of operation.

The empty casks are carefully stowed in the hold, with small
pieces of board between the quarter-hoops of each cask, so that
the bilge of a cask shall touch no other substance whatever.  The
bungholes must also be uppermost; thus, in the brief but
expressive language of commerce, "every cask must be bung up and
bilge free."  A "molasses hose" is then procured, consisting of a
half barrel with a hole in the bottom, to which is attached a
leathern hose an inch and a half in diameter, and long enough to
reach to the most distant part of the hold.   A hogshead filled
with molasses is then hoisted over the hatchway, hung down, and
the hose-tub is placed directly beneath; the bung is taken out,
and the molasses passes through the hose to any cask in the hold
that may be wished. When the cask is filled the hose is shifted
to another, and in this way the casks are all filled and the
cargo stowed.  The process is tedious; and although a sweet, by
no means a pleasant one, to those engaged in it.

It may be imagined that the crew, after working all day among
molasses in that hot climate, should wish to bathe in the
evening; and the river alongside, although the element was
neither pure nor transparent, offered, at high or low water, a
tempting opportunity.  To the very natural and proper inquiry
whether the harbor of Demarara was infested with sharks   a man-
eating shark not being the most desirable "companion of the bath"
  we were told that a shark had never been seen in the harbor;
that the river water, being turbid and fresher than the ocean
water, was offensive to that much dreaded animal, which delights
in the clear waters of the salt sea.  We were further told that
up the river, in the creeks and pools which abound in that
region, alligators were met with in large numbers; some of them
of large size, and had been known to attack a man in the water;
but they never ventured down the river among the shipping.

The reports being thus favorable, the crew of the Dolphin, being
good swimmers, were indeed, whenever it was "slack water" of an
evening, to take a swim in the river; and the crews of other
American vessels followed the example.  One evening, at twilight,
there were swimming about and sporting in the water, deriving the
highest enjoyment from this healthy and refreshing exercise, some
fifteen or twenty American sailors.  On the following day an
incident occurred, which operated as an impressive warning
against bathing in the waters of the Demarara.

On the afternoon of that day, a sailor at work on the mizzen-
topsail yard of an English ship moored within the distance of a
cable's length from the Dolphin, accidentally fell from the yard.
As he fell he caught hold of the main brace, and was suspended
for a minute over the water.  There was quite a commotion on the
deck of the ship, which attracted the attention of the crews of
neighboring vessels.  On hearing the distressing cry of the man,
and witnessing the tumult on board the ship, the crew of the
Dolphin ran to the side of the brig and gazed with interest on
the scene.

The poor fellow was unable to retain his hold of the rope until
he could receive assistance.  He fell into the water alongside,
but rose to the surface almost immediately, and being,
apparently, a good swimmer, struck out vigorously towards the
ship.  Some of his shipmates jumped into the boat to pick him up,
as, notwithstanding his exertions, he was swept away by the tide;
but none of the lookers-on apprehended any danger.

While we were intently watching the result, the unfortunate man
gave a shrill and piercing shriek; and we then saw by the
commotion in the water, and the appearance of a large fin above
the surface, that a shark had seized the unlucky sailor, which
caused him to give utterance to that dreadful cry.  He
immediately sank with his prey, and the muddy state of the water
prevented the ruthless monster or his victim from being seen.

We were still gazing on the spot where this fearful tragedy was
enacted, transfixed and mute with horror, when the shark again
rose to the surface, bearing in his jaws the lifeless body of the
English sailor; and for a brief period we beheld the voracious
fish devouring his human food.

The cargo of the Dolphin being completed, there ensued the usual
bustle and confusion in making preparations for sea.  Owing to
the lateness of the season, Captain Tilton was unwilling to
encounter the storms of the New England coast in a vessel hardly
seaworthy, and expressed an intention to proceed to Charleston,
in South Carolina.

About a week before we left Demarara a small English brig-of-war
arrived in the harbor, causing much consternation among the
sailors, and not without reason.  The brig was deficient in her
complement of men, and this deficiency was supplied by
impressment from crews of British vessels in port.  The commander
was a young man, who in common with most of the British naval
officers of that day, had an exalted opinion of his dignity and
importance, and held the Yankees in contempt.

The pennant at the main is a distinguishing mark of a man-of-war,
and it was considered disrespectful on the part of the master of
a merchant vessel to wear a pennant in the presence of a cruiser.
But on the Sunday following the arrival of the gun brig the
captain of a fine-looking American brig, who did not entertain
that respect for John Bull which the representatives of that
dignitary were disposed to exact, hoisted his colors, as usual,
on the Sabbath.  He did not confine his display of bunting to the
ensign at the peak, a burgee studded with stars at the fore, and
a jack on the bowsprit, but ran up a pennant of most preposterous
length at the main, which proudly flaunted in the breeze, as if
bidding defiance to the Englishman.

The young naval commander foolishly allowed himself to be annoyed
by this proceeding on the part of the Yankee, and resolved to
administer an appropriate rebuke.  He sent an officer alongside
the American brig, who, in a peremptory tone, told the mate to
cause that Yankee pennant to be hauled down immediately.

The captain, hearing of the mandate, made his appearance on deck;
and on a repetition of the order from the officer, exhibited
unequivocal symptoms of a choleric temper.  After letting off a
little of his exuberant wrath, he declared with emphasis that he
had a RIGHT to wear a pennant, and WOULD wear it in spite of all
the officers in the British navy.

The midshipman, finding it of no avail to continue the parley,
told his cockswain to go aloft and "dowse the pennant and leave
it in the cross-trees."   This was done, regardless of the
protest of the captain, and his threats to lay the subject before
the government and make it a national matter.  The boat had
hardly reached the man-of-war, when the pennant was again flying
on board the American brig, and seemed to wave more proudly than

The man-of-war's boat was sent back, and some sharp words were
exchanged between the British officer and the Yankee captain; but
the former, possessing superior physical force, was triumphant.
The pennant was again hauled down, but this time it was not left
in the cross-trees.  The cockswain took it with him and it was
carried on board the English brig, in spite of the denunciation
hurled against men-of-war's men, in which the epithets "thieves,"
"robbers," and "pirates," were distinctly heard.

A few nights after the above-mentioned occurrence we received an
unexpected addition to the number of our crew.  It was about an
hour after midnight, when the man who had the watch on deck was
comfortably seated on a coil of rope beneath the main deck
awning, and probably dozing, while sheltered from a heavy and
protracted shower of rain.  The night was dark and gloomy; the
ebb tide made a moaning, monotonous noise under the bows, and
rushed swiftly by the sides of the vessel, leaving a broad wake
astern.  The sailor was roused from his comfortable position by a
sound resembling the cry of a person in distress.  He started to
his feet, and stepped out from beneath the awning.  He listened,
and again distinctly heard the cry, which seemed to come from the
water under the bows.  Supposing it might proceed from some
person who had fallen overboard and wanted help, he went forward
to the knight-heads, and called out, "Who's there?"

A voice from below the bowsprit faintly replied, "Shipmate, for
God's sake bear a hand, and give me help.  I can hold on but a
few minutes longer."

He was now aware that a man, in an exhausted condition, was
clinging to the cable, and required immediate assistance.  He
called up his shipmates, and with little difficulty they
succeeded in hauling him safely on board.  He proved to be a
fine-looking English sailor; and as soon as he recovered strength
enough to converse, explained the cause of his perilous

He belonged to the brig-of-war, which was lying at anchor about
half a mile above.  He had been impressed two years before; and
being treated with cruelty and harshness, had been eagerly
watching an opportunity to escape from his inhuman bondage.  At
length he formed a plan with one of his messmates, to slip
overboard quietly the first dark night, and relying on skill in
swimming, attempt to reach some vessel at anchor in the harbor.

The plan was carried into effect.  They succeeded in eluding the
vigilance of the sentries, dropped gently into the water, and
were soon floating astern.  But their situation was one of
extreme peril.  The current was stronger than they anticipated,
and the darkness of the night prevented them from distinguishing
any vessel in time to get on board.  As soon as they were swept
out of hearing of the man-of-war, they shouted loudly for help;
but the murmuring of the tide, the pattering of the rain, and the
howling of the wind prevented their voices from being heard, as,
notwithstanding their exertions to stem the tide, they floated
rapidly down the river towards the bar.

What risks will a man encounter to secure his liberty!  It was
not long before these friends separated, never to meet again.
One of them sank beneath the waters.  The other had given up all
expectation of being rescued, when he beheld an object, darker
than the murky atmosphere by which it was surrounded, rising, as
it appeared to him, out of the water.  His heart beat quicker
within his bosom.  In a moment more he had seized the cable of
the Dolphin, and shouted for help. This man was grateful for the
succor he had received, and expressed a wish to work his passage
to the United States.  To this suggestion Captain Tilton offered
no objection, and he subsequently proved to be one of the best
men on board.

That very morning the black pilot made his appearance, grinning
as he thrust his dark muzzle over the gunwale.  He was greeted
with answering smiles, for we were "homeward bound," and all
hands cheerfully commenced heaving up the anchor and making sail.
With a favorable breeze and an ebb tide we soon passed the bar,
and entered upon the broad ocean.  The fresh trade wind was
welcome after sweltering for weeks in the sultry and unwholesome
atmosphere of Demarara; and the clear and pellucid waters of the
ocean bore a cheerful aspect, contrasted with the thick and
opaque waters of the river in which we had remained several weeks
at anchor.

Nothing remarkable occurred during the homeward passage, until we
reached the Gulf Stream,   that extraordinary current, sixty or
seventy miles in width, and many degrees warmer than the ocean
water on either side, and which reaches from the Gulf of Florida
to the Shoals of Nantucket.  There can be no doubt that this
current of the Gulf Stream is owing to the trade winds in the
tropical seas, which, blowing at all times from the eastward,
drive a large body of water towards the American continent.
Vessels bound to India invariably meet with a strong westerly
current within the tropics, and particularly in the vicinity of
the equator.  This volume of water is thus forced along the
shores of Brazil and Guiana, until it enters the Caribbean Sea,
from which it has no outlet excepting through the strait bounded
by Cape Catouche in Yucatan, on one side, and Cape St. Antonio,
in Cuba, on the other.

Through this strait, after a strong trade wind has been blowing
for a time, the current sets into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate
of two or three knots an hour.  Here the waters of the tropical
seas are mingled with the waters of the Mississippi, the Balize,
the Rio Grande, the Colorado, the Alabama, and other large
streams which empty into the Gulf of Mexico; and turning off to
the eastward, this body of water is driven along between the
coasts of Cuba and Florida until it strikes the Salt Key Bank and
the Bahamas, when it receives another considerable addition from
the currents, which, from the same causes, are continually
setting west through the Old Bahama and New Providence Channels.
It is then forced northward along the coast of Florida and the
Middle States.  The stream becomes wider as it extends north,
diminishes its velocity, and gradually changes its temperature,
until it strikes the shoals south of Nantucket and the Bank of
St. George, when it branches off to the eastward, washes the
southern edge of the Bank of Newfoundland, and a portion of it is
lost in the ocean between the Western and Canary Islands; and
another portion, sweeping to the southward past the Cape de
Verdes, is again impelled to the westward across the Atlantic,
and performs its regular round.

The current always moving in the same circuitous track, forms,
according to Mr. Maury, to whose scientific labors the commercial
world is deeply indebted, an IMMENSE WHIRLPOOL, whose circuit
embraces the whole North Atlantic Ocean.  In the centre of the
whirl is a quiet spot, equal in extent of area to the whole
Mississippi valley, unaffected by currents of any kind.  And
here, as a matter of course, the greater part of the gulf-weed
and other floating materials, which are carried round by the
current, is eventually deposited.  This is the "Sargasso Sea" of
the ancients.  Columbus crossed this "weedy sea" on his quest
after a western passage to India.  And the singular appearance of
the ocean, thickly matted over with gulf-weed, caused great alarm
among his companions, who thought they had reached the limits of

A current of a character similar to the Gulf Stream   only not so
strong   is experienced along the east coast of Africa, from
Mozambique to the Lagullas Bank, off the Cape of Good Hope.  This
current is undoubtedly caused by the trade wind forcing the water
towards the coast of Africa.  But in this case it is not driven
into a narrow passage, like the Gulf of Florida, which would
greatly increase its velocity.  The temperature of the water in
the current off the Cape of Good Hope is also several degrees
higher than the ocean waters in the neighborhood of the current.

On the afternoon on which we entered the Gulf Stream the wind
hauled suddenly to the eastward, and the heavens were obscured by
clouds.  The breeze also increased, and the sea became rough,
causing the brig to assume various unseemly attitudes, and
perform gymnastic exercises wonderful to behold.  As the wind
increased and the sea became more turbulent, the Dolphin tumbled
about like an elephant dancing a hornpipe, insomuch that it was
difficult for a person to keep his perpendicular.  Indeed, as I
was passing along from the camboose to the cabin, with a plate of
toast in one hand and a teapot in the other, the brig took a lee
lurch without giving notice of her intention, and sent me with
tremendous force across the deck, to leeward, where I brought up
against the sail.  But the tea and toast were ejected from my
hands into the sea, and I never saw them more.

At twilight, Captain Tilton came on deck, and looking around the
horizon, said, addressing the mate, "Mr. Thompson, the weather
looks GREASY to windward; I fear a gale is brewing.  You may find
the top-gallant sail and jib, and take a reef in the mainsail."

This work was soon accomplished.  The captain's prediction was
verified; for the wind continued to increase, accompanied with
fine drizzling rain, until about nine o'clock, when orders were
given to take another reef in the mainsail, and double reef the
fore-topsail.  It was not long before the wind swept across the
waves with almost resistless force, when it was found necessary
to strip the brig of all canvas, excepting a storm main-staysail
and close-reefed fore-topsail; the yards were braced up, the helm
lashed a-lee, and the brig was laid to.

The gale continued unabated all night.  Our vessel rolled heavily
to leeward, and strained considerably, her bulkheads groaning and
her seams opening, making it necessary to keep one of the pumps
in constant operation.  As soon as it was daylight I went on
deck, anxious to witness a spectacle I had often heard described
  A GALE OF WIND AT SEA   and it was a sight to call forth my
wonder and admiration.  The wind, blowing furiously, whistled
wildly among the rigging; the waves of alarming size and
threatening appearance, came rushing in swift succession towards
us, as if eager to overwhelm our puny bark, which nevertheless
floated unharmed, now riding on the crest of a wave, and anon
plunging into a deep and angry-looking gulf, taking no water on
deck, excepting from an occasional spray.

I asked one of the sailors who had just taken a spell at the
pump, if this were not a hurricane.

"Hurricane!" said he, with a good-natured grin.  "Nonsense!  This
is only a stiff breeze.  'Tis as different from a hurricane as a
heaver is from a handspike.  When you see a hurricane, my lad,
you will know it, even if the name is not lettered on the starn."

"Then I suppose there is no actual danger in a gale like this,
although it does not look very inviting."

"Danger!   I don't know about that.  In a good seaworthy vessel a
man is as SAFE in a gale of wind as if he was cooped up in a
grog-selling boarding house on shore; and a thousand times better
off in other respects.  But this miserable old craft is strained
in every timber, and takes in more water through the seams in her
bottom than 'the combers' toss on her decks.  If her bottom does
not drop out some of these odd times, and leave us in the lurch,
we may think ourselves lucky."

After uttering these consolatory remarks, accompanied with a
significant shrug, he resumed his labors at the pump.

The wind blew with violence through the day, and the leak kept
increasing.  There is probably no exercise more fatiguing than
"pumping ship," as practised with the clumsy, awkward
contrivances called PUMPS, which were generally in use among the
merchant vessels of those days.  It being necessary to keep the
pumps in constant operation, or in nautical parlance, "pump or
sink," the crew, although a hardy, vigorous set of men, became
exhausted and disheartened, and, to my astonishment and disgust,
instead of manifesting by their solemn looks and devout demeanor
a sense of the danger with which they were threatened,
alternately pumped, grumbled, and swore, and swore, grumbled, and

Change is incident to every thing; and even a gale of wind cannot
last forever.  Before night the tempest was hushed, the waves
diminished, and in a few hours the brig was under full sail,
jogging along to the westward at the rate of six or seven knots.
The next day we got soundings on the coast of Carolina, and, with
a fair wind, rapidly approached the land.

Off the mouth of the bay which forms the harbor of Charleston
extends a long line of shoals, on which the breakers are
continually dashing.  These shoals are intersected by narrow
channels, through which vessels of moderate draught may pass at
high water with a smooth sea.  The principal channel, or main
passage, for ships over the bar is narrow, and never attempted
without a pilot.  About three miles from the bar is the
lighthouse, which stands on a low, sandy shore.  Indeed, the
whole coast is low and sandy, abounding in mosquitoes, sandflies,
and oysters.  Inside the bar there is good anchorage, but the
tide at certain periods ebbs and flows with great velocity.

We crossed the bar, and, without anchoring, proceeded to the
city.  We passed Sullivan's Island on the right   a long, low,
sandy island, which is the summer residence of many of the
inhabitants of Charleston.  On this island Fort Moultrie is
situated, which commands the passage to the city, about four
miles distant.  This fort proved an awkward obstacle to the
capture of Charleston, when that feat was rashly attempted by Sir
Peter Parker, during the revolutionary war.

On all the surrounding objects I gazed with a deep and intense
interest, which was not relaxed until the Dolphin dropped anchor
off the wharves of this celebrated city.

Chapter VI

Soon after the Dolphin arrived in Charleston the crew were
discharged, with the exception of one of the seamen and myself.
We retained our quarters in the brig.  Mr. Thompson, the mate,
took passage in a vessel for Boston, and not long afterwards
sailed from Portsmouth in command of a ship.  Captain Tilton took
up his residence at a fashionable boarding house, and I seldom
had any communication with him.  I supposed, as a matter of
course, that he would soon enter on another voyage, and I should
go with him.  In the meantime, having provided me with a
temporary home, he left me to associate with whom I pleased, and
struggle single-handed against the many temptations to which a
young sailor in a strange maritime city is always exposed.

About a week after our arrival in Charleston, as I was passing
through one of the principal streets, clad in strict sailor
costume, I met a good-looking gentleman, who, to my surprise,
accosted me with great politeness, his pleasant features lighted
up with a benevolent smile, and inquired if I had not recently
returned from a voyage to sea.  Upon being assured that such was
the case, he remarked that he liked my appearance, and doubted
not I was a smart, capable lad, who would be a valuable
acquisition to the crew of a good ship.  I was flattered and
pleased with the conduct of this genteel looking stranger,
convinced that he was a person of good judgment and nice
discrimination.  He further informed me, with a patronizing air,
that he was the captain of a fine fast-sailing vessel, bound on a
pleasant voyage, and should be delighted to number among his crew
some active and intelligent young men, like myself.  He even went
so far as to say he was so well satisfied with my appearance,
that if I would accompany him to a counting-room on an adjoining
wharf, he would ship me without asking further questions, and
advance a month's wages on the spot.  But the amount he offered
as monthly wages was so much greater than I, being but little
better than a very green hand, had a right to expect, that a
person acquainted with human nature would have suspected this
pleasant-spoken gentleman to have some other reason for his
conduct than admiration of my appearance and interest in my
welfare.  I was eager to place myself at once under the
protection of my new friend; yet I could not forget that I was
still under the care of my kinsman, Captain Tilton, and that it
would be neither decorous nor proper to make this new engagement
without consulting him.  But I did not for a moment doubt he
would give his consent to the proposed arrangement, and be
rejoiced to get me fairly off his hands.

I communicated my objections to the stranger, but assured him
that I would meet him in the afternoon at the place he
designated, and in all probability sign "the articles."  He
seemed, nevertheless, disappointed at the result of the
interview, and bidding me not fail to come, turned away, and
walked slowly towards the wharf.

As I left this kind-hearted stranger, brim full of newborn
confidence and hope, and exulting in the fact that I had fallen
in with a man of influence and position, who could appreciate my
merit, I met a couple of sailors of my acquaintance, who had been
standing at a corner of the street witnessing our interview, with
which they seemed greatly amused.  One of the sailors, with a
deficiency of respect for my would-be patron which I could not
approve, said, "Hawser, what were you talking with that fellow

I explained, with great glee and at full length, the nature of
our conversation to which they greedily listened, winking
mysteriously at each other.  When I had concluded, they indulged
in a hearty laugh.

It was some time before they could sufficiently restrain their
merriment to enlighten me on the cause of their mirth.  I was
then told, to my mortification, that my kind friend, the
GENTLEMAN on whose benevolence and protection I had already built
hopes of success in life, was neither more nor less than the
captain of an armed clipper brig,   a SLAVER,   anchored in the
outer roads, which had been for a fortnight ready for sea, but
was detained in consequence of the desertion of three several
crews, who had been induced by false representations to ship, and
had deserted EN MASSE as soon as they learned the true character
of the vessel and the voyage.  He was now using all possible
means to entrap a crew of men or boys for this abominable
traffic, and was by no means particular in his choice.

This was a severe blow to my vanity.  I felt not a little
indignant at being so easily cajoled, played upon, and almost
kidnapped by this unprincipled scoundrel.  It was a valuable
lesson, however; for experience is a good, although expensive

A few days passed away, when, one morning about three o'clock, as
some members of the city patrol were passing through Church
Street, they discovered a man, apparently n a dying state, lying
in the street.  He was conveyed to the guard house, or patrol
station, where he died in the course of half an hour, without
being able to articulate a syllable.  Several wounds in different
parts of his body, made by a small penknife, which was
subsequently found, were undoubtedly the cause of his death.  The
unfortunate man thus murdered was the captain of the slaver, who
had sought to entrap me by his honeyed words.  A pool of blood
was on the spot on which he was first discovered, and his steps
could be traced by the blood on the pavements for several rods.
The marks of blood were found only in the middle of the street;
and none of the persons residing in that part of the city heard
any disturbance, brawl, or cries for assistance in the course of
the night.

The mysterious tragedy caused a great excitement.  The police
were unceasing in their efforts to discover the circumstances
connected with this assassination, but in vain.  The veil which
concealed it was not lifted, and no clew was ever given by which
even conjecture could develop the mystery.

It was supposed by some that the unfortunate man fell a victim to
the rage of a jealous husband whose honor he had outraged, or of
a lover whose affections he had supplanted.  Others thought the
fatal injuries he received were the result of a drunken quarrel,
commenced in a gaming house; while many believed that private
revenge inflicted the stabs, which, from their number and
direction, appeared to have been given under the influence of
ungovernable fury.  Some thought the wounds were inflicted by a
vigorous man, others, that a woman had imbrued her hands in his

The first, and perhaps most natural supposition, was that some
negro, knowing the character of the voyage which the murdered man
had contemplated, had taken this desperate mode of arresting his
proceedings.  This theory, however, was soon generally abandoned
for another.  It was suggested that one of the sailors who had
shipped in the slaver and subsequently deserted, knowing the
captain was seeking them in every direction, had met him in the
street, and fearful of being arrested, or seeking to revenge a
personal wrong, had committed the terrible crime.  This
hypothesis was, doubtless, as false as either of the others, and
more absurd.  It was, nevertheless, adopted by the city
authorities, and promptly acted upon, with a disregard to the
rights of individuals which seems strangely at variance with
republican institutions.  The police force was strengthened, and
on the evening succeeding the discovery of the murder received
orders to arrest and place in confinement every individual seen
in the streets wearing the garb of a sailor.  This arbitrary
edict was strictly enforced; and Jack, on leaving his home in the
forecastle or a boarding house to visit the haunts of
dissipation, or perhaps to attend to some pressing and important
duty, was pounced upon by the members of the city guard, and,
much to his astonishment and anger, and maugre his struggles,
expostulations, and threats, was carried off without any assigned
reason, and securely placed under lock and key.

     Some two or three hundred of these unoffending tars were
caught, captured, cribbed, and confined.  No respect was paid to
age, color or nation.  They were huddled together in rooms of
very moderate dimensions, which precluded, for one night at
least, any idea of rest or comfort; and such a confusion of
tongues, such anathemas against the city officials, such threats
of vengeance, such rare specimens of swearing, singing, and
shouting, varied occasionally by rough greetings and jeers
whenever a new squad of blue jackets was thrust in among them,
would have commanded the admiration of the evil dwellers in
Milton's Pandemonium.

This arbitrary measure failed of success.  The kidnapped sailors,
on the following day, were separately examined in the presence of
the mate of the brig, but no reasons were found for detaining a
single individual.

A few days after this occurrence, Captain Tilton told me he had
sold the brig Dolphin to a Captain Turner, of New York, a worthy
man and his particular friend; that Captain Turner intended
proceeding immediately to some neutral port in the West Indies.
The non-intercourse act, at that time, prohibited all trade to
places belonging to either of the great belligerent powers.  He
also said he had made no arrangements in regard to himself; that
he was undecided what course to pursue, and might remain on shore
for months.  Anxious, however, to promote my interest by
procuring me active employment, he had stipulated with Captain
Turner that I should have "a chance" in the Dolphin, on her next
voyage, before the mast.  I had not a word to say against this
arrangement, but gave my cheerful consent, especially as it was
represented that Captain Turner would "treat me with kindness,
and help me along in the world."

I was thus unceremoniously dismissed by Captain Tilton from his
charge.  Under the plea of promoting my interest, he had procured
me a situation before the mast in an old, leaky vessel, which he
had got rid of because she was not seaworthy, and commanded by a
man of whose character he was entirely ignorant.  I expressed
gratitude to my kinsman for his goodness, notwithstanding I had
secret misgivings in regard to his disinterestedness, and signed
with alacrity "the articles" with Captain Turner.  A new and
interesting scene in the drama of life was about to open, and I
looked forward with impatience to the rising of the curtain.

The brig was laden with a cargo of lumber, rice, and provisions,
and her destination was Cayenne, on the coast of Guiana.  In
January, 1810, we left the wharf in Charleston, and proceeded
down the harbor.  The wind was light, but the tide ebbed with
unusual velocity, sweeping us rapidly on our way.  We had nearly
reached the bar when it suddenly became calm.  The brig lost
steerage way, and the current was setting towards the shoals.
The pilot, aware of the danger, called out, "Let go the anchor!"

The order was promptly obeyed, and the small bower anchor was let
go.  The tide was so strong that when a sufficient quantity of
cable was run out, the attempt to "check her," and to "bring up,"
resulted in capsizing the windlass, and causing, for a few
minutes, a sense of indescribable confusion.  The windlass, by
its violent and spasmodic motion, knocked over two of the sailors
who foolishly endeavored to regain control of its actions, and
the cable, having commenced running out of the hawse-hold, would
not be "snubbed," but obstinately persisted in continuing its
course in spite of the desperate exertions of the captain, mate,
pilot, and a portion of the crew, who clung to it as if it was
their last hope.  But their efforts were vain.  Its impetuosity
could not in this way be checked; and as the end of the cable by
some strange neglect, had not been clinched around the mast, the
last coil followed the example of "its illustrious predecessors,"
and disappeared through the hawse-hole, after having, by an
unexpected whisk, upset the mate, and given the captain a rap
across the shins, which lamed him for a week.

The "best bower" anchor was now let go, and the end hastily
secured around the foremast, which fortunately "brought up" the
brig "all standing," within half a cable's length of the shoal.
No buoy having been attached to the small bower anchor, the
anchor and cable were lost forever.

This accident, of course, prevented us from proceeding
immediately to sea; and the wind having changed, the anchor was
weighed at the flood tide, and the brig removed to a safer
anchorage.   Night came on, and as the brig was riding in a
roadstead, at single anchor, in a tempestuous season, it was
necessary to set an anchor watch.  It fell to my lot to have the
first watch; that is, to keep a look out after the wind, weather,
and condition of the vessel, and report any occurrence of
importance between the hours of eight and ten in the evening.
The crew, fatigued with the labors of the day, took possession of
their berths at an early hour, the mate and the captain also
disappeared from the deck, after having instructed me in my
duties, and cautioned me against falling asleep in my watch.

I was thus intrusted with a responsible charge, and realized the
importance of the trust.  I walked fore-and-aft the deck, with a
step and a swagger that would have become a Port Admiral in the
British navy.  I felt that I had gained one important step; and,
bound on a pleasant voyage, with kind and indulgent officers, had
every thing pleasant to expect in the future.  As Captain Turner
would undoubtedly treat me with indulgence and overlook any
shortcomings on my part, for the sake of his intimate friend,
Captain Tilton, I determined, by my attention to duty, and my
general conduct, to deserve the favors which I was sure I should

Communing thus with myself, and lost in the rosy vagaries of a
vivid imagination, I unhappily for the moment forgot the objects
for which I was stationed on deck.  I seated myself involuntarily
on a spar, which was lashed alongside the long boat, and in a few
minutes, without any intention or expectation of being otherwise
than vigilant in the extreme, WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE LAND OF

A check was suddenly put to my vagabond thoughts and flowery
visions, and I was violently dragged back to the realities of
life by a strong hand, which, seizing me roughly by the collar,
jerked me to my feet!  At the same time, the voice of my kind
friend and benefactor, Captain Turner, rung in my ears like a
trumpet, as he exclaimed in a paroxysm of passion, "You little
good-for-nothing rascal!  This is the way you keep watch!  Hey?
Wake up, you lazy ragamuffin!  Rouse yourself!  And, suiting the
action to the word, he gave me two or three severe shakes.  "Let
me catch you sleeping in your watch again, and I'll send you to
the cross-trees for four hours on a stretch.  I knew I had got a
hard bargain when your uncle shoved you upon me, you sneaking,
sanctimonious-looking imp of Satan!  But mind how you carry your
helm, or you will have cause to curse the day when you shipped on
board the Dolphin!"

This was a damper, with a vengeance, to my aspirations and hopes.
The ladder on which I was about to ascend to fame and fortune was
unfeelingly knocked away, and I was laid prostrate   flat on my
back   almost before I began to mount!  I was deceived in Captain
Turner; and what was of greater consequence to me, my self-
confidence was terribly shaken   I was deceived in myself.  My
shipmates, nevertheless, sympathized with me in my abasement;
gave me words of encouragement; bade me be of good cheer; keep a
stiff upper lip; look out sharper for squalls in the future, and
I should yet "weather the cape."

An awkward accident happened to me the following day, which
tended still further to diminish the self-confidence I had so
recently cherished.  The small boat had returned about sunset
from a mission to the city, and as I formed one of the boat's
crew, the mate ordered me to drop the boat astern, and hook on
the tackles that it might be hoisted to the davits.  But the tide
running furiously, the boat when under the quarter took a sudden
sheer.  I lost my hold on the brig, and found myself adrift.

I shouted lustily for help, but no help could be afforded; the
long-boat being snugly stowed amidships, and the tide sweeping me
towards the bar at the rate of several knots an hour.  Sculling
was a manoeuvre of which I had heard, and seen practised, but had
never practised myself.  I therefore took one of the oars and
made a desperate attempt to PADDLE towards the brig.  The attempt
was unsuccessful; the distance between the brig and the boat was
rapidly increasing, darkness was coming on, a strong breeze was
springing up, and I was in a fair way to be drifted among the
breakers, or swept out to sea over the bar!

It happened, fortunately, for me, that a large brig was riding at
anchor within a short distance of the Dolphin.  This was the very
slaver whose captain was so mysteriously assassinated.  The mate
of the brig was looking around the harbor at the time; he espied
my misfortune, and forthwith despatched a boat, pulled by four
men, to my assistance.  They took me in tow, and, after an hour
of hard work, succeeded in towing the boat and myself safely
alongside the brig.

I was soundly rated by the mate for my carelessness in allowing
the boat to get adrift, and my shipmates were unsparing in their
reproaches for my ignorance of the important art of sculling.  I
was completely crest-fallen; but during the few remaining days we
remained in port I applied myself with zeal to gain a practical
knowledge of the art, and could soon propel a boat through the
water with a single oar over the stern, with as much dexterity as
the most accomplished sailor.

A new cable an anchor were brought on board, the wind became
favorable, and the rig Dolphin proceeded to sea, bound NOMINALLY
for Cayenne.  I carried with me, engraven on my memory in
characters which have never been effaced, THE ART OR SCULLING A

Chapter VII

After we reached the blue water, and the wind began to blow and
the sea to rise, the old brig, with corresponding motion, tossed
and wallowed about as if for a wager.  Although while in port her
bottom had been calked and graved, the leak, which gave so much
trouble the previous voyage, had not been stopped.  In a fresh
breeze and a head sea the seams would open, and a good "spell at
the pump," every twenty minutes at least, was required to keep
her free.

The captain grumbled and swore like a pirate; but this had no
perceptible effect in stopping the leak.  On the contrary, the
more he raved, denouncing the brig as a humbug, and the man who
sold her to him as a knave and a swindler, the more the brig
leaked.  And what was remarkable, after the first ten days, the
brig leaked as much in a light breeze and a smooth sea as in
rough weather.  It was necessary to keep one pump in action the
whole time.  But when the men, wearied by their unremitting
exertions, talked of abandoning the vessel to her fate, and
taking refuge in the first vessel they might fall in with, the
leak seemed suddenly to diminish, until the bottom of the old
craft was comparatively tight!

All this was inexplicable to me, and the mystery caused much
philosophical discussion and sage remark among the ship's
company.  As we were in a part of the ocean which abounded in
flying fish, it was the general opinion that the stoppage of the
leak was caused by the involuntary action of a flying fish!  The
theory was, that an unfortunate fish, swimming beneath the bottom
of the vessel, in the neighborhood of the crevice through which
the water rushed, unsuspicious of danger, was suddenly "sucked
in," and plugged up the hole until it was drawn through or
removed by decomposition!

One day the cook, a negro not remarkable for quickness of
apprehension or general intelligence, received such an unmerciful
beating from the captain that he was unable to attend to his
manifold duties, and a portion of them fell to my share.  Among
them was the task of drawing off the regular allowance of rum,
half a pint to each man, and serving it out to the crew.  The rum
was in the after part of the vessel, beneath the cabin, a place
designated as "the run." It was approached by a scuttle in the
cabin floor, and of course could not be explored by any of the
crew without the especial permission of the captain or mate.  I
entered the dark hole, aided by the glimmering light of a
lantern, groped my way to the barrel which contained the liquid
so highly prized by the sons of Neptune as the liquor of life,
the pure AQUA VITAE,   and filled my can with the precious fluid.

When I inserted the spigot I still heard a gurgling sound, as of
the rush of water through a narrow passage.  I listened, and
examined further, and became convinced I had discovered the leak.
I hastily emerged from "the run," and passed up on deck.  The
captain was taking a meridian observation of the sun, when, with
a radiant countenance and glistening eye, my whole frame
trembling with joy and anticipated triumph, I communicated the
important information that I had discovered the leak; it was in
the run, could be easily reached, and with a little ingenuity and
labor stopped.

Instead of rewarding me for my intelligence and zeal with a smile
of approbation and a word of encouragement, the captain gave me a
look which petrified me for a time, and would have killed me on
the spot if looks could kill in those degenerate days.  Seizing
me roughly by the shoulder, he addressed me in a hissing, hoarse
voice, yet so low that his words, although terribly intelligible
to me, could be distinctly heard by no other person:    "Mind
your own business, my lad, and let the leaks take care of
themselves!  Go about your work; and if you whisper a syllable of
what you have told me to any other person, I WILL THROW YOU
OVERBOARD, you officious, intermeddling little vagabond!"  And he
indorsed his fearful threat by an oath too impious to be

This unexpected rebuke, coupled with the fact that I had seen in
"the run" the large screw auger which had been missing from the
tool-chest for more than a week, furnished a key to unlock the
mysteries connected with the leak.  The captain, for some purpose
which he did not choose to reveal, with the connivance and aid of
the mate, had bored holes through the bottom of the brig, and
could let in the water at his pleasure!

A few days after this interesting incident which threw a new
light on the character of the man to whose charge I had been
intrusted, we reached the latitude of Martinico.  As the brig now
leaked more than ever, and the men, one and all, were worn out
with continued pumping, the captain proclaimed to the crew that
in consequence of the leaky condition of the brig, he did not
consider it safe to proceed further on the voyage to Cayenne, and
had determined to make the first port.

This determination met the approbation of all hands, without a
dissenting voice.  The yards were squared, the helm was put up,
the course was given "due west," and with a cracking trade wind,
away we bowled off before it for the Island of Martinico.

Captain Turner, although not remarkable for the strictness of his
principles, was a shrewd and intelligent man.  On shore he had
the semblance of a gentleman.  On shipboard he was a good sailor
and a skilful navigator.  If to his energy, talents, and
intelligence had been added a moderate share of honesty, he would
probably have been successful in his struggle for wealth, and
might have attained respectability.  I have often had occasion to
note that "a rogue in grain" finds it more difficult to achieve
success in life than an honest man.  Shakespeare, the great
exponent of human nature, makes the unscrupulous Cardinal Wolsey
say, when crushed by the hand of royalty, deserted by his
friends, and a prey to disgrace and ignominy,

"Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies."

On the morning after this change in our course, the high land of
Martinico was seen in the distance; and in the afternoon, before
the sun had reached the horizon, we were snugly anchored in the
roadstead of St. Pierre.  This port, at the bottom of a wide bay,
with good anchorage close to the beach, is open to the sea.  But
being on the lee of the island, it is protected from the trade
winds, which, with rare exceptions, blow throughout the year.
From a westerly tempest there is no protection, and a hurricane
always carries destruction among the shipping.

The reason why the brig was made to spring a leak was now
evident.  Captain Turner never intended to go to Cayenne, but
wished to be justified in the eye of the law in proceeding to
what he considered a better market.  The non-intercourse act
being in operation, American vessels were prohibited from
entering an English or a French port, EXCEPTING IN CASES OF
DISTRESS.  It was therefore determined that the Dolphin should
spring a leak, and SEEM in danger of foundering, in order to
furnish a pretext for entering the harbor of St. Pierre!

Captain Turner expected to find no American vessels in port, and
of course no American produce.  He calculated to realize a high
price for his cargo, and was surprised and disappointed to
ascertain that other Yankees were as shrewd and unscrupulous as
himself.  The anchorage was thickly sprinkled with American
vessels, and the market was overstocked with American produce.
These vessels had been driven into St. Pierre by "stress of
weather" or "dangerous leaks," and their commanders cherished as
little respect for the revenue laws, or any other mandates of the
United States government, as Captain Turner.  A protest,
carefully worded, and signed and sworn to by the mate and two
seamen, and a survey of the vessel made by persons JUDICIOUSLY
selected, acted as a protecting shield against any subsequent
troublesome interference on the part of the American authorities.

The wisdom of the "Long Embargo," and the "Non-intercourse Act"
is greatly doubted by the statesmen of the present day.  Besides
crippling our own resources, and paralyzing the whole commercial
interest of the United States, a craven spirit was thus
manifested on the part of our rulers, which exposed us to insults
and outrages from the belligerent powers.  And if the policy of
these extraordinary measures can be defended, it must be admitted
that they were the direct cause of more roguery than would
compensate for an immense amount of good.

Having arrived at Martinico in distress, we were precluded from
proceeding to any other port in search of a better market.  The
cargo was sold at prices that would hardly pay the expenses of
the voyage.  In delivering the lumber, however, an opportunity
offered in making up in QUANTITY the deficiency in price, of
which our honest captain, following the example, I regret to say,
of many of the West India captains OF THOSE DAYS, eagerly availed

The lumber was taken to the shore on large rafts, and hauled up
on the beach by men belonging to the brig.  The mark on every
separate board or plank was called out in a clear voice by the
man who dragged it from the raft to the beach, and was noted down
by the mate of the brig and a clerk of the mercantile house that
purchased the lumber.  Those parties were comfortably seated
beneath the shade of a tamarind tree, at some distance, smoking
cigars and pleasantly conversing.  They compared notes from time
to time, and there was no difference in their accounts.  Every
thing on our part was apparently conducted on the strictest
principles of honesty.  But each sailor having received a hint
from the mate, who had been posted by the captain, and a promise
of other indulgences, often added from fifteen to twenty per
cent, to the mark which had been actually scored by the surveyor
on every board or plank.  Thus, if a board was MARKED twelve
feet, the amount given was fifteen feet; a board that measured
only eighteen or twenty feet, would be represented as twenty-
five; and sometimes a large, portly-looking board, measuring
thirty or thirty-five feet, not only received an addition of
eight or ten feet, but was suddenly transformed into a PLANK,
which was counted as containing DOUBLE the measurement of a board
of the same superficial dimensions.  Thus a board actually
measuring only thirty feet was passed off upon the
unsophisticated clerk of the purchaser as a piece of lumber
measuring seventy feet.  In this way Captain Turner managed, in
what he contended was the usual and proper manner among the
Yankees, to make a cargo of lumber "hold out!"  Another attempt
which this gentleman made to realize a profit on merchandise
greater than could be obtained by a system of fair trading was
not attended with so favorable a result.

A portion of the cargo of the Dolphin consisted of barrels of
salted provisions.  This part of the cargo was not enumerated
among the articles in the manifest.  Captain Turner intended to
dispose of it to the shipping in the harbor, and thus avoid the
payment of the regular duties.  He accordingly sold some ten or a
dozen barrels of beef and pork, at a high price, to the captain
of an English ship.  The transaction, by some unknown means, was
discovered by the government officials, who, in a very grave and
imposing manner, visited the brig with a formidable posse.  They
found in the hold a considerable quantity of the salted
provisions on which no duty had been paid; this they conveyed on
shore and confiscated to the use of His Majesty the King of Great
Britain.  The brig also was seized, but was subsequently released
on payment of a heavy fine.

The merchant vessels lying in St. Pierre are generally moored
head and stern, one of the anchors being carried ashore, and
embedded in the ground on the beach.  A few days after we were
thus moored, a large Spanish schooner from the Main hauled in and
moored alongside, at the distance of only a few fathoms.  Besides
the captain, there were several well-dressed personages on board,
who appeared to take an interest in the cargo, and lived in the
cabin.  But harmony did not characterize their intercourse with
each other.  At times violent altercations occurred, which, being
carried on in the Spanish language, were to us neither edifying
nor amusing.

One Sunday morning, after the Spanish schooner had been about a
week in port, and was nearly ready for sea, a fierce quarrel took
place on the quarter-deck of the vessel, which, being attended
with loud language, menacing looks, and frantic gesticulations,
attracted the attention of all who were within sight or hearing.

Two of the Spaniards, large, good-looking men, were apparently
very bitter in their denunciations of each other.  They suddenly
threw off their coats, which they wrapped around the left arm,
and each grasping a long Spanish knife,   the original of the
murderous "bowie-knife," -- attacked each other with a ferocity
terrible to behold.  Every muscle seemed trembling and convulsed
with passion, their eyes flashed with desperation, and their
muscles seemed endued with superhuman power, as they pushed upon
each other.

Many furious passes were made, and dexterously parried by the
left arm, which was used as a buckler in which to receive the
thrusts.  At length one of the combatants received a wound in the
chest, and his shirt bosom was instantly stained with blood.
This served only to rouse him to more desperate exertions if
possible; and, like two enraged tigers, these men no longer
thought of defending themselves, but were bent only on assailing
each other.

Such a combat could not last long.  One of the Spaniards sank to
the deck, covered with wounds and exhausted with blood, while the
victor, who, from the gory condition of his linen, his pallid
cheeks, and staggering steps seemed in little better plight, was
assisted into the cabin by his companions.

Duels of a similar character, fought on the spot with knives, the
left arm protected with a garment used as a shield, were by no
means unfrequent among the Spaniards in the New World, and the
barbarous custom is not yet obsolete.

The vessel, on whose decks this horrible scene of butchery was
enacted, left the harbor on the following day, to the great
gratification of her neighbors; and a rusty, ill-looking
schooner, called the John, hauled from another part of the
roadstead, and took the berth vacated by the Spaniards.  Like
other American vessels that had been coquetting with the revenue
laws, neither the name of the schooner nor the place to which she
belonged was painted on her stern.  A close intimacy, intended
doubtless for their mutual advantage, existed between Captain
Turner and the master of the John.  The crews of the two vessels
also became acquainted, and when the day's work was ended, often
assembled on board one of the vessels, and indulged in singing,
conversing, skylarking, or spinning yarns.

Swimming was an agreeable and refreshing exercise, in which we
often indulged, notwithstanding the harbor of St. Pierre was an
open bay in a tropical climate; the very place which the shark
would be likely to frequent.  It was said, however, that sharks
were seldom seen in the bay, and NEVER among the shipping.  This
statement was regarded as a sufficient assurance of safety; and
although I retained a vivid recollection of the dreadful tragedy
I had seen enacted a few months before in Demarara, with all the
recklessness or a young sailor I hesitated not to indulge freely
in this pleasant and healthy exercise in the harbor of St.

I was careful, however, to follow the advice of a veteran tar, to
KEEP IN MOTION WHILE IN THE WATER.  The shark, unless very
ferocious and hungry, will not attack a man while he is swimming,
or performing other aquatic evolutions.  At such times he will
remain quiet, close at hand, eyeing his intended victim with an
eager and affectionate look; but the moment the unsuspecting
swimmer throws himself on his back, begins to tread water, or
discontinues the exercise of swimming preparatory to getting on
board, this man-eating rascal will pounce on a leg or an arm,
drag his victim beneath the surface, and accomplish the dreadful

After the many unfavorable specimens of "old salts" I had met
with, I was agreeably surprised to find that two of the crew of
the John were educated men.  One of these was the son of a
wealthy merchant of Boston, who lived in the style of a prince at
the "North End."  This young sailor had been wild and dissipated,
and had lost for a time the confidence of his relatives, and as a
matter of course, WENT TO SEA.  He made a good sailor; and while
I knew him in St. Pierre, and during the subsequent years of his
life, his conduct was in every way correct.  His conversation was
improving, and his chest was well stored with books, which he
cheerfully loaned, and to which I was indebted for many happy

The other was an Irishman by birth, prematurely aged, of
diminutive stature, and unprepossessing appearance.  He had been
many years at sea; had witnessed perilous scenes; had fought for
his life with the savages on board the Atahualpa on "the north-
west coast"; had served in an English man-of-war, from which he
escaped by swimming ashore, a distance of several miles, one
night while cruising off the island of Antigua.  He reached the
land completely exhausted   more dead than alive   and was
concealed for a time among the slave habitations on one of the

Little Jack, as he was familiarly called, was a type of the old
sailor of those days, so far as his habits and general conduct
was concerned.  He was reckless, bold, dissolute, generous, never
desponding, ever ready for a drunken frolic or a fight, to do a
good deed, plan a piece of mischief, or head a revolt.  He seemed
to find enjoyment in every change which his strange destiny
presented.  And this man, who seemed at home in a ship's
forecastle, or when mingling with the lowest dregs of society,
had been educated at Trinity College, Dublin.  He was well read
in the classics, and familiar with the writings of the old
British poets.  He could quote elaborate passages from the best
authors, and converse fluently and learnedly on almost any

Notwithstanding his cultivated mind and intellectual powers,
which should have placed him in a high position in society, he
appeared satisfied with his condition, and aspired to no loftier
sphere than that of a common sailor.  We often meet with
anomalies in the human character, for which it would puzzle the
most learned psychologist to account.  What strange and sad event
had occurred in the early part of that man's career, to change
the current of his fortune, and make him contented in a condition
so humble, and a slave to habits so degrading?  His story, if
faithfully told, might furnish a record of ambitious projects and
sanguine expectations, followed by blighted hopes which palsied
all succeeding exertions, and plunged him into the depths of
dissipation and vice.

Captain Turner and the worthy master of the John, the better to
conceal their iniquities from the lynx-eyed satellites of the
law, agreed to make an exchange of vessels, both having been
officially condemned as unseaworthy.  For an equivalent, the
schooner was to be laden with a cargo, principally of molasses,
and properly furnished with stores, provisions, and water, for a
passage to the United States by the way of St. Bartholomew.  The
crews of the two vessels were then to be interchanged, and
Captain Turner his mate and crew, were to take up their quarters
in the John.

The arrangement was carried into effect; but two of the Dolphin's
crew, dissatisfied with the proceedings on board the brig, and
thinking matters would not be improved by a transfer to the
schooner, and being under no obligation to follow Captain Turner
to another vessel, demanded their discharge.  In their stead he
shipped a boy, about fourteen years of age, whom he had persuaded
to run away from an English merchant ship, in which he was an
apprentice, and an old Frenchman, who had served many years in
the carpenter's gang in a French man-of-war, and who understood
hardly a word of the English language.

We sailed from St. Pierre the day after we had taken possession
of the schooner, bound directly for St. Bartholomew.

Chapter VIII

It is well known that one of the principal reasons for the
declaration of war against Great Britain in 1812, were the
insults heaped on the American flag, in every sea, by the navy of
Great Britain.  The British government claimed and exercised THE
RIGHT to board our ships, impress their crews when not natives of
the United States, examine their cargoes, and subject our
citizens navigating the high seas, to inconvenience, detention,
and conduct often of an annoying and insulting character.  The
British government contended that the flag which waved over the
decks of our ships should be no protection to our ships or
seamen.  For years our merchant vessels were compelled to submit
to such degrading insults from the navy of Great Britain.

The mode of exercising this "right of search," so far as relates
to the impressment of seamen, I have already had occasion to
illustrate, and the incident which I now relate will explain with
tolerable clearness the mode in which the British exercised this
right in relation to property.

Previously to the war with Great Britain, a profitable trade was
carried on between the United States and the English West India
Islands.  The exports from the islands were limited chiefly to
molasses and rum; sugar and coffee being prohibited in American
bottoms.  According to the British interpretation of the "right
to search," every American vessel which had taken in a cargo in a
British, or any other port, was liable to be searched, from the
truck to the keelson, by any British cruiser when met with on the
high seas.  And this inquisitorial process was submitted to as a
matter of course, though not without murmurs loud and deep, from
those who were immediately exposed to the inconveniences
attending this arbitrary exercise of power.

On the afternoon succeeding the day on which the schooner John
left Martinico, as we were quietly sailing along with a light
breeze, under the lee of the mountainous Island of Gaudaloupe, we
saw a large ship at anchor on a bank about a mile from the land,
with the British ensign at her peak, and a pennant streaming from
her mast-head,   sufficient indications that we had fallen in
with one of John Bull's cruisers.  But Captain Turner, conscious
that his schooner was an American vessel, and had been regularly
cleared at St. Pierre, with a cargo of rum and molasses, and
there being no suspicious circumstances connected with her
appearance, her cargo, or her papers, apprehended no detention or
trouble from the British man-of-war.

A boat was soon seen to put off from the frigate, and it was not
long before it was alongside the John.  An officer stepped on
deck, and politely asked the privilege of examining the ship's
papers.  This was accorded.  After having ascertained we were
from a British port, the officer coolly remarked it would be
necessary to take the schooner nearer the land and bring her to
anchor, in order to institute a thorough search into the true
character of the cargo.  He added that the frigate was stationed
there for the express purpose of intercepting and overhauling
such Yankee vessels as might pass along.

A signal was made to the frigate, and two additional boats were
despatched, which took our small vessel in tow, and in less than
an hour we found ourselves at anchor, in thirty fathoms of water,
within half musket shot of an English man-of-war.  The launch was
soon alongside, the hatchways were taken off, tackles were rove,
and a gang of the frigate's crew went to work breaking out the
cargo and hoisting it into the launch.  After the launch and
other boats were laden, they hoisted the casks on deck, and
continued the operations in no gentle manner until they reached
the ground tier.  They thus examined every cask, but found
nothing but molasses and rum.

They then commenced "stowing the cargo," as they called it; and
the hogsheads of molasses were tossed into the hold, and handled
as roughly as hogsheads of tobacco.  It was about sunset on the
following day when the last cask was stowed.  The anchor was then
weighed, the sails set, and the lieutenant, having put into the
hands of the captain a certificate from the commander of the
frigate that the schooner had been searched, for the purpose of
preventing a repetition of that agreeable ceremony, told him he
was at liberty to go where he thought proper, and politely wished
him a pleasant voyage.

Our vessel was thus detained twenty-four hours; and in
consequence of this detention, the passage to St. Bartholomew was
lengthened several days, as a calm commenced soon after we were
liberated, which lasted that time.  The cargo also received
injury from the rough handling of the British tars, insomuch that
before we reached St. Bartholomew, several casks had lost nearly
all their contents; and if we had been bound directly to the
United States, it is probable that a considerable portion of the
cargo would have been pumped out with the bilge water.

This is only one of a thousand cases which might be cited to show
the PRINCIPLE on which the British acted towards neutral powers
on the broad ocean, as well as in the British waters, at that
time.  The British government, since the war of 1812, have
attempted by negotiations to reestablish this principle.  But the
attempt has been firmly and successfully resisted; and it may be
safely predicted that this "right" will never again be claimed by
Great Britain, or conceded by the United States.

Our government, which is a government of the people, and
supported mainly by commerce, cannot be too vigilant and firm in
its endeavors to protect the persons and property of our citizens
on the ocean against the oppression or outrages of any naval
power.  Let us, as an honorable, high-minded nation, cordially
cooperate with any other nation in attempts to check and destroy
the traffic in slaves, so revolting in its character, which is
carried on between Africa and places on this continent.  Let us
be a party to any honorable treaty having this for its object;
but let us never listen to the idea that the American flag,
waving at the peak or masthead of an American vessel, is no
protection to the property on board, or the liberties of the
passengers and crew.

Captain Turner promptly availed himself of the permission so
graciously given by the commander of the British cruiser, and we
proceeded on our way to St. Bartholomew.  There is probably no
sailing in the world more pleasant and interesting than among the
group of beautiful islands reaching from Trinidad to St.
Bartholomew.  With a smooth sea and a gentle, refreshing trade
wind, as the vessel glides past these emerald gems of the ocean,
a picturesque and ever-varying landscape is produced, as if by
the wand of some powerful enchanter.  Grenada, the Grenadines,
St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Martinico, Dominica, Guadaloupe,
Montserrat, Saba, St. Kitts, Nevis, and St. Bartholomew, all seem
to pass in swift succession before the eye of the observer.

These islands are all, with the exception of St. Bartholomew,
more or less cultivated, but being mountainous and of volcanic
origin, the productive lands lie on the base of the mountains, or
on the spacious intervals and valleys near the sea shore.
Studded with plantations, each of which resembles a little
village planned by some skilful landscape gardener; with crystal
streams dashing down the mountain sides; with dense forests
covering the high lands and mountain summits; with bays and
indentations along the coast, each with a thriving village at the
extremity, defended by fortifications; with ships at anchor in
the roadsteads, and droghers coasting along the shores; with an
atmosphere richly laden with sweets, and all the interesting
associations connected with a tropical climate; these islands
furnish an array of attractions which are hardly surpassed in the
Western Hemisphere.  The beautiful description in the song of
Mignon, in the "Wilhelm Meister" of Goethe, of a land of fruits
and flowers, will apply with singular felicity to these Windward

"Know'st thou the land where the pale citron grows,
And the gold orange through dark foliage glows?
A soft wind flutters from the deep blue sky,
The myrtle blooms, and towers the laurel high.
Know'st thou it well?"

I have sometimes wondered why the capitalists of New England, in
search of recreation and pleasure for themselves and families
instead of crossing the Atlantic to visit the oft-described and
stale wonders of the Old World, do not charter a yacht or a
packet schooner, and with a goodly company take a trip to the
West Indies, sail around and among these islands, visit places of
interest, accept the hospitality of the planters, which is always
freely bestowed, and thus secure a fund of rational enjoyment,
gratify a laudable curiosity in relation to the manners and
habits of the people of the torrid zone, and bring away a
multitude of agreeable impressions on their minds, which will
keep vivid and fresh the remainder of their lives.

After leaving Martinico, we found, on broaching our provisions,
that they were of bad quality,   of the worst possible
description.  The bread, deposited in bags, was of a dark color,
coarse texture, and French manufacture.  It must have been of an
inferior kind when new and fresh, and a long tarry in a tropical
climate was not calculated to improve its character.  Besides
being mouldy, it was dotted with insects, of an unsightly
appearance and unsavory flavor.  The quality of the beef was, if
possible, worse than that of the bread, and we had no other kinds
of provisions.  Before we arrived at St. Bartholomew the water
began to give signs of impurity.  The casks, stowed in the half-
deck, had been filled through a molasses hose.  In all
likelihood, the hose had not been cleansed, and the saccharine
property of the molasses mingling with the water in that hot
climate had caused a fermentation, the effect of which was
nauseous to the taste and unpleasant to the eye.  We consoled
ourselves, however, with the idea that the passage would be a
short one,   only a few days,   and that better provisions would
be furnished when we reached St. Bartholomew.

The Island of St. Bartholomew is a mountainous rock, three or
four miles in diameter, with here and there a few patches of
verdure, but destitute of trees or cultivated lands.  The
inhabitants are dependent on the neighboring islands, and
importations from distant countries, for the means of sustaining
life.  Even water for drinking and culinary purposes is brought
from St. Martin, Nevis, or St. Kitts.  It has a snug harbor on
the western side, easy of access, in which many vessels can lie
safely moored, excepting in a hurricane.  Indeed, there is hardly
a harbor in the Windward Islands, north of Grenada, where a
vessel can be secure during the hurricane months.  These
tempests, when blowing from any quarter, seem to defy all the
efforts of man to withstand their violence; twist the ships from
their anchors, force them on the reefs or drive them out to sea,
sometimes without ballast or the fraction of a crew.

It may appear singular that St. Bartholomew, with no productions
whatever, and lying almost in the midst of the most fertile and
productive of the Windward Islands, should nevertheless have been
a place of great trade, and at certain times the most important
depot for merchandise in those islands.  St. Bartholomew has
belonged to Sweden during the whole of the present century; and
Sweden having been occasionally exempted form the wars waged
against each other by England and France, this island, of no
intrinsic value in itself, became a sort of neutral ground; a
port where all nations could meet on friendly terms; where
traders belonging to England, France, the United States, or other
powers, could deposit or sell their goods, purchase West India
produce, and transact business of any description.

At the time to which I refer,   in 1810,   the "Orders in
Council" of England, and the "Berlin and Milan Decrees" of
Napoleon, were in force.  As a counteracting stroke of policy,
the Non-intercourse Act, to which I have already alluded, was
passed by our government, and the neutral port of St. Bartholomew
suddenly became a place of immense importance.  When we entered
the harbor in the John, it was with difficulty that a berth could
be found; at least two hundred and fifty vessels, a large portion
of which were Americans, were in port, discharging or taking in
cargo.  Captain Turner found no trouble in selling his molasses.
He dared not run the risk of taking it to the United States, lest
his roguery should be discovered through some flaw in his papers,
and his vessel and cargo seized by revenue officers.  He retained
only a few casks of rum, sufficient to pay port charges, and
prepared to sail for a southern port.

Shortly before we arrived at St. Bartholomew, a ship belonging to
Connecticut, in consequence of some irregularity in her
proceedings, was seized by the authorities and taken possession
of by a guard of ten or a dozen soldiers.  The ship was about
ready for sea when this event took place; and on the following
day, according to a preconcerted plan between the captain and Mr.
Arnold, the supercargo, the officers and crew rose upon the
soldiers, deprived them of their arms, and forced them below.
Then they quietly slipped the cables, and let the ship drift
gradually out of the harbor, until past the shipping, when every
sail was instantly spread, as if by magic, and before the
mystified garrison of the fort could understand the curious
manoeuver, realize the audacity of the Yankees, and get ready
their guns, the ship was beyond the reach of their shot.  In the
offing the ship fell in with one of the large boats trading
between St. Bartholomew and St. Martin, and put the soldiers on
board, who were thus promptly returned to their barracks.

The Swedish authorities were justly indignant at such high-handed
proceedings.  Arnold remained behind to transact some unfinished
business, but was arrested and thrown into prison, where he
remained several weeks.  Seeing no prospect of being released, he
feigned insanity, and acted the madman to the life; insomuch that
the authorities were glad to discharge him on condition that his
friends would send him from the island.

During the year 1809, a French privateer, called the Superior, a
large schooner of the "Baltimore pilot boat" model, was the
terror of the British in the Caribbean seas.  The pilot boats
built at Baltimore, to cruise off the mouth of the Chesapeake,
have ever been celebrated for their sailing qualities, especially
their ability to beat to windward; and vessels of larger size
than the pilot boats, reaching to the capacity of three hundred
tons, but built according to this peculiar Baltimore model, were
for many years acknowledged the swiftest class of sailing vessels
in any country at any period.  At what particular time this model
was introduced, it may be difficult to ascertain; but as early as
the period to which I refer, the term "Baltimore clipper" was a
familiar term.  Numbers of them were sold to individuals residing
in ports belonging to the belligerent powers, and commissioned as
privateers; others were purchased for slavers; and during the
wars carried on by Spain and Portugal with their provinces in
South America, the "Baltimore clippers" made a conspicuous
figure,   being fitted out as privateers and manned in the ports
of a nation which held out to them the olive branch of peace.

The privateer Superior was commanded by a brave and energetic
Frenchman, who took a singular pleasure in inflicting injuries on
British commerce.  This privateer, fitted out at Port Royal in
Martinico, was said to have been the fastest vessel every known
among the islands, and her commander laughed to scorn the
attempts made to capture him by the finest vessels in the English
navy.  Indeed, the Superior seemed to be ubiquitous.  One day she
would be seen hovering off the island of Antigua, and after
pouncing on an unfortunate English ship, would take out the
valuables and specie, if there were any on board, transfer the
officers and crew to a drogher bound into the harbor, and then
scuttle the vessel.  On the day following, a ship would be seen
on fire off Montserrat or St. Kitts, which would prove to have
been an English merchantman captured and destroyed by the
Superior; and perhaps, a few days afterwards, this privateer
would be pursuing a similar career on the shores of Barbadoes,
far to windward, or levying contributions from the planters on
the coasts of Grenada or Trinidad.

Indeed, the sailing qualities of this privateer were a marvel to
all "old salts"; and many an honest man who had never heard of a
"Baltimore pilot boat built" craft, was sorely puzzled to account
for the success of the Superior in avoiding the many traps that
had been set by the long-headed officers of the British ships on
that station.  By many it was believed that the French captain
had unlawful dealings with the enemy of mankind, and for the
pleasure of annoying the English, and the gratification of
filling his pockets with the spoils of the enemies of France, had
signed away his soul!

The company of men-of-war seemed to be no protection against
capture by this privateer.  A fleet of merchantmen, convoyed by
several armed ships, would be intruded on during the night, and
one or more of them captured without alarm, and then rifled, and
scuttled or burned.  On one occasion, after combined efforts had
been made to capture the Superior, and it was believed that
vessel had been driven from those seas, a homeward bound fleet of
merchantmen, on the first night after leaving Antigua, was
approached by this privateer, and in the course of a couple of
hours three different ships, in different stations of the
squadron, had been captured, plundered, and fired by that
indefatigable enemy of the English.

At last, one after another, every French port in the islands was
taken by the British, and there was no longer a nook belonging to
France to which this privateer could resort for protection,
supplies, or repairs, It was furthermore rumored that this vessel
was not regularly commissioned; and that, if captured by an
enemy, the officers and crew to a man, and the captain more
especially, would be hanged at the yard arm, AS PIRATES, without
any very formal process of law.

The privateer was by this time well laden with spoils, having on
board, in silks, specie, gums, and bullion, property to the
amount of nearly a million of dollars.  One fine morning, a
British sloop-of-war, cruising between Nevis and St. Bartholomew,
was astonished at beholding the Superior,   that "rascally French
Privateer," as well known in those seas as the Flying Dutchman
off the Cape of Good Hope,   come down from the windward side of
St. Bartholomew under easy sail, pass round the southern point of
the island, hoist the tri-colored flag, as if by way of derision,
and boldly enter the harbor belonging to the Swedish government,
and a neutral port.

It was not many hours before the sloop-of-war, having hauled her
wind, was off the harbor, lying off and on; and the captain, in
full uniform, his mouth filled with menaces and denunciations of
British vengeance, and his cranium well crammed with quotations
from Vattel, Grotius, Puffendorf, and other venerable worthies,
was on his way to the shore in a state of great excitement.  When
he reached the landing, he found only the HULL of the privateer,
with the spars and rigging.  The officers and crew had already
disappeared, each carrying off his portion of the spoils.  The
captain was not visible; but it was said he left the island a few
days afterwards for the United States, under an assumed name,
whence he subsequently proceeded to France, with an immense
amount of property, which the fortune of war had transferred from
British subjects to his pockets.  The schooner was hauled up to
the head of the careenage, and on examination it appeared that
every part of the vessel had been so strained by carrying sail,
and so much damage had been done to her planks and timbers by
worms, that she was good for nothing.  The spars, sails, and
rigging were sold; but the hull, which soon filled with water,
remained for years, admired by every genuine sailor as the most
perfect model of a fast-sailing vessel that could be devised by
the ingenuity of man.

When the schooner John was nearly ready for sea, my uncle,
Captain Tilton, whom I had left in Charleston, arrived in port in
a clipper schooner called the Edwin.  He was bound for Mobile,
where he intended establishing a mercantile house in connection
with a gentleman named Waldron, a native of Portsmouth, who had
resided several years in Charleston.  I had one brief interview
with him, but no opportunity offered of entering into the details
of my unenviable position on board the John.  On a hint from me
that I was dissatisfied, and should not object to accompany him
in the Edwin, he gravely shook his head, and remarked that such a
course would be unusual and improper; that he was about to retire
from the sea; that it would be best for me to stick by Captain
Turner, in whom I should always find a friend, and perform the
whole voyage I had undertaken.

He left the port on the following day, bound for the Gulf of
Mexico, and I never saw him again.  He encountered a "norther" on
the coast of Cuba, and the Edwin struck on the Colorado Reef, and
all on board perished!

It was believed that Captain Turner, as a matter of course, would
procure a sufficient quantity of good water, and some tolerable
provisions for the forecastle hands, before we proceeded on our
voyage. But our worthy captain, who was a great worshipper of the
"almighty dollar," in whatever shape it appeared, had no
intentions of the kind.  Water was scarce, and cost ten dollars a
cask.  Beef and bread also cost money, and we left St.
Bartholomew with only the wretched apology for provisions and
water which were put on board in Martinico.

Probably no American vessel ever left a port with such miserable
provisions for a voyage.   Bread, beef, and water constituted our
variety.  We had no rice, beans, Indian meal, fish, or any other
of the numerous articles usually furnished by merchants for the
sustenance of the sailors who navigate their ships; and SUCH
beef, bread, and water as we were doomed to live upon for three
successive weeks after we left St. Bartholomew, was surely never
prescribed by the most rigid anchorite and exacting devotee as a
punishment for the sins of a hardened transgressor.

Chapter IX

Captain Turner, on being urged to provide some palatable food and
drink, declared with an oath that he did not select the
provisions of fill the water; that this was done by others who
knew what they were about; that every thing on board was good
enough for us, and if we did not like it we might starve and BE

This was a clincher   it ended the argument.   There was nothing
left for us but to put the best face, even if it should be a wry
face, on troubles we could not overcome or diminish.

In a choice of food there is a wide difference in taste.  One
people will regard as a luxury a viand or condiment which is
repugnant to another.  Locusts have been used from time
immemorial for food by different tribes of Arabs.  Snail soup was
once regarded in Europe as a delicious dish.  In the West Indies
and South America the guano, a species of lizard, is devoured
with gusto.  Bird's nests command enormous prices as an edible in
China, where also dogs and cats are ordinary food.  At Rome
camels' heels were a tidbit for an epicure.  Whale's tongues
ranked among the delicacies feasted on by the Europeans in the
middle centuries.  The bark of the palm tree is the abiding place
of a large worm, which is sought for, roasted, and devoured as a
delicacy.  In Brazil, a monkey pie is a favorite dish, and the
head of the monkey is made to protrude and show its teeth above
the crust by way of ornament.  Indeed, habit, we are told, will
reconcile a person to unsavory diet.  But neither habit nor
necessity could reconcile me to the food and drink which, to
sustain life, I was compelled to swallow on board the John.

The water, owing to causes to which I have already alluded, was
exceedingly offensive to the palate and the olfactories.  It was
also slimy and ropy; and was drank only as a means   and a
wretched one   of prolonging life.  For the inmates of the cabin
the water was boiled or diluted with brandy, which, in a slight
degree, lessened its disgusting flavor.  But this was a luxury
that was denied the seamen, who had to quaff it in all its

Our beef, in quality, was on a par with the water.  It was Irish
beef, so called, wretchedly poor when packed; but having been
stored in a hot climate, probably for years, it had lost what
little excellence it once possessed, and acquired other qualities
of which the packer never dreamed.   The effluvia arising from a
barrel of this beef, when opened, was intolerable.  When boiled
in clean salt water the strong flavor was somewhat modified, and
it was reduced by shrinkage at least one half.  The palate could
not become reconciled to it; and the longer we lived upon it the
less we liked it.

But our bread!  What shall I say of our bread?  I have already
spoken of it as mouldy and ANIMATED.  On several occasions, in
the course of my adventures, I have seen ship bread which could
boast of those abominable attributes, remnants of former voyages
put on board ships by unfeeling skinflints, to be "used up"
before the new provisions were broached, but I never met with any
which possessed those attributes to the extent which was the case
on board the schooner John. Although many years have passed since
I was supported and invigorated by that "staff of life," I cannot
even now think of it without a shudder of disgust!  On placing a
biscuit by my side when seated upon deck, it would actually be
put in motion by some invisible machinery, and if thrown on the
hot coals in order to destroy the living works within, and
prevent the biscuit from walking off, it would make an angry
sputtering wondrous to hear!

Such was the character of our food and drink on our passage to
the United States.  It initiated me, even at the beginning of my
sea-going career, into the most repulsive mysteries of a seaman's
life.  And whenever, in subsequent voyages, I have been put upon
poor diet, I mentally contrasted it with the wretched fare during
my second voyage to sea, smacked my lips, and called it luxury.

Steering to the northward we passed near the Island of Sombrero,
glided from the Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean, and wended
our way towards the Carolinas.

Sombrero is an uninhabited island, a few miles only in
circumference.  It offers to the dashing waves on every side a
steep, craggy cliff, from thirty to fifty feet high.  Its surface
is flat, and entirely destitute of vegetation; and at a distance,
a fanciful imagination can trace, in the outline of the island, a
faint resemblance to the broad Spanish hat, called a "sombrero,"
from which it takes its name.

This island, as well as all the other uninhabited islands in that
part of the world, has ever been a favorite resort for birds,
as gulls of several varieties, noddies, man-of-war birds,
pelicans, and others.  It has recently been ascertained that
Sombrero is entitled to the proud appellation of "a guano
island," and a company has been organized, consisting of persons
belonging to New England, for the purpose of carrying off its
rich deposits, which are of a peculiarly valuable character,
being found beneath a bed of coral limestone several feet in
thickness, and must consequently possess all the advantages which
antiquity can confer.

It was on this island, many years ago, that an English brig
struck in a dark night, while "running down the trades."  The
officers and crew, frightened at the dashing of the breakers and
the gloomy aspect of the rocks which frowned upon them from
above, made their escape on shore in "double quick time," some of
them marvellously thinly clad, even for a warm climate.  As soon
as they had safely landed on the cliffs, and congratulated each
other on their good fortune, the brig, by a heave of the sea,
became disengaged from the rocks, and floating off, drifted to
leeward, to the great mortification of the crew, and was fallen
in with a day or two afterwards, safe and sound, near Anegada
Reef, and carried into St. Thomas.  The poor fellows, who
manifested such alacrity in quitting "a sinking ship," suffered
greatly from hunger and exposure.  They erected a sort of
flagstaff, on which they displayed a jacket as a signal of
distress, and in the course of a few days were taken off by an
American vessel bound to Santa Cruz.

The feeling which prompts a person, in the event of a sudden
danger at sea, to quit his own vessel and look abroad for safety,
appears to be instinctive.  In cases of collision, portions of
the crews are sometimes suddenly exchanged; and a man will find
himself, unconscious of, an effort, on board a strange vessel,
then arouse himself, as if from an unquiet sleep, and return to
his ship as rapidly as he left her.

It sometimes happens that vessels, which have run into each other
in the night time, separate under circumstances causing awkward
results.  The ship Pactolus, of Boston, bound from Hamburg
through the English channel, while running one night in a thick
fog near the Goodwin Sands, fell in with several Dutch galliots,
lying to, waiting for daylight, and while attempting to steer
clear of one, ran foul of another, giving the Dutchman a terrible
shaking and carrying away one of the masts.  The captain, a young
man, was below, asleep in his berth, dreaming, it may be, of
happy scenes in which a young and smiling "jung frow" formed a
prominent object.  He rushed from his berth, believing his last
hour was come, sprang upon deck, and seeing a ship alongside,
made one leap into the chainwales of the strange vessel, and
another one over the rail to the deck.  A moment afterwards the
vessels separated; the galliot was lost sight of in the fog, and
Mynheer was astonished to find himself, while clad in the airy
costume of a shirt and drawers, safely and suddenly transferred
from his comfortable little vessel to the deck of an American
ship bound across the Atlantic.

The poor fellow jabbered away, in his uncouth native language,
until his new shipmates feared his jaws would split asunder.
They furnished him with garments, entertained him hospitably, and
on the following day landed him on the pier at Dover.

We met with no extraordinary occurrences on our passage to the
United States until we reached the Gulf Stream, noted for heavy
squalls, thunder storms, and a turbulent sea, owing to the effect
on the atmosphere produced by the difference of temperatures
between the water in the current and the water on each side.

The night on which we entered the Gulf Stream, off the coast of
the Carolinas, the weather was exceedingly suspicious.  Dark,
double-headed clouds hung around the horizon, and although the
wind was light, a hurricane would not have taken us by surprise
at any moment; and as the clouds rose slowly with a threatening
aspect, no calculation could be made on which side the tempest
would come.  The lightnings illumined the heavens, serving to
render the gloom more conspicuous, and the deep-toned rumblings
of the thunder were heard in the distance.

At eight o'clock, when the watch was called, the schooner was put
under short canvas, and due preparations were made for any change
in the weather.  The starboard watch was then told to go below,
but to "be ready for a call."  This watch, all told, consisted of
the old French carpenter and myself, and we gladly descended into
the narrow, leaky, steaming den, called the forecastle, reposing
full confidence in the vigilance of our shipmates in the larboard
watch, and knowing that if the ship should be dismasted, or even
capsized, while we were quietly sleeping below, it would be
through no fault of ours, and we could not be held responsible.
In five minutes after the forescuttle was closed, we were snugly
ensconced in our berths, oblivious of squalls and gales, and all
the disagreeable duties of making and taking in sail on a wet and
stormy night, enjoying a comfortable nap and dreaming of happy
times on shore.

We were soon aroused from our dreams, and brought back to the
realities of life, by the rough voice of my old shipmate,
Eastman, yelling out in tones which would have carried terror to
the soul of an Indian warrior, "ALL HANDS AHOY!  Tumble up, lads!
Bear a hand on deck!"  I jumped out of my berth, caught my jacket
in one hand, and my tarpaulin in the other, and hastened on deck,
closely followed by the carpenter, and also the cook, whose
office being little better than a sinecure, he was called upon
whenever help was wanted.  The wind was blowing a gale, and the
rain was falling in heavy drops, and the schooner was running off
to the southward at a tremendous rate, with the wind on the

"There is a waterspout after us," exclaimed Captain Turner, as we
made our appearance, and we must give it the slip, or be grabbed
by Davy Jones.  Be alive for once!  If that fellow comes over us,
he will capsize, perhaps sink us!  Stand by!"

I looked astern, and saw, about a point on the larboard quarter,
a black, misshapen body, which seemed to reach from the heavens
down to the surface of the sea.  Although the night was dark as
Erebus, this mass could easily be distinguished from the thick
clouds which shut out the stars, and covered the whole surface of
the sky.  It moved towards us with fearful rapidity, being much
fleeter in the race than our little schooner.

The captain, who, to do him justice, was not only a good sailor,
but cool and resolute in the hour of danger, would fix his eye
one moment on the waterspout, and the next on the compass, in
order to ascertain the course which this unwelcome visitor was
taking.  A minute had scarcely elapsed, during which every man
breathed harder and quicker than he was wont to do, being in a
state of agonizing suspense, when Captain turner decided on his
plan of operations; and it was time, for the waterspout was but a
few hundred yards off, and came rushing towards us like a
ferocious monster intent on mischief.

"Stand by to gibe!" cried the captain. "Hard a-port your helm!
Look out for that foresheet."  As the schooner fell off and again
came gradually to the wind, she shot across the hawse of the
waterspout, which swept closely along under our stern, almost
spattering the water in our very faces, and tearing and roaring
like the cataract of Niagara!

We watched its progress with thrilling interest, and when it got
upon our quarter, and we were convinced it could not come on
board, Captain Turner called out in exulting tones, "We have
dodged it handsomely boys, and cheated Davy Jones of his prey
this time.  Hurrah!"

It is hardly necessary to say we all breathed easier as the
waterspout sailed majestically away, and in a few minutes was out
of sight.  This was one of those occurrences which might well
shake the nerves of the most firm and courageous tar.  Indeed,
the whole scene on that memorable night was far more akin to the
sublime than the beautiful.  There were the heavy black clouds
piled upon each other near the horizon, or hanging loosely and
dripping overhead, portending a fearful conflict among the
elements; there was the wind, which came in fitful gusts,
whistling and singing in mournful cadence among the blocks and
rigging; there was the agitated and furrowed face of the ocean,
which had been lashed to fury by successive storms, and lighted
up in every direction by innumerable brilliant phosphorescent
particles, in which, it is well known, the waters of the Gulf
Stream abound; there were the rolling echoes of the thunder, and
the zig zag, chain lightning, which every few seconds enveloped
the heavens and the ocean in a frightful livid garment; and, as
if to cap the climax, there was the giant column, darker, much
darker than the dark clouds around us, reaching from those clouds
and resting on the waters, and threatening to sweep our whole
ship's company into eternity.

On the day succeeding our adventure with the waterspout, the wind
died away, although the heavy clouds still hung about the
horizon.  The schooner, lying in the trough of the sea, was
fearfully uneasy; but towards night a regular gale of wind
commenced, and our vessel was hove to under a double-reefed
foresail.  It was near the close of the first watch when the
fore-topsail getting loose on the lee yard arm, I went aloft to
secure it.  After I had accomplished this work, I lingered a few
minutes on the yard to enjoy the beauty of the storm.  The waves,
urged by the fury of the gale, were breaking around us in
majestic style; the schooner was rocking to and fro, and
occasionally took a lee lurch, which made every timber in her
bottom quiver.

I had finished my survey of the wind and weather, and was about
to descend to the deck, when I carelessly cast my eyes aloft, and
there beheld a sight which struck terror to my soul.  On the very
summit of the main-topmast   on the truck itself, was A HUGE BALL
OF FIRE!  It seemed a mass of unearthly light of livid hue, which
shed a dismal radiance around.  The rain fell at the time, but
quenched it not; and the heaviest gusts of wind served neither to
extinguish it, nor increase its brilliancy.  It kept its station
unmoved, shining terribly through the storm, like some dread
messenger, sent by a superior power to give warning of impending

I was appalled with terror at the sight.  Although by no means
credulous or superstitious, I could hardly resist the belief that
this globe of fire, which appeared thus suddenly in the midst of
a furious storm, at dead of night, and on a spot where it could
not have been placed or kindled by the hand of man, was of
supernatural origin.  I shuddered with fear; a strange giddiness
came over me; and I had hardly strength to cling to the shrouds
as I descended to the deck.

I pointed out the object of my terror to my watch-mate, the
French carpenter, who gazed at it earnestly, and then, turning to
me, nodded his head emphatically two or three times, like a
Chinese mandarin, and grinned.   This pantomimic display was
intended to convey much meaning   more than I could interpret.
But it convinced me that the carpenter was familiar with such
sights, which, perhaps, were not very remarkable, after all.

When the watch was called, I pointed out the fiery ball to
Eastman, and to Mr. Adams, the mate, and learned that the object
which gave me such a fright was not of very unfrequent occurrence
during a gale of wind.  It was known among seamen by the name of
CORPOSANT, or COMPLAISANT, being a corruption of "cuerpo santo,"
the name it received from the Spaniards.  It is supposed to be
formed of phosphorescent particles of jelly, blown from the
surface of the water during a storm, and which, clinging to the
rigging, gradually accumulate, and ascend until they reach the
truck.  The mass remains there for a time, and then disappears.
Sometimes it is seen on the topsail yard or at the end of the
flying jib-boom.

A few days afterwards, having crossed "the Gulf," we made the
land off the mouth of Savannah River; saw Tybee Lighthouse; took
a pilot, and proceeded up to the city.  When we left St.
Bartholomew, it was given out that we were bound to Wilmington;
on the passage we spoke a vessel, and Captain Turner, on being
questioned, said we were bound to Charleston.  For good and
sufficient reasons, known to himself, he did not think proper to
gratify idle curiosity.

But while our shrewd captain was dexterously managing to deceive
the revenue officers, and obtain all the advantages of the fair
trader, a circumstance occurred through his own ignorance or
neglect, which brought about the very catastrophe he was taking
such pains to avoid.

The cargo, as I have stated, consisted of only a few puncheons of
rum.  A permit was obtained, and one morning they were landed on
the wharf.  At that time there was a law of the United States
which forbade the importation of rum in casks containing less
than ninety gallons.  The officer appointed to gauge the casks
that were landed from the schooner ascertained that one of them
measured only seventy-eight gallons.  He proclaimed the fact, and
hastened to the Custom House to notify the collector.  In the
mean time, Mr. Howard, the merchant who transacted business for
Captain Turner, heard of the affair, and, accompanied by the
captain, came on board.

Instead of acknowledging an involuntary violation of law, and
explaining to the collector the cause of the error, these
gentlemen very imprudently ordered the objectionable cask to be
rolled in on deck, and all hands were set at work to transfer its
contents to an empty water cask, which was of greater capacity
than ninety gallons.  The trick might have succeeded had the
revenue officers allowed sufficient time.  The work was
commenced, and the liquor was running out, making a gurgling
noise, when down came the collector with a numerous posse at his

We were caught in the very act.  A war of words ensued; but the
explanations given under the attendant circumstances were so
unsatisfactory, that the vigilant chief of the customs clapped
his broad mark on the mainmast, and seized the vessel and the
unfortunate cask of rum in the name and behalf of the United

Chapter X

The afternoon of the day on which we arrived in Savannah, after
the vessel was secured to the wharf, and the decks put in proper
condition, the four half-starved individuals, composing the crew
of the schooner John, gayly stepped ashore, and proceeded in
quest of some wholesome and palatable food.  Our pockets were not
well lined, and we sought not for luxuries; but we yearned for a
good, full meal, which would satisfy our appetite   a blessing we
had not enjoyed for several weeks.

After passing through a couple of streets, we came to a humble
but neat-looking dwelling house, with an apology for a garden in
front.   Tables and seats were arranged beneath some trees;
"spruce beer" was advertised for sale, but there were indications
that other kinds of refreshments could be obtained.  The place
wore a comfortable aspect.  We nodded smilingly to each other, as
much as to say, "This will do!"   entered the gateway, which
stood invitingly open, and took seats at a table.

Eastman, who was a native of New Hampshire, had resided many
years on a farm, and knew what was good living, inquired boldly
of the master of the establishment if he could furnish each of us
with a capacious bowl of bread and milk.  The man replied that he
could.  On inquiring the price, we found, to our great joy, that
it was within our means.  He was told to bring it along; and in a
few minutes, which seemed an age, the bread and milk were placed
before us.

The milk was cool, and of good quality.  The bread was in the
form of rolls, newly baked, and manufactured of the finest flour.
The aspect of these "refreshments" was of the most tempting
character!  To our excited imaginations, they equalled the nectar
and ambrosia which furnished the feasts on Mount Olympus.  We did
not tarry long to gaze upon their beauties, or contemplate their
excellence.  Each one broke a roll into his basin of milk, seized
a spoon, and without speaking a word, commenced operations with
exemplary energy, with cheeks glowing with excitement, and eyes
glistening with pleasure; while our good-natured host gazed in
wonder on our proceedings, and grinned approbation!

Our gratification was complete.  We returned to the schooner in
better spirits and in better health, after having partaken of
this invigorating meal; and although I have since dined with
epicures, and been regaled with delicious food prepared in the
most artistic style, I never tasted a dish which seemed so
grateful to my palate, which so completely suffused my whole
physical system with gratification bordering on ecstasy, as that
humble bowl of bread and milk in Savannah.

The schooner having been seized by the government for unlawful
transactions, the crew were compelled to wait until the trial
took place before they could receive the wages due for their
services.  If the vessel should not be condemned, they were to
look to Captain Turner for their pay.  But on the other hand, if
the vessel should be confiscated, the United States authorities
would be obliged to pay the wages due at the time the seizure
took place.  In the mean time we were furnished with board, such
as it was, and lodging in the schooner, and awaited with
impatience the result of the trial.

Captain Turner, being a shrewd business man, was not idle during
this intermission.  Having reasons to believe his vessel would be
condemned, he resolved that the government authorities should
obtain possession of nothing more than the bare hull and spars.
Under cover of the night he stripped the schooner of the cables
and anchors, the running rigging, the spare spars, water casks,
boats, sails, cabin furniture, blocks, compasses, and handspikes.
The government got "a hard bargain," when the naked hull of this
old worn-out craft came into their hands.

One beautiful morning while lying at the wharf in Savannah, two
barges, each having its stern-seats occupied by three well-
dressed gentlemen, looking as serious and determined as if bent
on some important business, left the landing place astern of the
schooner, and proceeded rapidly down the river.  A throng of
inquisitive observers, who knew the nature of their errand,
collected ere they started from the wharf, and gazed intently on
the boats until the intervening marshes concealed them from view.

These gentlemen were to act as principals, seconds, and surgeons,
in a duel for which all proper arrangements had been made.  At a
ball the evening before, a dispute had arisen between two high-
spirited youths, connected with highly-respectable families, in
relation to the right of dancing with a beautiful girl, the belle
of the ball-room.  Irritating and insulting language was indulged
in by both parties; a challenge was given and promptly accepted.
They proceeded in the way I have related to the South Carolina
bank of the river, there to settle the controversy by gunpowder
logic, and shoot at each other until one or both parties should
be fully satisfied.

Having seen the duellists fairly embarked, I felt a deep interest
in the result, and eagerly watched for the return of the barges.
In the course of little more than an hour, one of the boats was
seen ascending the river, and rapidly approached the wharf.  One
of the principals, followed by his friend, stepped ashore with a
triumphant air, as if he had done a noble deed, and walked up the
wharf.  But no satisfactory information could be obtained
respecting the result of the duel.

In about half a hour the other boat made its appearance.  It
moved slowly along, propelled by only a couple of oars.  The
reason for this was soon explained by the sight of a man, extended
on the thwarts, and writhing with pain.  This proved to be one of
the duellists, who was shot in the groin at the second fire, and
dangerously wounded.  The boat reached the landing place, and the
surgeon and the second both went up the wharf in search of some
means of transporting the unfortunate man to his home.  Meanwhile
he lay upon his rude couch exposed to the nearly vertical rays of
the sun; his only attendant a negro, who brushed away the flies
which annoyed him.  His features were of a deadly pallor; he
breathed with difficulty, and appeared to suffer much from pain.

Some ten or fifteen minutes elapsed ere the friends of the
wounded man returned, bringing a litter, mattress, and bearers.
He was too ill to be conveyed through the streets in a coach.  A
mournful procession was formed, and he was thus carried, in a
bleeding and dying condition, to his relatives, a mother and
sisters, from whom he had parted a few hours before, in all the
strength and vigor of early manhood.

As I gazed upon this wounded man, the absurdity of the custom of
duelling, as practised among civilized nations, struck me in all
its force.  One scene like this, taken in connection with the
attendant circumstances, is more convincing than volumes of
logic, or a thousand homilies.  For a few hasty words, exchanged
in a moment of anger, two men, instructed in the precepts of the
Christian religion, professing to be guided by true principles of
honesty and honor, who had ever borne high characters for worth,
and perhaps, IN CONSEQUENCE of the elevated position they hold
among respectable men, meet hy appointment in a secluded spot,
and proceed in the most deliberate manner to take each other's
lives   to commit MURDER   a crime of the most fearful magnitude
known among nations, and denounced as such by the laws of man and
the laws of God.

In due time the fate of the schooner John was decided.  The
vessel was condemned, and the crew received notice to bring in
their bills for the amount of wages due.  Captain Turner kindly
offered to make out my account, and shortly afterwards handed me
my bill against the United States government for services on
board, the amount of which overwhelmed me with astonishment.

"There is surely a mistake in this bill, sir," said I; "the
amount is far more than I am entitled to.  You forget I shipped
for only fifteen dollars a month, and including my advanced
month's pay, I have already received a considerable portion of my

"I forget nothing of the kind, Hawser," replied the captain, with
a benevolent smile. "You may just as well receive fifty dollars
as five and twenty.   The government will be none the poorer for

"But, sir, will it be RIGHT for me to carry in an account so
greatly exceeding in amount what is my due?"

"My lad," replied the captain, a little embarrassed, "You must
not be so scrupulous in these trifling matters, or you will never
make your way through the world   at any rate you will never do
for a sailor.  The rest of the men make no objections to putting
a little money in their pockets, and why should YOU?  Even Mr.
Adams, the mate, will receive double the amount of money which
rightfully belongs to him!"

"But, sir," I replied, greatly shocked at this intelligence, and
my features undoubtedly expressed my abhorrence of this strange
system of ethics, "do you expect me to go before a magistrate and
take a solemn oath that the account you have jut put into my
hands is a just and true one?  You surely would not ADVISE me to
commit such a crime!"

The captain's face glowed like a firebrand, and his eyes sparkled
with wrath, as he loudly exclaimed, "What difference does it make
to you, you ungrateful cur, whether the account is true or false,
so long as you get your money?  Bring none of your squeamish
objections here.  Either take the account as I have made it out,
and swear to it, without flinching, or" -- and here he swore an
oath too revolting to transcribe   "not a cent of money shall you

He stepped ashore, and walked with rapid strides up the wharf.  I
went forward, and seating myself on the windlass, burst into

It struck me as hard and unjust that I should be deprived of my
well-earned wages, unless on condition of committing an unworthy
act, at which my soul revolted.  My decision, however, was taken.
Although the loss of my money would have subjected me to
inconvenience   perhaps distress   I resolved to submit to any
ills which poverty might inflict, rather than comply with the
wishes and advice of this unprincipled man, who should have acted
towards me as a faithful monitor and guide.

I remained in this disconsolate condition for about an hour, when
Captain Turner returned on board.  As he stepped leisurely over
the gangway, he greeted me with a benignant smile, and beckoned
me to the quarter deck.

"Well, Hawser," said he in his blandest manner, as if he sought
to atone for his coarse language and dishonorable conduct a short
time before, "so you refuse to do as others do   take a false
oath?  You are too sanctimonious by half, and you will find it
out some day.  You are an obstinate little fool, but may do as
you like.  Here is another paper; look over it, and see if it
will suit you."

I opened the paper; it was a true statement of my claim against
the government for wages.  In the course of the day, the ship's
company proceeded in a body to the office of the government
agent, swore to our several accounts, and received our money.

The amount which fell to my share was not large.  I purchased
some clothes, paid a few trifling debts that I had contracted
while subjected to the "law's delay," which Shakespeare, a keen
observer of men and manners, classes among the most grievous of
human ills, and had a few dollars left.

After my experience of a sailor's life, after the treatment I had
received, the miserable fare on which I had barely existed during
a portion of the time, and the disgusting specimen of nautical
morality I had met with in Captain Turner, it will not be
considered surprising if my views of a sailor's life had been a
little changed during my last voyage.  I entertained some doubts
whether "going to sea," instead of being all poetry and romance,
was not rather a PROSY affair, after all; and I more than once
asked myself if a young man, of correct deportment and
industrious habits, who could find some good and respectable
business on shore, would not be a consummate fool to "go to sea."
I deliberated anxiously on the subject, and finally determined to
return to my home in New Hampshire, and visit my friends before I
undertook another voyage.

The schooner Lydia, of Barnstable, commanded by Captain Burgess,
an honest, noble-hearted son of Cape Cod, was the only vessel in
Savannah at that time bound for Boston.  I explained to him my
situation, told him I was anxious to get home, and asked as a
favor that he would allow me to work my passage to Boston.

He replied that he had a full crew for his vessel, even more
hands than could be properly accommodated below, as the cabin and
steerage were both encumbered with bales of cotton.  But if I was
willing to sleep on deck, and assist in working ship and doing
other duty, he would cheerfully give me a passage.  I accepted
his offer on these conditions, and thanked him into the bargain.

We left Savannah on our way to Boston.  My heart beat quicker at
the idea of returning home.  The wind proved light and baffling
on the passage, and as we drew towards the north, the weather was
foggy with drizzling rains.  My quarters on deck, under the lee
of a bale of cotton, were any thing but comfortable.  I often
awoke when the watch was called, shivering with cold, and found
it difficult, without an unusual quantity of exercise, to recover
a tolerable degree of warmth.

I uttered no complaints, but bore this continual exposure, night
and day, and other inconveniences, with a philosophical spirit,
conceiving them to be a part of the compact.  If the passage had
only been of moderate length, I should, in all likelihood, have
reached Boston in good health; but nineteen days had passed away
when we sailed through the Vineyard Sound, and anchored in the
harbor of Hyannis, on the third of July, 1810.

Some days before we reached Hyannis, I found myself gradually
losing strength.  I was visited with occasional fits of
shivering, succeeded by fever heats.  But on the morning of the
glorious Fourth, I felt my whole system renovated at the idea of
celebrating "Independence Day" on shore.   The captain and mate
of the Lydia both belonged to Barnstable, where their families
resided.  They both left the schooner for their homes as soon as
the anchor reached the bottom, boldly predicting head winds or
calms for at least thirty-six hours, at the end of which time
they calculated to rejoin the schooner.

On the morning of the fourth, the crew, to a man, followed the
example of our trustworthy officers, and determined to have a
jovial time on shore.   We left the good schooner Lydia soberly
riding at anchor, to take care of herself.  There were several
other vessels in the harbor, all of which were deserted in the
same manner.  Not a living animal was to be found in the whole
fleet.  After passing weeks at sea, the temptation to tread the
firm earth, and participate in a Fourth of July frolic, was too
strong to be resisted.

Hyannis was then quite a humble village with a profusion of salt
works.  Farm houses were thinly scattered around, and comfort
seemed inscribed on every dwelling.  There seemed to be an
abundance of people moving about on that day; where they came
from was a problem I could not solve.  Every one seemed pleased
and happy, and, with commendable patriotism, resolved to enjoy
Independence Day.  The young men were neatly apparelled, and bent
on having a joyous time; and the girls   Cape Cod girls, ever
renowned for beauty and worth   gayly decked out with smiles, and
dimples, and ribbons, ready for a Fourth of July frolic, dazzled
the eyes of the beholders, and threw a magic charm over the

And a frolic they had; fiddling, dancing, fun, and patriotism was
the order of the day.  In the evening, however, the
entertainments were varied by the delivery of a sermon and other
religious exercises in the school-house by a young Baptist
clergyman, who subsequently became well known for his
praiseworthy and successful efforts to reduce the rates on
postage in the United States.  This good man accomplished the
great work of his life   and died.  A simple monument is erected
to his memory at Mount Auburn, with no more than these words of


Hardly a person visits that consecrated ground who has not reaped
enjoyment from the labors of that man's life.  And as the simple
epitaph meets the eye, and is read in an audible tone, the heart-
felt invocation, "Blessings on his memory!" is his oft-repeated

It was about nine o'clock in the evening when the crew returned
to the schooner.  After we gained the deck I was seized with an
unpleasant sensation.  A sudden chill seemed to congeal the blood
in my veins; my teeth chattered, and my frame shook with alarming
violence.  After the lapse of about thirty minutes the chills
gave place to an attack of fever, which, in an hour or two, also
disappeared, leaving me in a weak and wretched condition.  This
proved to be a case of intermittent fever, or FEVER AND AGUE, a
distressing malady, but little known in New England in modern
times, although by no means a stranger to the early settlers.  It
was fastened upon me with a rough and tenacious grasp, by the
damp, foggy, chilly atmosphere in which I had constantly lived
for the last fortnight.

Next morning, in good season, the captain and mate were on board.
The wind was fair, and we got under weigh   doubled Cape Cod, and
arrived alongside the T Wharf in Boston, after a tedious and
uncomfortable passage of twenty-two days from Savannah.

I left my home a healthy-looking boy, with buoyant spirits, a
bright eye, and features beaming with hope.  A year had passed,
and I stood on the wharf in Boston, a slender stripling, with a
pale and sallow complexion, a frame attenuated by disease, and a
spirit oppressed by disappointment.  The same day I deposited my
chest in a packet bound to Portsmouth, tied up a few trifling
articles in a handkerchief, shook hands with the worthy Captain
Burgess, his mate and kind-hearted crew, and with fifteen silver
dollars in my pocket, wended my way to the stage tavern in Ann
Street, and made arrangements for a speedy journey to my home in
Rockingham County, New Hampshire.

Chapter XI

It seemed to be generally conceded that I had got enough of the
sea; that after the discomforts I had experienced, and the
unpleasant and revolting scenes I had witnessed, I should
manifest folly in trying another voyage.  My friends took it for
granted that in my eyes a ship had lost all her attractions, and
that I would henceforth eschew salt water as zealously and
devoutly as a thrice-holy monk is wont to eschew the vanities of
the world.

Indeed, for a time I reluctantly acknowledged that I had seen
enough of a sailor's life; that on trial it did not realize my
expectations; that if not a decided humbug, it was amazingly like
one.  With my health the buoyancy of my spirits departed.  Hope
and ambition no longer urged me with irresistible power to go
forth and visit foreign lands, and traverse unknown seas like a
knight errant of old in quest of adventures.  While shivering
with ague, and thinking of my wretched fare on board the schooner
John, and my uncomfortable lodgings during the passage from
Savannah, I listened, with patience at least, to the suggestions
of my friends about a change of occupation.  Arrangements were
accordingly made by which I was to bid adieu to the seas forever.

It cost me something to abandon a vocation to which I had looked
for years as the stepping-stone to success in life; and as my
health and spirits returned, I began to doubt whether I was
acting wisely; but having embarked in a new pursuit, I determined
to go ahead, and to this determination I unflinchingly adhered,
for at least THREE MONTHS,   when I fell in with a distant
relation, Captain Nathaniel Page, of Salem, who was about
proceeding on a voyage to the Brazils.  After expressing surprise
at my course in abandoning the sea, he more than hinted that if I
wished a situation before the mast with him, it was at my

This was applying the linstock to the priming with a vengeance.
My good resolutions vanished like a wreath of vapor before a
westerly gale.  Those longings which I had endeavored to stifle,
returned with more than their original force.  In fancy's eye, I
saw a marlinspike where Macbeth saw the dagger, and snuffed the
fragrance of a tar-bucket in every breeze.

At the expiration of three days after my interview with Captain
Page, I took the stage coach and proceeded to Salem.  The brig
Clarissa was then preparing to take in cargo for Maranham and
Para,   ports on the north coast of Brazil,   which had just been
thrown open to American commerce.  The Clarissa was a good-
looking, substantial vessel, of about two hundred tons burden,
belonging to Jere. L. Page, Abel Peirso, and others, and had
recently returned from a successful voyage to Calcutta.

The sight of the brig, and the flurry about the wharves, where
several Indiamen were discharging cargoes or making ready for
sea, confirmed me in my resolution to try the ocean once more.
Indeed I began to be heartily ashamed of having seriously
entertained the idea of quietly settling down among "the land-
lubbers on shore," and felt that the sooner I retrieved my error
the better.

Filled with this idea, I sought Captain Page, and without further
consideration, and without daring to consult my friends in New
Hampshire, lest they should overwhelm me with remonstrances, I
engaged to go in the Clarissa as one of the crew before the mast.

I returned home with all speed, gathered together my few sea-
going garments and nautical instruments, again bade adieu to my
relations, who gravely shook their heads in doubt of the wisdom
of my conduct, and elated by visions of fairy castles in the
distance, hastened to join the brig, which was destined to bear
Caesar and his fortunes.

This may have been the wisest step I could have taken.  It is not
likely I should have been long reconciled to any other occupation
than that of a mariner.  When a boy's fixed inclinations in the
choice of an occupation are thwarted, he is seldom successful in
life.  His genius, if he has any, will be cramped, stunted, by an
attempt to bend it in the wrong direction, and will seldom
afterwards expand.  But when a person, while attending to the
duties of his profession or occupation, whether literary,
scientific, or manual, can gratify his inclinations, and thus
find pleasure in his business, he will be certain of success.

It was at the close of January, 1811, that the brig Clarissa was
cast loose from Derby's Wharf in Salem, and with a gentle south-
west breeze, sailed down the harbor, passed Baker's Island, and
entered on the broad Atlantic.  Our cargo was of a miscellaneous
description, consisting of flour and salt provisions, furniture,
articles of American manufacture, and large assortment of India
cottons, which were at that time in general use throughout the
habitable parts of the globe.

The Clarissa was a good vessel, and well found in almost every
respect; but like most of the vessels in those days, had wretched
accommodations for the crew.  The forecastle was small, with no
means of ventilation or admission of the light of day, excepting
by the fore-scuttle.  In this contracted space   an equilateral
triangle, with sides of some twelve or fifteen feet, which was
expected to furnish comfortable accommodations for six
individuals, including a very dark-complexioned African, who
filled the respectable and responsible office of cook   were
stowed six large chests and other baggage belonging to the
sailors; also two water-hogsheads, and several coils of rigging.

The deck leaked badly, in heavy weather, around the bowsprit-
bitts, flooding the forecastle at every plunge; and when it is
considered that each inmate of the forecastle, except myself, was
an inveterate chewer of Indian weed, it may be imagined that this
forecastle was about as uncomfortable a lodging place, in
sinter's cold or summer's heat, as a civilized being could well
desire.  It undoubtedly possessed advantages over the "Black Hole
of Calcutta," but an Esquimaux hut, an Indian wigwam, or a
Russian cabin, was a palace in comparison.  And this was a type
of the forecastles of those days.

After getting clear of the land the wind died away; and soon
after came from the eastward, and was the commencement of a snow
storm which lasted twelve hours, when it backed into the north-
west, and the foresail was set with the view of scudding before
the wind.  It soon blew a heavy gale; the thermometer fell nearly
to zero; ice gathered in large quantities on our bowsprit, bows,
and rigging, and the brig labored and plunged fearfully in the
irregular cross sea when urged through the water by the
blustering gale.

To save the vessel from foundering, it became necessary to lay
her to under a close-reefed main-topsail.  It was about half past
eleven o'clock at night, when all hands were called for that
purpose.  Unfortunately my feet were not well protected from the
inclemency of the weather, and became thoroughly wet before I had
been five minutes on deck.  We had difficulty in handling the
foresail, in consequence of the violence of the wind and the
benumbing effect of the weather, and remained a long time on the
yard.  When I reached the deck, my stockings were frozen to my
feet, and I suffered exceedingly from the cold.

It was now my "trick at the helm,": for notwithstanding we were
lying to, it was considered necessary for some one to remain near
the tiller, watch the compass, and be in readiness for any
emergency.  I stamped my feet occasionally, with a view to keep
them from freezing, and thought I had succeeded; and when at four
o'clock I went below and turned into my berth, they felt
comfortable enough, and I fell into a deep sleep, from which I
was awakened by burning pains in my feet and fingers.  My
sufferings were intolerable, and I cried out lustily in my agony,
and was answered from another part of the forecastle, where one
of my watchmates, a youth but little older than myself, was
extended, also suffering from frozen feet and hands.

Our united complaints, which by no means resembled a concert of
sweet sounds, aroused from his slumbers our remaining watchmate,
Newhall, an experienced tar, who cared little for weather of any
description, provided he was not stinted in his regular
proportion of sleep.  In a surly mood he inquired what was the
trouble.  On being told, he remarked with a vein of philosophy
and a force of logic which precluded all argument, that if our
feet were frozen, crying and groaning would do US no good, while
it would annoy him and prevent his sleeping; therefore we had
better "grin and bear it" like men until eight bells, when we
might stand a chance to get some assistance.  He moreover told us
that he would not put up with such a disturbance in the
forecastle; it was against al rules; and if we did not clap a
stopper on our cries and groans, he would turn out and give us
something worth crying for   he would pummel us both without

Thus cautioned by our compassionate shipmate, we endeavored to
restrain ourselves from giving utterance to our feelings until
the expiration of the watch.

When the watch was called our wailings were loud and clamorous.
Our sufferings awakened the sympathy of the officers; our
condition was inquired into, and assistance furnished.  Both my
feet were badly frost-bitten, and inflamed and swollen.  Collins,
my watchmate, had not escaped unscathed from the attack of this
furious northwester, but being provided with a pair of stout
boots, his injuries were much less than mine.  In a few days he
was about the deck as active as ever.

The result of my conflict with the elements on "the winter's
coast" was of a serious and painful character; and for a time
there was reason to fear that amputation of a portion of one, if
not both feet might be necessary.  Captain Page treated me with
kindness, and was unremitting in his surgical attentions; and by
dint of great care, a free application of emollients, and copious
quantities of "British oil," since known at different times as
"Seneca oil," or "Petroleum," a partial cure was gradually
effected; but several weeks passed away ere I was able to go
aloft, and a free circulation of the blood has never been

A few days after this furious gale, we found ourselves in warm
weather, having entered the edge of the Gulf Stream.  We
proceeded in a south-east direction, crossing the trade winds on
our way to the equinoctial line.  Were it not for the monotony,
which always fatigues, there would be few undertakings more
interesting than a sail through the latitudes of "the trades,"
where we meet with a balmy atmosphere, gentle breezes, and smooth
seas.  In the night the heavens are often unclouded, the
constellations seem more interesting, the stars shine with a
milder radiance, and the moon gives a purer light, than in a more
northern region.  Often in my passage through the tropics, during
the night-watches, seated on a spare topmast, or the windlass, or
the heel of the bowsprit, I have, for hours at a time, indulged
my taste for reading and study by the light of the moon.

Fish of many kinds are met with in those seas; and the attempt to
capture them furnishes a pleasant excitement; and if the attempt
is successful, an agreeable variety is added to the ordinary fare
on shipboard.  The dolphin is the fish most frequently seen, and
is the most easily caught of these finny visitors.  He is one of
the most beautiful of the inhabitants of the deep, and presents a
singularly striking and captivating appearance, as, clad in
gorgeous array, he moves gracefully through the water.  He
usually swims near the surface, and when in pursuit of a flying-
fish shoots along with inconceivable velocity.

The dolphin, when properly cooked, although rather dry, is
nevertheless excellent eating; and as good fish is a welcome
commodity at sea, the capture of a dolphin is not only an
exciting but an important event.  When the word is given forth
that "there's a dolphin alongside," the whole ship's company are
on the alert.  Business, unless of the last importance, is
suspended, and the implements required for the death or captivity
of the unsuspecting stranger are eagerly sought for.  The men
look resolved, ready to render any assistance, and watch the
proceedings with an eager eye; and the wonted grin on the
features of the delighted cook, in anticipation of an opportunity
to display his culinary skill, assumes a broader character.

The captain or the mate takes his station in some convenient part
of the vessel, on the bow or on the quarter, or beneath the
bowsprit on the martingale stay.  By throwing overboard a bright
spoon, or a tin vessel, to which a line is attached, and towing
it on the top of the water, the dolphin, attracted by its
glittering appearance, and instigated by curiosity, moves quickly
towards the deceiving object, unconscious that his artful enemy,
man, armed with a deadly weapon, a sort of five-pronged harpoon,
called a GRANES, is standing over him, with uplifted arm, ready
to give the fatal blow.

The fish is transferred from his native element to the deck; the
granes is disengaged from the quivering muscles, and again passed
to the officer, who, it may be, soon adds another to the killed.
It is sometimes the case that half a dozen dolphin are captured
in this way in a few minutes.  A hook and line over the stern,
with a flying-fish for bait, will often prove a successful means
of capturing the beautiful inhabitants of the deep.

The dolphin is a fine-looking fish.  Its shape is symmetry
itself, and has furnished a valuable hint for the model of fast-
sailing vessels.  It is usually from two to three feet in length,
and is sometimes met with of nearly twice that size, and weighing
seventy-five or a hundred pounds.  One of the properties for
which the dolphin is celebrated is that of changing its color
when dying.  By many this is considered fabulous; but it is
strictly true.  After the fish is captured, and while struggling
in the scuppers, the changes constantly taking place in its color
are truly remarkable.  The hues which predominate are blue,
green, and yellow, with their various combinations: but when the
fish is dead, the beauty of its external appearance, caused by
the brilliancy of its hues, no longer exists.  Falconer, the
sailor poet, in his interesting poem of "The Shipwreck," thus
describes this singular phenomenon:

"But while his heart the fatal javelin thrills,
And flitting life escapes in sanguine rills,
What radiant changes strike the astonished sight!
What glowing hues of mingled shade and light!
Not equal beauties gild the lucid west,
With parting beams all o'er profusely drest;
Not lovelier colors paint the vernal dawn,
When orient dews impearl the enamelled lawn,
Than from his sides in bright suffusion flow,
That now with gold empyreal seem to glow;
Now in pellucid sapphires meet the view,
And emulate the soft, celestial hue;
Now beam a flaming crimson in the eye,
And now assume the purple's deeper dye."

The second mate of the Clarissa, Mr. Fairfield, was a veteran
sailor, and a very active and industrious man.  He was always
busy when not asleep; and, what was of more importance, and
frequently an annoyance to the ship's company, he dearly loved to
see other people busy.  He regarded idleness as the parent of
evil, and always acted on the uncharitable principle that if
steady employment is not provided for a ship's company they will
be constantly contriving mischief.

Unfortunately for the crew of the Clarissa, Mr. Fairfield had
great influence with the captain, having sailed with him the
previous voyage, and proved himself a good and faithful officer.
He, therefore, had no difficulty in carrying into operation his
favorite scheme of KEEPING ALL HANDS AT WORK.  A large quantity
of "old junk" was put on board in Salem, and on the passage to
Brazil, after we reached the pleasant latitudes, all hands were
employed from eight o'clock in the morning until six o'clock in
the evening in knotting yarns, twisting spunyarn, weaving mats,
braiding sinnett, making reef-points and gaskets, and
manufacturing small rope to be used for "royal rigging,"   for
among the ingenious expedients devised by the second mate for
keeping the crew employed was the absurd and unprofitable one of
changing the snug pole royal masts into "sliding gunters," with
royal yards athwart, man-of-war fashion.

Sunday on board the Clarissa was welcomed as a day of respite
from hard labor.  The crew on that day had "watch and watch,"
which gave them an opportunity to attend to many little duties
connected with their individual comforts, that had been neglected
during the previous week.  This is exemplified in a conversation
I had with Newhall, one of my watchmates, one pleasant Sunday
morning, after breakfast.

"Heigh-ho," sighed Newhall, with a sepulchral yawn; "Sunday has
come at last, and I am glad.  It is called a day of rest, but is
no day of rest for me.  I have a thousand things to do this
forenoon; one hour has passed away already, and I don't know
which to do first."

"Indeed!  What have you to do to-day more than usual," I

"Not much out of the usual way, perhaps, Hawser.  But I must
shave and change my clothes.  Although we can't go to meeting,
it's well enough for a fellow to look clean and decent, at least
once a week.  I must also wash a couple of shirts, make a cap out
of a piece of canvas trousers, stop a leak in my pea-jacket, read
a chapter in the Bible,   which I promised my grandmother in
Lynnfield I would do every Sunday,   and bottle off an hour's

"Well, then, " said I, "if you have so much to do, no time is to
be lost.  You had better go to work at once."

"So I will," said he; "and as an hour's sleep is the most
important of all, I'll make sure of that to begin with, for fear
of accidents.  So, here goes."

And into his berth he tumbled "all standing," and was neither
seen nor heard until the watch was called at twelve o'clock.

But little time was given for the performance of religious duties
on the Sabbath; indeed, in the times of which I write, such
duties among sailors were little thought of.  Religious subjects
were not often discussed in a ship's forecastle, and even the
distinction between various religious sects and creeds was
unheeded, perhaps unknown.  And yet the germ of piety was
implanted in the sailor's heart.  His religion was simple, but
sincere.  Without making professions, he believed in the being of
a wise and merciful Creator; he believed in a system of future
rewards and punishments; he read his Bible,   a book which was
always found in a sailor's chest,   pinned his faith upon the
Gospels, and treasured up the precepts of our Saviour; he
believed that though his sins were many, his manifold temptations
would also be remembered.  He manifested but little fear of
death, relying firmly on the MERCY of the Almighty.

My description of the uninterrupted labors of the crew on board
the Clarissa may induce the inquiry how the ship's company could
do with so little sleep, and even if a sailor could catch a cat-
nap occasionally in his watch, what must become of the officers,
who are supposed to be wide awake and vigilant during the hours
they remain on deck?

I can only say, that on board the Clarissa there was an exception
to this very excellent rule.  Captain Page, like other
shipmasters of the past, perhaps also of the present day,
although bearing the reputation of a good shipmaster, seldom
troubled himself about ship's duty in the night time.  He trusted
to his officers, who were worthy men and experienced sailors.
Between eight and nine o'clock he turned in, and was seldom seen
again until seven bells, or half past seven o'clock in the
morning.  After he left the deck, the officer of the watch,
wrapped in his pea-jacket, measured his length on the weather
hencoop, and soon gave unimpeachable evidence of enjoying a
comfortable nap.  The remainder of the watch, emulating the noble
example of the officer, selected the softest planks on the deck,
threw themselves, nothing loath, into a horizontal position, and
in a few minutes were transported into the land of forgetfulness.

The helmsman only, of all the ship's company, was awake, to watch
the wind and look out for squalls; and he, perhaps, was nodding
at his post, while the brig was moving through the water, her
head pointing by turns in every direction but the right one.  If
the wind veered or hauled, the yard remained without any
corresponding change in their position.  If more sail could be
set to advantage, it was seldom done until the sun's purple rays
illumined the eastern horizon, when every man in the watch was
aroused, and a great stir was made on the deck.  When the captain
came up the companion-way, every sail was properly set which
would draw to advantage, and the yards were braced according to
the direction of the wind.

It was, undoubtedly, owing to this negligence on the part of the
officers during the night watches, and not to any ill qualities
on the part of the brig, that our passage to Maranham occupied
over sixty days.  And, undoubtedly, to this negligence may be
ascribed the extraordinary length of passages to and from foreign
ports of many good-sailing ships in these days.

Chapter XII

As we drew near the equinoctial line, I occasionally heard some
talk among the officers on the subject of a visit from Old
Neptune; and as there were three of the crew who had never
crossed the line, it was thought probable that the venerable sea
god would visit the brig, and shake hands with the strangers,
welcoming them to his dominions.

A few days afterwards, when the latitude was determined by a
meridian altitude of the sun, Captain Page ordered Collins to go
aloft and take a good look around the horizon, as it was not
unlikely something was in sight.  Collins grinned, and went
aloft.  He soon hailed the deck from the fore-topsail yard, and
said he saw a boat broad off on the weather bow, with her sails
spread "wing and wing," and steering directly for the brig.

"That's Old Neptune himself!" shouted Captain Page, clapping his
hands. "He will soon be alongside.  Mr. Abbot," continued he,
speaking to the chief mate, "let the men get their dinners at
once.  We must be prepared to receive the old gentleman!"

After dinner, Mr. Fairfield ordered those of the crew   including
myself   who had never crossed the line, into the forecastle, to
remove one of the water casks.  We had no sooner descended the
ladder than the fore-scuttle was closed and fastened, and we were
caught like rats in a trap.  Preparations of a noisy character
were now made on deck for the reception of Old Neptune.

An hour   a long and tedious one it appeared to those confined
below   elapsed before the old gentleman got within hail.  At
length we heard a great trampling on the forecastle, and anon a
gruff voice, which seemed to come from the end of the flying jib-
boom, yelled out, "Brig, ahoy!"

"Hallo!" replied the captain.

"Have you any strangers on board?"

"Ay, ay!"

"Heave me a rope!  I'll come alongside and shave them directly!"

A cordial greeting was soon interchanged between captain Page and
Old Neptune on deck, to which we prisoners listened with much
interest.  The slide of the scuttle was removed, and orders given
for one of the "strangers" to come on deck and be shaved.
Anxious to develop the mystery and be qualified to bear a part in
the frolic, I pressed forward; but as soon as my head appeared
above the rim of the scuttle I was seized, blindfolded, and led
to the main deck, where I was urged, by a press of politeness I
could not withstand, to be seated on a plank.  The process of
shaving commenced, which, owing to the peculiar roughness of the
razor and the repulsive qualities of the lather, was more painful
and disagreeable than pleasant, but to which I submitted without
a murmur.  When the scarifying process was finished, I was told
to hold up my head, raise my voice to its highest pitch, and say,
"Yarns!"  I obeyed the mandate, as in duty bound; and to give
full and distinct utterance to the word, opened my mouth as if
about to swallow a whale, when some remorseless knave, amid
shouts of laughter from the surrounding group, popped into my
open mouth the huge tar brush, well charged with the unsavory
ingredients for shaving.

I now thought my trials were over.  Not so.  I was interrogated
through a speaking trumpet on several miscellaneous subjects; but
suspecting some trick, my answers were brief and given through
closed teeth.  At length, Captain Page exclaimed, "Old Neptune,
this will never do.  Give him a speaking trumpet also, and let
him answer according to rule, and in shipshape fashion, so that
we can all hear and understand him."

I put the trumpet to my mouth, and to the next question attempted
to reply in stunning tones, "None of your business!"   for I was
getting impatient, and felt somewhat angry.  The sentence was but
half uttered when a whole bucket of salt water was hurled into
the broad end of the speaking trumpet, which conducted it into my
mouth and down my throat, nearly producing strangulation; at the
same time, the seat was pulled from beneath me, and I was plunged
over head and ears in the briny element.

As soon as I recovered my breath, the bandage was removed from my
eyes, and I found myself floating in the long boat, which had
been nearly filled with water for the occasion, and surrounded by
as jovial a set of fellows as ever played off a practical joke.
Old Neptune proved to be Jim Sinclair, of Marblehead, but so
disguised that his own mother could not have known him.  His ill-
favored and weather-beaten visage was covered with streaks of
paint, like the face of a wild Indian on the war-path.  He had a
thick beard made of oakum; and a wig of rope-yarns, the curls
hanging gracefully on his shoulders, was surmounted with a paper
cap, fashioned and painted so as to bear a greater resemblance to
the papal tiara than to the diadem of the ocean monarch.  In one
hand he held a huge speaking trumpet, and in the other he
brandished, instead of a trident, the ship's granes with FIVE

The other strangers to Old Neptune were subsequently compelled to
go through the same ceremonies, in which I assisted with a hearty
good will; and those who did not patiently submit to the
indignities, received the roughest treatment.  The shades of
evening fell before the frolic was over, and the wonted order and
discipline restored.

It was formerly the invariable practice with all American and
British vessels to observe ceremonies, when crossing the line, of
a character similar to those I have described, varying, of
course, according to the taste of the commander of the vessel and
other circumstances.  In a large ship, with a numerous crew, when
it was deemed expedient to be particularly classical, Neptune
appeared in full costume, accompanied by the fair Amphitrite,
decorated with a profusion of sea-weed or gulf-weed, shells,
coral, and other emblems of salt water sovereignty, and followed
by a group of Tritons and Nereids fantastically arrayed.
Sometimes, and especially when remonstrances were made to the
mandates of the sea god, and his authority was questioned in a
style bordering on rebellion, the proceedings were of a character
which bore unjustifiably severe on his recusant subjects.
Instances have been known where keel-hauling has been resorted to
as an exemplary punishment for a refractory individual.

This cruel and inhuman mode of punishment, in former ages, was
not uncommon in ships of war of all nations.  It was performed by
fastening a rope around the body of an individual, beneath the
armpits, as he stood on the weather gunwale.  One end of the rope
was passed beneath the keel and brought up to the deck on the
opposite side, and placed in the hands of half a dozen stout
seamen.  The man was then pushed overboard, and the men stationed
to leeward commenced hauling, while those to windward gently
"eased away" the other end of the rope.  The victim was thus, by
main force, dragged beneath the keel, and hauled up to the deck
on the other side.  The operation, when adroitly performed,
occupied but a short time in the estimation of the bystanders,
although it must have seemed ages to the poor fellow doomed to
undergo the punishment.  Sometimes a leg or an arm would come in
contact with the keel, and protract the operation; therefore, a
severe bruise, a broken limb, a dislocated joint, or even death
itself, was not an unfrequent attendant on this kind of

Many years ago, on board an English East Indiaman, an officer,
who had figured conspicuously in perpetrating severe jokes on
those who were, for the first time, introduced to Old Neptune,
was shot through the head by an enraged passenger, who could not,
or would not appreciate the humor of the performances!

The ceremony of "shaving when crossing the line" is not so
generally observed as formerly in our American ships; and, as it
is sometimes carried to unjustifiable lengths, and can hardly be
advocated on any other ground than ancient custom, it is in a
fair way to become obsolete.

In those days there were no correct charts of the northern coast
of Brazil, and Captain Page, relying on such charts as he could
obtain, was one night in imminent danger of losing the brig,
which was saved only by the sensitiveness of the olfactory organs
of the second mate!

It was about six bells in the middle watch, or three o'clock in
the morning; the heavens were clear and unclouded; the stars
shone with great brilliancy; there was a pleasant breeze from the
south-east, and the ship was gliding quietly along, with the wind
abaft the beam, at the rate of five or six knots.  Suddenly Mr.
Fairfield, whose nose was not remarkable for size, but might with
propriety be classed among the SNUBS, ceased to play upon it its
accustomed tune in the night watches, sprang from the hen-coop,
on which he had been reclining, and began to snuff the air in an
eager and agitated manner!  He snuffed again; he stretched his
head over the weather quarter and continued to snuff!  I was at
the helm, and was not a little startled at his strange and
unaccountable conduct.  I had almost convinced myself that he was
laboring under a sudden attack of insanity, when, turning round,
he abruptly asked me IF I COULD NOT SMELL THE LAND?

I snuffed, but could smell nothing unusual, and frankly told him
so; upon which he went forward and asked Newhall and Collins if
either of them could smell the land.  Newhall said "no;" but
Collins, after pointing his nose to windward, declared he "could
smell it plainly, and that the smell resembled beefsteak and

To this, after a long snuff, the mate assented adding that beef
was abundant in Brazil, and the people were notoriously fond of
garlic!  Collins afterwards acknowledged that he could smell
nothing, but was bound to have as good a nose as the second mate!

Upon the strength of this additional testimony Mr. Fairfield
called the captain, who snuffed vigorously, but without effect.
He could smell neither land, nor "beefsteak and onions." He was
also incredulous in regard to our proximity to the shore, but
very properly concluded, as it was so near daylight, to heave the
brig to, with her head off shore, until we could test the
correctness of the second mate's nose!

After waiting impatiently a couple of hours we could get glimpses
along the southern horizon, and, to the surprise of Captain Page,
and the triumph of the second mate, the land was visible in the
shape of a long, low, hummocky beach, and not more than three
leagues distant.  When Mr. Fairfield first scented it we were
probably not more than four or five miles from the shore, towards
which we were steering on a diagonal course.

The land we fell in with was some three or four degrees to
windward of Maranham.  On the following day we entered the mouth
of the river, and anchored opposite the city.

Before we had been a week in port a large English ship, bound to
Maranham, went ashore in the night on the very beach which would
have wrecked the Clarissa, had it not been for the extraordinary
acuteness o Mr. Fairfield's nose, and became a total wreck.  The
officers and crew remained near the spot for several days to save
what property they could, and gave a lamentable account of their
sufferings.  They were sheltered from the heat of the sun by day,
and the dews and rains by night, by tents rudely constructed from
the ship's sails.  But these tents could not protect the men from
the sand-flies and mosquitoes, and their annoyance from those
insects must have been intolerable.  The poor fellows shed tears
when they told the tale of their trials, and pointed to the
ulcers on their limbs as evidence of the ferocity of the

It appeared, also, that their provisions fell short, and they
would have suffered from hunger were it not that the coast, which
was but sparsely inhabited, abounded in wild turkeys, as they
said, of which they shot several, which furnished them with
"delicious food."  They must have been excessively hungry, or
blessed with powerful imaginations, for, on cross-examination,
these "wild turkeys" proved to be TURKEY BUZZARDS, or carrion
vultures, most filthy creatures, which, in many places where the
decay of animal matter is common, act faithfully the part of
scavengers, and their flesh is strongly tinctured with the
quality of their food.

St. Louis de Maranham is a large and wealthy city, situated near
the mouth of the Maranham River, about two degrees and a half
south of the equator.  The city is embellished with many fine
buildings, among which is the palace of the governor of the
province, and many richly endowed churches or cathedrals.  These
numerous churches were each furnished with bells by the dozen,
which were continually ringing, tolling, or playing tunes from
morning until night, as if vieing with each other, in a paroxysm
of desperation, which should make the most deafening clamor.  I
have visited many Catholic cities, but never met with a people so
extravagantly fond of the music of bells as the inhabitants of

This perpetual ringing and pealing of bells, of all sizes and
tones, at first astonishes and rather amuses a stranger, who
regards it as a part of the rejoicings at some great festival.
But, when day after day passes, and there is no cessation of
these clanging sounds, he becomes annoyed; at every fresh peal he
cannot refrain from exclaiming "Silence that dreadful bell!" and
wishes from his heart they were all transformed to dumb bells!
Yet, after a time, when the ear becomes familiar with the sounds,
he regards the discordant music of the bells with indifference.
When the Clarissa left the port of Maranham, after having been
exposed for months to such an unceasing clang, something seemed
wanting; the crew found themselves involuntarily listening for
the ringing of the bells, and weeks elapsed before they became
accustomed and reconciled to the absence of the stunning
tintinabulary clatter!

The city of Maranham was inhabited almost entirely by Portuguese,
or the descendants of Portuguese.  We found no persons there of
foreign extraction, excepting a few British commission merchants.
There was not a French, a German, or an American commercial house
in the place.  The Portuguese are a people by no means calculated
to gain the kind consideration and respect of foreigners.  They
may possess much intrinsic worth, but it is so covered with, or
concealed beneath a cloak of arrogance and self-esteem, among the
higher classes, and of ignorance, superstition, incivility, and
knavery among the lower, that it is difficult to appreciate it.
Of their courtesy to strangers, a little incident, which occurred
to Captain Page while in Maranham, will furnish an illustration.

Passing, one day, by a large cathedral, he found many persons
entering the edifice or standing near the doorway, an indication
that some holy rites were about to be celebrated.  Wishing to
view the ceremony, he joined the throng and entered the church,
which was already crowded by persons of all ranks.  Pressing
forward he found a vacant spot on the floor of the cathedral, in
full view of the altar.  Here he took his stand, and gazed with
interest on the proceedings.

He soon perceived that he was the observed of all observers; that
he was stared at as an object of interest and no little amusement
by persons in his immediate vicinity, who, notwithstanding their
saturnine temperaments, could not suppress their smiles, and
winked and nodded to each other, at the same time pointing slyly
towards him, as if there was some capital joke on hand in which
he bore a conspicuous part.  His indignation may be  imagined
when he discovered that he had been standing directly beneath a
huge chandelier, which was well supplied with lighted wax
candles, and the drops of melted wax were continually falling,
from a considerable height, upon his new dress coat, and the
drops congealing, his coat looked as if covered with spangles!
Not one of the spectators of this scene was courteous enough to
give him a hint of his misfortune, but all seemed to relish, with
infinite gusto, the mishap of the stranger.

Captain Page found in Maranham a dull market for his East India
goods.  His provisions and his flour, however, bought a good
price, but the greatest per centum of profit was made on cigars.
One of the owners of the Clarissa stepped into an auction store
in State Street one day, when a lot of fifty thousand cigars,
imported in an English vessel from St. Jago de Cuba, were put up
for sale.  The duty on foreign cigars, at that time, was three
dollars and a half a thousand.  These cigars had been regularly
entered at the custom house, and were entitled to debenture, that
is, to a return of the duties, on sufficient proof being
furnished that they had been exported and landed in a foreign
port.  As there were few bidders, and the cigars were of inferior
quality, the owner of the Clarissa bought the lot at the rate of
three dollars per thousand, and put them on board the brig.  They
were sold in Maranham as "Cuban cigars" for fifteen dollars a
thousand, and on the return of the brig the custom house handed
over the debenture   three dollars and a half a thousand!  This
was what may be called a neat speculation, certainly a SAFE one,
as the return duty alone would have covered the cost and

In the river, opposite the city, the current was rapid,
especially during the ebb tide, and sharks were numerous.  We
caught three or four heavy and voracious ones with a shark-hook
while lying at anchor.  Only a few days before we arrived a negro
child was carried off by one of these monsters, while bathing
near the steps of the public landing-place, and devoured.

A few days before we left port I sculled ashore in the yawl,
bearing a message from the mate to the captain.  It was nearly
low water, the flood tide having just commenced, and I hauled the
boat on the flats, calculating to be absent but a few minutes.
Having been delayed by business, when I approached the spot where
I left the boat I found, to my great mortification, that the boat
had floated with the rise of the tide, and was borne by a fresh
breeze some twenty or thirty yards from the shore.  My chagrin
may be imagined when I beheld the boat drifting merrily up the
river, at the rate of three or four knots an hour!

I stood on the shore and gazed wistfully on the departing yawl.
There was no boat in the vicinity, and only one mode of arresting
the progress of the fugitive.  I almost wept through vexation.  I
hesitated one moment on account of the sharks, then plunged into
the river, and with rapid and strong strokes swam towards the
boat.  I was soon alongside, seized the gunwale, and, expecting
every moment that a shark would seize me by the leg, by a
convulsive movement threw myself into the boat.

As I sculled back towards the place from which the boat had
drifted, Captain Page came down to the water side.  He had
witnessed the scene from a balcony, and administered a severe
rebuke for my foolhardiness in swimming off into the river,
particularly during the young flood, which brought the voracious
monsters in from the sea.

On our passage to Maranham, and during a portion of our stay in
that port, the utmost harmony prevailed on board.  The men,
although kept constantly at work, were nevertheless satisfied
with their treatment.  The officers and the crew were on pleasant
terms with each other; and grumbling without cause, which is
often indulged in on shipboard, was seldom known in the
forecastle of the Clarissa.  But it happened, unfortunately for
our peace and happiness, that Captain Page added two men to his
crew in Maranham.  One of them was an Englishman, one of the poor
fellows, who, when shipwrecked on the coast, were nearly eaten up
by the mosquitoes, and who in turn banqueted on turkey buzzards,
as the greatest of luxuries!  He was a stout, ablebodied sailor,
but ignorant, obstinate, insolent, and quarrelsome   one of those
men who, always dissatisfied and uncomfortable, seem to take
pains to make others unhappy also.

The other was a native of New England.  He had met with various
strange adventures and been impressed on board an English man-of-
war, where he had served a couple of years, and, according to his
own statement, been twice flogged at the gangway.  He was a
shrewd fellow, impatient under the restraints of discipline;
always complaining of "the usage" in the Clarissa, and being
something of a sea lawyer, and liberally endowed with the gift of
speech, exercised a controlling influence over the crew, and in
conjunction with the Englishman, kept the ship's company in that
unpleasant state of tumult and rebellion, known as "hot water,"
until the end of the voyage.

One or two men, of a character similar to those I have described,
are to be found in almost every vessel, and are always the cause
of more or less trouble;   of discontent and insolence on the
part of the crew, and of corresponding harsh treatment on the
part of the officers; and the ship which is destined to be the
home, for months, of men who, under other circumstances, would be
brave, manly, and obedient, and which SHOULD be the abode of
kindness, comfort, and harmony, becomes a Pandemonium, where
cruelty and oppression are practised   a gladiatorial arena,
where quarrels, revolts, and perhaps murders, are enacted.  When
such men, determined promoters of strife, are found among a
ship's company, they should be got rid of at any cost, with the
earliest opportunity.

When our cargo was disposed of at Maranham we proceeded down the
coast to the city of Para, on one of the mouths of the Amazon.
Here we received a cargo of cacao for the United States.  There
was, at that time, a vast quantity of wild, uncultivated forest
land in the interior of the province, which may account for the
many curious specimens of wild living animals which we met with
at that place.  Indeed the city seemed one vast menagerie, well
stocked with birds, beasts, and creeping things.

Of the birds, the parrot tribe held the most conspicuous place.
They were of all colors and sizes, from the large, awkward-
looking mackaw, with his hoarse, discordant note, to the little,
delicate-looking paroquet, dumb as a barnacle, and not bigger
than a wren.  The monkeys, of all sizes, forms, and colors,
continually chattering and grimacing, as fully represented the
four-footed animals as the parrots did the bipeds.  We found
there the mongoose, but little larger than a squirrel; an animal
almost as intelligent as the monkey, but far more interesting and
attractive.  The hideous-looking sloth, with his coarse hair,
resembling Carolina moss, his repulsive physiognomy, his strong,
crooked claws, his long and sharp teeth, darkly dyed with the
coloring matter of the trees and shrubs which constituted his
diet, was thrust in our faces in every street; and the variegated
venomous serpent, with his prehensile fangs, and the huge boa
constrictor, writhing in captivity, were encountered as desirable
articles of merchandise at every corner.

But the MOSQUITOES at the mouth of the Amazon were perhaps the
most remarkable, as well as the most bloodthirsty animals which
abounded in that region.  They were remarkable not only for size,
but for voracity and numbers.  This insect is a pest in every
climate.  I have found them troublesome on the bar of the
Mississippi in the heat of summer; and at the same season
exceedingly annoying while navigating the Dwina on the way to
Archangel.  In the low lands of Java they are seen, heard, and
felt to a degree destructive to comfort; and in certain
localities in the West Indies are the direct cause of intense
nervous excitement, loud and bitter denunciations, and fierce
anathemas.  But the mosquitoes that inhabit the country bordering
on the mouths of the Amazon must bear away the palm from every
other portion of the globe.

Every part of our brig was seized upon by these marauding
insects; no nook or corner was too secluded for their presence,
and no covering seemed impervious to their bills.  Their numbers
were at all times incredible; but at the commencement of twilight
they seemed to increase, and actually formed clouds above the
deck, or to speak more correctly, one continuous living cloud
hovered above the deck, and excluded to a certain extent the rays
of light.

There being no mosquito bars attached to the berths in the
forecastle, the foretop was the only place in which I could
procure a few hours repose.  There I took up my lodgings, and my
rest was seldom disturbed excepting occasionally by the visits of
a few of the most venturous and aspiring of the mosquito tribe,
or a copious shower of rain.

An incident, IT WAS SAID, occurred on board a ship in the harbor,
which, if correctly stated, furnishes a striking proof of the
countless myriads of mosquitoes which abound in Para.  One of the
sailors, who occupied a portion of the foretop as a sleeping
room, unfortunately rolled over the rim of the top one night
while locked in the embraces of Somnus.  He fell to the deck,
where he would inevitably have broken his neck were it not for
the dense body of mosquitoes, closely packed, which hovered over
the deck, awaiting their turn for a delicious banquet.  This
elastic body of living insects broke Jack's fall, and let him
down gently to the deck without doing him harm.

Fortunately it was not necessary to tarry a long time in Para.
We took on board a cargo of cacao in bulk, and sailed on our
return to Salem.  As we approached the coast of the United States
we experienced much cloudy weather, and for several days no
opportunity offered for observing any unusual phenomena in the
heavens.  But one pleasant evening, as we were entering the South
Channel, being on soundings south-east of Nantucket, one of the
crew, who was leaning over the lee gunwale, was struck with the
strange appearance of a star, which shone with unusual
brilliancy, and left a long, broad, and crooked wake behind.

His exclamation of surprise caused every eye to be directed to
the spot, about fifty-five degrees above the eastern horizon,
pointed out by our observing shipmate  and there in full view, to
the admiration of some and the terror of others, the comet of
1811 stood confessed!

The men indulged in wild speculations respecting the character of
this mysterious visitor, but all concurred in the belief that it
was the messenger of a superior power, announcing the coming of
some fearful national evil, such as a terrible earthquake, a
devastating pestilence, or a fierce and bloody war.  Our country
was engaged in a war with a powerful nation within the following
year; but to those who watched the signs of the times, and
remembered the capture of the Chesapeake, and were aware of the
impressment of our seamen, the confiscation of property belonging
to our citizens captured on the high seas without even a decent
pretence, and the many indignities heaped on our government and
people by Great Britain, it needed no gifted seer or celestial
visitant to foretell that an obstinate war with that haughty
power was inevitable.

A few days after the discovery of the comet furnished such a
liberal scope for conjecture and comment in the forecastle and
the cabin, about the middle of October, 1811, we arrived in
Salem, having been absent between eight and nine months.

Chapter XIII

Having been two voyages to the West Indies and one to the
Brazils, I began to regard myself as a sailor of no little
experience.  When rigged out in my blue jacket and trousers, with
a neatly covered straw hat, a black silk kerchief tied jauntily
around my neck, I felt confidence in my own powers and resources,
and was ready, and, as I thought, able to grapple with any thing
in the shape of good or ill fortune that might come along.  I was
aware that success in life depended on my own energies, and I
looked forward to a brilliant career in the arduous calling which
I had embraced.  Like Ancient Pistol, I could say,

"The world's mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open!"

With this difference, that I proposed to substitute, for the
present at least, a marlinspike for the sword.

Captain Page invited me to remain by the Clarissa and accompany
him on a voyage to Gibraltar, but I felt desirous of trying my
fortune and gain knowledge of my calling in a good ship bound to
the East Indies, or on a fur-trading voyage to the "north-west
coast" of America.

At that time the trade with the Indians for furs on the "north-
west coast" was carried on extensively from Boston.  The ships
took out tobacco, molasses, blankets, hardware, and trinkets in
large quantities.  Proceeding around Cape Horn, they entered the
Pacific Ocean, and on reaching the north-west coast, anchored in
some of the bays and harbors north of Columbia River.  They were
visited by canoes from the shore, and traffic commenced.  The
natives exchanged their furs for articles useful or ornamental.
The ship went from port to port until a cargo of furs was
obtained, and then sailed for Canton, and disposed of them to the
Chinese for silks and teas.  After an absence of a couple of
years the ship would return to the United States with a cargo
worth a hundred thousand dollars.  Some of the most eminent
merchants in Boston, in this way, laid the foundation of their

This trade was not carried on without risk.  The north-west coast
of America at that period had not been surveyed; no good charts
had been constructed, and the shores were lined with reefs and
sunken rocks, which, added to a climate where boisterous winds
prevailed, rendered the navigation dangerous.

This traffic was attended with other perils.  The Indians were
bloodthirsty and treacherous; and it required constant vigilance
on the part of a ship's company to prevent their carrying into
execution some deep-laid plan to massacre the crew and gain
possession of the ship.  For this reason the trading vessels were
always well armed and strongly manned.  With such means of
defence, and a reasonable share of prudence on the part of the
captain, there was but little danger.  But the captain and
officers were not always prudent.  Deceived by the smiles and
humility of the natives, they sometimes allowed them to come on
board in large numbers, when, at a signal from their chief, they
drew their arms from beneath their garments and commenced the
work of death.  After they had become masters of the ship, they
would cut the cables and let her drift ashore, gaining a valuable
prize in the cargo, in the iron and copper bolts, spikes, and
nails with which the timbers and planks were fastened together,
and in the tools, furniture, clothing, and arms.  A number of
vessels belonging to New England were in this way cut off by the
savages on the "north-west coast," and unsuccessful attempts were
made on others.

The "ower true tales" of disasters and massacres on the "north-
west coast" seemed to invest a voyage to that quarter with a kind
of magic attraction or fascination as viewed through the medium
of a youthful imagination; and a voyage of this description would
give me an opportunity to perfect myself in much which pertained
to the sailor and navigator.

After a delay of a few weeks the opportunity offered which I so
eagerly sought.  The ship Packet was preparing for a voyage from
Boston to the north-west coast via Liverpool, and I succeeded in
obtaining a situation on board that ship before the mast.  I
hastened to Boston and took up my temporary abode at a boarding
house, kept by Mrs. Lillibridge, a widow, in Spring Lane, on or
near the spot on which the vestry of the Old South Church now
stands.  I called immediately on the agents, and obtained
information in relation to the details of the voyage, and
commenced making the necessary preparations.

Several merchants were interested in this contemplated voyage,
but the business was transacted by the mercantile house of
Messrs. Ropes and Pickman, on Central Wharf.  This firm had not
been long engaged in business.  Indeed, both the partners were
young men, but they subsequently became well known to the
community.  Benjamin T. Pickman became interested in politics,
and rendered good service in the legislature.  On several
occasions he received marks of the confidence of his fellow-
citizens in his ability and integrity.  He was elected to the
Senate, and was chosen president of that body.  He died in 1835.
Mr. William Ropes, the senior partner of the firm fifty years
ago, after having pursued an honorable mercantile career at home
and abroad, occupies at this time a high position as an
enterprising and successful merchant and a public-spirited

I laid in a good stock of clothes, such as were needed on a
voyage to that inclement part of the world, provided myself with
various comforts for a long voyage, and purchased as large an
assortment of books as my limited funds would allow,   not
forgetting writing materials, blank journals, and every thing
requisite for obtaining a good practical knowledge of navigation,
and of other subjects useful to a shipmaster.

The Packet was a beautiful ship, of about three hundred tons
burden, originally intended as a regular trader between Boston
and Liverpool; but in consequence of her superior qualities was
purchased on the termination of her first voyage for this
expedition to the north-west coast.  She was to be commanded by
Daniel C. Bacon, a young, active, and highly intelligent
shipmaster, who a few years before had sailed as a mate with
Captain William Sturgis, and had thus studied the principles of
his profession in a good school, and under a good teacher.  He
had made one successful voyage to that remote quarter in command
of a ship.  Captain Bacon, as is known to many of my readers,
subsequently engaged in mercantile business in Boston, and for
many years, until his death, not long since, his name was the
synonyme of mercantile enterprise, honor, and integrity.

The name of the chief mate was Stetson.  He was a tall, bony,
muscular man, about forty years old.  He had been bred to the
sea, and had served in every capacity.  He was a thorough sailor,
and strict disciplinarian; fearless and arbitrary, he had but
little sympathy with the crew; his main object being to get the
greatest quantity of work in the shortest possible time.  Stories
were afloat that he was unfeeling and tyrannical; that fighting
and flogging were too frequent to be agreeable in ships where he
was vested with authority.  There were even vague rumors in
circulation that he indulged occasionally in the unique and
exciting amusement of shooting at men on the yards when engaged
in reefing topsails.  These rumors, however, although they
invested the aspect and conduct of the mate with a singular
degree of interest, were not confirmed.
For my own part, although a little startled at the notoriety
which Mr. Stetson had achieved, I determined to execute my duties
promptly and faithfully so far as was in my power, to be
respectful and obedient to my superiors and trustworthy in every
act, and let the future take care of itself.  Indeed, this is the
line of conduct I have endeavored to follow in every situation I
have filled in the course of an eventful life, and I can
earnestly recommend it to my youthful readers as eminently
calculated to contribute to their present comfort and insure
their permanent prosperity.

In a few days the Packet received her cargo, consisting chiefly
of tobacco and molasses.  It was arranged that she should take on
board, in Liverpool, bales of blankets and coarse woollen goods,
and boxes containing various articles of hardware and trinkets,
such as would be acceptable to the savages on the coast.  The
ship was hauled into the stream, and being a fine model, freshly
painted, with royal yards athwart, and colors flying, and signal
guns being fired night and morning, attracted much notice and was
the admiration of sailors.  I was proud of my good fortune in
obtaining a chance before the mast, in such a vessel, bound on
such a voyage.

The crew was numerous for a ship of three hundred tons,
consisting of eight able seamen, exclusive of the boatswain, and
four boys.  Besides a cook and steward we had a captain's clerk,
an armorer, a carpenter, and a tailor.  The ship's complement,
all told, consisting of twenty-two.  For an armament we carried
four handsome carriage guns, besides boarding pikes, cutlasses,
and muskets in abundance.  We had also many coils of rattling
stuff, small rope for making boarding nettings, and a good supply
of gunpowder was deposited in the magazine.

The sailors came on board, or were brought on board by their
landlords, after we had hauled from the wharf.  Some of them were
sober and well behaved, others were stupid or crazy from
intoxication.  It required energy and decision to establish order
and institute strict rules of discipline among such a
miscellaneous collection of web-footed gentry.  But Mr. Stetson,
assisted by Mr. Bachelder, the second mate, was equal to the
task.  Indeed he was in his element while directing the labors of
the men, blackguarding this one for his stupidity, anathematizing
that one for his indolence, and shaking his fist at another, and
menacing him with rough treatment for his short answers and sulky

One of the seamen who had been brought on board nearly dead
drunk, showed his figure-head above the forescuttle on the
following morning.   His eyes, preternaturally brilliant, were
bloodshot, his cheeks were pale and haggard, his long black hair
was matted, and he seemed a personification of desperation and
despondency.  Stetson caught a glimpse of his features; even his
fossilized heart was touched with his appearance and he drove him

"Down with you!" said he, shaking his brawny fist in the drunken
man's face, "don't let me see your ugly phiz again for the next
twenty-four hours.  The sight of it is enough to frighten a land-
lubber into hysterics, and conjure up a hurricane in the harbor
before we can let go the sheet anchor.  Down with you; vanish!
Tumble into your berth!  Take another long and strong nap, and
then turn out a fresh man, and show yourself a sailor; or you'll
rue the day when you first tasted salt water!"

The rueful visage disappeared, unable to withstand such a
broadside, and its owner subsequently proved to be a first-rate
seaman, and was an especial favorite with Stetson.

A circumstance occurred while the ship was in the stream, where
she lay at anchor two or three days, which will convey a correct
ides of the character of the mate.  One afternoon, while all
hands were busily employed in heaving in the slack of the cable,
a boat, pulled by two stout, able-bodied men, came alongside.
One of the men came on board, and addressing the mate, said he
had a letter which he wished to send to Liverpool.  The mate
looked hard at the man, and replied in a gruff and surly tone,
"We can't receive any letters here.  The letter bag is at Ropes
and Pickman's counting room, and you must leave your letter there
if you want it to go to Liverpool in this ship."

"Never mind," exclaimed the stranger, "I am acquainted with one
of the crew, and I will hand it to him."

Regardless of Stetson's threats of vengeance provided he gave the
letter into the hands of any one on board, the man stepped
forward to the windlass, and handed the missive to one of the

At this contempt of his authority Stetson's indignation knew no
bounds.  He roared, in a voice hoarse with passion, "Lay hold of
that scoundrel, Mr. Bachelder.  Seize the villain by the throat.
I'll teach im better than to cut his shines in a ship while I
have charge of the deck.  I'll seize him up to the mizzen
shrouds, make a spread eagle of him, give him a cool dozen, and
see how he will like that."

The stranger, witnessing the mate's excitement, and hearing his
violent language, seemed suddenly conscious that he had been
guilty of a terrible crime, for which he was liable to be
punished without trial or jury.  He made a spring over the
gunwale, and eluded the grasp of Mr. Bachelder, who followed him
into the main chain-wales, and grabbed one of his coat tails just
as he was slipping into his boat!

He struggled hard to get away, and his companion raised an oar
and endeavored to strike the second mate with that ponderous
club.  The garment by which the stranger was detained,
fortunately for him, was not made of such firm and solid
materials as the doublet of Baillie Jarvie when he accompanied
the Southrons in their invasion of the Highland fastnesses of Rob
Roy.  The texture, unable to bear the heavy strain, gave way; the
man slid from the chain-wale into the boat, which was quickly
shoved off, and the two terrified landsmen pulled away from the
inhospitable ship with almost superhuman vigor, leaving the coat-
tail in the hands of the second officer, who waved it as a trophy
of victory!

Meanwhile Stetson was foaming at the mouth and raving like a
madman.  He ordered the steward to bring up his pistols to shoot
the rascals, and when it seemed likely the offenders would
escape, he called upon me, and another boy, by name, and in
language neither courteous nor refined told us to haul the ship's
yawl alongside   and be lively about it.  I instantly entered the
boat from the taffrail by means of the painter; and in half a
minute the boat was at the gangway, MANNED by a couple of BOYS,
and Stetson rushed down the accommodation ladder, with a stout
hickory stick in his hand, and without seating himself, seized
the tiller, and with a tremendous oath, ordered us to shove off.

Away we went in full chase after the swiftly-receding boat, my
young shipmate and myself bending our backs to the work with all
the strength and skill of which we were master, while Stetson
stood erect in the stern seats, at one time shaking his stick at
the affrighted men, and hurling at their heads volleys of curses
both loud and deep, at another, urging and encouraging us to pull
harder, or cursing us in turn because we did not gain on the
chase.  The fugitives were dreadfully alarmed.  They pulled for
their lives; and the terror stamped on their visages would have
been ludicrous, had we not known that if we came up with the
chase a contest would take place that might be attended with
serious, perhaps fatal, results.

The shore boat had a good start, which gave it an unfair
advantage, and being propelled by two vigorous MEN, obeying an
instinctive impulse to escape from an impending danger, kept
about the same distance ahead.  They steered for Long Wharf   the
nearest route to TERRA FlRMA   passed the steps on the north
side, and pulled alongside a schooner which was lying near the T,
clambered to her decks, leaving the boat to her fate, nimbly
leaped ashore, took to their heels, and commenced a race up the
wharf as if the avenger of blood was upon their tracks!

Stetson steered the boat directly for the steps, up which he
hastily ascended, and ordered me to follow.  As we rounded the
corner of the adjoining store, we beheld the fugitives leaving us
at a pace which no sailor could expect to equal.  The man who had
particularly excited the wrath of the mate took the lead, and cut
a conspicuous figure with his single coat-tail sticking out
behind him horizontally like the leg of a loon!

The mate, seeing the hopelessness of further pursuit, suddenly
stopped, and contented himself with shaking his cudgel at the
runaways, and muttering between his teeth, "Run, you blackguards,

And run they did, until they turned down India Street, and were
lost to sight.

In a day or two after the occurrence above described, the ship
Packet started on her voyage to Liverpool.  She was a noble ship,
well found and furnished in every respect, and, setting aside the
uncertain temper and eccentricities of the chief mate, well
officered and manned.

When we passed Boston light house with a fresh northerly breeze,
one clear and cold morning towards the close of November, in the
year 1811, bound on a voyage of several years' duration, I
experienced no regret at leaving my home and native land, and had
no misgiving in regard to the future.  My spirits rose as the
majestic dome of the State House diminished in the distance; my
heart bounded with hope as we entered the waters of Massachusetts
Bay.  I felt that the path I was destined to travel, although
perhaps a rugged one, would be a straight and successful one, and
if not entirely free from thorns, would be liberally sprinkled
with flowers.

It is wisely ordered by a benignant Providence that man,
notwithstanding his eager desire to know the secrets of futurity,
can never penetrate those mysteries.  In some cases, could he
know the changes which would take place in his condition, the
misfortunes he would experience, the miseries he would undergo,
in the lapse of only a few short years, or perhaps months, he
would shrink like a coward from the conflict, and yield himself
up to despair.

I could not long indulge in vagaries of the imagination.  In a
few hours the wind hauled into the north-east, and a short head
sea rendered the ship exceedingly uneasy.  While busily employed
in various duties I felt an uncomfortable sensation pervading
every part of my system.  My head grew dizzy and my limbs grew
weak; I found, to my utter confusion, that I WAS SEASICK!  I had
hardly made the humiliating discovery, when the boatswain
hoarsely issued the unwelcome order, "Lay aloft, lads, and send
down the royal yards and masts!"

My pride would not allow me to shrink from my duty, and
especially a duty like this, which belonged to light hands.  And
while I heartily wished the masts and yards, which added so much
to the beauty of the ship, and of which I was so proud in port,
fifty fathoms beneath the keelson, I hastened with my wonted
alacrity aloft, and commenced the work of sending down the main-
royal yard.

Seasickness is an unwelcome malady at best.  It not only deprives
a person of all buoyancy of spirit, but plunges him headlong into
the gulf of despondency.  His only desire is to remain quiet; to
stir neither limb nor muscle; to lounge or lie down and muse on
his unhappy destiny.  If he is urged by a sense of duty to arouse
himself from this stupor, and occupy himself with labors and
cares while weighed down by the heavy load, his condition,
although it may command little sympathy from his companions, is
truly pitiable.

In my particular case, feeling compelled to mount aloft, and
attain that "bad eminence," the main-royal mast head, while the
slender spar was whipping backwards and forwards with every
plunge of the ship into a heavy head sea, and the visible effect
produced by every vibration causing me to fear an inverted
position of my whole internal system, no one can imagine the
extent of my sufferings.  They were of a nature that Dante would
eagerly have pounced upon to add to the horrors of his Inferno.
I felt at times willing to quit my feeble hold of a backstay or
shroud, and seek repose by diving into the briny billows beneath.
If I had paused for a moment in my work I should, undoubtedly,
have failed in its accomplishment.  But Stetson's eye was upon
me; his voice was heard at times calling out   "Main-royal mast
head, there!  Bear a hand, and send down that mast!  Why don't
you bear a hand!"

To this reminder, making a desperate exertion, I promptly
replied, in a spirited tone, "Ay, ay, sir!"

Diligence was the watchword, and it acted as my preserver.

It often happens that a crew, composed wholly or in part of old
sailors, will make an experiment on the temper and character of
the officers at the commencement of the voyage.  When this is the
case, the first night after leaving port will decide the question
whether the officers or the men will have command of the ship.
If the officers are not firm and peremptory; if they are
deficient in nerve, and fail to rebuke, in a prompt and decided
manner, aught bordering on insolence or insubordination in the
outset, farewell to discipline, to good order and harmony, for
the remainder of the passage.

Captain Bacon was a man of slight figure, gentlemanly exterior,
and pleasant countenance.  Although his appearance commanded
respect, it was not calculated to inspire awe; and few would have
supposed that beneath his quiet physiognomy and benevolent cast
of features were concealed a fund of energy and determination of
character which could carry him safely through difficulty and

Mr. Bachelder, the second mate, was a young man of intelligence,
familiar with his duties, and blessed with kind and generous
feelings.  Unlike Stetson, he was neither a blackguard nor a
bully.  After some little consultation among the old sailors who
composed the starboard watch, it was thought advisable to begin
with him, and ascertain if there was any GRIT in his composition.

It was about six bells   eleven o'clock at night   when the wind
hauling to the north-west, Mr. Bachelder called out, "Forward
there!  Lay aft and take a pull of the weather braces."

One of the men, a smart active fellow, who went by the name of
Jack Robinson, and had been an unsuccessful candidate for the
office of boatswain, replied in a loud and distinct tone, "Ay,

This was agreed on as the test.  I knew the crisis had come, and
awaited with painful anxiety the result.

Mr. Bachelder rushed forward into the midst of the group near the
end of the windlass.

"Who said, 'Ay, ay'?" he inquired, in an angry tone.

"I did," replied Robinson.

"YOU did!  Don't you know how to reply to an officer in a proper

"How SHOULD I reply?" said Robinson, doggedly.

"Say 'Ay, ay, SIR,' when you reply to me," cried Bachelder, in a
tone of thunder   at the same time seizing him by the collar and
giving him a shake   "and," continued he, "don't undertake to cut
any of your shines here, my lad!  If you do, you will be glad to
die the death of a miserable dog.  Lay aft, men, and round in the
weather braces!"

"Ay, ay, sir!  Ay, ay, sir!" was the respectful response from
every side.

The yards were trimmed to the breeze, and when the watch gathered
again on the forecastle it was unanimously voted that IT WOULD

Notwithstanding the decided result of the experiment with the
second mate, one of the men belonging to the larboard watch,
named Allen, determined to try conclusions with the captain and
chief mate, and ascertain how far they would allow the strict
rules of discipline on shipboard to be infringed.  Allen was a
powerful fellow, of huge proportions, and tolerably good
features, which, however, were overshadowed by a truculent
expression.  Although of a daring disposition, and unused to
subordination, having served for several years in ships engaged
in the African slave trade, the nursery of pirates and
desperadoes, he showed but little wisdom in trying the patience
of Stetson.

On the second night after leaving port, the ship being under
double-reefed topsails, the watch was summoned aft to execute
some duty.  The captain was on deck, and casually remarked to the
mate, "It blows hard, Mr. Stetson; we may have a regular gale
before morning!"

Allen at that moment was passing along to WINDWARD of the captain
and mate.  He stopped, and before Stetson could reply, said in a
tone of insolent familiarity, "Yes, it blows hard, and will blow
harder yet!  Well, who cares?  Let it blow and be ______!"

Captain Bacon seemed utterly astonished at the impudence of the
man; but Stetson, who was equally prompt and energetic on all
occasions, and who divined the object that Allen had in view, in
lieu of a civil rejoinder dealt him a blow on the left temple,
which sent him with violence against the bulwarks.  Allen
recovered himself, however, and sprang on the mate like a tiger,
clasped him in his sinewy embrace, and called upon his watchmates
for assistance.

As Stetson and Allen were both powerful men it is uncertain what
would have been the result had Stetson fought the battle single-
handed.  The men looked on, waiting the result, but without
daring to interfere.  Not so the captain.  When he saw Allen
attack the mate, he seized a belaying pin, that was loose in the
fife-rail, and watching his opportunity, gave the refractory
sailor two or three smart raps over the head and face, which
embarrassed him amazingly, caused him to release his grasp on the
mate, and felled him to the deck!

The mate then took a stout rope's end and threshed him until he
roared for mercy.  The fellow was terribly punished and staggered
forward, followed by a volley of threats and anathemas.

But the matter did not end here.  At twelve o'clock Allen went
below, and was loud in his complaints of the barbarous manner in
which he had been treated.  He swore revenge, and said he would
lay a plan to get the mate into the forecastle, and then square
all accounts.   Robinson and another of the starboard watch,
having no idea that Stetson could be enticed below, approved of
the suggestion, and intimated that they would lend him a hand if
necessary.  They did not KNOW Stetson!

When the watch was called at four o'clock Allen did not make his
appearance.  In about half an hour the voice of Stetson was heard
at the forescuttle ordering him on deck.

"Ay, ay, sir," said Allen, "I am coming directly."

"You had better do so," said the mate, "if you know when you are
well off."

"Ay, ay, sir!"

Allen was sitting on a chest, dressed, but did not move.  I was
lying in my berth attentive to the proceedings, as, I believe
were all my watchmates.  In about a quarter of an hour Stetson
took another look down the scuttle, and bellowed out, "Allen, are
you coming on deck or not?"

"Ay, ay, sir; directly!"

"If I have to go down after you, my good fellow, it will be worse
for you, that's all."

Allen remained sitting on the chest.  Day began to break.
Stetson was again heard at the entrance of the forecastle.  His
patience, of which he had not a large stock, was exhausted.

"Come on deck, this instant, you lazy, lounging, big-shouldered
renegade!  Will you let other people do your work?  Show your
broken head and your lovely battered features on deck at once
in the twinkling of a handspike.  I want to see how you look
after your frolic!"

"Ay, ay, sir!  I'm coming right up."

"You lie, you rascal.  You don't mean to come! But I'll soon
settle the question whether you are to have your way in this ship
or I am to have mine!"

Saying this, Stetson descended the steps which led into the
habitation of the sailors.  In doing this, under the peculiar
circumstances, he gave a striking proof of his fearless
character.  He had reason to anticipate a desperate resistance
from Allen, while some of the sailors might also be ready to take
part with their shipmate, if they saw him overmatched; and in
that dark and close apartment, where no features could be clearly
distinguished, he would be likely to receive exceedingly rough

Stetson, however, was a man who seldom calculated consequences in
cases of this kind.  He may have been armed, but he made no
display of other weapons than his brawny fist.  He seized Allen
by the collar with a vigorous grasp.  "You scoundrel," said he,
"what do you mean by this conduct?  Go on deck and attend to your
duty!  On deck, I say!  Up with you, at once!"

Allen at first held back, hoping that some of his shipmates would
come to his aid, as they partly promised; but not a man stirred,
greatly to his disappointment and disgust.  They, doubtless, felt
it might be unsafe to engage in the quarrels of others; and
Allen, after receiving a few gentle reminders from the mate in
the shape of clips on the side of his head and punches among the
short ribs, preceded the mate on deck.  He was conquered.

The weather was cold and cheerless; the wind was blowing heavy;
the rain was falling fast; and Allen, who had few clothes, was
thinly clad; but he was sent aloft in an exposed situation, and
kept there through the greater part of the day.  His battered
head, his cut face, his swollen features, and his gory locks told
the tale of his punishment.  Stetson had no magnanimity in his
composition.  He cherished a grudge against that man to the end
of the passage, and lost no opportunity to indulge his hatred and

"Never mind," said Allen, one day, when sent on some useless
mission in the vicinity of the knight-heads, while the ship was
plunging violently, and sending cataracts of salt water over the
bowsprit at every dive; "never mind, it will be only for a single

"I know that," said Stetson, with an oath; "and I will take good
care to 'work you up' well during the passage."  And he was as
good as his word.

The mate of a ship, especially when the captain is inactive, is
not properly acquainted with his duties, or is disposed to let
him pursue his own course, is vested with great authority.  He
has it in his power to contribute to the comfort of the men, and
establish that good understanding between the cabin and the
forecastle which should ever reign in a merchant ship.  But it
sometimes, unfortunately, happens that the officers of a ship are
men of amazingly little souls; deficient in manliness of
character, illiberal in their sentiments, and jealous of their
authority; and although but little deserving the respect of good
men, are rigorous in exacting it.  Such men are easily offended,
take umbrage at trifles, and are unforgiving in their
resentments.  While they have power to annoy or punish an
individual from whom they have received real or fancied injuries,
they do not hesitate to exercise it.

Every seafaring man, of large experience, has often witnessed the
unpleasant consequences of these old grudges,   of this system of
punishing a ship's company, by petty annoyances and unceasing
hard work for some trifling misconduct on the part of one or more
of the crew during the early part of the voyage.  A master of a
ship must be aware that the interest of all parties will be
promoted by harmony on shipboard, which encourages the sailors to
perform faithfully their manifold duties.  Therefore, a good
shipmaster will not only be firm, and decided, and just, and
gentlemanly himself towards his crew, but he will promptly
interfere to prevent unjust and tyrannical conduct on the part of
his officers, when they are inexperienced or of a vindictive

When a man is insolent or insubordinate, the punishment or
rebuke, if any is intended, SHOULD BE PROMPTLY ADMINISTERED.  The
account against him should not be entered on the books, but
balanced on the spot.  Whatever is his due should be paid off to
the last stiver, and there the matter should end, never to be
again agitated, or even referred to.  This system of petty
tyranny,   this "working up" of a whole ship's company, or a
single individual, in order to gratify a vindictive and
unforgiving spirit,   has been the cause of a deal of trouble and
unhappiness, and has furnished materials in abundance for "men
learned in the law."

Sailors are not stocks and stones.  Few of them are so low and
degraded as not to be able to distinguish the right from the
wrong.  They are aware of the importance of discipline, and know
they must submit to its restraints, and render prompt obedience
to orders from their superiors, without question; yet few of them
are so deeply imbued with the meek spirit of Christianity as to
forego remonstrance to injustice or resistance to tyranny.

The Packet proved to be a fast-sailing ship.  The log often
indicated ten, eleven, and eleven and a half knots.  We had a
quick but rough passage across the Atlantic, and frequently took
on board a much larger quantity of salt water than was agreeable
to those who had berths in her bows.  In four days after leaving
Boston we reached the Banks of Newfoundland; in eighteen days, we
struck soundings off Cape Clear; and in twenty-one days, let go
our anchor in the River Mersey.

Chapter XIV

The day succeeding our arrival at Liverpool, having disposed of
our gunpowder, we hauled into King's Dock, and commenced
preparations for receiving the remainder of our cargo.  At that
period there were only four floating docks in Liverpool.  The
town was not in a prosperous condition.  It had not recovered
from the shock caused by the abolition of the slave trade.  That
inhuman traffic had been carried on to a very great extent for
many years by Liverpool merchants, and, of course, the law
prohibiting the traffic   a law wise and humane, in itself, but
injurious to the interests of individuals   was resisted in
Parliament by all the commercial wealth of Liverpool and Bristol,
the two principal ports in which the merchants resided who were
engaged in the slave traffic.  Even in 1811, many fine ships were
lying idle in the docks, which had been built expressly for that
business; and their grated air-ports, high and solid bulwarks,
peculiar hatchways, large and unsightly poops, all gave evidence
of the expensive arrangements and great importance of the
"Guineamen" of those days.

It was expected that our cargo would be completed immediately
after our arrival at Liverpool, and the ship despatched on her
way around Cape Horn; but the tobacco which we had taken on board
in Boston, being an article on which an enormous duty was
exacted, was the cause of trouble and delay.  Consultations with
the authorities in London were necessary, and weeks elapsed
before Captain Bacon could get the ship out of the clutches of
the revenue department.  In the mean time the crew remained by
the ship, but took their meals at a boarding house on shore, as
was the custom in Liverpool.  They were all furnished with
American protections; but some of them, unwilling to rely on the
protecting power of a paper document, which in their cases told a
tale of fiction, adopted various expedients to avoid the press-
gangs which occasionally thridded the streets, and even entered
dwellings when the doors were unfastened, to capture sailors and
COMPEL them to VOLUNTEER to serve their king and country.

One of these unfortunate men, after having successfully dodged
the pressgangs for a fortnight, and living meanwhile in an
unenviable state of anxiety, was pounced upon by some disguised
members of a pressgang as he left the boarding house one evening.
He struggled hard to escape, but was knocked down and dragged off
to the naval rendezvous.  He was examined the next morning before
the American consul, but, notwithstanding his protection, his
citizenship could not be substantiated.  He was in reality a
Prussian, and of course detained as a lawful prize.  The poor
fellow lamented his hard destiny with tears.  He knew the
degrading and unhappy character of the slavery to which he was
doomed probably for life, and strongly implored Captain Bacon to
leave no means untried to procure his release; but the captain's
efforts were in vain.

I was rejoiced when intelligence came that the trouble about the
tobacco was at an end, and the remainder of the cargo could be
taken on board.  On the following forenoon the ship was hauled
stern on to the quay, and the heavy bales of goods, when brought
down, were tumbled on deck by the crew and rolled along to the
main hatchway.  I was employed with one of my shipmates in this
work, when some clumsy fellows who were handling another bale
behind me pitched it over in such a careless manner that it
struck my left leg, which it doubled up like a rattan.  I felt
that my leg was fractured,   indeed, I heard the bone snap,   and
threw myself on a gun carriage, making wry faces in consequence
of the pain I suffered.

"Are you MUCH hurt, Hawser?" inquired the chief mate, in a tone
of irony, and with a grim smile.

"Yes, sir; badly hurt.  I'm afraid my leg is broken."

"Not so bad as that, I hope," exclaimed Stetson, with some
display of anxiety.  "I guess you are more frightened than hurt.
Let me look at your leg."

He found my surmises were correct, and expressed more sympathy
for my misfortune than I could have expected.  I was carried into
the cabin, and after a short delay conveyed in a carriage to the
Infirmary or hospital.  When the carriage reached the gateway of
the Infirmary, the bell was rung by the coachman, and the porter
made his appearance.  He was a tall, hard-featured, sulky-looking
man, about fifty years of age, called Thomas; and having held
that office a number of years, he assumed as many airs, and
pretended to as much surgical skill, as the professors.

"What's the matter now?" inquired the porter, with a discontented

"An accident," replied the coachman.  "This boy has broken his
leg.  He is a sailor, belonging to an American ship."

"Ah, ha! An American, is he?" added Thomas, with a diabolical
sneer.  "A Yankee Doodle!  Never mind; we'll take care of him."

I was lifted from the carriage and carried by the ship's armorer,
very gently, into one of the rooms, the grim-looking porter
leading the way.  I was placed in an arm chair, and, as the
surgeon whose duty it was to attend to accidents on that day was
not immediately forthcoming, the porter undertook to examine the
fracture.  He proceeded to take off the stocking, which fitted
rather closely, and the removal of which gave me intolerable
pain.   I begged him to rip off the garment with a knife, and put
an end to my torments.  The armorer also remonstrated against his
unnecessary cruelty, but in vain.  The only reply of the
grumbling rascal was that the stocking was too good to be
destroyed, and he never knew a Yankee who could bear pain like a
man!  He then began, in a cool and business-like manner, to twist
my foot about, grinding the fractured bones together to
ascertain, as he said, whether the limb was actually broken!  And
I verily believe that my complaints and groans, which I did not
attempt to suppress, were sweet music in his ears.  It was clear
to me that, for some reason which I could never learn, Mr. Thomas
owed the whole Yankee nation a grudge, and was ready to pay it
off on an individual whenever he could get a chance.

After he finished his examination, I looked around the room,
which was not a large one.  It was number one of the "accident
ward."  It contained six beds, besides a pallet in a corner for
the nurse of the ward.  These beds, with two exceptions, were
occupied by unfortunate beings like myself.  As I was brought in
among them they gazed upon me earnestly, prompted, I verily
believe, not only by curiosity, but commiseration for my unhappy
condition.  The surgeon made his appearance, and succeeded,
without much difficulty, in setting the limb,   an operation
which, acknowledging its necessity, I bore with becoming
fortitude.  I was placed on my back in one of the unoccupied
beds, with the rather unnecessary caution to lie perfectly still.
The armorer returned to the ship, and I was left among strangers.

I now had leisure to reflect on my situation.  My hopes of
visiting the "north-west coast" were suddenly destroyed.  A
cripple, in a strange land, without money or friends, a cloud
seemed to rest on my prospects.  During the remainder of the day
and the succeeding night I suffered much from "the blues."  My
spirits were out of tune.  The scanty hospital fare that was
offered me I sent away untouched, and sleep refused to bury my
senses in forgetfulness until long after the midnight hour.
This, however, might have been partly owing to the involuntary
groans and murmurs of unfortunate sufferers in my immediate
vicinity.  That first day and night wore a sombre aspect, and
teemed with gloomy forebodings.

In the morning I fell into a kind of doze, and dreamed that I was
walking in a beautiful meadow, which was traversed by a wide and
deep ditch.  Wishing to pass to the other side I attempted to
leap the ditch, but jumped short, and buried myself in mud and
mire to the waist!  I awoke with a start, which I accompanied
with a cry of distress.  I had moved the broken limb, and
furnished more work for the surgeon and suffering for myself.

My gloomy reflections and disquietude of mind did not last long.
In the morning my attention was attracted by the novelties of my
situation, and I found much to excite my curiosity and interest
my feelings.  My "fit of the blues" had passed off to return no
more.  I had some conversation with a remarkably tall, military-
looking man, who moved about awkwardly as if he was learning to
walk upon stilts, or was lame in both legs, which I afterwards
found to be the case.  He appeared friendly and intelligent, and
gave me interesting information in relation to the inmates and
economy of the establishment.

I learned from him that the bed nearest mine, within a few feet
on the right hand, and the one beyond it, were occupied by two
boys who were victims of a sad misfortune.  Their intense
sufferings were the cause of the moans and murmurings I had heard
during the night.  These boys were apprentices to the rope-making
business, and a few days before, while spinning ropeyarns, with
the loose hemp wound in folds around their waists, the youngest,
a lad about fourteen years old, unwittingly approached an open
fire, the weather being cold.  A spark ignited the hemp, and in a
moment the whole was in a blaze.  The other boy, obeying an
involuntary but generous impulse, rushed to the assistance of his
companion, only to share his misfortune.  They were both terribly
burned, and conveyed to the hospital.

Every morning the rations for the day were served out to the
patients.  The quality of the food, always excepting a dark-
looking liquid of revolting aspect, known as "beer porridge," and
which I ate only through fear of starvation was generally good,
and the quantity was sufficient to keep the patients alive, while
they had no reason to apprehend ill consequences from a surfeit.

In the course of the forenoon Captain Bacon came to see me.  He
expressed regret at my misfortune, and tried to console me with
the assurance that I should be well cared for.  He said the ship
Packet would sail the next day, that my chest and bedding should
be sent to the house where the crew had boarded, that HE HAD
CONSUL, who was his consignee, an would see that I was sent back
to the United States as soon as I should be in a condition to
leave the hospital.  He put a silver dollar into my hand, as he
said to buy some fruit, bade me be of good cheer, and left me to
my reflections.

In the afternoon of the same day, one of my shipmates, a kind-
hearted lad, about my own age, called at the hospital to bid me
farewell.  He regretted the necessity of our separation, and wept
over the misfortune that had occasioned it.  From him I learned
that the key of my chest having been left in the lock when I was
carried from the ship, he feared that Allen and one or two others
of the crew, who were not liberally supplied with clothing for a
long voyage, had made free with my property.  He also told me
that three of the ship's company had deserted, having no
confidence in the amiable qualities of Mr. Stetson, the chief
mate; but that Allen, who had been the victim of his
vindictiveness during the whole passage from Boston, dreading the
horrors of impressment more than the barbarity of the mate, and
having a good American protection, had determined to remain by
the ship!

He told me, further, he was by no means satisfied with the
character of Stetson, and feared that when again on the ocean he
would prove a Tartar; and that I had no great reasons to regret
an accident which would prevent my proceeding on the voyage.

I subsequently learned that Stetson showed his true colors after
the ship left Liverpool, and owing to his evil deportment and
tyrannical conduct, there was little peace or comfort for the
crew during the three years' voyage.

On the third day of my residence in the Infirmary, the
unfortunate boy who occupied the bed nearest mine appeared to be
sinking rapidly.  It was sad to witness his sufferings.  His
mother, a woman in the lowest rank of life, was with him through
the day.  She eagerly watched every symptom of his illness,
nursed him with care and tenderness, sought to prepare him for
the great change which was about to take place; and, a true woman
and a mother, endeavored to hide her own anguish while she
ministered to the bodily and spiritual wants of her only child,
who nobly risked his life to save that of his companion.  I
watched the proceedings with deep interest through the day, and
when night came I felt no inclination to sleep.  The groans of
the unfortunate boy became fainter and fainter, and it was
evident he would soon be released from his sufferings by the hand
of death.

At length I became weary with watching, and about eleven o'clock
fell asleep, in spite of the dying moans of the boy and the half-
stifled sobs of his mother.  I slept soundly, undisturbed by the
mournful scenes which were enacted around me.  When I awoke the
room was lighted only by the rays of an expiring lamp in the
chimney corner.  No one was moving; not a sound was heard except
the loud breathing of the inmates, who, their wonted rest having
been interrupted by this melancholy interlude, had buried their
pains and anxieties in sleep.

I looked towards the bed where the sufferer lay whose sad fate
had so attracted my attention and elicited my sympathies a few
hours before.  His mother was no longer present.  His moans were
no longer heard.  His form seemed extended motionless on the bed,
and his head reposed as usual on the pillow.  But I was startled
at perceiving him staring fixedly at me with eyes preternaturally
large, and of a cold, glassy, ghastly appearance!  I closed my
own eyes and turned my head away, while a tremor shook very
nerve.  Was this an illusion?  Was I laboring under the effects
of a dream?  Or had my imagination conjured up a spectre?

I looked again.  The eyes, like two full moons, were still there,
glaring at me with that cold, fixed, maddening expression.   I
could no longer control my feelings.  If I had been able to use
my limbs I should have fled from the room.  As that was
impossible I called loudly to the nurse, and awoke her from a
sound sleep!  She came muttering to my bedside, and inquired what
was the matter?

"Look at William's eyes!" said I.  "Is he dead, or is he alive?
What is the meaning of those horrible-looking, unearthly eyes?
Why DON'T you speak?"

"Don't be a fool," replied the nurse, sharply, "and let shadows
frighten you out of your wits."

While I remained in an agony of suspense she leisurely returned
to the fireplace, took the lamp from the hearth, raised the wick
to increase the light, and approaching the bedside, held it over
the body of the occupant.  The boy was dead!  Two large pieces of
bright copper coin had been placed over the eyes for the purpose
of closing the lids after death, and the faint and flickering
reflection of the lamplight, aided, probably, by the excited
condition of my nervous system, had given them that wild and
ghastly appearance which had shaken my soul with terror.

For three weeks I lay in my bed, an attentive observer of the
singular scenes that occurred in my apartment.  I was visited
every morning by a student in surgery, or "dresser," and twice a
week by one of the regular surgeons of the establishment while
going his rounds.  My general health was good, notwithstanding a
want of that exercise and fresh air to which I had been
accustomed.  My appetite was remarkable; indeed, my greatest, if
not only cause of complaint, was the very STINTED QUANTITY of
daily food that was served out to each individual.  No
discrimination was observed; the robust young man, with an iron
constitution, was, so far as related to food, placed on a par
with the poor invalid, debilitated with protracted suffering or
dying of inappetency.

In every other situation in which I have been placed I have had
abundance of food.  Sometimes the food was of a quality
deplorably wretched, it is true, but such as it was there was
always enough.  But in the Liverpool Infirmary I experienced the
miseries of SHORT ALLOWANCE, and had an opportunity to witness
the effect it produces in ruffling the temper and breeding
discontent.  It also opened my eyes to the instinctive
selfishness of man.  Those who were in sound health, with good
appetites, although apparently endued with a full share of
affections and sympathies, seemed actually to rejoice when one of
their companions, through suffering and debility, was unable to
consume his allowance of bread or porridge, which would be
distributed among the more healthy inmates of the apartment.

Chapter XV

At the expiration of three weeks the dresser informed me he was
about to case my fractured limb in splints and bandages, when I
might quit my mattress, don my garments, and hop about the room
or seat myself by the fireside.

This was good news, but my joy was somewhat dampened by the
intelligence that I could not be furnished immediately with a
pair of crutches, all belonging to the establishment being in
use.  I borrowed a pair occasionally for a few minutes, from an
unfortunate individual who was domiciled in my apartment, and
sometimes I shuffled about for exercise with a stout cane in my
right hand, and a house-brush, in an inverted position under my
left arm, in lieu of a crutch.

I witnessed many interesting scenes during my stay in the
Infirmary, and fell in with some singular individuals, all of
which showed me phases of human life that I had never dreamed of.
The tall, military-looking man, with whom I became acquainted
soon after I entered the establishment, proved to have been a
soldier.  He had served for years in a regiment of heavy
dragoons, and attained the rank of corporal.  He had sabred
Frenchmen by dozens during the unsuccessful campaign in Holland
under the Duke of York.  He fought his battles over again with
all the ardor and energy of an Othello, and to an audience as
attentive, although, it may be, not so high-born or beautiful.

There was also present during my stay a young native of the
Emerald Isle, who had seen service in the British navy.  In an
obstinate and bloody battle between English and French squadrons
off the Island of Lissa, in the Adriatic, about nine months
before, in which Sir William Hoste achieved a splendid victory,
his leg had been shattered by a splinter.  After a partial
recovery he had received his discharge, and was returning to his
home in "dear Old Ireland," when a relapse took place, and he
took refuge in the hospital.  He also could tell tales of
wondrous interest connected with man-of-war life.  He loved to
talk of his cruises in the Mediterranean, of the whizzing of
cannon balls, the mutilation of limbs, decks slippery with gore,
levanters, pressgangs, boatswains' calls, and the cat-o'-nine
tails of the boatswains' mates.

The patient, from whom I occasionally borrowed a pair of
crutches, although a pleasant companion, bore upon his person
unequivocal marks of having met with rough handling on the ocean
or on the land.  He was MINUS an eye, his nose had been knocked
athwart-ships to the great injury of his beauty, and a deep scar,
from a wound made with a bludgeon, adorned one of his temples!  I
learned that this man, who seemed to have been the football of
fortune and had received many hard kicks, had never been in the
army or the navy, that his wounds had been received in CIVIL
wars, battling with his countrymen.  I was further told by the
nurse, as a secret, that although he was so amiable among his
fellow-sufferers in the hospital, when outside the walls, if he
could obtain a glass of gin or whiskey to raise his temper and
courage to the STRIKING point, he never passed a day without
fighting.  He was notorious for his pugnacious propensities; had
been in the Infirmary more than once for the tokens he had
received of the prowess of his opponents.  In his battles he
always came off second best, and was now in the "accident ward"
in consequence of a broken leg, having been kicked down stairs by
a gang of rowdies whom he had insulted and defied!

There were also in the Infirmary inmates of a more pacific
character.  Fortunately for mankind it is not the mission of
every one to fight.  Among them was a gardener, a poor,
inoffensive man, advanced in years, who with a cleaver had
chopped off   accidentally, he said   two fingers of his right
hand.  The mutilation was intentional without doubt; his object
having been to procure a claim for subsistence in the Infirmary
for a time, and afterwards a passport to the poorhouse in Chester
for life.  He had experienced the ills of poverty; had outlived
his wife and children; and able to talk well and fluently,
entertained us with homely but forcible narratives illustrating
life in the lowest ranks of society.  When his wounds were healed
he was reluctant to quit his comfortable quarters, and was
actually driven from the establishment.

Other patients were brought in from time to time, and their
wounds dressed.  Some were dismissed in a few days; others
detained for months.  One intelligent young man, an English
mechanic, was afflicted with a white swelling on his knee and
suffered intolerable pain.  His sobs and groans through the
night, which he could not suppress, excited my sympathy, but
grated harshly on the nerves of my tall friend the corporal of
dragoons, who expostulated with him seriously on the
unreasonableness of his conduct, arguing, like the honest tar on
board the brig Clarissa, that these loud indications of
suffering, while they afforded no positive relief to the
sufferer, disturbed the slumbers of those who were free from pain
or bore it with becoming fortitude.

In the evening, after we had partaken of the regular meal, those
of us who were able to move about, and to whom I have more
particularly alluded, would gather around the hearth, a coal fire
burning in the grate, and pass a couple of hours in conversation,
in which agreeable occupations, having read much and already seen
something of the world, I was able to bear a part.  There are few
persons who are unable to converse, and converse well too, when
their feelings are enlisted and they labor under no restraint;
and very few persons so dull and stupid as to fail to receive or
impart instruction from conversation with others.

Notwithstanding the rules of the infirmary to the contrary, the
inmates of "number one" were not altogether deprived of the
advantages and charms of female society.  To say nothing of the
old nurse, who was a host in gossip herself, her two daughters,
both young and pretty girls, were sometimes smuggled into the
Infirmary by the connivance of the grim and trustworthy porter,
and remained there days at a time, carefully hid away in the
pantry whenever "the master" or the surgeons went their regular
rounds, which was always at stated hours.  When the wind raged
without, and the rain, hail, or snow sought entrance through the
casement, while sitting near a comfortable fire, listening to
female prattle and gossip, narratives of incidents of real life,
discussions on disputed points in politics, philosophy, or
religion between my friend with the crutches and the tall
corporal of dragoons, who were both as fond of controversy as Mr.
Shandy himself; or drinking in with my ears the Irish tar's
glowing descriptions.

"Of moving accidents by flood and field;
And of the cannibals that each other eat;
The anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders!"

I was led to confess there were worse places in the world than
the Liverpool Infirmary.

After a week's delay I came into possession of a pair of
crutches, and could move around the room at pleasure, take
exercise in the hall, and even visit an acquaintance in either of
the other apartments.  The garden attached to the establishment
was thrown open to the patients at stated hours on particular
days.  The season was not inviting; nevertheless, one sunny day,
accompanied by my lame friend of pugnacious reputation, I visited
the garden, and rejoiced at finding myself once more in he open
air.  The ramble on crutches through the lonely walks was truly
refreshing.  Our spirits mounted to fever heat, and as we
returned towards the building through the neatly gravelled
avenue, my companion proposed a race, to which I assented.  I
have forgotten which won the race; I know we both made capital
time, and performed to our own satisfaction, but not to the
satisfaction of others.  The gardener grumbled at the manner in
which his walks were perforated and disfigured by our crutches.
He complained to the authorities, and greatly to our regret a
regulation was adopted by which all persons using crutches were
forbidden to enter the garden.

I remained six weeks in the Infirmary, and became accustomed to
the place, and made myself useful in various ways.  I held the
basin when a patient was let blood; I took charge of the
instruments and bandages when a serious wound was closed by
sutures and afterwards dressed; and was particularly busy when a
fracture was examined or a dislocation reduced.  Indeed I took a
strange kind of interest in witnessing and aiding in the various
operations, and was in a fair way to become a good practical
surgeon, when I was discharged, and found myself a poor sailor,
friendless, penniless, and lame.  But the surgical knowledge,
inaccurate and desultory as it was, which I acquired in the
Liverpool Infirmary, and the power to preserve coolness and
presence of mind, and minister relief in cases of wounds and
dangerous diseases, when no medical adviser could be applied to,
has often since been of valuable service to myself and others.

I took an affectionate farewell of my friends and acquaintances
in the establishment, not forgetting the nurse and her pretty
daughters, and, accompanied by the landlord of the house where
the crew of the ship Packet boarded, passed through the gateway
without meeting any obstruction on the part of the porter, who,
on the contrary, grinned his approbation of my departure.

The distance to the boarding house was about half a mile;
nevertheless I accomplished it easily on crutches without being
fatigued, and congratulated myself when I passed the threshold
and arrived at what I considered my home.  But my troubles were
not ended.  The landlady, who was actually "the head" of the
house, did not welcome my return with the cordiality I expected.
She expressed a hope that the American consul would lose no time
in providing means for my return to the United States, and
favored me with the interesting information that while the
regular charge for board without lodging was eighteen shillings a
week, the American government allowed only twelve shillings a
week for board and lodging.  The inevitable inference was, that I
was an unprofitable boarder, and the sooner they got me off their
hands the better.

Another circumstance was a source of greater chagrin.  When I
reached the house, one of my first inquiries was for my chest and
other property which I left in the forecastle of the ship.  My
chest was safely deposited with the landlord; BUT IT WAS NEARLY
EMPTY!  To my dismay I found that my stock of clothing for a two
years' voyage   jackets, boots, hats, blankets, and books   had
vanished.  A few "old duds" only were left, hardly enough for a
change of raiment.  The officers had neglected to lock my chest
and look after my little property; the men were bound on a long
and tempestuous voyage, some of them scantily furnished with
clothing; the ship was to sail in a day or two after I was
carried to the hospital; the temptation was irresistible; they
helped themselves freely at the expense of their unfortunate

The United States consul at Liverpool was a merchant, of large
means and extensive business; a man of great respectability, and
it was confidently asserted, of generous feelings.  I doubted not
that when my case was represented to him he would grant me some
relief, especially as Captain Bacon had recommended me to his
care.  I had heard nothing from him in the Infirmary.  He was
notified, officially, of my discharge; and as vessels were every
day leaving Liverpool for Boston and New York, I expected to be
immediately provided with a passage to one of those ports.  But
when days passed away, and I seemed to be forgotten, I mounted my
crutches one morning and hobbled off through the crowded streets
to a distant part of the town, in quest of an interview with the
consul, intending to solicit that assistance to which every
American citizen in distress was entitled.

With some difficulty, for Liverpool is not a rectangular town, I
found the counting room of the consul, into which I boldly
entered, confidently anticipating not only relief but sympathy
for my misfortune.  My appearance was not prepossessing, as my
garments, although of the true nautical cut, were neither new nor
genteel; and although I was in perfect health, my complexion was
sallow from long confinement.  But these drawbacks on my
respectability, I thought, under the circumstances, might be
excused.  I found myself in a comfortable apartment in which two
or three young men were writing at desks, one of whom, a dapper
little fellow, dressed with as much precision and neatness as if
he had just escaped from a bandbox, came towards me with a stern,
forbidding look, and asked me what I wanted.

"I want to see the American consul."

"The consul is not in."

"When do you expect him?" I inquired, in a tone of

"'Tis uncertain.  He may not be here today."

"I am sorry, as I have some important business with him."

"What is your important business?" demanded the clerk, in an
authoritative manner.  "Perhaps I can attend to it."

"I am the young American sailor, who met with an accident on
board the ship Packet, and was sent to the Infirmary.  I have
recently been discharged, and am in want of some articles of
clothing, and particularly a pair of shoes.  I also want to know
if the consul has taken steps towards procuring me a passage to

"Very IMPORTANT business, truly!" replied the Englishman, with a
sneer.   "How does it happen that you are so poorly off for

I explained the circumstances connected with the robbery of my
chest by my shipmates.

"A likely story!" he exclaimed.  "As to giving you a pair of
shoes, my fine fellow, that is out of the question.  When any
step is taken towards sending you to the United States, you, or
the man you board with, will hear of it."  Saying this, the
worthy representative of our government, after pointing
significantly to the door, turned away and resumed his occupation
at the desk.  Disappointed and shocked at such a reception, I
ventured to inquire if I should be able to see the consul on the
following day.

"No," replied the clerk, abruptly, without raising his eyes from
the desk; "neither tomorrow nor the day after."

I left the counting room, hobbled down the steps, and returned to
my temporary home, feeling like "the Ancient Mariner," "a sadder
and a wiser man!"

Chapter XVI

Weeks passed, and I remained in Liverpool.  I had called several
times at the consulate, and each time met with the same
ungracious reception.  I could never see the consul, and began to
regard him as a myth.  I did not then know that every time I
called he was seated at his comfortable desk in a room elegantly
furnished, which was entered from the ante-room occupied by his
clerks.  Nor could I get any satisfactory information from the
well-dressed Englishman, his head clerk.  I ventured to ask that
gentleman one day if Captain Bacon had not left money with Mr.
Maury for my benefit.  But he seemed astonished at my audacity in
imagining the possibility of such a thing.

After the lapse of three weeks, a messenger came to my boarding
house with directions for me to appear at the consulate the next
morning at nine o'clock precisely.  Full of hope, overjoyed that
some change was about to take place in my destiny, I impatiently
awaited the hour in which I was to present myself at the office
of the American consul, hoping to have an interview with that
dignitary.  By this time I had thrown aside my crutches, and,
although owing to the weakness of my fractured limb I limped as
ungracefully as the swarthy deity who, after being kicked out of
heaven, set up his blacksmith's shop in the Isle of Lemnos, I
managed, with the aid of a stout cane, to pass through the
streets without difficulty.

When I reached the counting room of the consul, I found the
everlasting clerk at his post, as unfeeling, as authoritative,
and haughty as ever.  He addressed me at once as follows: "You
will go directly to Queen's Dock; find the ship Lady Madison of
New York, and put this letter into the hands of Captain Swain.
He will give you a passage to New York, where you must take care
of yourself.  The ship will sail in a day or two.  Be sure to be
on board when the ship leaves the dock."

I regretted that a passage had not been provided in a vessel
going directly to Boston.  Ships were leaving Liverpool every day
for that place.  Nevertheless, I took the letter with a good
grace, told the clerk I was rejoiced at such good news; that I
was as much pleased at the idea of leaving Liverpool as he could
possibly be at getting rid of my complaints.  But I suggested
that I was not in a condition to WORK MY PASSAGE as was proposed,
at that inclement season, unless I was furnished with some
additional clothing,   a pea-jacket, a blanket, and a pair of
boots or shoes; and I pointed to the shoes on my feet, which were
little better than a pair of very shabby sandals.

The little deputy listened with impatience to my suggestions.  He
then wrote something on a slip of paper.  "Here," said he, "is an
order for a pair of shoes; and it is all you will get!  A pea-
jacket is out of the question; and as for blankets, I suppose
you'll find enough on board.  Captain Swain will take care of
you.  Your passage will not be a long one   only thirty or forty
days.  I dare say you will live through it; if not, there will be
no great loss!"  And conscious that he had said a good thing, he
looked at his fellow-clerks and smiled.

I felt indignant at such treatment, but wisely refrained from
giving utterance to my feelings, and proceeded directly to the
Queen's Dock, where I found Captain Swain, and handed him the
letter.  He read it, crumpled it up and put it in his pocket, and
then stared fixedly at me, exclaiming, "Well, this is a pretty
business!  What does the consul mean by sending such a chap as
YOU home in my ship?  Are there not ships enough in port to take
you home without singling out mine?"

To this question I could give no satisfactory answer, nor is it
probable he expected one.  After a further ebullition of wrath he
honored me with another stare, surveyed me from head to foot, and
with an air rather rude than polite, gruffly remarked, "Well, I
suppose I must take you, and make the best of it.  The ship will
sail the day after tomorrow;" and he turned away, muttering
something I could not distinctly hear, but which I suspect was
not complimentary to myself or the American consul.

I returned to my boarding house, and gladdened the master and
mistress with the intelligence that the consul had at last found
a ship to take me to the united States.  I packed in my chest the
few articles my shipmates had considerately left me, not
forgetting the pair of shoes which the mild-mannered and
compassionate consular clerk had given me, and made my
appearance, a most unwelcome guest, on the deck of the Lady
Madison, as the ship was hauling out of dock.  And thus, without
articles of clothing necessary to supply my actual wants; without
bed or bedding; destitute of "small stores," as tea, coffee,
sugar, etc, which were not furnished the sailors, they receiving
a certain sum of money instead and supplying themselves, deprived
of the little comforts which even the most unthrifty seamen will
provide on a passage across the Atlantic; the victim, not of
imprudence or vice, but of misfortune; afer a tedious and
unnecessary delay, I was sent, a stranger, against whom the
captain and officers were unjustly prejudiced, and, in a crippled
condition, on board a ship to work my passage to my native land!
And this was done by the orders and authority of a man who was
bound by his official duties to render all necessary and
reasonable relief to Americans in distress!

Were this a solitary instance of the kind I should hardly indulge
in a passing remark.  But I have reason to believe that such
cases, caused by the inhumanity or culpable neglect of American
consuls in foreign ports, are not uncommon.  If such proceedings
take place under the eye and authority and apparent sanction of a
man of high character and acknowledged worth, what may we not
expect from consuls of a different character;   from men who
never knew a noble impulse; whose bosoms never throbbed with one
generous feeling?

Our government is not sufficiently circumspect in the appointment
of consuls.  The office is an important one, and should be given
to men capable of faithfully executing the duties.  It cannot be
properly filled by persons whose time is engrossed by business of
their own, by political partisans, or men who have no practical
knowledge of mercantile affairs.  American consuls should also be
supposed to have some sympathy with every class of American
citizens, and capable of enjoying satisfaction in relieving the
sufferings of a fellow-creature.  All consular fees should be
abolished, and the consul should receive from the government a
yearly compensation, graduated on the importance of his duties.

The Lady Madison was considered a large ship,   being four
hundred and fifty tons burden.  She belonged to Jacob Barker, now
a resident of New Orleans, but who was at that time in the zenith
of his mercantile prosperity, and the owner of ships trading to
all parts of the globe.  Captain Swain was a native and resident
of Nantucket, an excellent sailor and a worthy man; and the ship
was navigated by a crew composed mostly of young and active
Americans.  The Lady Madison had sailed from Cronstadt bound to
New York, but met with disasters which compelled her to put into
Liverpool for repairs.

On joining the Lady Madison I found there was a very natural but
unjust prejudice existing against me on the part of the officers,
which it would be difficult to overcome.  I was thrust on board
by the consul against their wishes, and was entitled to ship room
and ship's fare, which was reluctantly granted.  I must, however,
admit that my appearance, with a costume of the "Persian" cut,
pale and sickly visage and a halting gait, an air of dejection
caused by misfortune and diffidence, was not prepossessing, but
verged strongly on the vagabond order.  It is, therefore, not
surprising that when I stepped on deck I was looked upon as an
intruder, and instead of being greeted with smiles and words of
encouragement, of which I was greatly in need, received looks
which would have chilled an icicle, and frowns which made me feel
all my insignificance.

I should probably have found little sympathy among the sailors
had I not met among them an old acquaintance.  A young man named
Giddings, on hearing my name mentioned, regarded me with a degree
of interest that surprised me.  After staring at me a few
minutes, he inquired if I had not once lived in Rockingham
county, New Hampshire.  On my replying in the affirmative, he
introduced himself as an old schoolmate, a native of Exeter, from
which, having chosen a sailor's life, he had been absent for

I rejoiced at finding a friend, and soon realized the truth of
the good old proverb, "a friend in need is a friend indeed."
Through his influence and representation the crew were disposed
to look upon me in a favorable light.  He gave me the privilege
of using his berth and his blankets during my watch below; he
loaned me a monkey jacket in stormy weather, and shared with me
his "small stores," of which he had a good supply.  More than all
this, he encouraged me to keep a stout heart and "stiff upper
lip," assuring me that all would come right in the end.  Had it
not been for that kind-hearted young man, my condition on board
the ship must have been wretched.  I have often witnessed the
disgraceful fact, that when a man is DOWN every one seems
determined TO KEEP HIM DOWN!  If a poor fellow received a kick
from fortune, every man he meets with will give him another kick
for that very reason!

Captain Swain never deigned to notice me in any way, and the
chief mate followed his example so far as was practicable.  The
second mate's name was Cathcart.  He was man of inferior
capacity, ignorant, and coarse.  As I was looked upon as a sort
of "black sheep" in the flock, and was in the second mate's
watch, that officer imagined he could, with impunity, make me a
target for his vulgar jokes, and practised on me a line of
conduct which he dared not pratise on others.  A day or two after
we left Liverpool, he took occasion, when several of the crew
were standing by, to make my rather quaint NAME the subject of
some offensive remarks.  My indignation was roused at such
ungentlemanly conduct, and I retorted with a degree of bitterness
as well as imprudence that surprised myself as well as others.

"My name?" said I; "you object to MY name!  Look at home!  My
name is a quiet name, a sensible name, surrounded with pleasant
associations, and easily spoken, which is more than can be said
of yours.  Ca-a-th-ca-r-r-t!  There is neither sense, meaning,
nor beauty in that name.  Why," continued I, making strange
grimaces, "one cannot speak it without twisting the mouth into
kinks and cuckold's necks without number.  Ca-a-th-c-a-a-rt!  I
would sooner be called Tantarabogus."

This turned the laugh against him.  He made no reply, but no
longer annoyed me with his coarse jokes, and the respectable
epithet of "Tantarabogus" stuck to him until our arrival in New

The ship Lady Madison left Liverpool about the 17th of March,
1812.   The wind had been blowing a long time from the westward,
with occasional gales which prevented vessels from getting to
sea; and we sailed in company with a large fleet of merchant
ships at the commencement of a change of wind.  We left the
Mersey with a fine breeze and soon passed the headmost vessels in
the fleet.  Our ship was large, a fine model, newly coppered,
well provided with sails, and having left part of her cargo in
Liverpool was in good ballast trim, and slipped through the water
like a fish.

For eight days this easterly wind continued, the ship sometimes
carrying top-gallant sails and a fore-topmast studding sail, and
sometimes running directly before the wind under double-reefed
topsails and foresail, progressing at the rate of ten, eleven,
and eleven and a half knots.  Chronometers were unknown in those
days, and lunar observations, owing to the cloudy weather and
other causes, could not be taken during the passage.  It is,
therefore, not remarkable that under the circumstances, and with
a heavy sea following the ship, the judgment of the navigators
was at fault and the ship overran her reckoning.

On the eighth day after the Lady Madison left the dock, the
atmosphere being hazy and the temperature unusually cool, I was
standing on the lee side of the forecastle when something afar
off on the bow caught my eye.  It looked like a massive fortress
on a mountain rock of crystal.  Its appearance, different from
anything I had ever seen on the ocean, excited my wonder.  Could
it be a cloud?  I pointed it out to one of my watchmates, who,
being familiar with such appearances, instantly called out, "Ice,

There was a commotion throughout the ship.  "Ice!" exclaimed the
captain, rushing up the companion-way, spyglass in hand.  "Ice!
Where-away?  'Tis impossible!  We cannot be near the Grand Bank!"

The ice island was now clearly perceptible, looming up through
the thin fog, "a fixed fact," which could not be shaken.  We were
on the eastern edge of the Bank of Newfoundland.  In eight days
the ship had run nearly two thousand miles.  Although this may
not be considered a remarkable feat for a modern clipper of giant
proportions, it was an instance of fast sailing and favorable
breezes seldom exceeded in those days.

Had the wind continued unchanged in strength or direction after
we reached the Bank, we should have made the passage to New York
in twelve days.  But its force was spent.  Instead of feeling
grateful and expressing satisfaction at such a noble run, the
captain, and I believe every man on board, as is usual in such
cases, grumbled intolerably when the change took place!  Head
winds and calms prevailed, and ten days elapsed before we greeted
the highlands of Neversink.  We passed inside of Sandy Hook on
the 4th of April 1812, having made a passage of eighteen days
from Liverpool to anchorage off the Battery!

While beating through the narrows we passed the ship Honestus,
which sailed from Liverpool about forty days before the Lady
Madison left that port, and had been battling with head winds the
whole distance across the Atlantic.

Chapter XVII

When the ship Lady Madison arrived in New York there was quite a
stir among the mercantile community.  Congress was engaged in
important deliberations, and it was whispered, that in secret
session, an embargo was about to be laid on American vessels in
every port in the United States as a preparatory step to a
declaration of war against Great Britain.

The passage of an "embargo act" was generally expected; but many
persons, who had full faith in the more than Christian patience
and forbearance of our government, believed there would be no
war, notwithstanding the insults heaped upon American citizens,
the piratical aggressions on our commerce, and the contumely and
contempt in which our government and our flag, during a series of
years, had been everywhere held by British authorities, as shown
in the capture of the Chesapeake, and a multitude of kindred
acts, each of which, as a knowledge of them travelled through the
land, should have produced the effect of a "fiery cross," and
kindled into a fierce and living flame every spark of patriotism
existing in the bosoms of our countrymen.

There was great commotion on the wharves.  "The embargo is
coming," said one excited individual.  "The act is already
passed!" said another.  Merchants were busy fitting away their
ships to every quarter of the globe; the piers and wharves were
lumbered with goods and produce of every description; the work
was busily carried on night and day; fabulous prices were paid to
laborers; in many cases the cargoes were thrown on board, tumbled
into the hold, or piled on the decks, and the ship was "cleared"
at the custom house, got under weigh, and anchored in the offing,
where, beyond the jurisdiction of the United states, her stores
and what remained of her cargo were SMUGGLED on board at leisure.

On reaching New York I again found myself in a strange city,
without money or friends.  I went with Giddings and some of his
shipmates to a sailor boarding house in Dover Street, kept by a
German named Hansen.  At the recommendation of Giddings, the
landlord received me, although with reluctance, as I had no
visible means of paying for my board.  Giddings and his friends
shipped the following day for another voyage in the Lady Madison,
which ship left the harbor for Liverpool on the evening previous
to the reception of the news of the passage of the "embargo act,"
which, by some mysterious influence, had been strangely delayed.
The Lady Madison remained at anchor, for at least a fortnight,
nine or ten miles outside of Sandy Hook, when, having taken on
board those portions of her cargo THAT HAD BEEN FORGOTTEN, SHE

My condition at this time furnished a striking contrast with my
condition when I left Boston not five months before.
Disappointment had laid on my spirits a heavy hand, and there
were no particularly cheering scenes in perspective.  I would
gladly have returned to my home, there to have recovered the full
use of my fractured limb before I embarked on any new enterprise.
But I had no means of getting from New York to Boston, and
through a feeling of pride, far from commendable, I was unwilling
to make application to my relatives for pecuniary assistance.  I
did not even write to inform them of my return to the United

The question now came up, "What shall I do to improve my
condition and gain a livelihood?  Lame as I was, I dared not
undertake to ship in a square-rigged vessel, or even a "topsail
schooner," where it might often be necessary to go aloft.  I
tried to get a berth in a coaster, or small vessel trading to the
West Indies, where gymnastic feats would not be required.  I
applied to many skippers but without success.  Even the proud
captain of a rusty-looking old craft, that could hardly be kept
afloat in the harbor, looked sour and sulky, and shook his head
with as much significance as Lord Burleigh himself, when I
inquired if he was in want of a hand!  Either my looks were
unpromising, or this class of vessels were well supplied with
men.  In the mean time my board bill was running up, and my
landlord looked as grave as an oyster, and his manners were as
rough as the outside of the shell.

Passing through Maiden Lane one day, I saw a gentleman whom I had
formerly known, standing in the doorway of a bookstore.  I had
boarded in his family several weeks after my recovery from fever
and ague.  He, as well as his wife, at that time professed a
strong interest in my prosperity.  When I left them, and entered
on my voyage to South America in the Clarissa, they bade me
farewell with protestations of an affection as warm and enduring
as if I had been a near and dear relative.  It is therefore not
wonderful that when I spied Mr. Robinson my heart yearned towards
him.  I had encountered a friend in that overgrown city; I saw a
familiar face   the first for many months.  Without CALCULATING
whether he could be of service to me, or whether it was proper to
appear before him in apparel more remarkable for its antiquity
and simplicity than its gentility, I obeyed the dictates of an
honest heart, rushed towards him, and grasped his hand.
Perceiving his astonishment, and that he was about to reprove my
unauthorized familiarity, I mentioned my name.

"It is no wonder you don't recollect me," said I; "I have met
with the rubbers, and must have greatly changed since you saw me
last.  Indeed, I am now rather hard up.  Nothing to do, and not a
cent in my pocket.  It rejoices me to meet an old acquaintance.

The smile of recognition with which Robinson received the
announcement of my name, vanished like a torch quenched in the
ocean when he heard of my penniless condition.  He nevertheless
put a tolerably good face on the matter, invited me into his
store, said he had lived in New York about nine months, asked me
several commonplace questions, and at last, turning away as if he
had more important business to attend to, desired me to drop in
and see him occasionally.

Not dreaming that he would be otherwise than delighted to see me
at his house, I bluntly asked him where he lived.

"O," said he, in a careless manner, "I LIVE away up in the
Bowery, but my place of business is HERE; and when you have
nothing better to do, give me a call, I shall always be glad to
see you!"

And my cold-hearted, calculating friend, who feared I should make
an appeal to his pockets, gave me quite a polite bow, and thus
taught me a lesson in the fashionable accomplishment of bowing a
troublesome acquaintance into the street!

A few days after this, as I was walking in Broadway, musing on my
condition, and convinced of the truth of the saying that "there
is no solitude so complete as in the midst of a great city," but
firmly believing that something would soon "turn up," I saw on
the sidewalk an elegant and costly breastpin, which must have
belonged to a fashionable lady.  I gladly seized the glittering
prize and bore it away, exulting in my good fortune.  Although I
intended to spare no pains to find the owner, I trusted the
incident might in some way contribute to my advantage.  I showed
the pin in triumph to the wife of my landlord, a shrewd woman,
not over-scrupulous, and well skilled in the art of turning
little events to her own profit, and explained the circumstances
under which it came into my possession.

"This is indeed wonderful!" she exclaimed, holding up her hands.
"How fortunate that you, of all persons, should have found this
costly ornament!  It belongs to Mrs. Johnson, a dear friend of
mine, who lives just over the way!  It must be   it is   the
same.  I know it.  I have seen it a thousand times.  She was here
not five minutes ago, lamenting the loss of it.  How overjoyed
she will be when she knows it is found!  I will send to her
directly, and make her happy with the news."

Mrs. Hansen disappeared, leaving me, I am afraid, looking rather
confounded at this singular and unexpected COINCIDENCE, and
almost sorry that the owner of the pin had been so easily
discovered.  In a few minutes Mrs. Hansen returned, accompanied
by "her dear friend," Mrs. Johnson, who, after examining the pin,
said it was her own.  She thanked me for having found it, was in
raptures with her good fortune, declared she should never forget
she was indebted to me, then in a business-like manner placed the
rich ornament on her bosom, where it seemed as much out of place
"as a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear," and hastily walked off with
the prize before I could recover from my astonishment!  I was a
stranger to the ways of the world, and it did not occur to me,
until years afterwards, that this was an IMPROMPTU comedy,
ingeniously devised and skilfully performed by two capital
actresses, for the purpose of swindling me out of the jewel!

A day or two after the adventure of the breastpin, my landlord
represented to me, with much gravity, that I had been living with
him above a fortnight, had not paid a cent towards my board, and,
so far as he could see, there was no prospect that I ever would
pay any.  This state of things, I must be sensible, could not
last forever.

I told him, in reply, that I was every day becoming more able to
do a seaman's duty' that, as he well knew, I had tried to find a
berth in a coaster, but none was to be had; that I was confident
I should at some future time pay him, principal and interest, for
all his expense and trouble, and he might rely on my promise.

Hansen rejoined, with a derisive smile, that it was not his
custom to give credit, or rely upon promises; that I must find
something to do, or he should be compelled to turn me out of his
house!  "Did you ever do any thing but go to sea?" he asked

"O, yes," said I, "I was brought up on a farm, and understand all
kinds of farming work."

"If that's the case," continued he, "your business is done.
There are fine farms in Brooklyn, within sight of the ferry.  All
our best vegetables and fruit are raised on those farms.  It is
now the spring of the year, when farm laborers are wanted.  You
had better go over to Brooklyn and find work on a farm."

"That I'll do with pleasure," said I; "but I have no money to pay
my fare over the ferry."

"Never mind, I'll lend you a couple of sixpences, and charge them
in your account.  You had better go tomorrow, and take the whole
day before you."  Accordingly on the following day I started for
Long Island in quest of work as a day laborer on a farm.

At that time Brooklyn was not, as now, a large, populous, and
thriving city.  It was a small, sparsely-settled village; and the
vast extent of land which is now laid out in streets and squares,
and covered with costly edifices, was then improved for gardens,
orchards, and farms.  I landed from the ferry boat and took my
way along the public highway which led towards the interior of
the island.  The rural aspect of a cultivated country, after
having my view confined for many months to salt water and the
unseemly masses of brick and mortar called cities, gladdened my
heart; and I determined, in a spirit of true philosophy, to give
vain cares and regrets to the wind, and pass one pleasant day in
rambling about that agricultural district.

My efforts to obtain employment were not attended with success.
My sailor costume, my pale features, and my constitutional
diffidence, which has always been a drag in my efforts to press
forward in the world, served me not as a letter of recommendation
among the shrewd and money-making farmers and gardeners of Long
Island.  Indeed, to my mortification, I found that a blue jacket
and loose trousers, when worn by a weather-beaten or bronzed-
visaged wayfarer, were looked upon as PRIMA FACIE evidence that
"he was no better than he should be."  One of the farmers to whom
I applied, after questioning me about my ability to work on a
farm, came to the conclusion that he did not require any
additional help; another wanted a hand, but I was not stout
enough for his purpose; a third expressed a belief that I was an
impostor, and knew nothing about farming work; and a fourth,
after cross-questioning me until I felt assured he was satisfied
with my character and capacity, graciously informed me I might
stay a week or so on trial, and if I worked well perhaps he would
give me my board through the summer!  My case was a desperate
one, and I might have acceded to his proposal if he had not
unguardedly added that I should have to sleep in a cockloft in
the shed!  And thus I wandered about that part of the island the
whole day, and returned to my boarding house towards dark,
fatigued, hungry, and unsuccessful.  I told Hansen the result of
my day's labor.  He looked disappointed and angry.

"You did not try!" said he.  "I don't believe you said one word
for yourself.  There is one more shilling gone for nothing.  But
you must pretty quick find something to do."

The next day, when I returned home after my daily jaunt around
the wharves in search of employment, Hansen met me with a smile,
and introduced me to Stephen Schmidt, a thickset Dutchman, with
little gray eyes, and capacious cheeks, of a color which proved
he was a dear lover of schnapps.  Schmidt claimed to be a native
of Hudson; his ancestors were Dutch, and Dutch was the sole
language of his early days.  He had been several years employed
in the North River sloops, but for the last six months had been
in a coaster.  Wearied of this kind of life and afraid of
impressment, as his English pronunciation was strongly tinctured
with the gutturals of a genuine Knickerbocker, and British ships-
of-war swarmed along our coast, he had made up his mind to return
to his home on the banks of the Hudson, and try his hand at
cultivating cabbages and manufacturing SAUER KRAUT!  A man was
wanted in his place on board the coasting vessel and Hansen had
persuaded Schmidt to use his influence with the captain to
procure me the enviable situation.

I cared not a rush what kind of vessel this coaster was, whether
old or new, bound on a cruise to New Orleans or Baffin's Bay; nor
did I care whether the captain was a gentleman or a clown; a
worthy man or an ignorant bully.  I was anxious to obtain the
vacant situation, and feared that the captain, following the
fashion of the Long Island farmers, would not like the cut of my
jib.  I learned, however, that the schooner was a comfortable
vessel, about a hundred tons burden, called the Mary, belonging
to Newbern in North Carolina.  The name of the captain was
Thompson.  The schooner was taking in cargo for Newbern, and
would soon be ready for sea.  Towards evening I accompanied
Schmidt to the wharf where the Mary lay, and went on board, my
bosom agitated with hopes and fears.  The captain was on deck, a
sturdy, rough-looking man.  Schmidt went boldly up to him.
"Captain Thompson," said he, "this is the man I spoke to you
about this morning to take my place."

"This the man?" said the captain, abruptly.  "Why, this is a boy!
He's lame, too, and looks sickly.  He will never do for me!"

It was time for me to speak; and I made a bold effort to overcome
my diffidence.  "Sir," said I, "a few months ago I had the
misfortune to break my leg in Liverpool, and was sent home by the
American consul.  The limb is nearly well; but I don't feel able
to ship in a square-rigged vessel.  But, sir, I am in good
health; I want employment; I can do as good a day's work as any
man on board your schooner.   You will find me active,
industrious, and faithful.  You may rely on it, sir, you will
never have cause to repent giving me the berth."

Captain Thompson eyed me sharply a few moments without saying a
word.  After he had completed the examination of my person, he
mildly inquired, "How much wages do you expect?"

"Whatever you may think I am worth, sir," said I.  "I owe my
landlord for three weeks board; but he will have to trust me for
a part of it until I come back to New York.  I am but poorly off
for clothes, but that is of no consequence; summer is coming."

"You seem to be in a tight place, young man," said the kind-
hearted captain. "Come on board with your rattletraps tomorrow.
I'll soon find out what you are made of."

I returned home with a light heart, and rejoiced Hansen with the
intelligence that I had become one of the crew of the Mary.  I
promised him every cent of my advance wages.  With this he was
obliged to be content, but declared his intention to keep my
chest, my books, and other articles of trifling value, as
security for the remainder of my board.  To this I made no
objection, thinking it reasonable enough.  But Captain Thompson,
the next day, when I received my half month's pay in advance, and
informed him of my arrangements, called me a fool, and inveighed
in bitter terms against the whole race of sailor landlords.

I took nothing with me on board the Mary but a change of clothing
and a few articles of trifling value, packed in an old pillow
case, loaned me by my landlady, with strict injunctions to return
it if I ever came back to New York.  I was overjoyed to think I
had found employment, and could gain a subsistence by my own
labors.  I was sure of a home for a few weeks, until I should
recover from the effects of my mishap, when I hoped to be above
the necessity of asking favors.

The mate, whose name was Pierce, received me in a surly manner.
He evidently thought Captain Thompson did a foolish act in
shipping such "a useless piece of lumber" as myself.  The crew,
however, gave me a hearty reception, which placed me at my ease.
I found the crew to consist of two young men, not much older than
myself, and a negro boy.  The two men were swarthy sons of North
Carolina, born near Cape Hatteras; good-hearted, ignorant, lazy,
careless fellows, who liked good living and clear comfort better
than hard work.  The cook was of the genuine African type; and
when not employed in serious work about the camboose, was
throwing off the exuberance of his good humor in peals of
laughter.  Taken together, they were a set of jolly fellows, and
I rejoiced that my lot was cast among them.  My spirits, which
had been below zero for some time, in spite of my philosophy,
took a sudden rise immediately, notwithstanding the sullen humor
of the mate, who, like Cassius, had "a lean and hungry look," and
never even indulged in a smile.  He manifested a singular
antipathy towards me in all his acts.

Some animals seem to have a bitter hatred against those of their
own kind which are the victims of accident or misfortune.  A
wolf, wounded by hunters, is torn in pieces by the pack; and a
porpoise, if struck and mangled by a harpoon, is pursued by the
whole shoal, and put to death without mercy.  We sometimes find
human beings possessed of such savage attributes.  They pay court
to wealth and power, but when they find a fellow-being stricken
to the earth by misfortune or sickness, imbibe a prejudice
against him, and instead of stretching forth a kind and open hand
to relieve, will be more likely to shake a clinched fist in his

Chapter XVIII

We cast loose from the wharf the following day, about the 20th of
April, 1812, and proceeded down the harbor.  But the wind coming
from the eastward, we anchored above the Narrows.  I was soon
convinced that Captain Thompson was no driver.  Although
originally a Massachusetts man, he had lived long enough in
southern climates to acquire indolent habits.  When the wind was
ahead, if on anchorage ground, he would let go an anchor, rather
than take the trouble of beating to windward for what he
considered the trifling object of saving a day or two in the
passage!  "Have patience and the wind will change," was his
motto.  He was not the only shipmaster I have met with who was in
the habit of looking after his own comfort as well as the
interest of his employer.

The wind was favorable the next day, and we glided past Sandy
Hook and entered on the broad ocean.  Away we went to the
southward with the wind abeam, blowing a strong breeze from the
westward.  The captain took the helm, and all hands were employed
in clearing the decks and putting things in order; Mr. Pierce
being particularly active in the work, saying but little, and
looking unusually solemn.

I was on the weather side of the main deck, securing the lashings
of the long-boat, when I heard a splash in the water to leeward;
at the same moment the cook shouted out, with all the power of
his African lungs, "Goramity!  Mr. Pierce is fell overboard!"

"The mate is overboard!  The mate is overboard!" was now the cry
from every mouth.

"Hard-a-lee!" screamed the skipper, and at the same instant
executed the order himself by jamming the tiller hard down to
leeward.  "Haul the fore sheet to windward!  Clear away the long-
boat!  Be handy, lads! We'll save the poor fellow yet."

And then the captain shouted to the unfortunate man, as he was
seen not far off in the wake, "Be of good cheer!  Keep your head
up!  No danger!  We'll soon be alongside!"

I seized the cook's axe and cut away the lashings of the boat,
and in a space of time incredibly brief, the boat was lifted from
the chocks by main strength and launched over the side.  We were
about to shove off to the struggling mate, when Captain Thompson,
who had not taken his eyes from the man after he had fallen
overboard, and kept making signs and giving him words of
encouragement, exclaimed, in a mournful tone, "Avast there with
the boat!  'Tis no use.  He's gone   he's sunk, and out of sight.
We shall never see him again!  Poor fellow   poor fellow!  May
the Lord have mercy on him!"

It appeared that Mr. Pierce had stepped on the lee gunwale for
the purpose of grasping a rope that was loose.  His left hand was
on one of the main shrouds, when a sudden lurch disengaged his
grasp and precipitated him into the water.  He was not a hundred
yards from the schooner when he disappeared.  Whether his body
struck against the side of the vessel as he fell and he was thus
deprived of the full use of his limbs, whether he was panic-
struck at the fate which appeared to await him, or unable to
swim, we could never learn.  The simple, solemn fact, however,
was before us in all its terrible significance.  The man who, a
few moments before, stood on the deck of the Schooner Mary,
strong, healthy, and in the meridian of life, was no longer with
us.  He was removed without warning; buried in the depths of the
ocean; cut off by some mysterious agency,
"And sent to his account
With all his imperfections on his head."

Soon after this sad accident, when we had taken in the long-boat,
trimmed the sails, and were pursuing our way towards Cape
Hatteras, the captain, with a solemn look, called me to the helm
and went into the cabin, where he undoubtedly found consolation
in the embrace of an intimate but treacherous friend.  Indeed, on
his return to the deck, a few minutes afterwards, I had olfactory
demonstration that he and the brandy bottle had been in close
communion!  Captain Thompson had hardly spoken to me since we
left the wharf in New York.  He had now got his "talking tacks"
on board, and was sociable enough.

"Hawser," said he, with a sigh, "this is a serious and sad thing,
this death of poor Pierce.  It might be your fate or mine at any
time as easily as his.  He was just from Liverpool, having been
shipwrecked on the English coast, and on his way home to
Washington, expecting to see his wife and children in a few days.
Poor fellow!  This will be a terrible blow to his family and
friends.  His fate, so sudden, is enough to make any man who IS a
man, think seriously of his 'better end'   of what may become of
him hereafter!"  He clinched this remark, which he delivered with
much energy, with an oath that almost made my hair stand on end,
and struck me at the time as being singularly out of place in
that connection.

With another deep-drawn sigh he dismissed the subject, and did
not again allude to it.  He spoke of the "embargo act," of
various ingenious modes of evading it, and of the prospect of a
war with England; and made some assertion in relation to
proceedings in Congress, which, in a respectful manner, but to
his great astonishment, I ventured to dispute on the authority of
a paragraph I had seen in a New York newspaper a few days before.
The captain, after gravely staring me in the face a moment, as
much as to say, "What do YOU know about newspapers or politics?"
inquired the name of the newspaper I was talking about.

I mentioned the name of the paper.  "Well," said he, "I have that
paper, with others, in a bundle in the cabin   so that matter can
be soon settled."

Down he went into the cabin, leaving me not a little alarmed at
his conduct.  Thinks I to myself, "Can he be offended because a
vagabond like myself has dared to differ with him on a question
of fact?"

He soon appeared on deck with a large bundle of newspapers, which
he put into my hands, at the same time taking possession of the
tiller.  "There," said he, "find the newspaper you were speaking
of and pick out the paragraph, IF YOU CAN."

From my earliest boyhood I had manifested a strong attachment for
newspapers.  It may have been that, not finding other means to
gratify my thirst for reading, I read every newspaper that came
in my way; and as I was blessed with a good memory, I always kept
tolerably well posted in regard to the current news of the day.
I opened the bundle and promptly singled out the newspaper in
question, and pointing to a paragraph with my finger, said,
"There, sir, you may see for yourself."

The captain seemed astonished.  He did not take the paper from my
hands.  "My eyes," said he, "are not good; they are weak, and it
troubles me to read.  Let me hear YOU read it."

I read the paragraph accordingly.  The captain, meanwhile, fixed
his eyes, which exhibited no signs of weakness, upon me with an
earnest expression.  When I finished reading, he nodded his head
and mused a few moments in silence, then hastily surrendered the
tiller, bundled up the newspapers, and vanished down the

"What does this bode?" thought I to myself.  "The man is
evidently angry.  I acted like a fool to question anything he
said, however absurd."  I did Captain Thompson injustice.  He was
not long absent, but soon came up the steps, bringing a sack-
bottomed chair in one hand and a suspicious-looking pamphlet in
the other.  He placed the chair in front of the tiller.

"Hawser," said he, "sit down in that chair, and take this
pamphlet, which is one of the most wonderful books that was ever
laid before a wicked world.  The author shows by figures, facts,
and calculations that the world will be destroyed on the 12th of
June.  Good Lord!  The time is close at hand.  I have not read
the book; my eyes trouble me too much   besides, I have not had
time.  But I have heard much about it, and received orders, when
I left Newbern for New York to bring back a dozen copies to
enlighten the poor creatures on their fate.  Sit right down,
Hawser, I tell you, and go to work.  I'll steer the schooner
while you read."

I obeyed orders, as was my custom; and a curious picture we must
have presented, the captain steering the schooner and listening
with greedy ears to every word which fell from my lips, as,
seated directly fronting him, my back supported by the binnacle,
I read in a clear and distinct voice, and with due emphasis, the
crude absurdities of a crack-brained religious enthusiast.

This "wonderful pamphlet" was written by a man named Cochran, a
resident of Richmond, in Virginia, who, after poring over the
Book of Revelation for years, convinced himself that he had
obtained a clew to the mysteries contained in the writings of St.

After satisfying himself, as he said, beyond question of the
correctness of his views, he published his pamphlet of some
thirty or forty pages, notifying the public of the terrible fact
that the day of judgment was at hand; and predicting the day, and
suggesting the hour, when the world would come to an end!  He
even went so far as to describe the scene of destruction, when
all the elements would be put in motion to destroy mankind, when
volcanoes would deluge the land with liquid fire, and earthquakes
shake and shatter the world to its centre!

Cochran claimed to PROVE all this by his interpretation of the
Book of Revelation; by labored calculations based upon
arithmetical principles, and algebraic formulae until then
unknown, but which appeared mystical and appalling from the fact
that they were incomprehensible.  The book was written in a style
well calculated to perplex, astonish, or terrify the readers,
especially those who were not well stocked with intelligence.  It
is therefore not remarkable that it caused a commotion wherever
it was circulated.  The judgment day was the topic of discourse
and persons of ungodly lives and conversation were led to think
seriously of the error of their ways.

I read the pamphlet through, from title page to "finis,"
calculations, figures, and all; and no reader ever had a more
attentive listener.  Captain Thompson took the book in his hand
after I had got through, and gazed upon it attentively.

"Well," said he, "this beats cock fighting!  The man keeps a good
log; works out his case like a sailing master; and proves it by
alphabetic signs and logarithms, as clear as a problem in plain
sailing.  This is a great book; a tremendous book!  I wish I had
two hundred copies to distribute among the poor, ignorant
heathens at Newbern and Portsmouth.  Won't it make the folks
stare like bewildered porpoises!  Are you tired of reading,

"No, sir.  I will read as long as you wish."

"Well, if that's the case, I'll bring up the Bible from the
cabin, and you may wind up with one or two of the chapters in
Revelation, which are referred to in the pamphlet."

The Bible was brought up, and I read to his great gratification
until about six o'clock, when the supper hour put a stop to our
literary and biblical pursuits.  But the following day, the day
after, every day, I had to read that doomsday pamphlet whenever
it was my turn to take the helm, and frequently a chapter in the
Bible besides.

One morning, as we were slowly moving along with a light breeze,
on soundings between Cape Henry and Cape Hatteras, a large
loggerhead turtle was seen a short distance to windward,
motionless, and apparently asleep on the water.  This caused
quite a sensation; every man was on deck in a moment.  The
schooner was hove to, preparations were making to launch the
boat, and the captain was loudly calling for his GIG, a species
of three-pronged harpoon for striking small fish, when one of the
crew, named Church, remonstrated against this mode of proceeding.

"Hold on, captain," said he, "or you will lose the lovely
crittur.  If you go near him in a boat he will open his peepers
and vanish as suddenly as an evil spirit sprinkled with holy
water  But I know a trick to take him that cannot fail.  Let me
have my own way, and I'll catch that lazy, lubberly chap, and
bring him alongside, man fashion, in no time!"

Church, while making this appeal, had been hastily divesting
himself of his garments, and by the time he finished his remarks,
stood, EN CUERPO, on the gunwale.

"Go ahead, my lad!" said the captain.  "But if you let that
turtle slip through your fingers, don't you ever come back to the

Church grinned, let himself gently into the water, and paddled
away noiselessly and swiftly towards the unsuspicious reptile,
who was lazily snoozing in midday, without dreaming of danger.
The sailor approached him warily from behind; and when
sufficiently near, grabbed the astonished animal by the stern
flippers, and exclaimed, "Hurrah, the day's our own, boys!
Captain, I've got a prize.  Run up the stripes and stars.  Turtle
steaks forever!  Victory, hurrah!"

The turtle, although taken at disadvantage, did not at once "give
up the ship."  He struggled manfully for that liberty which is
the birthright of every living creature, and made a desperate
attempt to go down, knowing intuitively that his captor would not
dare follow him to the depths below.  But whenever he attempted
to dive, Church threw the whole weight of his body on the stern
flippers, and thus prevented him from executing that maneuver.
After being foiled in this manner two or three times his
turtleship seemed disposed to abandon this mode of proceeding,
and tried to paddle off with his forward flippers, as if to
escape from the incumbrance.  Church was now in his glory.  By
PULLING one hind flipper and PUSHING the other he could guide the
reptile in whatever direction he pleased, and soon navigated him
alongside the schooner, when a rope was hospitably put around the
neck of the captive, and he was hauled on board.

Passing around Cape Hatteras, between the outer shoals and the
land, we arrived at Ocracoke Inlet.  The wind being ahead, we
were unable to cross the bar, but remained two or three days at
anchor in its immediate vicinity.  Ocracoke Inlet is the main
entrance into Pamlico Sound, a large inlet or body of water, some
eighty miles long, separated from the sea by low sandy islands,
mostly inhabited.  On this Sound are situated some thriving
towns, and into it the rivers Tar and Neuse empty their waters.
The little town or village of Portsmouth is situated on an island
in the immediate vicinity of Ocracoke Inlet.  The inhabitants, or
those who at that time deigned to pursue any regular occupation,
were for the most part engaged in fishing and piloting.  The sand
banks, shoals, and flats in that neighborhood furnish admirable
facilities for seine fisheries, and enormous quantities of
mullets were taken every year on those sandy shores, packed in
barrels, and sent to the West Indies.

There was also at that time carried on with considerable success,
a porpoise fishery, after a fashion peculiar, I believe, to that
part of the world.  Porpoises often made their appearance very
near the coast, in shoals   not "schools," for porpoises are
uneducated   some hundreds in number.  They were surrounded by
boats and driven into shallow water.  When sufficiently near the
land, a strong seine was cautiously drawn around them and they
were slowly but surely dragged to the beach; the blubber was
stripped from their carcasses and converted into oil.  Sometimes
a shark was found in their company, who, disdaining to be so
easily subdued, performed wondrous feats of strength and
ferocity,   biting and maiming the inoffensive porpoises without
mercy, and in most cases rending the seine by his enormous power,
and escaping from his persecutors.

When lying at Ocracoke, waiting for a chance over "the Swash,"
the crew of the Mary having little to do, were generally engaged
in looking after their physical comforts by laying in a stock of
shell-fish.  Oysters were found in abundance all along shore, and
of excellent quality; also the large clam known as the QUAHAUG,
which when properly cooked and divested of its toughness is
capital food; crabs, of delicate flavor and respectable size,
were taken in hand-nets in any quantity; and flounders, mullets,
and drum-fish were captured with little trouble.  Ducks and teal,
and other kinds of water fowl, abounded in the creeks and coves.

The staple articles of food on board the Mary consisted of corn
meal, molasses, Carolina hams and middlings, with sweet lard and
salt pork, in unstinted quantities.  As a drink, instead of
Oriental tea and West India or manufactured coffee, we were
supplied with the decoction of an herb found in the woods or
swamps of the Carolinas, and generally known as YAUPON TEA.  It
was at first insipid, if not unpalatable, but improved greatly on
a more intimate acquaintance.

In the Mary we were stinted in nothing that could be readily
procured; and having a cook who prided himself on his skill in
manufacturing hoe-cakes, oyster fritters, clam chowders, turtle
stews and the like, I am free to confess that so far as related
to GOOD LIVING, I never passed three months more satisfactorily
than while I was on board the Mary of Newbern.  I often compared
it with my wretched fare on board the Schooner John, or with my
"short commons" in the Liverpool Infirmary, and the result was
decidedly in favor of the North Carolina coaster.

The inhabitants of the district bordering on Ocracoke Inlet, as a
body, were not remarkable for industrious habits, or sober and
exemplary lives.  Fishing and piloting, I have already said,
constituted their chief business.  Many, being too lazy to work,
indulged themselves in lounging, drinking, betting, cock-
fighting, and similar amusements.  One redeeming virtue, however,
they possessed, which is not always met with among the sedate,
thrifty, and moral portion of mankind   hospitality!  They were
frank, open-hearted, and compassionate; professed no virtues
which they did not practise; would throw open their doors to the
stranger, welcome him to their dwellings, and freely share their
last dollar with a friend.

The news reached Portsmouth by the pilot boat that Captain
Thompson had arrived from New York, and had brought the pamphlet
which proclaimed the destruction of the world.  The people took a
deep interest in the subject.  The men visited the schooner by
scores; and as most of them were unable to read, through the
infirmities of ignorance and "weak eyes," my literary powers were
put in requisition, and again and again I was compelled to read
aloud, for their edification, the conglomeration of absurdities
which the prophet had put forth. They listened with attention;
and it was amusing to hear their strange remarks and queer logic
in favor of or against the prediction.  The effect upon the minds
of some of these children of the sandy isles was undoubtedly
beneficial.  It led them to think; it brought the Bible directly
before them, and reminded them that whether the pamphlet was true
or false a day of judgment was at hand.

The wind having changed, we crossed "the Swash," entered the
Sound, and soon reached the mouth of the River Neuse.  This is a
stream of considerable importance, being four hundred miles in
length, and draining a large tract of country.  It is navigable
for boats about one half that distance.  An immense quantity of
produce is brought down the river from the interior of the state
and deposited at Newbern, whence it is shipped to different parts
of the world.

Newbern is situated about forty or fifty miles from Pamlico
sound, on the south-west bank of the Neuse, and at the junction
of that river with the Trent.  It was, in 1812, a pleasant and
flourishing town, containing about three thousand inhabitants,
who carried on a prosperous business to the West Indies, and who
employed many vessels in the coasting trade.

On reaching Newbern the crew were discharged, the voyage being
terminated.  Captain Thompson told me that the schooner would be
sent on another voyage without delay, and if I was willing to
remain and take charge of her at the wharf, keep an account of
the cargo as it was delivered and received on board, I should be
allowed the same wages I had been receiving,   eight or ten
dollars a month.  I accepted the proposition without hesitation.
Indeed, the arrangement was to the advantage of both parties; he
secured at a low rate of compensation the services of one who
could perform the duties or shipkeeper and mate combined, and I
was provided with an asylum,   board, lodging, plenty of work,
and pay into the bargain.

Chapter XIX

When we arrived at Newbern, the people, having heard of the
dreadful prophecies, were prepared to receive the pamphlets and
devour their contents.  Cochran's name, connected with the day of
judgment, was in every mouth.  Groups collected at the corners of
the streets and on the wharves, composed of persons of various
characters and all complexions, and discussed the subject of the
prediction with wonderful earnestness and intensity of feeling.
Indeed, the excitement in Newbern and vicinity, caused by this
pamphlet, was hardly exceeded in sober New England in 1839 and
1840, when the charlatan, Miller, by his ridiculous predictions,
spread a panic through the land; when many persons, discarding
the modicum of brains they were supposed to possess, abandoned
their farms, neglected their families, gave away to wiser persons
the little property they owned, and actually prepared their
"ascension robes," to meet with decency and decorum the day of

On the second day after our arrival at Newbern, when I had
finished my labors for the day and was preparing for rest,
Captain Thompson came hurriedly down the wharf and sprang on
board the schooner.  "Hawser," said he, as soon as he recovered
breath, "you must rig yourself up a little and go with me to
Captain Merritt's."

"What is going on there, sir, that requires my presence?"

"The boarders want you to read Cochran's pamphlet, and you MUST

"But I have no suitable clothes to rig myself up with, sir."

"Never mind your clothes.  Wash your face, comb your hair,
straighten up your collar, look in the glass, and you will do
well enough.  But bear a hand.  They are waiting for you now."

I arranged my toilet in accordance with the captain's
suggestions.  When I gave it the finishing touch, by "looking in
the glass," I was not satisfied, believing my costume could
hardly reflect honor on the company; and my heart throbbed with
emotion as I accompanied Captain Thompson to his boarding house.
We entered the dining hall, the centre of which was occupied by a
long table, around which were seated some fifteen or twenty well-
dressed individuals, chiefly masters of vessels, and very
different in their appearance and manner from the Ocracoke
pilots.  At the head of the table was an empty chair, towards
which I was led by my conductor, who told me to be seated.

Naturally bashful, and conscious of my inferior position, I
hardly knew whether I was asleep or awake; but was soon restored
to my senses by Captain Thompson, who said, in an off-hand
manner, "Hawser, these gentlemen are anxious to hear you read
Cochran's pamphlet, which tells about the judgment day;" and he
pushed towards me a copy of the prediction.

I took the familiar document and commenced my labors.  My voice
was tremulous at first, but I soon became accustomed to its
sound, and as, by this time, I knew the greater portion of the
book by heart, I got through the tissue of extravagance with
great credit, not only to the prophet Cochran but myself.

My auditors listened with the closest attention, hardly seeming
to breathe, and it was curious to mark the various expressions
which their tell-tale countenances exhibited as I proceeded.
After I had completed my task, the gentlemen breathed more
freely, and stared at one another in silence.  One or two were
inclined to treat the prediction with levity, but their remarks
were not well received.  It was generally conceded that the
subject was not a proper one for a joke.  I received the thanks
of several of my auditors for the acceptable manner in which I
had performed my part in the drama.  A few evenings afterwards I
was again called upon to lay the contents of this everlasting
pamphlet before another set of eager listeners!  And I rejoiced
when, with a full cargo of naval stores and Carolina notions, the
schooner left the wharf, bound on a voyage to Baltimore.

On reaching Ocracoke Inlet, it appeared that the impression which
the predictions of Cochran had made upon the minds of the
inhabitants was not effaced.  We lay at anchor there three days
waiting for a wind to cross the bar, and every evening I was
called upon to read chapters in the Bible for the edification of
the worthy Ocracoke pilots, who probably had not heard a chapter
of Scripture recited for years.  The prophecy had taken a deep
hold on the minds of some; and ribald jests and disgusting oaths
were seldom heard in the neighborhood of "the Swash."

I was treated with kindness by Captain Thompson, and performed
many of the duties of mate without occupying the station or
receiving the pay.  On the passage to Baltimore the captain
exhibited occasional symptoms of piety, and at one time would
listen to a chapter in the Bible with commendable gravity, and
discourse seriously on serious subjects; half an hour afterwards
he would resume his profane and disorderly habits, and chase away
reflection by getting drunk!  He was not at peace with himself;
and he dearly loved whiskey and peach brandy.

It was a pleasant season of the year, and the trip to Baltimore,
through the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, was an interesting one.
I expected to find in Baltimore a distant relative, who had often
visited my father's house; been for a time domiciled in his
family, and had received repeated favors.  He was now in a
respectable position in Baltimore, and in the simplicity of my
heart I longed to visit him, talk with him over family matters,
and listen to words of advice and encouragement from a friend and

We arrived at Baltimore on a Friday afternoon.  I had spoken to
Captain Thompson about my relative and my anticipations of a
cordial welcome.  His experience, however, had led him to
entertain an unfavorable opinion of mankind in general, and he
expressed a doubt whether a knowledge of my forlorn condition
would not repel the advances and freeze the affectionate welcome
which under other circumstances I might have expected.  I was
indignant at such an insinuation, and made known my intention to
call upon my kinsman the next day, and put his feelings to the
proof.  The captain kindly aided my purpose.  He received
information from the wharfinger of the place of business and
position of my relative; and on the following afternoon, after
making myself look as respectable as possible, I proceeded, with
a guide furnished by the wharfinger, to the counting room or
office of my father's friend and protege in a distant part of the

I found him alone, writing at his desk, and recognized him
immediately.  But he stared at me, and inquired my business.  I
mentioned my name; upon which he seemed greatly astonished, bade
me be seated, and questioned me about myself and connections.  I
told him the tale of my adventures, gave him the name of the
schooner to which I belonged, the wharf at which she was lying,
and also of the wharfinger, one of his intimate acquaintances,
who had directed me to his office.

He expressed gratification that I had called upon him, said he
should always be glad to hear of my welfare, and after a pause of
a few minutes, rather gravely remarked that he would gladly
render me any service in his power; but he was at that time busy,
and requested me to visit him at his boarding house the next
morning at nine o'clock, when he should have leisure to talk with
me further.  I returned to the schooner well satisfied with my
reception, and recounted to Captain Thompson the particulars of
the interview.  The captain shook his head, and smiled

The next morning, being Sunday, I put myself in what I considered
passable trim, and proceeded with a light heart to the boarding
house, which I found to be a handsome edifice in a genteel part
of the city.  I knocked at the door and inquired for my kinsman.
The servant ushered me into a hall and left me.  He was absent
some time, during which I was an object of curiosity to several
persons of both sexes who entered or left an adjoining apartment.
One very pretty young woman seemed unpleasantly struck with my
appearance, and expressed in audible tones her astonishment at my
impertinence in entering the front door.  The servant at length
returned and said the gentleman I wanted was unwell, and could
not be seen.

I was thunderstruck at this announcement, and declared it must be
a mistake.  I bade him return and tell the gentlemen I was the
person whom he requested to call that morning at nine o'clock on
important business.  Some ten minutes elapsed; my pride took the
alarm.  Could he be inventing some paltry excuse for getting rid
of what he might consider my importunities?  The young woman
again appeared who had before honored me with her notice, and who
I presumed was the daughter of the woman who kept the house.  She
accosted me in a manner by no means flattering to my self-esteem,
and told me the gentleman whom I so absolutely persisted in
seeing was quite unwell, and unable to converse with any one that
day; that I must come tomorrow or the day following, or some
other day, when he would be quite well and at leisure!  With a
contemptuous toss of her pretty head, she showed me the door, and
motioned me to depart.

"Tell him," said I, "that I shall not trouble him again."  She
smiled, as if my remark met her hearty approval, and closed the
door with a slam!

I slowly returned, through the many magnificent thoroughfares of
Baltimore, to the schooner.  The streets were thronged with
people elegantly dressed, who appeared to be rejoicing in their
good fortune and happy in their friends and families.  As I
pensively wandered along, unnoticed and unknown, I felt all my
loneliness, and began to think the prosperous and happy times
would never arrive that had been promised in my dreams.  The
conduct of my relative disappointed me much.  It shook my
confidence in mankind, and paralyzed my small stock of self-
esteem   a quality essential to even ordinary success in life.

Captain Thompson, perceiving my dejected air, inquired into the
particulars of my interview.  I related to him the facts, but
suggested excuses, and placed the matter in as favorable a light
as the truth would admit.  The straightforward sailor, however,
saw through it all.  He could not contain his indignation: after
letting it explode in true sailor fashion, he concluded with this
piece of practical philosophy: "Never mind, Hawser; 'tis the way
of the world.  I have always found it so.  As for gratitude,
affection, disinterested kindness, and friendship, 'tis all a
humbug!  RELY ON YOURSELF.  Fight the battle of life alone.  If
you conquer, you will find friends, kind friends, disinterested
friends.  Ha, ha, ha!  Cheer up, my boy."

I still clung to a hope that there was some mistake, perhaps a
blunder on the part of the servant who delivered the message, and
that I should receive a note or a visit the next day which would
set the matter right.  But neither note nor visit came.  In a few
days the schooner Mary left Baltimore on the return to Newbern.

On the passage, the captain was testy, petulant, and unhappy.
The prophecy of Cochran had taken a stronger hold on his mind
than he was willing to acknowledge.  I was called upon to read
aloud chapters in the Bible, and especially in the Book of
Revelation, Knotty passages in the pamphlet I was also required
to read from time to time.  But the oftener they were read, and
the more closely they were examined, the greater was the puzzle,
the more complete the mystification.

We reached Ocracoke in the evening, and the next morning had a
fair wind over the bar and across Pamlico Sound.  This was the
day on which the dreaded prediction was to be fulfilled.  The sun
rose in a clear, unclouded sky on the morning of that day, and
its beams flashed brilliantly and benignly, as with a gentle
breeze from the northward we entered the mouth of the River
Neuse.  There could not be a lovelier day.  Even Captain Thompson
felt apparently relieved of his anxiety as he looked abroad upon
the beauties of nature and beheld no indications of the day of
doom.  He saw no anger in the heavens; he heard no moans from the
distressed animals instinctively snuffing the near approach of
danger and death; he breathed no stifled and sulphurous
atmosphere nor witnessed any other sign of the near approach of a
terrible calamity.  He even ventured to express an opinion that
"the prophecy of that old rascal Cochran would not prove true
after all."

We reached Newbern in the afternoon, and found everybody gazing
at the heavens with eager looks, in which it would be difficult
to say whether fear or curiosity predominated.  Many would not
venture to bed till their hopes were made certain by the striking
of the midnight hour; and then they were so overjoyed at what
appeared a new lease of life, that sleep, that "sweet restorer,"
was a stranger during the night.  In the morning, however, a
gloom was again cast over the spirits of some of the most
superstitious by the remark of a meddlesome old West India
captain, that undoubtedly Cochran, like the seers of olden times,
made his calculations according to the "old style" of computing
time.  Thus twelve additional days were allowed to pass before
they dared give a full loose to their joy at the failure of the

After we had discharged our cargo in Newbern, I indicated to
Captain Thompson that I should like to pass a few days on shore,
take respite from labor, look around the town, and take note of
the place and its inhabitants.

He admitted the reasonableness of my proposition, but took
decided measures to prevent my being led astray by bad company.
The worthy captain, although addicted to irregular habits
himself, and in his own person and character a dangerous exemplar
for a young man, watched my proceedings with the closest
scrutiny, and lost no chance to impress on my mind correct rules
of conduct.  He particularly cautioned me against the habit of
drinking intoxicating liquors.  "It is," said he with a sigh, "a
rock on which many a noble vessel has been wrecked."   So much
easier is it to preach than to practise.

With a view to insure my moral safety, Captain Thompson insisted
that while I remained on shore I should stay at his boarding
house and occupy the same room with himself.  I accordingly took
up my quarters at Captain Merritt's, where I was heartily
welcomed by the landlord and his boarders.

The impression made upon my mind by the good people of Newbern
was decidedly favorable.  I was advised, by several substantial
citizens to whom I was introduced, to make Newbern my home.  I
was assured that I should meet with success corresponding with my
merits.  I regarded the suggestion as a compliment; and having
agreed to accompany Captain Thompson on another coasting voyage
to New York, I determined to take the matter into consideration.
I never returned to Newbern.  But I have always felt grateful for
the kind conduct and encouraging words which I received from the
good people of that pleasant and flourishing city.  Ever since
that time the name of Newbern falls gently on my ear, and
conjures up a thousand agreeable associations.

The owner of the Mary, Mr. Jarvis, was an active and enterprising
man.  He did not allow his vessels to remain idle.  In a few days
we had another cargo on board, and proceeded down the river on
our way to New York.  Being detained as usual at the Inlet,
several of the pilots and other inhabitants of Portsmouth came on
board, and the ribald jest, the oath, and the dram cup passed
freely round.  Cochran's pamphlet was consigned to oblivion.  I
was no longer called upon to read passages from the Holy
Scriptures.  Solemn looks and serious conversation were voted a
bore.  They laughed at their former fears; a reaction had taken
place, and the struggle now seemed to be who should surpass his
fellows in wickedness.

So much for Cochran's famous prediction, closely resembling in
character that of Miller at a later day, and uttered with as much
confidence and believed by as many persons.  Morever, it is
probable that Cochran was as sincere in his belief as Miller,
perhaps more so, for the miserable man, finding his imagination
had played him a trick, and that his prediction had not been
fulfilled, overcome by mortification, and not supported by a pure

It is hardly worth while for man to attempt to solve mysteries in
order to ascertain when the day of judgment will arrive.  He
should strive so to regulate his actions, that, let it come when
it will, he need not fear the result.

Chapter XX

On our passage to New York we met with no remarkable occurrence,
and saw not a cruiser of any nation.  On reaching the city, we
found that an extraordinary excitement prevailed.  War had been
declared against Great Britain; an American fleet under Commodore
Rodgers had sailed the day before on a cruise.  The frigate Essex
was at Brooklyn with a complete and gallant crew, and her
commander, Captain Porter, was making preparations for an
immediate departure.  This brave officer made no secret of his
intention to bring the enemy to close quarters whenever a chance
offered, and proclaimed throughout the frigate that any man who
repented having shipped might receive his discharge.

One man only of the hundreds composing the crew availed himself
of the captain's proclamation, under the plausible pretext that
he was an Englishman.  But it having been ascertained that so far
from being a loyal subject of the king of Great Britain, he was a
native-born Yankee with a cowardly spirit, his shipmates were so
indignant that they tarred and feathered him, carried him over to
New York, placed a placard on his breast, formed a procession,
and paraded him through the streets.

There was a great bustle about the wharves in New York, although
of a different kind from that which prevailed two months previous
in consequence of the embargo.  Clippers of all kinds and sizes
were bought up at enormous prices, and rapidly transformed into
privateers and letters of marque.  Heavy guns, instead of bales
of goods, were dragged through the streets by dray horses, and
muskets, cutlasses, and boarding pikes met the eye at every turn.
Fierce-looking men with juvenile mustachios jostled each other in
the streets, and even the dapper clerks and peaceable artisans
swore deeper oaths and assumed more swaggering airs.  News of
naval battles was anxiously looked for, startling rumors of all
kinds were afloat, and every vessel which arrived was supposed to
be fraught with momentous intelligence respecting the cruisers on
the coast.  I noted these proceedings, caught the spirit of
enthusiasm, and sympathized in the excitement which so
universally prevailed.   I told Captain Thompson I had made up my
mind to join a privateer.  To this remark the worthy skipper made
no reply but by a smile, which I interpreted as an approval of my

One of my first acts, however, was to call on Hansen, the keeper
of the boarding house where I had formerly resided, and discharge
my debt.  I resumed possession of my chest and books, which I
regarded as my greatest treasure.  I had recovered from my
lameness.  I was strong and active, and although poorly off for
clothing or worldly goods, was free from debt, and had a couple
of dollars which I could call my own.  My condition had decidedly
improved; the prospect ahead began to brighten, and I felt able
and anxious to perform a manly part in any noble enterprise.

I took an early opportunity to look around the wharves, and
examine the privateers that were getting ready for a cruise.  Two
of these vessels particularly commanded my admiration, the Teaser
and the Paul Jones.  The Teaser was a New York pilot boat of
ninety tons burden, a rakish, wicked-looking clipper enough.  Her
armament consisted chiefly of one long eighteen-pounder
amidships.  The Paul Jones was a large schooner of two hundred
and twenty tons, heavily rigged, with immense spars, a spacious
deck, and of a genuine buccaneer model.  The armament of this
privateer consisted of one long twenty-four-pounder and twelve
heavy carronades.

After the deliberation I fixed upon the Paul Jones as the more
desirable vessel.  The warlike preparations and rakish appearance
of this schooner looked like BUSINESS, and I had seen the
insolence of John Bull so often exhibited on the broad highway of
nations, and had so often listened to his taunts and sneers in
ridicule of the prowess of the Yankees, that I longed for an
opportunity to lend a hand to give him a drubbing.  I stepped on
board and inquired of an officer who seemed busy in giving
directions, if I could have a chance in the privateer.  He asked
me a few questions, to which I gave satisfactory answers.  He
said there were many applications of a similar character, but he
thought he could insure me a situation; told me to call next day
at two o'clock, when the agent would be on board, and the matter
could be arranged.

The important part which the American privateers bore in the last
war with Great Britain is well known.  They were fitted out in
every port, manned by brave and active men, and heavily armed.
Managed with seaman-like dexterity, and superior in sailing
capacity to vessels belonging to any other nation, they could not
be easily captured.  The injury inflicted on the commerce of
Great Britain by these privateers is incalculable.  They carried
terror among our enemies in the remotest parts of the ocean, and
the desire of the British government to put an end to the war
may, in part, be attributed to the activity, courage, and
enterprise of our privateers.  The principle has been adopted in
all ages, that private property, captured on the high seas, is a
lawful prize to the captors; also, that the destruction of
private property belonging to an enemy is a justifiable act.  To
a well-constituted mind it must appear, on investigation, that
such principles are unjust, belong to a barbarous age, and cannot
be advocated on any platform of ethics recognized among civilized
nations in modern times.

An attempt was made within a few years on the part of Great
Britain, which also met the approval of the French government, TO
ABOLISH THE PRIVATEER SYSTEM, on the ground that this mode of
warfare is wrong in principle, irregular subject to abuses, and
to a certain extent irresponsible.  A proposition was made to our
government to be a party to an agreement to abolish the system
forever.  Under the cloak of Christian philanthropy this was a
master stroke or policy on the part of the British and French
governments.  Should the privateer system be abolished and a war
unhappily take place between this country and France or Great
Britain, either of those nations, with myriads of heavily armed
men-of-war, could overrun the ocean, and every American
merchantman venturing to sea would be captured or burned; our own
commerce would be annihilated, while OUR FEW NATIONAL SHIPS,
scattered over a large surface, could offer but little check to
the commercial pursuits of an enemy.

Our government met the proposition in a manly manner, and while
it declined entering into any agreement which had for its
exclusive object the abolition of the privateer system,   a
measure which would inure chiefly to the advantage of Great
Britain or France,   it went further, and declared itself ready
to accede to any arrangement by which, during a war, private
property of every character should be exempted from capture, not
only by privateers but NATIONAL VESSELS.  This noble suggestion,
worthy a great nation in an enlightened age, did not meet the
views of our friends across the water.  This broad Christian
principle, if carried out, would deprive them of many advantages
they might reasonably expect to derive from their numerous ships
of war.

It must be evident that in case of a war between this country and
a mighty naval power,   which we trust will never occur,   the
many large "clipper ships," which compose a large portion of our
commercial marine, will be provided with screw propellers, and
transformed into privateers.  Armed with guns of the heaviest
metal, unequalled in speed, and able to select their distance and
position, they will prove a formidable means of defence and
aggression; and will do much towards protecting our own commerce
while they will destroy that of the enemy.

With a buoyant heart I left the proud and warlike looking
privateer, Paul Jones, and proceeded to the slip where the
schooner Mary lay.  For this vessel, looking so demure and
Quaker-like, I very ungratefully began to entertain feelings akin
to contempt.  She was now taking in cargo and was expected to
sail in a few days on her return to Newbern.  When Captain
Thompson came on board, I told him I had engaged to join the
privateer Paul Jones, which vessel was about to sail on a cruise.
He seemed greatly astonished, and abruptly asked me what I meant
by such conduct.  I explained my intentions more at length, and
referred to the notice I had given of my wish to join a

"I had no idea you were serious," said the captain.  "I thought
you intended it as a joke.  I didn't suppose you were such a
confounded fool as to think seriously of joining a privateer."

"Why, sir, what can I do better?  Our merchant ships will be laid
up or captured on the high seas.  Even the coasting trade will be
destroyed by British cruisers stationed along the whole extent of
our coast.  If I return to Newbern, I shall probably be thrown
out of employment; a stranger in a small place, and almost as
destitute as when I first shipped on board the Mary.  I have
pondered on the subject, and am convinced that my best course is
to go a privateering."

"Go to Beelzebub, you mean!" exclaimed the captain, in a rage.
"I have no patience with you.  You talk nonsense.  The schooner
will not be laid up on her return to Newbern.  And, furthermore,
you have signed a contract to perform a voyage from Newbern to
New York AND BACK!  And I shall hold you to your agreement.  Go a
privateering!  Pah!"

We had some further discussion, in the midst of which Mr. Jarvis,
the owner of the schooner, who had arrived in New York a day or
two before from North Carolina, came on board.  He was a
dignified-looking man, greatly respected and esteemed in Newbern.
He espoused captain Thompson's side of the argument, assured me
it was unlikely his vessels would be laid up on account of the
war, and would promise me that in any event I should not be
thrown out of employment.  If his vessels remained idle at the
wharves, he would find business for me in his counting room until
more propitious times.

The united remonstrances of the captain and the owner of the Mary
came with a force I was unable to resist; with a strong effort I
gulped down my disappointment, and gave up my darling project of
making a cruise in the Paul Jones.  Our fortunes in this life
our destinies   seem sometimes balanced on a pivot which a breath
will turn.  Had I accomplished my intention and embarked on a
cruise, how different my fate, in all likelihood, would have

We left New York about the 2d of July.  After having reached the
offing, while pursuing our course with diligence towards Cape
Hatteras, we were overhauled by a New York pilot boat of the
smallest size, apparently bound in the same direction.  This
little schooner was in ballast, and skimmed over the seas like a
Mother Carey's chicken; ranged up on our weather quarter and
hailed us.  It proved to be the Young Pilot, Captain Moncrieff,
bound to Savannah.  The mate, whose name was Campbell, was known
to Captain Thompson.  They had been boarders in the same house.
After an interchange of salutations and hearty wishes for a
pleasant voyage, the little schooner rapidly drew ahead and
passed on her way.  There was nothing remarkable in this
incident.  I little thought at the time that this egg-shell of a
vessel was destined to exercise an important influence on the
future events of my life.

On the morning of the Fourth of July we were off the Chesapeake
Bay, some twelve or fifteen miles from Cape Henry.  Captain
Thompson was a sterling patriot.  He dearly loved his country,
and gladly caught at every chance to display the broad flag of
the Union.  Accordingly, on this memorable day the gorgeous
ensign was hoisted at the peak, the American jack waved at the
fore-topmast head, and a long pennant fell in wavy folds from the
main truck.

"If I had a big gun," exclaimed the worthy skipper, in a paroxysm
of patriotism   "a thirty-two-pound carronade, I would fire a
genuine republican salute, and make such a thundering noise, not
only in the air above but in the depths below, as to wake up the
lazy inhabitants of the deep, and make them peep out of their
caves to ask the cause of the terrible rumpus over their heads."
At this very moment a suspicious-looking, double-headed cloud was
slowly rising in the west, and ere long spread over a large space
in the heavens.  As it rolled onward, flashes of lightning were
seen and a distant rumbling was heard   a thunder squall was at
hand.  The lightning became more vivid, and the thunder more
frequent and deafening.  Every sail was lowered to the deck, the
helm was put hard a-port, and the gust came upon us with terrible
fury.  The rain fell in torrents, the lightning kept the
atmosphere in a constant state of illumination, and the peals of
thunder were truly appalling!  A grander salute, or a more
brilliant and effective display of fireworks on the Fourth of
July, could hardly have been wished by the most enthusiastic
patriot.  Even Captain Thompson's longings for "a thundering
noise" were more than realized.  He stood firmly on the break of
the quarter-deck, surrounded by most of the crew, who seemed to
gather near him for protection, astonished and terrified at the
sublimity of the scene.

I was standing on the main deck, not far from the rest of the
crew at the time, and noticed that when the storm struck the
schooner, some ropes that had not been hitched to a belaying pin
were flying loose and might become unrove.  I stepped forward,
and standing on tiptoe was in the act of stretching up my right
arm to grasp the end of the peak-halliards, when there came a
flash of white lightning which almost blinded every man on deck,
accompanied by a peal of thunder that seemed loud enough to shake
the world to its centre.  We all believed the schooner had been
struck by lightning.  This was not the case.  It was,
nevertheless, a narrow escape.  I received on my hand and arm an
electric shock, which tingled through every nerve and nearly
felled me to the deck, and rendered my arm powerless for an hour

The captain now seemed really alarmed.  He ordered me in a loud
voice to come aft, and told the crew to follow him into the
cabin, leaving the schooner to manage matters with the thunder
storm and take care of herself.  He produced a bottle of "old
Madeira" from a locker, and filled several glasses; and while the
short-lived storm raged fearfully above our heads, he insisted on
every man drinking a toast in honor of the Fourth of July, and
set the example himself by tossing off a tumbler filled to the

We rounded Cape Hatteras early one delightful morning, and with a
pleasant breeze from the northward shaped our course for Ocracoke
Inlet.  Several coasters were in company, and a small schooner
was seen standing towards us from the Gulf Stream.  This vessel
was soon recognized as the Young Pilot, bound to Savannah, which
we had spoken off Sandy Hook.  The captain of the little schooner
appeared to recognize the Mary, hoisted his colors, and steered
directly towards us.

"What can that fellow want?" muttered Captain Thompson.  "He
should have been in Savannah before this?  What has he been doing
away there in the Gulf Stream?  There is roguery somewhere?"

The Young Pilot soon came within hail, when Captain Moncrieff
requested Captain Thompson to heave to, as he wanted to come on
board.  The boat was launched from the deck of the pilot boat,
and, manned by four athletic seamen, brought Captain Moncrieff
alongside in handsome style.  He jumped on deck, grasped the hand
of Captain Thompson, and requested to have some conversation with
him in the cabin.  They were absent communing together for
several minutes, when Captain Thompson thrust his head out of the
companion-way, and looking round, caught my eye.  He beckoned me
to enter the cabin.

"What's in the wind now?" thought I to myself.  "What part am I
to play in this mysterious drama?  Something better than reading
doomsday pamphlets, I hope."

I went down into the cabin.  "Here," said Captain Thompson to
Captain Moncrieff, pointing to me, "is the only person on board
my vessel who would think of accompanying you on your voyage.  I
would gladly assist you in your unpleasant dilemma, but I cannot
advise him to go with you.  Nevertheless, if he is willing I
shall make no objection."

Captain Moncrieff gazed upon me with a look of deep interest.
"Young man," said he, "you are aware I sailed from New York the
same day with the Mary.  My vessel was cleared at the custom
house for Savannah; this was necessary in consequence of the
embargo; but I was in reality bound for LaGuayra, on the Spanish
Main, being the bearer of despatches of importance to a ship
belonging to New York.  On egging off to the eastward, to cross
the Gulf Stream, my crew, convinced that Savannah was not my
destined port, began to murmur.  And when I acknowledged I was
bound to the Spanish Main, they, one and all, refused to proceed
further on the voyage, and insisted on my running into some port
on the coast.  I have told Captain Thompson that if I can procure
ONE MAN from his schooner, I will leave these mutinous fellows
with him and proceed on my voyage.  Say, then, my good fellow,
that you will go with me.  I will allow you twenty dollars a
month, and a month's pay in advance   more if you wish it.  You
shall receive good treatment, and will always find a friend in
Archibald Moncrieff."

When the captain of the pilot-boat, who seemed much excited,
finished his narrative, I quietly answered without hesitation, "I

He grasped my hand, gave it a hearty shake, and said, "I thank
you.  You shall have no cause to regret your decision.  Pack up
your things, my lad, and be ready to go on board when I return."

He entered his yawl, and was soon on the deck of the pilot-boat.
It took me but a few minutes to get ready for my departure.
Captain Thompson said not a word, but looked thoughtful and
dejected.  He appeared already to regret having been so easily
persuaded to accommodate Captain Moncrieff, by granting me
permission to embark on this uncertain expedition.

It was not long before the yawl returned from the little
schooner, laden with chests, bags, and bundles, and having on
board the captain, four seamen, and the cook.  The luggage was
tumbled out of the boat in short order; my chest was deposited in
the stern seats.  I shook hands with my old shipmates, took an
affectionate leave of Captain Thompson, who had always treated me
with the kindness of a father, and entered the boat.  Captain
Moncrieff took one oar, I took another, and in a few minutes I
stood on the deck of the Young Pilot.  A tackle was hooked on to
the yawl, which was, which was hoisted in and snugly stowed on
deck; the helm was put up, the fore-sheet hauled to leeward, and,
before I had time to realize this change in my situation, I found
myself in a strange vessel, with strange companions, bound on a
strange voyage to the Spanish Main.

Chapter XXI

After the vessels had separated and were rapidly increasing the
space between them, I looked back upon the schooner Mary and
recalled the many pleasant hours I had passed in that vessel, and
asked myself if it would not have been better to have remained on
board, trusting to the friendship of Captain Thompson and the
promises of Mr. Jarvis.  When I looked around, and fully
comprehended the situation in which I had so unthinkingly placed
myself, I saw little to give me consolation or encouragement.
Captain Moncrieff was not prepossessing in his person or
deportment.  He was a tall, large-limbed Scotchman, about forty
years of age, with light blue eyes and coarse, bloated features.
He was abrupt in his language, had an exalted opinion of his
merits and capacity, was always the hero of his own story; and,
although he subsequently proved to be a man of generous feelings,
to my unpractised optics he looked more like a bully than a

Mr. Campbell, the mate, was also a Scotchman; but his appearance
and character differed essentially from those of the captain.  He
was slightly built, with thin, pale features.  There was nothing
genial in his looks; and a certain vulpine cast of countenance, a
low forehead, and a brow deeply wrinkled   but not with age
conveyed the idea of a selfish, narrow-minded individual.

With the exception of myself, there was no other person on board
the pilot-boat.  On acceding to the proposition of Captain
Moncrieff, it escaped my notice that the cook was to leave the
schooner with the rest of the crew.  It now flashed across my
mind, communicating any thing but a pleasurable sensation, that
in addition to the ordinary duties of a seaman, I was expected to
perform the part of that sable functionary.  I therefore found
myself monopolizing several responsible situations, and held at
one and the same time the office of second mate, cook, and all

In the novelty of my situation, however, I found a source of
amusement; and the very uncertainty of the expedition, the
singular manner in which I joined the pilot-boat, and the
abundant cause I had for wondering "what would turn up next,"
imparted to the whole enterprise an unexpected charm.  My duties,
although various, were not arduous, but occupied a large portion
of my time.  The mate and myself stood watch by turns through the
night, each steering the schooner his regular trick of four hours
at a time.  The captain seldom came on deck during the night, but
enjoyed his rest of eight or ten hours undisturbed.

The Young Pilot steered so easily, the helmsman being snugly
seated in the cuddy, that it was next to impossible for any one
to remain four hours in that comfortable situation, in pleasant
weather, with no one to converse with or even to look at, without
falling asleep.  Aware of the responsibility of my situation, and
remembering the lesson I had received when lying at anchor inside
of Charleston bar, I strove hard to resist the influence of the
drowsy god, but was often compelled to nod to his dominion; and
many a sweet and stolen nap have I enjoyed when stationed at the
helm, and the vessel left entirely in my charge.  Sometimes, on
arousing myself from my slumbers, I found the rebellious little
vessel running along four or five points off her course.  In more
than one instance, when the orders were to keep close-hauled, the
schooner gradually fell off until she got before the wind, when
the sails gibed, all standing, making a terrible clatter, and
awakening not only myself, but the captain also, who, on coming
on deck, must have divined the true state of things; but, with a
degree of consideration which I could hardly have expected, and
did not deserve, he never gave me a word of reproof.  How these
matters were managed by Mr. Campbell, I could never learn.  He
was one of those nervous, restless mortals who require but little
sleep.  It can hardly be doubted, however, that he sometimes fell
asleep in his watch, and steered the schooner in every direction
but the right one.  This wild steering during the night will
sufficiently account for a long passage, and errors in
navigation.  Dead reckoning is of little use when the courses and
distances are not correctly noted.  In the daytime, Captain
Moncrieff would sometimes steer hours at a time, especially when
I was employed in other business or taking a nap below.

The most unpleasant duty I was expected to perform was that of
cooking.   I had never been inducted into the mysteries of that
art, and was disgusted with its drudgeries.  While in the
Dolphin, with Captain Turner, I tried my hand at cooking more
than once, when the cook had been so badly flogged as to be
unable to perform his duties.  But I gained no laurels in that
department.  Indeed, dissatisfaction was expressed in the
forecastle and the cabin at the bungling and unartistic style in
which I prepared the food on those occasions.  In the Young Pilot
I succeeded but little better; and the captain, who was something
of an epicure in his way, whenever a good cup of coffee was
required for breakfast, or a palatable dish for dinner, released
me from my vocation for the time, and installed himself in the
camboose.  And it would have been amusing to a looker-on, to see
the big, burly Scotchman steaming over the fire and smoke,
rattling the pans and kettles, and compounding various materials,
while I sat quietly at the helm, watching his operations, and
thanking my stars that I had no genius for cooking.

The greatest cause I had for disquiet on this passage was the
want of society.   The captain and mate could spin their yarns
and discuss subjects of nautical philosophy; but the mate,
naturally unsocial and taciturn, seldom spoke to me, and the
captain never honored me by entering into familiar conversation,
excepting when he had indulged in an extra glass, and Mr.
Campbell was not on deck.  At such times, being in a garrulous
humor, he would, as a sort of "Hogson's choice," address himself
to me, and rattle off narratives of adventures of the most
astounding description.

The schooner was easily managed, being a small vessel of only
thirty tons burden.  In ordinary weather, one man, without
leaving his station at the helm, could tack ship, gibe, and trim
every sail.  The schooner was a good-sailing vessel in light
winds; but her chief excellence consisted in ability to beat to
windward.  When within four points of the wind she progressed at
the rate of six or seven knots with a moderate breeze, while with
a strong wind on the quarter eight knots was her greatest speed.
An opportunity offered of testing her sailing qualities a few
days after I had the honor to constitute her whole crew.

One morning, at daylight, as we were steering to the southward on
a wind, a sail was made on the lee bow.  It proved to be a large
ship with two tiers of ports, not more than three or four miles
off, steering to the westward.  As soon as we were seen, the ship
hauled her wind, spread every sail, and seemed determined to
ascertain our character and business in those seas.  Captain
Moncrieff, with perfect propriety, resolved, if possible, to
prevent the gratification of such impertinent curiosity.  The
British cruiser sailed remarkably well; and if we had been under
her lee, our voyage would have ended before it was fairly begun.
But we made short tacks to windward, shooting into the wind's eye
every time we went about, and by three o'clock the ship was hull
down to leeward, when she gave up the chase, squared away the
yards, and steered to the westward.

A few days after this incident we fell in with a large, rakish-
looking schooner on our weather bow.  The schooner was heavily
armed and her decks were full of men.  She crossed our hawse and
kept on her course until some distance under the lee bow, then
hauled to the wind on the starboard tack, and on reaching our
wake tacked within long gunshot and stood directly after us.  She
now fired a blank cartridge and hoisted the Patriot flag.

If Captain Moncrieff had kept his wits about him, and had not
been afraid of cannon balls, we might have escaped, by keeping on
our course or making short tacks to windward.  This was worth the
trial, as it was not unlikely the schooner, although showing
Patriot colors, was a Spanish privateer or government cruiser; in
which case, it would appear by letters and other documents that
we were bound to LaGuayra, which at that time was in possession
of the Patriot forces, and could expect little forbearance from
the Spaniards, who were waging war to the knife against the
patriots.  This was forcibly represented to Captain Moncrieff by
Mr. Campbell; and we trimmed every sail carefully, and kept close
to the wind, with a fair prospect of making our escape.

The piratical-looking craft, perceiving we took no notice of her
hint to heave to, yawed off a couple of points and sent a
messenger after us in the shape of a twenty-four pound shot,
which struck the water a short distance astern, and, playfully
skipping along, sank beneath the surface near the weather
quarter.  Captain Moncrieff said not a word, but looked amazingly
sober.  Campbell, who cared little for his life, but had great
fear of being robbed, and who regarded all privateers as neither
more nor less than thieves and pirates, coolly remarked, "O, he
may fire away as much as he likes; he cannot hit us at that

"I don't know that," replied captain Moncrieff, much agitated.
"I believe he is gaining on us.  The next shot may take away one
of the masts."

"He is NOT gaining on us," said Campbell.  "If he should hit one
of the masts we should be COMPELLED to heave to; it would no
longer be a matter of choice.  But I don't believe he can do it"

At this moment the schooner yawed, and gave us another gun.  The
ball came whizzing along, passed just over the mast-head, and
fell in the water a couple of lengths off on the starboard bow.

"I'll bet a beaver hat," said Campbell, "he can't do that again."

"This will never do," exclaimed the captain, greatly alarmed, and
pale as a ghost.  "He will hull us next time, and send us all to
'Davy's locker.'  Haul the foresheet to windward!"

This was done; and the pilot-boat lay like a log on the water,
waiting the approach of our pursuer.

"Now," said Campbell, with a scowl of disappointment, "I will go
below and take care of 'number one.'  And Hawser," continued he,
"I know those chaps better than you do.  They glory in robbing a
sailor's chest when there is anything in it worth taking.  I
advise you to do as I mean to do   clothe yourself in two or
three suits of your best garments; for I never knew them strip
the clothing from a man's back."

"I thank you for your counsel, sir," said I; "but if they
overhaul MY chest in expectation of a prize, they will be
woefully disappointed."

Mr. Campbell went below a slight-built, thin-looking man, bearing
a closer resemblance to Shakespeare's portrait of Prince Hal than
to that of Falstaff.  When, fifteen minutes afterwards, he
appeared on deck, staggering under the load of three pairs of
trousers, an equal number of vests, covering half a dozen shirts,
with two or three silk kerchiefs around his neck, he looked, from
his chin downwards, more like the "fat knight" than Prince Hal;
and his thin face, peaked nose, and chin showing itself above
such a portly corporation and huge limbs, gave him an unnatural
appearance ludicrous in the extreme.  He told me he had stowed
away the remainder of his property where it would puzzle the
privateersmen to find it, and chuckled over the ingenuity by
which he expected to outwit the rascals.

It was not long before the armed schooner ranged alongside.  She
was a formidable-looking craft, with a "long Tom" and a stout
armament besides.  We were hailed in broken English: "You
capitan, come on board directly, and bring your papers."

The captain remonstrated, saying we were short-manned, and unable
to launch the boat, or to man it afterwards.   They did not, or
would not, understand his objections, but repeated the order in a
style which silenced further remonstrance: "Come on board, Senor
Capitan, this minute, and bring your papers, or I shall shoot

There was no alternative.  After much labor and heavy lifting we
launched the boat.  Captain Moncrieff put his papers in his
pocket, and leaving Mr. Campbell in charge of the schooner,
followed me into the yawl.  Putting his dignity along with his
papers, he took an oar, I took another, and we pulled for the
privateer, which by this time was out of hail to leeward.  We
went alongside, and were roughly ordered on deck, where we found
a motley set.  Some of the crew were savage, desperate-looking

"As ever scuttled ship, or cut a throat."

Others were squalid, ragged, and filthy, to a degree I had never
before witnessed.  There was apparently but little discipline on
board, but a great deal of disputation and a continual jabbering.
A ruffianly-looking fellow, with a swarthy complexion and big
black whiskers, who proved to be the commander, beckoned Captain
Moncrieff to the quarter-deck, where he examined the schooner's
papers and various letters, all of which proved, beyond a doubt,
that the schooner was an American vessel, bound to a Patriot port
on the Spanish Main.

Fortunately for us our captor was a Patriot privateer, and our
little vessel, under no pretext, could be regarded as a prize.
If we had been bound to a port on the Spanish Main where the
inhabitants had not thrown off their allegiance to the king or if
the privateer had been a Spaniard, the case would have been
different, and the pilot-boat would have been taken possession of
and confiscated to the benefit of the captors, probably without
trial.  In those days other nations, following the example of
France and England, trampled on the great principles of
international law so far as our insulted country was concerned.

As the privateersmen could not take our vessel without avowing
themselves pirates, they reluctantly limited themselves to
plunder.  An officer and half a dozen men, armed with pistols and
cutlasses, were despatched in our boat to the schooner, which
they thoroughly examined from stem to stern.  As we had no goods,
hey removed the ballast to find valuable property or money, which
we might have concealed.  They overhauled chests, trunks, and
writing-desks, looking for specie or hidden papers; helped
themselves to whatever they particularly fancied, and finally
conveyed to the privateer all the water, beef, bread, sugar,
coffee, and other provisions and stores which they could find,
with the exception of a very scanty supply for our own use!

After a detention of a couple of hours, the last boat load of
provisions was transferred to the deck of the privateer, and
Captain Moncrieff and myself were about to step into the boat on
our return, when the officer who had superintended the piratical
operations suggested to the commander of the privateer that our
boat was a remarkably fine one; far better and more serviceable
than any one in their possession, and THEREFORE it would be right
and proper for us   the captain and crew of the pilot-boat   to
return to our own vessel in a skiff belonging to the privateer,
and leave our boat for their use.

The case was forcibly put; the logic was unanswerable, and the
conclusion inevitable.  The stern-boat, a light skiff, was
lowered and brought alongside, and then it appeared why the
privateersmen did not board us in their own boat, as is usual on
such occasions.  They had had an engagement the day before with a
Spanish government brig; had been roughly handled, had several
men killed and wounded, and sustained damage in hull and spars.
The boats had been riddled with shot, and, not having been
subsequently repaired, were not seaworthy.

When the little skiff was brought beneath the gangway the water
was pouring through the bottom in divers places.  No time was
given for deliberation.  We were unceremoniously shoved into the
skiff, the painter was cast loose, and a dark, ugly-visaged
scoundrel told us, in broken English and with a diabolical grin,
to "pull for our lives!"  So, indeed, we did.  The pilot-boat was
not far off, nevertheless we should have swamped ere we could
have reached her had not the captain, with admirable presence of
mind, ordered me to lay in my oar, and at the same time handed me
his hat, a large one and in tolerable good condition, and
pointing to the water in which our legs were immersed, bade me
"bale away!"  Then placing his oar over the stern of the boat, he
sculled off towards the schooner like an excited Hercules!

In this way we managed to reach the Young Pilot, and greatly to
the amusement of the piratical patriots, scrambled on board in a
most undignified manner.  In spite of our exertions the skiff was
filled with water when we trod the deck of the schooner.  Mr.
Campbell relieved himself of his superfluous garments, and we
went busily to work rigging purchases, with which to hoist in the
boat we had received in exchange for our own.  We then proceeded
on our way.

Any person who has sailed on the Atlantic must have noticed the
luminous appearance of the water of the ocean, especially at night
and in tempestuous weather.  This beautiful phenomenon is
witnessed to a greater extent in some parts of the ocean than in
others, and in different sections it presents different
appearances.  In one place it seems uniformly luminous, shining
feebly with a pale and sickly light; in another it exhibits bright
flashes; again, it appears composed of brilliants of different
sizes and shades, and sometimes, like a grand exhibition of the
"northern lights," all these appearances are combined.  The most
phosphorescent sea seldom exhibits peculiarities by daylight.
Nevertheless, sometimes, though rarely, luminous patches and even
large tracts of water are seen in the daytime, and at a great
distance from ordinary soundings, with the color differing
materially from the well-known hue of the ocean, and seeming to
indicate to the astonished mariner the existence of banks or

A few days after we fell in with the Patriot privateer, being in
about twenty-six degrees of latitude, in the middle of a clear and
beautiful day, Mr. Campbell, who was at the helm, exclaimed, in a
tone of alarm, "There's a shoal ahead!"

On looking in that direction, a tract of water embracing several
square miles was seen, which was of a light green color inclining
to yellow.  Its edges were well defined, but irregular, and
presented a strong contrast with the general appearance of the
ocean.  We supposed the water on that spot must be shallow, but as
there was a heavy swell and no breakers were seen, it was manifest
there was depth of water enough for our little schooner.  The
deep-sea lead was got ready, and when we had reached what we
considered the centre and shoalest part of the bank, no bottom was
found with a hundred fathoms of line.  The peculiarity in color
was undoubtedly owing to luminous particles floating in the water,
and if we had remained on that spot until dark we should have seen
that whole tract of ocean splendidly illuminated.

The cause of this singular phenomenon has given rise to many
theories and much discussion among naturalists.  It was for a time
contended that this phosphorescence was a quality of the water
itself.  But later and more accurate observers ascertained beyond
a doubt, that some marine worms and other insects were luminous.
On pursuing the investigation it is ascertained that the sea water
is far less pure than has been supposed, and is often crowded with
myriads of minute luminous animals.  It is now admitted that the
phosphorescence of sea water is a property not belonging to
itself, but is produced by animalcula, or microscopic creatures.
They are far more numerous in some tracts of ocean than in others,
and all possess the power of producing a light, a spark, or flash
at will.  There can be no doubt that these living, transparent
atoms cause the luminous appearance of the ocean, which excites
admiration, and has so often been described in glowing language by
the poet.

Chapter XXII

Captain Moncrieff was desirous of entering the Caribbean Sea
through the Sail-rock passage, which separates the barren island
of St. Thomas from Porto Rico.  But when we reached the latitude
of those islands we beheld, on our starboard bow, the mountainous
country on the eastern part of Hayti.  The island of Porto Rico
was soon afterwards seen on the other bow, and directly ahead was
the little island of Mona, rising abruptly from the sea.  Instead
of striking the Sail-rock passage we found ourselves in the centre
of the Mona passage, a hundred and twenty miles to leeward of
Sail-rock, and twenty or thirty miles westward of the meridian of

Although Captain Moncrieff was glad of an opportunity to ascertain
his true position, he was mortified at finding himself westward of
his destined port.  The Young Pilot was immediately hauled on a
wind, and we crossed the Caribbean Sea with a fine breeze, and one
morning beheld the Rocas, a cluster of barren rocks, right ahead.
We passed over a bank extending from this group of rocks, and with
a fishing-line trailing astern and a piece of the rind of pork for
bait, caught a quantity of Spanish mackerel, a fish of excellent
flavor, weighing four or five pounds each.

And I will here state, for the benefit of those navigators who
have little experience in those seas, that on the edge of
soundings in all parts of the West Indies, and particularly on the
edges of the Bahamas and Salt Key Bank, abundance of fish of
excellent quality, as black perch, kingfish, barracooter, and
Spanish mackerel, may be taken by trailing during a breeze, in any
reasonable quantity.

By steering a course directly from the Rocas to LaGuayra we could
have reached that port on the following day, but Captain Moncrieff
was impressed with the idea that a strong current was setting to
the westward.  Therefore, instead of proceeding directly to the
Spanish Main, as he should have done, he commenced beating to
windward, and continued this absurd process for two days, when,
having made the island of Tortuga, he satisfied himself he was far
enough to windward, and that there was no current at that time in
those seas.  The helm was accordingly put up, and with a free wind
we now steered to the south-west, to fall in with the coast
somewhere near Cape Codera.  We made the land about fifty miles to
windward of LaGuayra, in the afternoon, about three o'clock.
Captain Moncrieff clapped his hands in ecstasy when he saw the
land.  "If this breeze holds," said he, "we can run along under
easy sail and be off the harbor before daylight tomorrow morning."

His exultation was moderated by the sight of a large topsail
schooner on our starboard quarter, dead to windward, steering
towards us under a heavy press of sail, and coming up hand over
hand.  We hoisted our square-sail and wet our other sails, but the
schooner gained upon us rapidly.  Ere the darkness of night
concealed us from her view, we became aware that the schooner in
chase was a Spanish government vessel, termed a Guarda Costa, one
of the very few armed vessels stationed on that coast to show that
the blockade of the Patriot ports on the Spanish Main was not a
mere paper blockade.

A hasty consultation between the captain and the mate was now
held, to devise means of keeping out of the clutches of the
Spaniard during the night.  They both agreed in the opinion that
the Guarda Costa would keep on the course she was steering when
last seen, with the expectation of soon overhauling us.
Therefore, the best mode of disappointing those expectations would
be to change our course, run directly towards the shore, dowse
every sail, and remain concealed by the darkness until morning.

The stratagem devised by the combined wisdom of the officers was
carried into effect.  We ran in under the land and hauled down
every sail, thus presenting so small a surface to the eye that it
was almost impossible we should be seen during the night.  It was
deemed advisable to keep a good look-out, and Captain Moncrieff
volunteered to keep the watch from eight o'clock to eleven.  Mr.
Campbell was to be on deck from eleven o'clock until three, when I
was to be called to keep the look-out until daylight.

Everything passed off well during the first and second watches of
the night.  At three o'clock I was roused out by the mate, and
took my station on deck.  I could not divest myself of the idea
that the Guarda Costa had divined our intentions and was quietly
lying to, somewhere in our vicinity, sure of finding us snugly
under her guns at the dawn of the day.  There was no moon in the
heavens, nevertheless the horizon was well defined, and a large
object could be seen at the distance of a couple of miles.  I took
a careful look around the horizon, waited a short time and looked
again.  I suffered my eyes to dwell on that quarter, in a north-
east direction, where the schooner had been seen the evening
before, and after a while I beheld a speck darker than the
surrounding atmosphere.

Might it not exist only in imagination?  I turned away my eyes and
took a survey of the horizon in another direction, and again
looked towards the quarter where the dark object had appeared.  It
was still there.  Feeling assured I was not the victim of error, I
ventured to call Captain Moncrieff, who hastened on deck followed
by the mate.  I gave him my reasons for disturbing his slumbers,
and pointed to the dark speck which had arrested my attention.
They both looked in the direction I indicated, but could see
nothing.  The captain swept the horizon with his spy glass, then
turning to me, said, "Hawser, you have persuaded yourself that the
Guarda Costa is still in that direction, than which nothing can be
more unlikely, and your fancy has conjured up a vision that is
visible to no one but yourself."

"It is no fancy, sir," said I, boldly.  "I KNOW there is a vessel
in that direction.  I can see it distinctly; and you may mark my
words that the sooner we get the schooner under sail, the greater
will be the chance of escaping capture."

Mr. Campbell, with a sneering laugh, remarked that his eyes never
yet deceived him, and that he could see as far in the dark as any
one!  The captain, however, was staggered by the obstinacy with
which I adhered to my statement, and said to the mate, "It is
possible that Hawser may see something in that quarter which we
cannot see, and as it is nearly daylight it may be well to get the
schooner under sail and commence running down the coast."

We began to hoist our sails; but before the foresail was set, a
flash of light appeared in the north-east followed by the report
of a gun, thus confirming the correctness of my assertion and
establishing the excellence of my eyesight.  We lost no time in
getting sail on the schooner; and now Captain Moncrieff regretted
that instead of running in towards the land he had not adopted
means during the night of getting the weather-gage, when he could
have laughed at the efforts of the Guarda Costa to interrupt our

Daylight appeared in the east, when the Spanish schooner was
plainly seen; also another vessel which had fallen into her hands
whilst she was quietly lying to, hoping to pounce upon us.  As
soon as objects could be distinctly seen, the boat of the Guarda
Costa was returning from a visit to the stranger, and the Spaniard
having got a glimpse of the pilot-boat, showed a determination to
become better acquainted with the object of our voyage.  The
affair became exciting.  We were close in with the shore, running
directly before the wind with a fresh breeze.  The schooner had
got in our wake and was crowding all sail in pursuit.

It soon became manifest that we could not escape.  Our pursuer was
hardly a gunshot off, and slowly but surely lessening the space
between us.  The sagacious Mr. Campbell regarded our capture as
inevitable, and, true to his characteristics, repeated the
stratagem which had served him so successfully when we were
molested by the Patriot privateer.  He doffed his old garments,
which were not worth stealing, and clad himself from top to toe in
two or three complete suits of his best clothing.  He came on deck
resembling a swathed mummy, and perspiring freely under the heavy

When the Guarda Costa had approached within fair gunshot, and we
were every minute expecting an iron shower, we saw at a short
distance ahead on a projecting point of land, a fort on which
several guns were mounted, and the Patriot flag was waving from a
tall flagstaff.  The masts of some small vessels were also visible
over the point.

"There is a snug harbor," exclaimed Captain Moncrieff, "defended
by a fort and in possession of the Patriots.  We will run in under
the guns of our friends and come to anchor.  Hurrah, we are all
right at last!"  And he cut a pigeon-wing with a dexterity of
which I had hardly believed him capable.

And now an armed felucca shot out from the harbor beyond the fort
with the Patriot flag flying at the peak.  She was full of men,
evidently a privateer, and with long sweeps pulled swiftly towards
us.  When within hearing, a fierce-looking fellow, with pistols in
his belt and a sabre at his side, stepped upon the gunwale and
hailed us in tolerable English.

"Captain," said he, "that Spanish schooner is one great rascal.
If he should board your vessel, HE WILL CUT ALL YOUR THROATS!"

"Can I enter that harbor?" inquired Captain Moncrieff, greatly
alarmed at such a sanguinary piece of intelligence.

"Certainly, certainly!  There, and there only you will be safe.
Follow the felucca, and we will pilot you in."

The felucca rounded the point, closely followed by the pilot-boat.
We entered a snug little bay, well sheltered from the regular
winds and waves, and agreeably to the directions of our new and
zealous friends let go an anchor; at the same time the Guarda
Costa fired a gun, hauled down her colors, gave up the chase, and
steered away to the northward.

We were boarded by the commander of the felucca and the officer
who had so kindly told us of the bloody intentions of our
pursuers.  They shook Captain Moncrieff by the hand, and
congratulated him on having baffled the enemy.

"But," asked Captain Moncrieff, "will not the blood-thirsty
Spaniards return at night, send in an armed boat and cut us out
from under the guns of the fort?"

"O, no!  There's no fear of that," replied the commander of the
felucca, with a savage smile which I did not half like.  "Be not
alarmed.  WE will take good care of you," and he clapped his hand
significantly on the hilt of his sabre!

I was an attentive observer of every event which took place, and
was by no means satisfied with the proceedings.  The sudden
apparition of the felucca, the departure of the Guarda Costa
without firing a shot, and the exultation of the officers who
boarded us, and which they tried in vain to conceal, all convinced
me there was some mystery which it was not in my power to fathom.

"Where are you bound, captain?" inquired the officious commander
of the felucca.

"To LaGuayra, if it still belongs to the Patriots," replied

"That is right," exclaimed the grinning corsair.  "You are a good
patriot, and have letters and intelligence which will be valuable
to our friends in LaGuayra!"

"Certainly, replied Moncrieff.  "I have letters in abundance, and
any thing in my power to aid in establishing the independence of
the Spanish Provinces on the Main I will do with pleasure."

The commander of the felucca expressed satisfaction at such noble
sentiments, and added, "I will, with your permission, go below and
examine your papers."

Hardly had the two captains left the deck, when the loud report of
a gun from the fort echoed across the water, and down came the
Patriot flag from the flagstaff!  It was immediately replaced by
the sickly emblem of Spain.  A musket was fired from the felucca,
and the Spanish ensign waved also at her peak!  Moncrieff heard
the firing and rushed on deck just as an ill-looking fellow, who
had for some time been busy about the signal halliards, near the
taffrail, was running up a Spanish flag, WITH THE STARS AND
STRIPES BENEATH!  He saw at a glance that he was the victim of an
ingenious trick.  He was terribly agitated   his features, usually
florid, were as pale as death.  "What is the meaning of all this?"
he exclaimed, in a husky voice.

"A BUENO prize, captain!  A BUENO prize!" replied the exulting
commander of the felucca, patting him affectionately on the

The affair required but little explanation.  The fort was a
Spanish fort.  The felucca was a Spanish privateer, belonging to
Porto Cabello, and her commander had adroitly managed to capture
the pilot-boat just as we were about to fall into the jaws of the
Guarda Costa.  The commander of the felucca had furthermore wormed
out of the unsuspecting Moncrieff all the secrets of his mission,
and paved the way for the confiscation of our little schooner.

Moncrieff stormed and raved like a madman; but there was no
remedy.  The Spaniards were too well pleased with the success of
their stratagem to notice his anger, and the captain on reflection
was somewhat consoled by the idea that if he had missed the
felucca he could not have escaped the Guarda Costa.  On conversing
further with his captors, he ascertained that the ship, to reach
which was the object of his mission, was now at Porto Cabello,
which place had been recently captured by the royalists after a
hard battle.  He further learned that it was the intention of his
captors to proceed directly to Porto Cabello with their prize.

A prize-master and eight men, armed to the teeth, were put on
board.  Mr. Campbell was ordered into the felucca without an
opportunity of relieving himself of his extra clothing.  The rays
of the sun in that sheltered harbor seemed endued with a tenfold
degree of calorie; and the poor fellow, as he stepped over the
side, bowed down by the weight of his garments and sweltering with
heat, was a legitimate object of pity, although a martyr to his
selfish propensities.

We left the harbor on our way to Porto Cabello; but our progress
was slow, being interrupted by calms.  The prize crew of the Young
Pilot were attentive to their duties and faithful and vigilant
during the night.  They were divided into two watches, and four of
them, armed with pistols and cutlasses, paced the deck at all
hours.  Nevertheless, on the third day after leaving port, the
felucca being out of sight in the north-east chasing a suspicious-
looking vessel, Captain Moncrieff, having raised and fortified his
courage by an extra portion of cogniac, called me into the cabin
and broached the subject of retaking the schooner!

"Hawser," said he, "I cannot reconcile myself to the loss of my
vessel; the idea of being tricked out of her by a set of garlic-
eating ragamuffins puts me out of all patience.  I have as good a
pair of pistols as were ever manufactured, which I concealed when
the schooner was searched.  With these, and a good cutlass in my
hand, I would face a dozen of these cowardly Spaniards at any
time.   If you will stand by me we will drive every mother's son
of them overboard!"

I saw that Moncrieff was so drunk he could hardly stand.  Indeed,
it was only at such times his courage was roused to fighting heat.
I attempted to calm his excitement by representing the slender
chance of success we should have in open combat with eight or ten
men completely armed; that it was far more likely we should be
thrown overboard than the prize crew.  I also argued that even if
we should be successful in the desperate contest we should gain
nothing, but on the contrary lose the opportunity of proceeding to
Porto Cabello where the ship Charity was now lying; that in every
point of view his design was objectionable, as well as
impracticable; and furthermore, the attempt would be an ungrateful
return for the civilities and indulgence we had received from the
prize-master and his associates.

My remonstrances only served to increase the fury of Moncrieff,
who swore that single-handed he would retake the schooner.  With
his back against the mainmast and a good claymore in his hand, he
would cut down every man one after another!

I found he was too far gone to listen to reason; and it is
possible he might have staggered on deck, pistol in hand, and been
shot down for his pains, if the prize-master, attracted by his
loud and threatening language, had not listened to a part of the
conversation; and as the captain was on the point of sallying
forth, like a doughty champion of old, in search of hard knocks,
his collar was grasped by a couple of stout men; and he was
roughly laid on his back and handcuffed in a trice.  His pistols
were found and appropriated to the use of the prize-master as
spoils of the vanquished, and he would have been treated with
great harshness had I not interfered and pointed out the brandy
bottle as the guilty originator of the plot.  The brandy was
promptly secured, to be punished hereafter.  The captain was
relieved of his manacles and shoved into his berth, where he slept
off his valorous propensities, and awoke a few hours afterwards a
different man, who could hardly be drubbed into a plot which would
endanger his own life.

In spite of calms, and light winds, and Patriot cruisers, we
reached Porto Cabello on the fifth day after leaving the little
harbor where we were so handsomely entrapped.  The felucca entered
the port at the same time, and Mr. Campbell was permitted to join
us once more; and he did it with an alacrity which, I confess to
my shame, furnished me with no little amusement.  The sufferings
of the poor man while in the felucca can hardly be imagined.  He
was exposed in that hot climate, and during the prevalence of
calms, to the fiercest rays of the sun, while loaded with clothes
enough to keep him uncomfortably warm during a polar winter.  And
he felt compelled to bear his burden without murmuring or seeking
to be relieved, lest his companions should suspect his reasons for
bearing his whole wardrobe on his back, and take umbrage at such a
reflection on their honor!

Chapter XXIII

The ship Charity was lying in the harbor of Porto Cabello, but
under seizure of the Spanish government.  Captain Moncrieff, Mr.
Campbell, and myself, with no longer a home in the pilot-boat,
transferred our quarters to the ship.  The officers took up their
abode in the cabin, while I was thrown on the hospitalities of the
forecastle.  The prize-master of the pilot-boat honored me with a
pressing invitation to join the crew of the felucca, assuring me
there was "good picking" along the coast, and he would put me in
the way of doing well.  I felt flattered by his good opinion; but
under the circumstances thought proper to decline the invitation.

The ship Charity was a vessel of about three hundred and fifty
tons burden, moored at this time in the centre of the harbor,
awaiting the decision of the Admiralty Court.  The ship was
commanded by a man of very ordinary capacity.  The mate was a mere
sailor, wanting in intelligence and worth, and a fit associate for
the captain.  The ship and her valuable cargo were actually n
charge of the supercargo, a Mr. Parker, of New York, who was also
part owner.  He resided on shore and seldom visited the ship.  It
was at his instance I found an asylum in the Charity along with
the officers of the pilot-boat.

The crew of the Charity consisted of some eight or ten men,
Dutchmen, Swedes, and Italians,   as brutal and ignorant a set of
men as it was ever my misfortune to fall in with.  With such
officers and such a crew, it may be imagined there was little
discipline on board.  Liquor could be easily obtained; and drunken
rows and fighting among themselves, and occasionally with the
captain or mate, were of frequent occurrence.  None of the crew
gave me a welcome when I went on board, and I saw at once there
could be no good fellowship between us.  I found a space in the
forecastle for my chest, and in that warm climate it mattered
little where I slept.  I performed my duties regularly with the
crew, and for the first two days led an unsocial, almost a
solitary life, in the midst of a large ship's company.  Captain
Moncrieff, like an honest man, paid me the month's pay to which I
was entitled, in advance.  This money I kept about my person, and
carefully concealed from every one the prosperous sate of my
finances.  I was thus enabled to indulge in little comforts which,
to some extent, counterbalanced the inconveniences to which I was

On the morning of the third day after I had taken up my quarters
in the ship, another person was received on board in accordance
with a mandate from the supercargo.  His name was Frederick
Strictland.  He was an Englishman, a veritable cockney, about
nineteen or twenty years of age, a strong-built and rather good-
looking young man.  His countenance, although intelligent, was not
prepossessing; there was a sort of nameless expression about the
eye which repelled confidence and invited suspicion.  But it was
no time for me to entertain prejudices which might be unfounded,
or indulge in surmises unfavorable to the character of my new
shipmate.  He could talk English, and talk it well.  He was the
victim of misfortune, being destitute of friends and money in a
strange country.  Finding ourselves accidentally thrown together
in the same ship, it is not remarkable that we became constant
companions from the commencement of our acquaintance, and intimate

Strictland's story was calculated to excite compassion.  His
father was a respectable trader in London, and Frederick had been
a clerk in his counting room.  He frankly acknowledged he had been
a little wild and extravagant, and having expressed a desire to go
abroad, his father allowed him to proceed to Curacoa on a visit to
a brother in that island.  His brother received him coldly and
could not or would not find him employment.  He induced him to
take passage for Porto Cabello, with assurances that he would
there find some desirable means of getting a living.  Disappointed
in this, and having spent the little money given him by his
brother, and sold or pawned the greater part of his clothing, his
next project was to proceed to the United States, and he applied
to Mr. Parker for a passage in the only American vessel in port.
He was told that the ship might not leave the harbor for months,
if ever.  But as he was suffering from want, he was permitted to
make it his home until he could find some other resource.  I did
not allow myself to doubt the truth of any portion of Strictland's
narrative.  I confided to him the particulars of my own situation.
We conversed freely in regard to the future, and formed a
resolution to keep together, and embrace the first opportunity of
getting to the United States.

When I had been about a week in Porto Cabello, I was attacked by a
severe and dangerous illness.  I suffered severe pains
incessantly, which deprived me of sleep.  I was losing my strength
daily, and at length, without any relaxation of the symptoms, was
hardly able to crawl about the ship.  I received no sympathy or
medical aid from the captain or mate, and could not even obtain a
little rice or gruel, or any other food than the coarse viands
that were served out to the ship's company.

Strictland was with me whenever he could be spared from his
regular duties, and gave me encouragement and aid.  But I could
not conceal from myself that my illness was becoming a serious
matter.  I accidentally heard two or three of the crew conversing
about my sickness one day, and, to my great consternation, they
came to the conclusion that I was rapidly sinking, and they would
soon be rid of my company.

"Yaw," muttered in thick guttural tones a thick-headed Dutchman,
who had manifested towards me particular dislike, "in one or TWO
days more, at farthest, we shall help to carry him ashore in a
wooden box."  And a pleasant smile for a moment lighted up his
ugly features.

"You lie, you heartless vagabond!" I exclaimed, giving a loose to
my indignation; "you won't get rid of me so easily as you think.
I will live and laugh at you yet, were it only to disappoint your

Nevertheless, the opinion which my unsympathizing shipmates thus
volunteered came over me like an electric shock.  It sounded in my
ears like a sentence of death.  I crawled along the lower deck
into the forecastle, and from the bottom of my chest took a small
looking-glass which I had not used for weeks.  I saw the
reflection of my features, and started back aghast.  The
transformation was appalling.  The uncombed locks, the sunken
eyes, the pallid, fleshless cheeks, the sharp features, and the
anxious, agonized expression caused by continual pain,   all
seemed to have been suddenly created by the spell of some
malignant enchanter.  I did not venture to take a second look, and
no longer wondered at the gloomy prediction of my companions.

The next day I found myself growing worse, and the pain
increasing; and, notwithstanding my determination to recover and
falsify the prediction of my unfeeling shipmates, I should
undoubtedly have followed the dark path which thousands of my
young countrymen, sick and neglected in a foreign land, had trod
before, had I not received aid from an unexpected quarter.  I was
crawling along the main deck, near the gangway, when Mr. Parker,
the supercargo, came on board.  As he stepped over the gunwale, my
appearance, fortunately for me, arrested his attention.  He
inquired my name, examined my condition, and seemed greatly
shocked at the brutal neglect I had experienced.  He told me to be
of good courage; that it was not yet too late to arrest the
progress of my disease.  He commenced his healing operations by
administering a copious dose of laudanum, which immediately
relieved my pain and threw me into a refreshing sleep.  He
furnished me with other medicines, ordered me food suitable to my
condition, and in a few days, owing to his humanity, care, and
skill, I no longer suffered excepting from debility.

When Porto Cabello was recaptured by the Spaniards, in 1812, there
was a number of French families in the place, who, having
sympathized with the Patriots, received an intimation that their
presence would be no longer tolerated; that they must shift their
quarters forthwith.  They accordingly purchased a small schooner,
called "La Concha," put all their movable property on board,
procured a French captain and mate, and prepared to embark for St.
Bartholomew.  When I heard of the expedition, two men were
required to complete the crew.  I conferred with Strictland; we
both regarded it as an opportunity too favorable to be neglected,
imagining that if we could reach St. Bartholomew, a neutral port,
there would be no difficulty in getting a passage to the United
States.  We lost no time in calling on the captain, and offered to
work our passage to St. Bartholomew   an offer which was gladly

I expended a few of my Spanish dollars in providing necessaries
for our voyage, which might be of two or three weeks' duration,
and when the time appointed for the departure of the schooner
arrived, we bade farewell to the Charity, and in a few hours,
while sailing close-hauled on a wind to the northward, beheld the
fortifications at the mouth of the harbor lessening in the

The entrance to the harbor of Porto Cabello was once the theatre
of one of the most gallant exploits recorded in the annals of
naval warfare.  A mutiny took place on board the British frigate
Hermione, in 1799, while on the West India station, in
consequence, it was said, of the harsh treatment which the crew
received.  The officers were murdered and thrown overboard.
Captain Pigot, who commanded the frigate, after receiving several
wounds, retreated to his cabin, and defended himself desperately
with his dirk until he was bayoneted by the mutineers.

The frigate, thus taken possession of, was carried into Porto
Cabello and delivered up to the Spanish authorities; Spain at that
time being at war with Great Britain.  The red-handed mutineers
dispersed, and many of them subsequently returned to their native
country, but were from time to time arrested, tried by court
martial, and executed.

Indeed, no pains or expense were spared by the British government
to bring these mutineers to punishment.  They were sought for in
every part of the world; hunted out of their hiding-places, and
hanged.  No false philanthropy interfered in their behalf, and
threw obstacles in the swift and sure career of justice.  Very
few, if any, escaped the terrible punishment due to their crimes
which is the object of capital punishment was most salutary.  No
mutiny has occurred in the British navy since that time.

The Hermione was regarded as a lawful prize by the Spaniards,
notwithstanding the extraordinary manner by which the ship fell
into their hands.  She was refitted; a crew of four hundred men,
including marines, were put on board, and, ready for a cruise, she
lay at anchor near the entrance of the harbor and within musket
shot of the principal fortifications, which mounted two hundred

These facts became known to Captain Hamilton, who commanded the
British frigate Surprise, cruising on the coast, and that gallant
officer conceived the daring design of boarding the Hermione with
a portion of his crew, and cutting her out in spite of opposition,
while she was lying under the guns of this heavy fortification.
Such an enterprise could only have been conceived by a man of
unusual intrepidity; but it was planned with a degree of prudence
and cool calculation which insured success.

After having well observed the situation of the frigate, Captain
Hamilton with one hundred men left the Surprise in boats soon
after midnight on the 25th of October, 1800.  On approaching the
Hermione the alarm was given by the frigate's launch, which, armed
with a twenty-four pounder, was rowing guard around the ship.
After beating off the launch, Captain Hamilton, at the head of
fifty chosen men, armed chiefly with cutlasses, boarded the
Hermione on the bows.  As soon as he and his bold companions
obtained foothold, the boat's crews cut the cables and commenced
towing the Hermione into the offing.  Thus, while the battle was
raging on the ship's decks, she was rapidly towed further from the
batteries which had now commenced firing, and nearer to the
Surprise, which ship stood close into the harbor.

A bloody contest for the possession of the ship took place on her
decks.  The Spaniards fought bravely; but the English, forming a
front across the main deck after they got possession of the
forecastle, drove them aft, where, after a desperate struggle on
the quarter-deck or poop, the Dons were all killed or driven
overboard.  The fight was still continued on the gun-deck, where a
dreadful carnage took place; and it was only after an obstinate
combat of an hour and a half from the commencement of the action,
that the Spaniards called for quarter, being entirely subdued.

In this action the British had no men killed, and only fourteen
wounded among whom was Captain Hamilton, who fought boldly at the
head of his men.  The Spaniards had ninety-seven men wounded, most
of them severely, and one hundred and nineteen killed!  It would
thus seem that while the courage of both parties was about equal,
the English had a vast superiority in physical power.  The
Spaniards, unable to oppose to their fierce enemies other than a
feeble resistance, bravely SUBMITTED TO BE KILLED; and the English
sailors hacked and hewed them down until they cried for quarter.

The little La Concha, in which I was now embarked, was a dull-
sailing vessel with poor accommodations, but crowded with living
beings; and when beneath the deck, they were necessarily stowed
away in the most miscellaneous manner, resembling herrings packed
in a barrel.  In addition to the officers and crew, we had about
thirty passengers, men, women, and children, exiles from the land
of their adoption; driven forth by the hand of power to seek a
place of refuge in unknown countries.  In this case, there was a
great loss of property as well as of comfort, and the future must
have presented to this little band of exiles an uninviting

The feelings of people born in any other land than France, would
have been deeply affected by such a change; and unavailing
regrets, bitter complaints, and gloomy speculations in regard to
the future, would have cast a cloud over their spirits, and
repressed aught like gayety or cheerfulness during the passage.
But our passengers were truly French; and "VIVE LA BAGATELLE" was
their motto.   Although subjected to many inconveniences during a
long and tedious passage, and deprived of comforts to which they
had been accustomed, yet without resorting for consolation to the
philosophy of the schools, there was no murmuring at their unhappy
lot.  They seemed not merely contented, but gay; they even made a
jest of their misfortunes, indulged in practical jokes, fun, and
frolic, and derived amusement from every occurrence which took

On this passage, Strictland, who entertained the prejudices of his
nation against the French, lost no opportunity to manifest his
contempt of the passengers, and commented on their proceedings in
a manner ill-natured and unjust.

He more than once exhibited a surliness and incivility in his
demeanor, which is supposed to be a prominent feature in the
character of a burly Briton; and was far from being a favorite
with any of the passengers or the captain.  On more than one
occasion a misunderstanding occurred between Strictland and
myself, and at one time it approached an open rupture.

We were both familiar with Smollet's "Adventures of Roderick
Random," and compared ourselves, with our rambles about the world
in quest of a living, to the hero of that celebrated work and his
faithful friend Strap; with this difference, however, that while
each of us applied to himself the part of Roderick, neither was
willing to assume the humble character of the honest but simple-
minded Strap.  In the course of our discussion Strictland lost his
temper, and indulged in language towards myself that I was not
disposed to pass lightly over.  The next morning, the little
uninhabited island of Orchilla being in sight, the wind light and
the weather pleasant, the boat was launched, and the mate with
several passengers, urged by curiosity, embarked, and were pulled
ashore by Strictland and myself.  While the other parties were
rambling about, making investigations, we, more pugnaciously
inclined, retired to a short distance from the shore, and prepared
to settle all our disputes in a "bout at fisticuffs,"   an
ungentlemanly method of settling a controversy, but one which may
afford as much SATISFACTION to the vanquished party as a sword-
thrust through the vitals, or pistol bullet in the brain.

After exchanging a few left-handed compliments with no decided
result, our pugilistic amusement was interrupted by the
unauthorized influence of two of the passengers, who had been
searching for shell-fish among the rocks.  What the result of the
contest would have been I will not venture to conjecture.  I was
but a tyro in the art, while Strictland prided himself in his
scientific skill, and gave an indication of the purity of his
tastes by boasting of having once acted in the honorable capacity
of bottle-holder to a disciple of the notorious Tom Crib, on a
very interesting public occasion.

After we had been about a fortnight on our passage, daily beating
to windward in the Caribbean Sea, we were fallen in with by a
British sloop-of-war.  The sight of this vessel, and a knowledge
of her character, caused a sensation throughout the schooner.
Doubts were very naturally entertained in regard to the treatment
the passengers would receive at the hands of their much-dreaded
enemy.  They were Frenchmen, and all the property on board was
French property; and notwithstanding they sailed under Spanish
colors, it was predicted by some, who entertained exaggerated
notions of the rapacity of Englishmen and their hatred of the
French, that the flag of Spain would not serve as a protection;
but that their little property would be seized upon, and
themselves detained and confined as prisoners or war.  Others,
however, cherished a different opinion, and had confidence in that
magnanimity which has always been claimed by the English as one of
their national attributes.

It was an anxious moment; and a general council of war was held
among the passengers on the deck of the schooner, in which, as at
a conclave of parrots, few seemed to listen while every one was
eager to speak.  The consultation, however, produced no result.
Indeed, nothing could be done, excepting to wait, and bow
submissively to the decrees of the conqueror.

My friend and companion, Strictland, was really in greater
jeopardy than either of the Frenchmen.  If his name and station
had been discovered, he would have found snug quarters during the
term of his natural life; nothing could have saved him from
impressment.  The French passengers, aware of the fact, with the
kindest feelings took active measures to prevent such a
misfortune.  They changed his name, clad him in Frenchified
garments, bound a many-colored handkerchief around his head, put a
cigarette in his mouth, and cautioned him against replying in his
native tongue to questions that might be asked.  Thus travestied,
it was boldly predicted that he would not be taken for an

The sloop-of-war sent a boat alongside, commanded by a lieutenant,
who seemed surprised at the singular group by which he was
surrounded on reaching the schooner's deck.  To his questions,
replies were received from a dozen different mouths.  He was a
pleasant, gentlemanly officer and seemed greatly amused at his
reception.  At length he inquired for the captain, and on his
being pointed out, addressed his questions to him, and repressed
the officious interference of others until he received a full
explanation of the character of the vessel and the intent of the
voyage.  The statements of the captain were confirmed by papers
and documents, which left no doubt of their truth.  The
lieutenant, after obtaining all necessary information, returned to
the ship to report the result of his visit.  He did not tarry
long, and when he came back relieved the apprehensions of the
passengers by assuring them that the commander of the sloop of
war, far from seeking to injure or embarrass them, felt for their
misfortunes and would gladly render them any assistance in his
power.  He then went among the passengers, conversed with them,
asked each one his name and country, and took other means to
prevent deception.  When he came to Strictland, and asked his
name, the reply was, "Jean Fourchette," in a bold tone.

"Are you a Frenchman?" asked the officer.

"Yes, SIR," was Strictland's reply, in a most anti-Gallican

The officer stared at him for a moment, but without asking more
questions passed on to others.

I felt somewhat apprehensive that the British ship was short-
manned, and that the officer might cast a longing look on me, and
consider me worthy of serving his "most gracious majesty"; in
which case I intended to fall back on my American protection,
which I regarded as my richest treasure, and insist upon going to
an English prison rather than sling my hammock in a man-of-war.
But no questions were asked, as I was looked upon as one of the
crew, which, without counting Strictland, consisted of only three
individuals; and the idea of reducing that small number by
impressment was not entertained.

The officer, before he left the schooner, with great glee
communicated to our passengers an important piece of intelligence,
which was more gratifying to British than to French ears.  A great
and decisive battle had been fought at Salamanca, in Spain,
between the combined armies under Wellington and the French army
under Marmont.  It resulted in the signal defeat of the French
marshal, who was severely wounded.  The officer left some English
newspapers on board the schooner containing the details of the

The difficulty which had occurred between Strictland and myself,
and which at one time threatened to sever forever all friendly
ties, was amicably settled before we arrived at St. Bartholomew.
Policy undoubtedly pointed out to the Englishman the importance of
continuing our friendly relations while my money lasted; and he
apologized in a handsome manner for what I considered his rude and
uncivil conduct.  Again we became sworn friends and brothers, and
resolved that the same fortune, good or evil, should betide us

We arrived at St. Bartholomew about the 20th of September, 1812,
and landed our passengers in good order, well-conditioned, and in
tip-top spirits, after a passage of twenty days.

Chapter XXIV

We found the harbor of St. Bartholomew full of vessels belonging
to almost every nation.  Among them were several American clippers
taking in cargo for the United States; also vessels under Swedish
colors bound in the same direction.  From these facts we
anticipated little difficulty in procuring a passage to that
country, on whose shores my friend, the young Englishman, as well
as myself, was anxious to stand.  But, although there were many
vessels in port, there were also many sailors; far more than could
be provided with employment; men, who by shipwreck or capture, had
been set adrift in different parts of the Windward islands, and
had flocked to St. Bartholomew with a view to get a passage to
"The land of the free and the home of the brave."

Strictland and myself remained in the schooner La Concha a couple
of days, until the cargo was discharged, when the French captain,
taking me aside, told me he was making arrangements to proceed on
a trip to Point Petre, in Guadaloupe, and was desirous I should
remain with him as one of the crew on regular wages.  But as he
positively refused to receive my companion on the same terms, or
on any ter0ms whatever, and, moreover, expressed an opinion of his
character by no means favorable, and which I believed to be
unjust, I declined his proposition as a matter of course.

It now became necessary to seek some abiding place on shore until
we could find means of getting from the island.  But on inquiry I
ascertained that thee expenses of board, even of the humblest
character, were so great that our slender resources, the few
dollars remained of my single month's pay, would not warrant such
an extravagant proceeding as a resort to a boarding house.  I
convinced Strictland of the importance of the strictest economy in
our expenditures; succeeded in persuading a good-natured Swede,
who kept a small shop near the careenage, to allow my chest to
remain with him a few days, and we undertook to "rough it" as well
as we could.

In the morning we usually took a survey of the vessels in the
harbor, hoping to find employment of some kind or a chance to
leave the island.  When hungry, we bought, for a small sum, a loaf
of bread and a half dozen small fish, jacks or ballahues, already
cooked, of which there was always a bountiful supply for sale
about the wharves, and then retiring to the outskirts of the town,
seated in the shade of one of the few trees in that neighborhood,
we made a hearty and delicious repast.  The greatest inconvenience
to which we were subjected was a want of water.  There was a great
scarcity of that "necessary of life" in the island, and a drink of
water, when asked for, was frequently refused.  More than once,
when hard pressed by thirst, I entered a grog shop and paid for a
glass of liquor in order to obtain a refreshing draught of the
pure element.

At night, after walking through the streets and listening to the
gossip of the sailors collected in groups in the streets, we
retired to some lonely wharf, and throwing ourselves down on a
pile of SOFT pine boards, and gathering our jackets around us, and
curtained by the starry canopy of heaven, we slept as soundly and
sweetly as if reposing on the most luxurious couch.

But even this cheap mode of lodging was attended with
inconveniences.  One night a shower of rain came suddenly upon us.
This was an event unfrequent and consequently unexpected, and our
garments were thoroughly soaked before we could realize our
misfortune.  As this happened about three o'clock in the morning,
there was nothing left but to wait patiently several hours, wet to
the skin and shivering in the night air, until our clothing was
dried by the rays of the sun and warmth restored to our frames.

One night an unprincipled knave undertook to rob us while we
slept.  Fortunately for us he began his work with Strictland, and
took possession of the few effects which his pockets contained
before my companion awoke and gave the alarm.  On hearing his cry,
I started to my feet and seized the fellow, who, being nearly
naked, eluded my grasp and ran.  We chased him the length of a
street, when he entered an alley and disappeared among a row of
dilapidated buildings.

After these events we considered it expedient to change our
capacious lodging house for one of more limited dimensions, where
we might be screened from a shower and concealed from the prying
eyes of a robber.  We proceeded the next day in quest of such an
accommodation, and after a careful survey of various localities,
our labors were crowned with success.  We found on the northern
side of the harbor an old boat that had been hauled up on the
beach and turned bottom upwards.  This furnished us with a capital
lodging house.  We took up our quarters there every night without
asking permission of the owner, and were never disturbed in our
snug domicile after we laid ourselves down to rest.

It may be asked why I did not apply to the American consul for
assistance.  The treatment which I received from the agent of our
government, when in distress, at Liverpool, created on my mind an
unfavorable impression in regard to that class of officials, and
the reluctant aid and little encouragement which those of my
countrymen met with who applied for advice and assistance to the
consul at St. Bartholomew, were calculated to prevent any
application on my part.  Besides, I had entwined my fortunes with
another   an Englishman; and we had resolved to partake of weal or
woe together.

On more than one occasion I could have procured a passage for
myself to my native land if I had been willing to leave
Strictland, My "protection," as well as appearance, furnished
indisputable evidence that I was an American; but Strictland had
no testimony of any kind to offer in favor of his citizenship, and
to every application for a passage he received a decided shake of
the head, from which there was no appeal.

About this time an excitement prevailed among the web-footed
gentry in St. Bartholomew in relation to the impressment of seamen
by British authorities.  The cruisers on the West India station
were deficient in men; and all kinds of stratagems were regarded
as justifiable which would be likely to supply the deficiency.
British ships and brigs of war were often seen cruising off the
harbor of St. Bartholomew, and their boats were sent ashore for
intelligence and provisions.  It became known to some of the
officers that there was a large number of seamen in the town
destitute of employment, and a plot was devised to kidnap a few of
them, and do them a good turn against their will, by giving them
board and lodging gratis, and an opportunity to display their
courage by fighting the enemies of Great Britain.

A shrewd and intelligent English office, who could tell a good
story and make himself agreeable in a grog shop, disguised in the
plain dress of a common sailor, one day got admittance to a knot
of these unsuspecting "old salts," and by his liberality and good
humor acquired their confidence.  Under some plausible pretext he
induced a dozen or fifteen Dutchmen, Swedes, Britons, and Yankees
to accompany him to a wharf on the opposite side of the harbor,
where an alarm or cries for succor could hardly be heard by any of
the sailors on shore.  Instead of the sport which was expected,
they found themselves surrounded by the boat's crew of a man-of-
war!  After a brief, but unsuccessful struggle, they were all,
with the exception of two, hustled into the boat and carried off
in triumph on board an English frigate.  Those two effected their
escape by making good use of their legs, and their account of this
most unjustifiable but successful case of man-stealing created a
feeling of hatred against the officers of British men-of-war,
which manifested itself on several occasions, and was near being
attended with serious results.

One pleasant morning, an American clipper brig arrived at St.
Bartholomew from the United States.  The event was soon known to
every person in the island, and caused quite an excitement.  When
a boat from the brig, with the captain on board, reached the
landing-place, a crowd was assembled to hear the news and inquire
into the results of the war.  Englishmen and Americans met upon
the wharf upon the most friendly footing, and jocularly offered
bets with each other in regard to the nature of the intelligence
brought by this arrival.

The captain stepped on shore and was besieged on every side.
"What is the news, captain?" eagerly inquired half a dozen
individuals in the same breath.

"Is Canada captured by the Americans?" shouted an undoubted
Jonathan, one of those persevering, restless mortals of whom it
has been said by a Yankee girl,

"No matter where his home may be,
What flag may be unfurled;
He'll manage, by some cute device,
To whittle through the world!"

"Has there been any naval engagement?  Any American frigates
taken, hey?" inquired a genuine native of Albion, his eyes
sparkling with expectation.

The captain, although thus suddenly surrounded, captured, and
taken possession of, seemed more amused than annoyed by these
inquisitorial proceedings, and, with a clear voice and a good-
humored smile, replied, while the tumult was hushed and every ear
expanded to catch the interesting intelligence, "I know of no
battles that have been fought on the land or sea; but just before
I left New York, intelligence was received that General Hull, the
commander of the American forces on the frontiers, had surrendered
his whole army to the enemy at Detroit, with all his guns,
ammunition, and stores, WITHOUT FIRING A GUN!"

It is impossible to describe the scene which followed the
announcement of this unexpected intelligence,   the exultation of
the British, and the mortification and wrath of the Americans.
Hull was stigmatized by his country-men as the basest of cowards.
Curses, both loud and deep, were heaped upon his hoary head.  Had
he been within the grasp of those who listened to the story of his
shame, a host of armed Englishmen could not have saved him from
the fury of the Yankees.

Occasionally an American privateer was seen in the offing; and the
boldness, enterprise, and success of this class of vessels in
crippling the commerce of Great Britain among the islands, created
astonishment and indignation among the loyal subjects of "his
majesty."  Rumors were afloat every day   sometimes false, but
more frequently true   of some deed of daring, or destruction of
British property, committed in that quarter by American private-
armed vessels.

One day, a small drogher arrived from the English island of
Antigua, bringing as passengers four or five seamen, the only
survivors of a terrible disaster which befell one of those
privateers while cruising to the windward of Antigua.  One of the
men was boatswain of the vessel.  The tale which he related was a
sad one, and its correctness was confirmed by the deep emotion
which the narrator and his shipmates manifested and by the tears
they shed.

The captain of the privateer was a man of violent and ungovernable
temper and drunken habits.  He had a quarrel every day with some
of his officers or some of his men; and one Sunday afternoon a
wordy contest took place between the captain and his first
lieutenant, both being well primed with alcohol.  The language and
conduct of the insulted officer was such as to provoke the captain
to madness.  He raged and raved, and at last struck his
lieutenant, and gave peremptory orders to "put the rascal in

On hearing this order given, but before it could be executed, the
lieutenant seized a loaded pistol.  Instead of shooting his brutal
commander on the spot, he rushed down the steps into the after
part of the vessel, and undoubtedly discharged his weapon among
the powder in the magazine!  A tremendous explosion followed,
which blew the privateer to fragments, scattering the timbers and
planks, and the legs, arms, and bodies of the crew, in every
direction!  The shrieks of the wounded, the struggles of the
dying, and the spectacle of horrors which those men witnessed,
made a lasting impression on their minds.

After having been on the water a few minutes, almost stunned by
the explosion, the boatswain and some of his companions succeeded
in constructing a raft from the floating planks; and after days of
suffering and exposure, without food, and almost without clothing,
the survivors were driven ashore on the island of Antigua, where
they were kindly treated, and subsequently sent to St.
Bartholomew, with the expectation that they would there find a
chance to get to the United States.

Strictland and myself led the vagabond kind of life I have
described for a couple of weeks.  My purse was gradually growing
lighter, and it became evident that we must soon find employment
or starve.  We formed various plans for improving our condition,
neither of which proved practicable when put to the test.  One of
these was to proceed to Tortola, and join a band of strolling
players that were perambulating the islands, and attracting
admiration, if not money, by the excellence of their dramatic
representations.  Strictland, it seemed, besides having been a
hanger-on at the "Fives Court," had served occasionally as a
supernumerary at Covent Garden Theatre.  He could sing almost any
one of Dibdin's songs in imitation of Incledon, in a manner to
astonish an audience; and he flattered my vanity by assuring me
that I should make a decided hit before an intelligent audience as
"Young Norval."  But this project failed for want of means to
carry us to the theatre of action.

One morning, while looking about the wharves, we learned that the
brig Gustavus, a vessel under Swedish colors, supposed to belong
to St. Bartholomew, was making preparations for a voyage to the
United States.  We lost no time in finding the captain of the
brig, a chuckle-headed, crafty-looking native of Sweden, who had
been long a resident of the West Indies.  I represented our case
in the most forcible language I could command; and already aware
that some men will be more likely to do a kind act from motives of
self-interest than the promptings of a benevolent heart, I told
him we were anxious to proceed to the United states, and if he
would promise us the privilege of working our passage, we would go
on board forthwith and assist in taking in cargo and getting the
brig ready for sea.

The captain listened to my eloquence with a good-natured smile and
accepted our offer.  He promised us a passage to some port in the
United States if we would go on board the brig and work faithfully
until she sailed.  We abandoned our convenient, I had almost said
luxurious lodgings beneath the boat on the beach, and, with my
chest and what other baggage we possessed, joyfully transferred
our quarters to the forecastle of the brig Gustavus.

We remained on board the brig about a fortnight, faithfully and
steadily at work, stowing cargo, repairing and setting up the
rigging, and bending sails.  We congratulated ourselves, from time
to time, on our good fortune in securing such a chance, after so
much disappointment and delay.

But one morning I was alarmed at finding Strictland had been
suddenly attacked with violent headache and other symptoms of
fever.  The mate gave him some medicine, but he continued unwell.
In the afternoon the captain came on board, and after a conference
with the mate, called me to the quarter-deck, and told me my
companion was sick; that he did not like sick people; and the
sooner I took him ashore, the better for all parties. "The brig,"
he continued, "is now ready for sea.  I can find plenty of my
countrymen who will go with me on the terms you offered, and of
course I shall not give either of you a passage to America.  If I
should be overhauled by an English man-of-war while my crew is
composed in part of Americans and Englishmen, my vessel will be
seized and condemned.  Therefore, you had better clear out at
once, and take your sick friend along with you."

I was disgusted with the cold-blooded rascality of this man, who
could thus, almost without a pretext, violate a solemn obligation
when he could no longer be benefitted by its fulfilment.

"As for taking my friend ashore in his present condition," said I,
"with no place in which to shelter him, and no means of procuring
him medical advice or support, that is out of the question.  He
must remain where he now is until he recovers from his illness.
But I will no longer trouble you with MY presence on board.  I
will gladly quit your vessel as soon as you pay me for the work I
have done during the last fortnight."

"Work!!" said the skipper; "pay!  I didn't agree to pay you for
your work!  You've got your food and lodging for your work.  Not
one single rix dollar will I pay you besides!"  And the skipper
kept his word.

After giving him, in very plain language, my opinion of his
conduct, I went into the forecastle and had some conversation with
Strictland.  I found him more comfortable, and told him my
determination not to sleep another night on board the brig, but
that I would visit him the next morning.  I called a boat
alongside, and, swelling with indignation, went ashore.  I
proceeded immediately to an American clipper brig which was ready
to sail for a port in the Chesapeake Bay.  I represented to the
captain the forlorn situation of myself and companion, and urged
him to give us a passage to the United States.  He listened
patiently to my representations, but replied that he had already
consented to receive a larger number of his distressed countrymen
as passengers than he felt justified in doing, and that he had
neither room nor provisions for any additional number.  Seeing
that I was greatly disappointed at his refusal of my application,
he finally told me he would give ME a passage to America if I
chose to go, but he would not take my companion.  This was
reasonable enough; but I could not think of abandoning Strictland,
especially while he was sick and destitute, and resolved to forego
this opportunity and wait for more propitious times.  I was
convinced that when I got to the bottom of Fortune's constantly
revolving wheel, my circumstances must improve by the revolution,
whichever way the wheel might turn.

Fatigued, disappointed, and indignant withal, as soon as the
shades of evening fell I proceeded leisurely around the harbor to
the beach on the opposite side of the bay, and again took
possession of my comfortable lodgings beneath the boat.  For hours
I lay awake, reflecting on my awkward situation, and striving to
devise some practicable means to overcome the difficulties by
which I was surrounded.

I awoke at a somewhat late hour the next morning, and heard the
unwonted sounds of the wind whistling and howling around my
domicile.  It was blowing a gale, the beginning of a hurricane.  I
hastened with eager steps to the other side of the harbor, where I
found everything in confusion.  The quays were thronged with
people, and every man seemed busy.  Boats were passing to and from
the vessels, freighted with men to render assistance; carrying off
cables and anchors, and in some cases, where the cargoes had been
discharged, stone ballast, which was hastily thrown on the decks
and thence transferred to the hold,   fears being entertained that
as the hurricane increased, the vessels in port might be forced
from their anchors, and wrecked on the rocks at the entrance of
the haven, or driven out into the Caribbean Sea.

The vessels were thickly moored, and cables already began to part
and anchors to drag.  Sloops, schooners, brigs, and ships got foul
of each other.  The "hardest fend off!" was the cry, and cracking
work commenced; and what with the howling of the hurricane gusts
as they swept down the mountain side, the angry roar of the short
waves, so suddenly conjured up, as they dashed against the bows of
the different vessels, the shouting of the seamen mooring or
unmooring, the orders, intermingled with fierce oaths and threats,
of the masters and mates as they exerted all their energies to
avert impending disasters, the crashing of bulwarks, the
destruction of cutwaters and bowsprits, and the demolition of
spars, a scene of unusual character was displayed, which, to a
person not a busy actor, was brim full of interest, and not
destitute of sublimity.

The mate of the Gustavus, with a number of men, was employed in
carrying off from the shore a cable and anchor, the small bower
having parted at the beginning of the gale.  The mate represented
the situation of the brig as somewhat critical, and urged me to
render assistance.  Anxious to see Strictland, I acceded to his
request.  It was not long before we were under the bows of the
brig.  Men were engaged in carrying out the anchor ahead to haul
her away from a cluster of vessels which were making sad havoc
with her quarter rails, fashion pieces, and gingerbread work on
the stern.

I entered the forecastle, shook hands with Strictland, whose
health had greatly improved, with prospect of a speedy recovery,
and bade him be of good cheer,   that he would be well enough on
the morrow.  I threw on a chest my jacket and vest, containing
what little money still remained on hand, and my "protection," and
thus airily equipped, reckless of the clouds of mist and rain
which at times enveloped the whole harbor, went on deck and turned
to with a will, notwithstanding the scurvy treatment I had
received from the captain the day before.  When I reached the
deck, some of the men were engaged in heaving in the new cable;
others were just then called aft by the captain to assist in
bearing off a sloop on one quarter and a schooner on the other,
and in disengaging the rigging which had caught in the spars.  The
sloop had the appearance of a wreck.  The laniards of the shrouds
had been cut away on both sides, and the tall and tapering mast
was quivering and bending like a whipstock, from the action of the
wind and the waves.  One of the cables, it was supposed, had
parted; the sails, not having been properly furled, were
fluttering and struggling, not altogether in vain, to get loose;
and the deck on both sides was filled with shingle ballast, which
had been brought from the shore early that morning, in the fear
that the sloop might be driven out to sea, and had not been thrown
into the hold.

The captain, mate, and crew of the sloop, finding their vessel in
such a helpless condition, and entertaining wholesome fears for
their own safety, ABANDONED THE SLOOP TO HER FATE, and embarked,
with all their baggage, in the last boat that had brought off
ballast.  But with the last boat there came from the shore a young
man, who, as supercargo, had charge of the vessel and cargo.
Aware to some extent of the perilous condition of the sloop, he
had been actively engaged during the morning in efforts to prepare
his vessel to encounter the disasters incident to a hurricane.  As
he stepped on the deck of the sloop, and before the ballast had
all been discharged from the boat, the officers and crew were
eager for their departure.  The captain urged the supercargo to
accompany him on shore, and, when he refused, pointed out the
desperate condition of the sloop, assuring him that in a few
minutes that vessel, held by a single anchor, would break adrift
and be wrecked on the rocks, when probably no individual could be

The name of the supercargo was Bohun, a native of the "Emerald
Isle."  He peremptorily refused to quit the vessel, saying, as he
stamped his foot on the deck, "Here I stand, determined to sink or
swim with the sloop."

"Shove off!" exclaimed the captain; "it is useless to parley with
a fool!"

At this moment the crew of the Gustavus were summoned aft to
disengage the brig from the sloop, and the captain was issuing
orders in his most effective style.  "Bear off!  Why don't you
bear off!  Cut away the laniards of those shrouds, and clear the
main chainwales!  Bring an axe here, and cut away that fore-stay
which is foul of the main yard!"

Calling now to Bohun, who stood in the forward part of the sloop
with a most rueful visage, the captain said, "Why don't you pay
out cable, you lubber, and drop astern, clear of the brig?"

Bohun stood near the windlass, and his appearance struck me as
being singularly interesting.  He was dressed like a gentleman;
wore a green frock coat and a white fur hat; but his garments were
saturated with rain and the spray.  He seemed resolute,
nevertheless, and anxious to do something, but he knew not what to
do.  When roughly accosted by the captain of the brig, he replied,
"If you'll send two or three men to help me, I will soon get the
sloop clear of your vessel.  My men have all deserted, and I can
do nothing without assistance."

The captain of the Gustavus shook his head and his fist at the
young Irishman, and discharged a double-headed oath at him, within
point-blank shot.  Nevertheless, Bohun continued, "If you will let
me have one man, only ONE man, I may be able to save the sloop."

"One man!" replied the Swedish captain, screaming with passion,
"how do you expect me to spare even one man, when my own vessel
may strike adrift at any moment?  Pay out cable, and be hanged to
you!  Pay out cable, and drop astern!"  And he aimed another
ferocious oath at the unfortunate supercargo.

Poor Bohun was no sailor.  He hardly knew the difference between
the cable and the cathead.  He looked the picture of distress,
almost of despair.  But I, being under no obligations to the
brutal captain of the brig, was at liberty to obey the impulse of
my feelings.  I stepped over the quarter rail, grasped the topmast
stay of the sloop, swung myself on the jibboom, and in the space
of a few seconds after the captain had concluded his maledictions
I was standing on the sloop's forecastle, alongside of Bohun.

Chapter XXV

As soon as I reached the deck of the sloop, Bohun eagerly grasped
me by the hand.  "My good fellow," said he, "tell me what to do,
and I will go about it at once; only tell me what to do first."

I cast my eye around, and comprehended in a moment the exact
condition of the little vessel.  I felt that a great
responsibility had suddenly devolved upon me, and I determined to
be equal to the task.  The sloop, pitching and rolling, and jammed
between two much larger vessels, was awkwardly situated, and
riding, I supposed, at a single anchor.  About half the cable only
was payed out; the remainder was coiled on the forecastle, and the
end was not secured.

"In the first place," said I, recollecting the scene near
Charleston bar, "we will clinch the end of the cable around the
mast, and then we can veer out as much as we like, without risk of
its running away."

This was soon done, and by veering cable, the sloop dropped
astern, until clear of all other vessels.  I then found, to my
satisfaction, that neither of the cables had parted.  It
subsequently appeared that the small bower anchor had merely been
dropped under foot.  By giving a good scope to both cables, the
sloop was as likely to ride out the gale, so far as depended on
ground tackling, as any vessel in port.  The sails, which had been
loosed by the force of the wind, were next secured.  The foresail
was furled in such manner that it could be cast loose and the head
of it hoisted at a minute's notice.  I greatly feared that some
light vessel might be forced from her moorings, and drift athwart
our bows, and thus bear the sloop away from her anchors.  I
therefore got an axe, and placed it by the windlass, with the
design of cutting both cables when such an act might be considered
necessary for our safety, hoist the head of the foresail, and run
out to sea.

In the mean time, the decks were in a deplorable condition,
lumbered up with barrels, boxes, and ballast.  The supercargo
commenced on one side, and myself on the other, to throw the
ballast into the hold.  The miscellaneous articles were then
tumbled down in an unceremonious manner, and the hatchways
properly secured.  Our attention was now turned to the mast, which
had no support on either side, and was in an awkward and uneasy
position.  Bohun looked at it as it swayed from starboard to port
and from port to starboard, and then looked inquiringly at me.

"We can co it!" said I, without hesitation.  "Have you any spare
rigging on board?"

"Yes, plenty!  Down in the forward part of the sloop,"

I went below, and found a coil of rope which I believed would
answer my purpose.  I brought it on deck, and began to reeve
laniards for the shrouds.  I then procured a handspike and heaver,
and went to work setting up the rigging by a "Spanish windlass."
I had only once seen an operation of this kind performed; but
having closely watched the process, I knew I could perform it
successfully.  In this matter Bohun rendered me valuable aid.  We
worked diligently, for we felt that every minute was of
importance; and it was not long before the shrouds on both sides
were set up, and the mast rendered safe.  By the time this work
was accomplished and the vessel put in good condition, the
forenoon had nearly expired; but the hurricane continued.  Several
vessels had already been driven from their anchors, and blown
broadside on, through the whole length of the harbor, and dashed to
pieces against the rocks.

Through the mist and rain I kept a good lookout ahead, lest some
of those unfortunate craft should come down upon our little sloop.
And at one time, in the middle of the afternoon, I thought the
crisis had come, and we should be obliged to go to sea.  A large
schooner which had been lying snugly at anchor at the extremity of
the harbor for months, with no person on board, parted her cable,
and was driven by the wind among the vessels already tossing about
in that fearful gale, rubbing against one, crushing in the
bulwarks of another, and carrying alarm and terror throughout her
whole route.  This hulk had passed through the great body of the
shipping without causing much serious or irremediable damage, and
now, broadside to the gale, was rapidly wafted towards the sloop.
My heart beat violently, as, axe in hand, I watched her approach.

I raised the axe above my head to give the fatal blow, when I
perceived the stern of the schooner swinging round.  I dropped the
axe, and called upon Bohun to lend me a hand to bear off.  The
schooner came down almost with the force of an avalanche, cleared
the bowsprit, as I anticipated, but struck our larboard bow, swung
alongside, caught by our chain-wale for a moment, was freed by a
violent gust of wind, dropped astern, and was soon pounding upon
the ledges.

Bohun, who had never before been an actor in such scenes, was
completely exhausted with excitement and fatigue.  He loaned me a
pea-jacket, for, after my severe labors, and ablutions in fresh
and salt water, I was shivering with cold; and requesting me to
keep a good lookout, went below long before the gale abated, and
buried his inquietudes in sleep.

The tempest began to diminish in violence soon after the shades of
evening fell; but I continued on my watch until nearly midnight,
when no longer doubting that the fierce hurricane had exhausted
its wrath, I also left the deck, turned into one of the cabin
berths, and slept soundly until the sun was above the horizon.

When Bohun came on deck he assured me he felt under great
obligations for the assistance I had rendered in saving the sloop
from destruction, and would cheerfully make me any compensation in
his power.  He requested as an additional favor that I would
remain by the sloop, as there was valuable property on board,
until he could make some necessary arrangements.  I gave him my
promise.  He then called a boat alongside, and proceeded on shore.

I was anxious to visit the Gustavus to inquire about Strictland's
health, and consult with him in relation to future proceedings.
But there was no boat at this time attached to the sloop; the
small boat broke away at the commencement of the gale, and was
never afterwards seen; and the long-boat was taken possession of
by the dastardly creoles who composed the officers and crew.  I
knew, however, that Strictland was well provided for, and being
determined to visit him at the earliest opportunity, gave myself
no further anxiety, but patiently awaited the return of the
supercargo.  I waited in vain; he did not arrive that day, but
about eight o'clock in the evening a boat came off bringing a new
captain, mate, and a couple of men.  My short-lived reign was at
an end!  I had tasted the sweets of despotic authority for two
delicious days.  I was now deposed, and about to be resolved into
my original elements.

It was too late to visit Strictland that night; but the next
morning after breakfast, I obtained permission from the new
captain to use the boat for a short time, and with a light and
joyous heart   for I was proud of my successful exertions during
the gale   sculled away for the Gustavus.  I stepped gayly on
board, and encountered the mate as I passed over the gangway.  He
greeted me kindly, but expressed surprise at my appearance.

"How is Strictland?" I exclaimed.  "Has he entirely recovered?"

"Strictland!" replied the mate.  "Have you not seen him?  Don't
you KNOW where he is?"

"Certainly not," said I, somewhat alarmed at his manner, "if he is
not on board the brig!"

"He left the brig this morning," said the mate, "and is now on
board that vessel in the offing," pointing to a rakish clipper
brig under American colors that was outside the harbor, and seemed
to be flying away under a cloud of canvas.  "He has taken his
chest and everything belonging to you both," continued the mate,
seeing my astonishment.  "I thought you were with him, and that
the whole thing was arranged by mutual agreement."

I was thunderstruck at this intelligence; but after a moment's
reflection, I refused to believe it.  "It must be a mistake," said
I; "Strictland would not go off to America, and leave me here
without means or employment.  He cannot be so ungrateful."

The mate looked as if he thought such a thing were possible.

"And if he HAS availed himself of a chance to go to the United
States, he has undoubtedly left the chest, which is mine, and
other property belonging to me where I can easily find it."

"I hope you MAY find it," said the mate dryly, "but I don't
believe you will."

I went forward and conversed with the men who had taken Strictland
on board the brig, and from them learned the particulars of the
transaction.  It appeared that Strictland, who had quite recovered
his health, on coming on deck that memorable morning, perceived
the clipper brig, which two days before I had visited without a
successful result, making preparations for immediate departure.
He borrowed the boat, and accompanied by one of the crew of the
Gustavus, went on board the American brig, where he represented
himself to the captain as an American, in great distress, and
anxious to get home.  He exhibited a "protection," mine
undoubtedly, as evidence of his assertions.  The tale of his
misfortunes, told in eloquent language, albeit it must have
smacked strongly of cockney peculiarities, melted the heart of the
worthy and unsuspecting sailor, who told him to bring his things
on board at once, and he would give him a passage to the United

Strictland returned to the Gustavus, gathered together not only
everything which belonged to him, but every article of my property
besides, not even excepting the garments I had thrown off on the
morning of the hurricane.  He took with him the money belonging to
me which was still unexpended, and also what I regarded as far
more valuable than the rest of my property   my American
protection.  He told the crew this was done in pursuance of an
arrangement made with me the day previous to the hurricane.  He
reached the brig with his "plunder" just as the anchor was hauled
to the cathead, and the brig was hanging by a single line attached
to a neighboring vessel until the topsails were sheeted home.  My
chest was transferred to the deck of the clipper, and five minutes
afterwards the brig was leaving the harbor under full sail, bound

It was some time before I could realize the extent of my
misfortune, and persuade myself of the melancholy fact that I was
a stranger in a foreign port, without friends, while every item of
my goods and chattels consisted of an old pair of patched canvas
trousers, a checked shirt, and a dilapidated straw hat; I had not
even a pair of shoes, a kerchief, a jack-knife, or the value of a
stiver in cash.

I stood a moment gazing earnestly at the brig as she was rapidly
sinking beneath the horizon.  I was more disappointed and shocked
at the ingratitude of Strictland than grieved at the loss of my
goods and chattels.  And when I saw that I had been deceived,
cajoled, and swindled by an unprincipled adventurer, so far from
rejoicing at such an opportunity to "come out strong," as Mark
Tapley would have done under similar circumstances, I could hardly
control my indignation.   But conscious that my wrongs could
neither be remedied nor avenged, I repressed my feelings, and amid
the well-meaning condolence of my friends in the Gustavus, entered
my boat and returned to the sloop.

I was rejoiced to find Bohun on board.  He seized my hand and
greeted me with much kindness.  His countenance, open, frank, and
honest, emboldened me to explain to him my situation.  When I had
concluded my narrative of facts, "Now," said I, "if you consider
yourself indebted to me, and are willing to do me a favor, all I
ask is, that you will give me a situation on board this sloop as
one of the sailors, until I can find an opportunity to do
something better.  I shall expect the same rate of wages as
others, of course and have also to request that you will advance
me a few dollars, with which I can supply myself with some
necessary articles of clothing.

Bohun graciously acceded to my wishes, and told me I might
henceforth consider myself one of the crew of the sloop.  I then
ascertained what had hitherto escaped my knowledge,   that the
sloop was called the "Lapwing" of St. Bartholomew; but really
belonged to Mr. Thomas, an opulent merchant residing in St.
George, Grenada, and was about to proceed to that port with a
cargo of flour and other articles of American produce.  Bohun was
a clerk with Mr. Thomas; and he assured me that on his
representations of my conduct to his employer, and the unfortunate
consequences of it to myself, that gentleman would undoubtedly
show his appreciation of my services in a manner highly proper and

This consideration, however, had no weight with me.  All I asked
for was employment.  I wanted to be placed in a situation where by
my labors I could earn my living.  This I then regarded as
independence; and I have never since seen cause to change that

As the Lapwing belonged nominally and officially to a Swedish
port, it was necessary she should have Swedish officers and in
part a Swedish crew.  The captain was a tall, stiff-looking man,
whose name was Lordick.  He was a native of the little island of
Saba; and two of the crew belonged to the same place.  The mate
was a native of St. Bartholomew.  All belonging to the sloop were
creoles, and assumed to be subjects of the king of Sweden,
excepting Bohun and myself; and I had been so much exposed to the
sun in that hot climate, that I looked as much like a creole as
any person on board.

The island of Saba is in sight of St. Bartholomew   a level,
precipitous rock, nine miles in circumference, highest in the
enter, appearing like a mound rising out of the sea, and covered
with no great depth of soil.  Saba was first settled by a colony
of Dutch from St. Eustatia towards the close of the seventeenth
century.  It is a place of no trade, having no harbor, and is but
little known.  It is accessible only on the south side, where
there is a narrow, intricate, and artificial path leading from the
landing-place to the summit.  Frequent rains give growth to fruit
and vegetables of large size and superior flavor, which are
conveyed to the neighboring islands in open boats and sold.  It
contained in the early part of the present century about fifty
families of whites, and probably double that number of slaves.
The chief employment of the inhabitants consisted in cultivating
the soil, and raising, besides vegetables and fruit, cotton, which
the women spun and manufactured into stockings, of a very delicate
fabric, that readily commanded a high price in the neighboring
islands.  The people, living in a village on the top of a rock
between the sky and the sea, enjoy the benefits of both elements
without dreading their storms.  Indeed, Saba is one of those quiet
secluded nooks, which are sometimes unexpectedly discovered in
different parts of the world, where the people, generation after
generation, live in a sort of primitive simplicity, and pride
themselves upon their peculiarities and seclusion from mankind.
The traveller in quest of novelties would do well to visit Saba.

In a few days after I became one of the crew of the Lapwing, that
vessel was ready for sea.  Captain Lordick manifested toward me a
friendly feeling; he sympathized with me in my misfortunes; made
me a present of some articles, which, although of trifling
intrinsic value, were highly useful; and inveighed in severe terms
against the villainy of Strictland.

The day before we left port, Captain Lordick called me into the
cabin.  "Hawser," said he, "you are an American, but you have no
evidence of that fact.  The trading vessels among the islands are
often boarded by English men-of-war, with a view to get men to
supply a deficiency in their crews.  If an Englishman is found, he
is sure to be impressed.  As you have no "protection," and the
burden of proof lies with you, you will be regarded as an
Englishman, a proper person to serve the king of Great Britain.
Even if you state the truth, and claim to be an American, there
will be no means of escape from this terrible species of
servitude.  I have a plan to propose, which may save you from the
clutches of John Bull.  The natives of St. Bartholomew, and also
of Saba, which is a dependency on Holland, are exempted from
impressment, provided they can exhibit proofs of their
citizenship.  Therefore every sailor belonging to those islands is
provided with a document, called a 'burgher's brief,' which, like
an American protection, gives a minute description of the person
of the bearer, and is signed and sealed by the official
authorities.  Now, Hawser," continued the generous creole, "I had
a younger brother who died of yellow fever in St. Kitts some six
months ago.  He was about your age, and resembled you in
appearance.  His 'burgher's brief,' as a citizen of St.
Bartholomew, is now in my possession.  Therefore you shall no
longer be a citizen of the United States, but a native of Saba.  I
assure you there are very good people in Saba; and your name is no
longer Hawser Martingale, but John Lordick; remember this; I shall
so enter your name in the ship's papers.

The captain's reasons for a change in my identity were powerful.
Besides, a "purser's name" was a common thing among sailors.  And
although I felt unwilling to forego my claim to American
citizenship, even for a brief period, I convinced myself that no
evil to anyone, but much good to myself, would be likely to result
from such a course.  Expediency is a powerful casuist; the
captain's kindness also touched my heart, and conquering an
instinctive repugnance to sacrifice the truth under any
circumstances, I rashly told him that in accordance with his
suggestion, I would adopt the name of his brother for a short
time, and endeavor not to disgrace it.

"I have no fear that you will," said he.

Chapter XXVI

We left St. Bartholomew in the Lapwing and proceeded on our way
towards Grenada.  I was treated with kindness by every person in
the sloop, and found my situation far more agreeable than when
loafing and vagabondizing about the wharves.

Mr. Bohun was a light-hearted young man, intelligent, high-
spirited, and impulsive.  He conversed with me about the events of
the war, and speculated freely in relation to the future.  He
spoke of the defeat of General Hull as an event which might have
been expected.  When I expressed an opinion that our national
vessels would be more successful on the sea, he appeared amused,
laboring under the error which was universal among the British at
that time, that an American frigate of the first class could
hardly be considered a match for an English sloop-of-war.

I spoke of the action between the President and the Little Belt,
where one broadside, fired through mistake by the American
frigate, transformed the proud and defiant sloop-of-war into a
sinking wreck.  But my argumentative fact was met by a reference
to the unfortunate affair between the Leopard and the Chesapeake.
I urged that the Chesapeake, although rated and officered and
manned as a frigate, was merely an armed STORE-SHIP carrying out
supplies in a time of peace to our ships in the Mediterranean.
But Bohun, like every other Briton I have met with, would not
admit the efficiency of the excuse.  I next recurred to the
Tripolitan war, and alluded to the many deeds of daring performed
by my gallant countrymen.  But Bohun contended that their feats of
valor in a war against barbarians could not be regarded as a test
of their ability to battle on equal terms against the most
accomplished seamen in the world.  Bohun said that the Shannon and
the Guerriere, two of the finest frigates in the English navy, had
recently been fitted out and ordered to cruise on the American
coast, with the expectation that a single-handed contest between
one of these vessels and an American frigate of the first class
would humble the pride of the Yankees, and decide the question of
superiority.  I could only reply that I hoped the meeting would
soon take place, and when it did, he would be as much astonished
as I should be gratified at the result.

The next morning after the above conversation, we were passing
along the westerly side of the island of Dominica, and Mr. Bohun
expressed a wish to touch at Rosseau, the principal port in the
island, in order to obtain some desirable information.  When off
the mouth of the harbor, orders were given for the sloop to lie
off and on, while the supercargo was conveyed on shore in the
yawl, pulled by one of my Saba countrymen and myself.  On reaching
a landing place, Bohun directed us to remain by the boat until he
should return, which would be in the course of half an hour, and
tripped gayly up the wharf.

The town of Rosseau is pleasantly situated in a valley near the
seashore.  The harbor is little better than an open roadstead, and
is defended by strong fortifications overhanging the city.  The
town has been three times destroyed; once by an inundation from
the mountains after heavy rains which swept away many of the
dwellings and caused the death of numerous inhabitants.  Some ten
or twenty years afterwards, when the town had been rebuilt, a
destructive fire raged through the place, laid it in ashes, and
destroyed an immense deal of property.  A third time it was
destroyed ay a furious hurricane, when nearly all the houses were
demolished or unroofed, and hundreds of the inhabitants were
killed or seriously wounded.  Having thus been at different times
a victim to the rage of three of the elements, air, fire, and
water, many were led to believe that the final destruction of the
place would be caused by an earthquake.

It was about two o'clock in the afternoon when Bohun came down to
the boat, having been absent between three and four hours.  His
countenance was lighted up with a smile of gayety, and his eyes
sparkled as if he had joyful news to communicate.

"Well, John," he shouted as he came within hail, "there has been
an arrival from Halifax, and a piece of important intelligence has
been received."

"Indeed, sir," said I, with a faltering voice, as from his
cheerful bearing I anticipated unfavorable tidings; "what is the
character of the news?"

"A desperate battle has been fought between the British frigate
Guerriere, and the American frigate Constitution.  What do you
think of that?" added he, with a light laugh.

"Which gained the victory, sir?" said I, almost afraid to make the

"One of the frigates," said he, without replying to my question,
"was thoroughly whipped in short order and in handsome style,
dismasted and sunk, with one half of her crew killed and wounded,
while the injury the other received was hardly worth mentioning.
Which do YOU think gained the day?"

"The American frigate, of course," said I.  "You are right, John,"
exclaimed Bohun with a laugh.  THE CONSTITUTION HAS SUNK THE
GUERRIERE.  Brother Jonathan is looking up.  He is a worthy
descendant of John Bull.  I find you understand the character of
your sailors better than I do."

After having imparted this interesting piece of intelligence, and
telling my shipmate and myself to remain by the boat until he
should return, which would be in a few minutes, he again walked
nimbly up the street, and was soon lost to sight.

As in duty bound we remained at the wharf in expectation of the
return of Bohun, but hour after hour passed and he did not return.
He was "enjoying life" among some boon companions, and over a
decanter of good wine, as he afterwards acknowledged, lost for a
time all recollection of the existence not only of the boat, but
also of the sloop.

When the company broke up about nine o'clock in the evening, he
came staggering down the wharf, rolled himself into the stern
seats of the boat, and ordered us to shove off and pull towards
the sloop.  We represented to him that the night was dark and
cloudy, and it would be next to an impossibility to find the sloop
in the broad bay at that hour; that the attempt would be attended
with risk, and consequently it would be wiser to wait until
morning before we left the quay.

Our remonstrances were of no avail.  He insisted on going off
immediately.   Nothing, he said, would induce him to wait until
morning; he knew exactly where to find the sloop, and could steer
the boat directly alongside.

It was useless to argue with him, and we dared not disobey his
orders.  The motto of Jack, like the submissive response of a
Mussulman to an Eastern caliph, is "To hear is to obey."  We left
the wharf and pulled briskly out of the harbor.  But no sloop was
to be seen.  We stopped for a moment to reconnoitre, but Bohun
told us to keep pulling; it was all right; we were going directly
towards her.  In a few minutes he dropped the tiller and sank down
in the bottom of the boat, where he lay coiled up like a hedgehog,
oblivious to all that was passing around him.

By this time we were broad off in the bay; the lights in the town
glimmered in the distance, the stars shone occasionally through
the broken clouds, the wind was light, and the sea comparatively
smooth.  On consultation with my shipmate, we came to the
conclusion it was hardly worth while to pull the boat about in
different directions on a bootless quest after the sloop.  We also
rejected the idea of returning to the town.  We laid in our oars,
composed ourselves as comfortably as we could beneath the thwarts,
and with clear consciences resigned ourselves to sleep.

We must have slept for hours when we were awakened by an
unpleasant and alarming noise.  It was some minutes before we
could recollect ourselves and ascertain the cause of the hubbub.
It proved to be the roaring of the wind, the pattering of the
rain, and the angry dash of the waves.  While we slept a severe
squall had been gradually concocted among the mountains, and now
burst upon us in all its fury.  How long the wind had been blowing
we did not know; but we did know we were some miles out to sea in
a cockle-shell of a boat, and rapidly drifting farther from the
land.  No lights could be seen in any quarter; but all around was
dark and drear.  We supposed that as a matter of course the wind
blew from the land, and therefore got out our oars and pulled dead
to windward, thus preventing further drift, and lessening our
danger by laying the boat head to the sea, which was now rapidly

The squall continued for an hour after we were conscious of its
existence; we were thoroughly drenched, but exercise kept us warm;
while Bohun still maintained his snug position beneath the stern
seats in a happy state of unconsciousness of the jarring of the
elements and the peril to which he was exposed.
The first streaks of dawn were hailed with delight, and at broad
daylight we beheld the sloop, which had been driven to leeward
during the night; and although eight or ten miles from the land,
she was not more than a couple of miles to windward of the boat,
and beating up towards the harbor.  We awakened Bohun, whose
garments were saturated by the shower, and who seemed greatly
amused with our account of the night's adventure.  The wind was
fortunately light, and by dint of hard rowing, we soon got near
enough to the Lapwing to make signals, and were recognized.  The
sloop then bore away and ran down, and we were truly rejoiced,
fatigued, wet, hungry as we were, to stand again upon the deck.

Proceeding along to leeward of Martinico and St. Lucia, we came to
St. Vincent, an island about twenty miles in length from north to
south, which was chiefly remarkable at that time as being the only
abiding place of the once numerous and warlike tribe of the
Caribs, who inhabited the Windward Islands when the American
continent was discovered, and were doomed, like all other tribes
of their race, to wilt and die beneath the sun of civilization.

The Caribs, although described by historians as fierce and
unpitying cannibals of the lowest grade of human organization,
undoubtedly possessed moral and intellectual faculties by no means
inferior to the great body of American Indians; but, like the
tribe of savages which inhabited the island of Hispaniola, and
other tribes on the continent, they observed the custom of
flattening their heads, which gave to their features an unnatural
and sinister expression, by no means calculated to gain the good
will and confidence of strangers.  The head was squeezed, soon
after birth, between two boards, applied before and behind, which
made the front and back part of the head resemble two sides of a
square.  This custom is still retained among the Caribs of St.

The flattening of the head among the natives of Hispaniola was
performed in a different manner, and produced a different effect.
The forehead only was depressed, almost annihilating the facial
angle, and swelling the back part of the head out of all
proportion.  The early Spanish settlers complained of this savage
custom, as subjecting them to much inconvenience.  In the course
of their HUMANE experiments, they ascertained that, owing to the
thickening of the back part of the cranium caused by this process,
the broadsword of the strongest cavalier could not cleave the
skull at a single blow, but would often snap off in the middle
without serious damage to the owner of the cranium!

When I passed along the shores of the island of St. Vincent, in
1810, I was particularly struck with the wild and uncultivated
appearance of the northern section,   a huge mountain, or
combination of mountains, rudely precipitous, covered with
luxuriant vegetation even to the summit, but containing deep
chasms or gorges, down which sparkling streams were rushing,
forming numerous waterfalls, and all constituting a wild,
picturesque, and attractive landscape.

When I passed St. Vincent in the Lapwing, in October, 1812, a
mighty change had taken place.  Every trace of vegetation had
vanished from this part of the island; not a tree or a shrub
remained.  The rivers were dried up, and even the deep and dark
chasms and gorges no longer existed.  Cinders and ashes covered
the mountain sides, and beds of lava were pouring down from the
summit, and hissing as they entered the ocean.  On the 30th of
April,   about one month after the terrible earthquake by which
the city of Caraccas, three hundred and sixty miles distant, was
destroyed, and twelve thousand of the inhabitants buried in the
ruins,   an eruption took place from an old crater on the summit
of this mountain in St. Vincent, at which for more than a century
had shown no symptom of life.  The eruption was sudden and over
whelming.  Stones and ashes were scattered over the island;
vessels more than a hundred miles to the eastward had their decks
covered with cinders, and the crews were terrified at the noises
which attended this fierce ebullition of the warring elements
beneath the earth's surface.  At St. Bartholomew, distant from St.
Vincent about three hundred miles, the explosions were distinctly
heard, and through the whole night were so continuous and loud as
to resemble a heavy cannonading from hostile fleets.  Indeed, it
was believed for several days that a desperate action between
English and French squadrons had been fought within the distance
of a few miles.  By this eruption the vegetation on the north part
of the island, comprising one third of the whole territory, was
destroyed, and the soil rendered sterile,   being covered to a
great depth with cinders and ashes.  All the lands in the
immediate vicinity were also rendered unfit for cultivation.  What
is remarkable, but few lives were lost.  The unfortunate Caribs,
however, who comprised about one hundred families, dwelt in this
ungenial and unproductive district, and were driven from their
homes to find elsewhere and nearer to the habitations of the
whites, some desolate spot, shunned by all others, where they
could again set up their household gods.

Proceeding past St. Vincent we came to the Grenadines, a cluster
of small islands and rocks lying between St. Vincent and Grenada;
two of which only, Bequia and Curriacou, are of any importance.
These two islands are fertile, and produce a considerable quantity
of cotton.  Others, although small, are cultivated; and the isle
of Rhoude, which lies within a few miles of Grenada, is in itself
a large cotton plantation.  One of these islets, or, more properly
speaking, isolated rocks, lying not far from the shores of
Grenada, and at a distance from the cluster is remarkable as
having been the scene of an event which tradition seems to have
carefully, if not faithfully, recorded.  In the obstinate wars
between France and Holland, in the middle of the eighteenth
century, a Dutch frigate, commanded by a burly and brave officer,
a genuine fire-eater, especially when he had his "schnapps" on
board, was cruising under the lee of Grenada, and fell in with a
large ship, to which the frigate gave chase.  The ship answered no
signals, but hoisted a white flag and fired a gun to windward, and
was thus recognized as a French frigate or heavy sloop-of-war.

Night was coming on, and the chase, with a pleasant breeze, stood
on a wind to the northward and eastward.  The valiant "mynheer,"
whose courage, by means of schnapps, had been screwed up to the
sticking point, made all sail after the enemy, and caused a double
portion of the stimulating article to be served out to his crew.
Under this invigorating influence he made a speech, in which he
promised a rich reward to all who would manfully assist in giving
the enemy a double dose of "donner and blitzen."  He further
promised that, to give his crew a good chance to distinguish
themselves, he would lay the ship alongside the enemy, and fight
the battle yard-arm and yard-arm.  The gallant crew gave three
hearty cheers, and swore to do their duty as became the countrymen
of Van Tromp.

Darkness soon came on.  The night was cloudy, and the wind was
moderate.  The chase was lost sight of, though it was believed the
Dutchman was losing with the enemy hand over hand.  The decks were
cleared for action, the deck lanterns lighted, the guns double-
shotted, and men with eyes of preternatural brilliancy stationed
on the lookout.

Hours passed in anxious expectation, and another allowance of
schnapps was served out to keep up the spirits of the crew; when,
to the great gratification of every man on board, a lookout on the
end of the flying jib-boom shouted, "Sail, ho!"  The chase was
soon distinctly visible, looming up, not like a speck, but like a
LARGE BLACK SPOT on the dark horizon.  A bloody battle was now
certain to take place, and mynheer, combining discretion with
valor, took in his light sails, and got his ship into a condition
to be easily handled..

The Frenchman was apparently lying to, waiting for his antagonist
to come up.  He did not have long to wait.  The Dutch frigate
luffed up on his weather quarter, ranged alongside within musket
shot, and poured in a tremendous broadside, then shooting ahead,
peppered the astonished enemy in a truly scientific manner.  The
frigate then wore short round athwart the Frenchman's bows,
sweeping his decks with another terrible broadside.  The Dutchman
kept up the combat with a degree of courage, energy, and spirit
that was a marvel to behold; sometimes lying athwart the enemy's
wake and raking the decks with terrible effect; sometimes crossing
the bows and sending the devastating iron shower the whole length
from stem to stern; and sometimes lying bravely alongside, as if
courting, as well as giving, hard knocks; and displaying, under
these critical circumstances, specimens of seamanship and
maneuvering which would have commanded the admiration of the great
DeRuyter himself.

But a combat fought with such desperation could not last forever.
One of the frigate's guns, being overcharged, burst, killing
several men and wounding others; and just as the first signs of
daybreak were seen in the east, the Dutchman hauled off to repair
damages and count his losses.  The enemy apparently had not lost a
spar, notwithstanding the terrible hammering he had received, but
continued doggedly lying to, preserving, to the great indignation
of his opponent, a most defiant attitude.

When daylight shone on the scene of battle, and the doughty
Dutchman, having repaired damages, was ready to renew the combat,
it suddenly became manifest to every man on board the frigate who
had the proper use of his eyes, that the French ship-of-war which
had so nobly sustained a tremendous cannonading through the night,
was neither more nor less than A HUGE ROCK, which, with its head
high above the surface, like the Sail-rock near the island of St.
Thomas, marvellously resembled a ship under sail.  The captain of
the frigate rubbed his eyes on beholding the unexpected vision, as
much astonished as the chivalrous Don Quixote, who, after an
unsuccessful contest with a squad of giants, found his enemies
transformed into windmills.  This rock was afterwards known as
rock Donner or Donnerock, and will stand forever an imperishable
monument commemorative of "Dutch courage."

The principal town in Grenada is St. George, which is situated on
a bay on the south-west side of the island, and is defended by
heavy fortifications.  On arriving at the mouth of the harbor in
the Lapwing, we fell in with a large brig-of-war, called the
Ringdove, and was boarded before we came to anchor in the bay.
When the boat from the brig was approaching, it was strange to see
the trepidation which seized every one of our crew.  Although all,
with the exception of myself, were in possession of genuine legal
documents that should have served as impregnable barriers against
impressment, yet they had witnessed so many facts showing the
utter disregard of human or divine laws on the part of the
commanders of British ships-of-war when in want of men, that they
awaited the result of the visit with fear and trembling.

A lieutenant came on board and conversed pleasantly with the
captain and supercargo.  The men were mustered and called aft to
the quarter-deck, and carefully scrutinized by the boarding
officer.  Our protections were examined, but being printed or
inscribed in the Swedish language, were not read.  Every thing
appeared according to rule.  The lieutenant looked hard at me as
John Lordick, and asked some questions of the captain, to which
the captain replied, "He is my brother," which seemed to settle
the matter.  The boat returned on board the Ringdove, and I, as
well as the others, rejoiced in having eluded impressment in a

The sloop was brought to anchor, and the cook and myself were
ordered into the boat for the purpose of setting the captain and
supercargo on shore.  We pulled around the principal fort, which
is situated on a point of land, and entered a beautiful land-
locked harbor, or careenage, where a number of vessels were lying
at the wharves.  The captain and supercargo landed on one of these
wharves, and the captain directed the cook to accompany him to the
market square for the purpose of procuring fresh provisions; I was
ordered to remain by the boat.

When the captain was gone, and I was left standing alone, my
thoughts again recurred to the subject of impressment, which had
so completely engrossed the minds of the crew that morning; and I
thought to myself, "Suppose some crafty, determined, unscrupulous
officer of the Ringdove, or some other British vessel, should be
at this very time on shore, lounging about the wharves, disguised
as an inoffensive citizen, but watching an opportunity to pounce
upon a poor unfortunate fellow, like myself, and bear him off in
triumph, to become a victim of the cat-o'-nine-tails at the
gangway, or food for gunpowder."  While I was shuddering at the
idea of such a climax to my adventures, I saw a man coming towards
me, whose countenance and demeanor aroused all my suspicions.  He
was a thick-set, swarthy individual, with enormous black whiskers
and sparkling black eyes.  He was dressed like a gentleman, but I
thought his garments hung loosely about him; indeed, his whole
appearance, in my eyes, was that of the leader of a press-gang or
the captain of a band of pirates.  He eyed me closely as he
advanced towards me with what I conceived to be a regular man-of-
war swagger.  Being driven to bay, I stood my ground firmly, and
confronted him.

"Do you belong to the sloop which is anchored in the bay, my lad?"
inquired he, with a mild voice and pleasant smile, affected, of
course, to conceal his real intentions.

"Yes," was my rather curt reply.

"What is the name of the sloop?"


"Where does the Lapwing belong?"

"To St. Bartholomew."

"Where are you from last?"

"St. Bartholomew."

"Hum!  What is the name of your captain?"

"James Lordick."

"Ah, James Lordick?" exclaimed he, with vivacity.  "Indeed" Then
addressing me abruptly, he inquired, "Where do YOU belong?"

"Now for it," thought I to myself; "the time has come when I must
plunge headforemost into the sea of falsehood; so here goes."  And
I answered boldly, "To Saba."

"To Saba?  Do you, indeed?" And he gazed at me with his piercing
eyes, as if he could read my very soul.  "To Saba.  You belong to
Saba?  What is your name?"

"John Lordick."

"Is it possible!" exclaimed my black-whiskered friend.  "Are you
REALLY John Lordick, the brother of James?  Good Lord!  Who would
have thought it!"

Thus strongly appealed to, I felt unable to reply except by an
affirmative nod.

"So you are John Lordick?  I heard you were dead.  How the world
is given to lying!  I should never have known you.  You have
changed amazingly since I left Saba six years ago, John."

As this remark did not necessarily require any reply, I made none.
I now began to suspect that I was mistaken in the estimate of the
character of my interrogator   that he was neither the captain of
a band of pirates nor the leader of a press-gang; and it being my
first essay at carrying out a system of falsehood, I was terribly
frightened at the dilemma in which I was involved.  I lost my
presence of mind, and instead of frankly avowing the truth, as
policy, as well as principle, would have dictated, I came to the
conclusion to stick by my story, and carry out the deception to
the end of the chapter.  But my mortification, my confusion, my
chagrin, at being subjected to this unforeseen cross-examination,
can hardly be conceived.  I envied the condition of the wretch
standing by the gallows with a noose around his neck.   After a
brief pause, my tormentor continued   "Do you recollect me?"

"No," said I, promptly; and glad of a chance to speak a little
truth, I added, "To the best of my knowledge, I never saw you
before in my life."

"Ha!  Ha!  Ha!"  My friend seemed greatly amused.  "Can it be that
I have changed so much within a few short years?  You knew me well
enough once, John, when I lived opposite your father's house.  I
am Lewis Brown."  And in a friendly, but somewhat patronizing
manner, he held out his hand.

"Indeed," said I, grasping his proffered hand, "Lewis Brown!  I
never should have recognized you."

"Yes," said Brown, "six years WILL make a change in one's
appearance.  I should never have recognized you as John Lordick.
How is your sister, Bertha, and all the rest of the folks?"

"Well, quite well."

"Whom did your sister marry?"

"She is not married yet," said I.

"Not married yet!  Why, she must be at least twenty years old.
When I left home, she was a beautiful girl   even then a belle.
Not married, and in Saba!  But she will be, soon, I suppose."

"Perhaps," said I.

"Ah!  Ah!  She is engaged, I see.  Who is the happy man?"

"Indeed, I don't know," I exclaimed, wishing the inquisitive
fellow at the bottom of the Red Sea, with a twenty-four pound shot
fastened to his feet.

"What has become of your cousin, Mark Haraden?  Is he as lively
and good-humored as ever?"

This Lewis Brown, delighted at having met with an old
acquaintance, seemed bent on getting all the information and
gossip about his old cronies, that chance had thrown in his way.
Fearing I might perpetrate some palpable absurdity in my fabulous
statements, as in the case of my "sister Bertha," I resolved to
kill off all his friends and relations in detail, without ceremony
or remorse.  And therefore I replied to the question about Mark
Haraden by saying,

"O!  Mark was capsized by a squall while going in a boat from St.
Martin to St. Bartholomew with a load of sugar, and all hands were

"Poor fellow!  Poor fellow!  I am sorry to hear this; but life's
uncertain.  Where is Nicholas Ven Vert now?"

"Nicholas Van Vert?  He happened to be at St. Kitts last year when
the yellow fever broke out there, and was attacked with it the day
after he reached home, and lived only three days."

"Indeed!  Indeed!  Well, we should all be prepared for whatever
may happen!  How is old Captain Wagner   as hale and hearty as

"The old man slipped and fell over a precipice on the north side
of the island a few weeks ago, and broke his neck."

"Good Lord!  What a terrible mortality among my best friends in
Saba!  I am almost afraid to inquire after my old flame, Julia
Hoffner.  What has become of her?"

While I was considering in what way I should dispose of the fair
and interesting Julia, a grinning darkey, who had approached the
wharf in great haste, shouted, "Captain Brown, massa mate wants
you on board, right off, directly"

I felt grateful to the dark-complexioned youth for the seasonable
interruption, and secretly resolved that if it should ever be in
my power to do him a good turn, I would do it.  Unfortunately for
him, I never saw him more.

Captain Brown seemed annoyed at the summons, and turning to me,
said, "I suppose I must go, John, but I'll be back in a minute.
It's a real treat to talk to a Saba man.  But you have told me
some sad news   don't go away."  And the inquisitive gentleman
walked off, looking as sad and forlorn as if he had really "lost
all his friends," and leaving me half dead with terror lest my
falsehoods should be detected, and perspiring with remorse at
having made such a rectangular deviation from the strict line of

I breathed more freely.  I had obtained a respite from my
sufferings.  I cast a searching look up the street, to see if the
captain or the cook was coming, and on finding no signs of aid
from that quarter, I fairly turned my back upon the boat, and ran
off to some distance, where, concealed behind an old building, I
could, by peering round a corner, note every transaction which
took place on the wharf.

A few minutes only elapsed when the inquisitive Captain Lewis
Brown returned with hurried steps to the spot where our conference
was held.  He seemed disappointed, and, I thought, somewhat hurt
at not finding his old acquaintance, John Lordick.  He looked
around inquiringly in every direction, but apparently convinced
that I had absconded, again walked away, but this time slowly, as
if pondering on the startling information I had given him.  Soon
afterwards the cook came down loaded with fresh provisions.  He
brought orders from the captain to go on board immediately, and
return for him at twelve o'clock.

At the hour appointed, the boat, with myself pulling the bow oar,
approached the wharf, where, to my confusion, I found Captain
Lordick in close conversation with my big-whiskered friend, Lewis
Brown.  That gentleman gave me an angry look, but said not a word.
It was clear that Captain Lordick had betrayed the secret of my
citizenship, and had given him information in regard to his old
friends and gossips, which differed materially from my
extemporaneous effusions; so that so far from being rejoiced, as a
reasonable man would have been, at finding his friends alive and
well, he seemed greatly provoked, and eyed me with the ferocity of
a cannibal on learning that they had not shuffled off this mortal
coil in the manner I had so feelingly described.

This gentleman proved to be the captain of a three-masted
schooner, which traded between Cumana and the Islands, bringing
over cargoes of mules.  He had resided in Saba in early life and
bore the reputation of a worthy and respectable man.  I saw him
several times after our memorable interview; but he always
regarded me with a grim look, as if he owed me a heavy grudge, and
would rejoice in an opportunity to pay it off.

Chapter XXVII

In the afternoon the sloop was hauled into the inner harbor, and
on the following day we commenced discharging cargo.  I took an
early opportunity to hold some conversation with Captain Lordick
on the subject of my change of name.  The Lesson I had received in
my agonizing interview with Captain Brown made a deep impression
on my mind, and doubtless had an effect in shaping my character in
future life.

I expressed my gratitude to Captain Lordick for the interest he
took in my welfare, but frankly told him I could no longer sail
under false colors; that falsehood, in any shape, was alien to my
character; that I was determined to fall back on the name to which
I was rightfully entitled, a very good and quiet name in itself,
and acknowledge myself in all times and places a native citizen of
the United States.  If I should be involved in trouble by this
straightforward and honest mode of proceeding, impressed on board
a man-of-war, or detained as a prisoner, in my tribulations I
should be able to bear a bold front and enjoy the glorious
consciousness of telling the truth and being no imposter.

The captain stared.  Although a worthy and upright man, he could
hardly appreciate the line of conduct I had determined to adopt.
He urged that if I remained in those seas, and avowed myself an
American without evidence of the fact, I should beyond all doubt
be impressed, and under such circumstances I should not only be
justified by the strictest code of morality in eluding the grasp
of the kidnappers by changing my name, but be a great fool for
rejecting such a simple and harmless means of safety.
Nevertheless, I remained firm in my determination.

In a few days the cargo was discharged, and I learned that the
sloop was about to proceed on a trip to Barbadoes, and that Mr.
Thomas, the owner, intended to go in the sloop as a passenger and
take charge of the business.  I had seen Mr. Thomas, who was a
fine-looking, portly gentleman, when he visited the sloop; but he
had never spoken to me, and I had no longer any communication with
Mr. Bohun.  Not a syllable had been lisped in relation to further
compensation for my services in St. Bartholomew, which, I
supposed, had been undervalued or forgotten, as a matter of
course.  But in this supposition I was unjust; for, on the day on
which it was expected the Lapwing would sail, Bohun came on board,
and, referring to my conduct during the hurricane, said he felt
uneasy in regard to my situation in the sloop, especially as the
Lapwing was bound to a port which was much frequented by English
men-of-war.  He suggested that some business on shore would be
preferable to a voyage to the Island of Barbadoes.

I heartily assented to this view of the subject, but added, that
having neither money, clothing, nor friends, I felt rejoiced at
procuring employment of any kind; but if I could obtain the means
of living in the island until I could meet a favorable opportunity
to return to my native country, this would be altogether more
desirable than to be compelled to serve on board a man-of-war.

"Well," said Bohun, "I will represent your case to Mr. Thomas, and
perhaps he will be able to make some satisfactory arrangement."

In two hours afterwards the Lapwing was ready for sea, being
confined to the wharf by a single fast, when Mr. Thomas came on
board accompanied by Bohun.  Mr. Thomas, with a dignified and
patronizing air, said, "Young man, Mr. Bohun has just informed me
that you rendered valuable aid in saving my vessel from shipwreck
in St. Bartholomew.  It is a service that I cannot forget; and I
shall be happy to bestow upon you a suitable recompense.  In the
mean time you had better go ashore.  Mr. Bohun will take care of
you, provide for your wants, and endeavor to procure you a proper

I accordingly went below, gathered together all my worldly
effects, which were confined within a very small pocket
handkerchief, took an affectionate farewell of my worthy friend
and QUONDAM brother, Captain Lordick, and my Saba countrymen, and,
lightly clad and barefooted, cheerfully stepped on shore, somewhat
amused at the sudden change in my destiny, and wondering what new
figure would be presented by the next shake of fortune's

Bohun said that the first step should be to find a cheap and
comfortable boarding house, where I could remain for a few days;
that a widow woman kept a house of that description, he believed,
not far from the wharves.  He pointed out the place, and suggested
that I should call upon her immediately, make use of his name, and
ascertain her price for board, and afterwards proceed to the
counting room of Mr. Thomas, in a different part of the town,
where we would confer together further.

The boarding house to which Bohun directed my attention was an
ordinary-looking abode; but I cared little for its character,
provided the price would suit.  It was kept by a round-faced,
jolly-looking, middle-aged woman, whose complexion bore
unmistakable evidence of her African extraction.  I told my
errand.  She threw a suspicious glance upon my person and on the
diminutive bundle I held in my hand, and the result was

Putting her arms akimbo, and assuming a stately manner, which
appeared to be far from natural, she told me she had no spare room
for boarders   her house was already full.

"Very well," said I, "I must then apply elsewhere.  Mr. Bohun said
he thought you would accommodate me, and he would be responsible
for the pay."

"Mr. Bohun!  O, that's another thing.  I can always find room for
a friend of Mr Bohun;" and the whole broad expanse of her face was
brightened by a smile.

On inquiry I found that the price for board was two dollars and a
half a day!  I was startled at this announcement.  The amount
struck me as exorbitant when compared with the accommodations.  I
had a secret misgiving that the good woman had not scrupled in
this case to add at least a hundred and fifty per centum to her
customary charges.  I told her I would consult Mr. Bohun, and be
guided by his advice.

I lost no time in proceeding to Mr. Thomas's counting room.  I
communicated to Bohun the result of my inquiries, expressing an
opinion that the price for board was exorbitantly high.  To my
astonishment he seemed well satisfied, pronouncing it reasonable
enough.  Being unaccustomed to the usages of the place, I supposed
it must be all right, and made no further objections.

Bohun took me to a clothing shop, and rigged me out from head to
foot in a suit of decent garments   a luxury to which I had for
some time been a stranger.  He also bought me an extra supply of
clothing, and a variety of other articles which he assured me I
should need.

I was amazed at his liberality; but knowing Mr. Thomas was a rich
man, I presumed that Bohun, by ministering to my wants in a manner
not altogether offensive to my pride, was seeking to cancel
obligations on the part of his employer, and perhaps at the same
time was obeying the dictates of a benevolent heart, by rendering
important assistance to a stranger in adversity.

Week after week passed away.  I saw Bohun from time to time, but
he could not procure me a desirable situation.  In the mean time
the expenses for my board seemed to me a serious matter.  My pride
took the alarm, and I could not rest easy under the idea that I
was all the while living like a price at the expense of Mr.
Thomas.  When I mentioned this to Bohun, he told me to keep quiet
and give myself no anxiety; that my expenses, which I regarded as
so heavy, were in reality trifling, and Mr. Thomas would never
miss the amount.

A few days after this conversation, Bohun called at my lodgings,
and seemed quite excited.  "Hawser," said he, "I have pleasant
news to communicate.  I have been so fortunate as to secure you an
excellent situation on a plantation in the north part of the
island.  Mr. Church, the attorney for the Pearl estates, was in
town yesterday, and on my recommendation has consented to take you
to fill a vacancy, in preference to several young men who are
applicants for the place."

"I should much prefer a situation as clerk on a wharf or in a
counting room," said I.

"O," replied Bohun, "this chance with Mr. Church is far better
than a simple clerkship with a trader; the duties are not so
arduous, and it will give you a better opportunity to rise in the
world; besides, Mr. Church is an excellent man, a whole-souled
Irishman, who has been in the army, and has great influence in the
island.  He will send a mule and a guide over the mountains
tomorrow; so you must prepare for the journey on the following

"Very well," said I, hardly knowing whether to be pleased or
dissatisfied with this arrangement, which I decided, however, to
accept, with a mental determination, if I found my situation
objectionable, to abandon it at once, and if I could do no better,
try my fortunes again on the ocean.  In the mean time, I should
see a new and perhaps interesting phase in life.

"The Upper Pearl estate, where you will reside," continued Bohun,
"is one of the healthiest estates on the island.  On some of the
sugar plantations, 'fever and ague' prevails at certain seasons of
the year, but is unknown on the Pearl estates.  Your situation
will be a pleasant one in every respect."

I shuddered at the idea of fever and ague, with the name of which
disease the most pleasant associations were not connected, and
congratulated myself on the fact that the Pearl estates were
exempted from this and almost every other evil in the shape of
sickness.  The next day I completed my preparations for a journey
across the mountains to the opposite side of the island.
Agreeably to a suggestion from Bohun, I procured from my
accommodating landlady her bill for my board and lodging; to this
she added another item for washing, swelling the amount to the
very respectable sum of sixty-six dollars.

I handed the bill to Bohun with an innocent and confiding look.
He cast his eye over it, and started back aghast.  "What is all
this?" said he.  "What does it mean?  Why, the woman is crazy."

"It is right, sir," I replied.  "Twenty-five days at two dollars
and a half a day come to sixty-two dollars and a half; and the
washing, at one dollar a week,   she says she cannot do it for
less,   makes a sum total of sixty-six dollars.  It is the amount
agreed on, although you recollect I expressed an opinion more than
once that the price for board was extravagantly high."

"Two dollars and a half a DAY!" shouted he.  "Why, I understood
the price to be two dollars and a half a WEEK, and supposed that
half a doubloon would pay the whole debt."

He seemed quite indignant at "the imposition," and indulged in
severe remarks on the character of the woman with whom I boarded.
He threatened to give her a regular reprimanding, and swore he
would cut down her bill to less than one third of the amount.

On the following morning, at about seven o'clock, I again went to
the counting room, and found opposite the entrance a mule already
bridled and saddled, with a negro guide to show me the way, over
the mountains by the Grand Etang route, to the Upper Pearl estate.
I took leave of Bohun, who wrung my hand affectionately at
parting, and taking the direction indicated by my guide, entered
on my journey.

The road was rough and muddy,   for there had been heavy rains,
the mule was lazy, and I was unaccustomed to this kind of
travelling; besides, I found much on the route to excite my
attention; much which was novel and highly interesting.  My
progress was consequently slow.  The road passed among the sugar
plantations, which were confined to the comparatively low lands
near the sea shore; then ascending towards the mountains, winded
through coffee and cacao estates, the successful cultivation of
which articles of commerce requires a cooler and moister region
than the sugar-cane.

During this journey, I often stopped my mule on the summit of a
commanding height, and gazed admiringly around on the beautiful
and extensive prospect.  The well-cultivated plantations, each
appearing like a village in itself, scattered among the many
hills and valleys and intervals even to the very sea coast; the
sea beyond, which at that distance seemed as smooth and polished
as a mirror, encasing the island in a frame of silver; the
luxuriant tropical foliage, whose beauty I had often heard
described; the cocoanut, orange, tamarind, and guava trees, loaded
with fruit, with plantains, bananas, pineapples, aloes and
cactuses on every side, all filled my heart with wonder and

Taking the road leading over the mountains, which is impassable
for carriages, I passed through vast tracks of forest, where the
lofty trees were covered with stout vines reaching to the tree
tops, rendering it difficult for man to penetrate those sylvan
recesses.  Near the highest part of this mountain road, at a
height of several thousand feet above the sea, is situated a
romantic lake, called by the French the Grand Etang, or Great
Lake, which fills the crater of an extinct volcano.  Near this
spot, where the atmosphere is always cool and humid, we were
suddenly enveloped in a cloud, and soon experienced the peltings
of a tropical shower.  I received conclusive evidence that my
garments were not water-proof before we could find shelter in a
negro hut by the wayside.

After passing the Grand Etang, we began to descend the mountains
on our way towards the north side of the island.  The sun again
shone brightly, and again a beautiful and expanded prospect met my
view.  To the eastward was the little town of Greenville, situated
at the head of a beautiful bay, in which several ships and quite a
number of small vessels were riding at anchor.  Far to the north
was seen the high and rugged island of St. Vincent, rising like a
blue and jagged cloud out of the sea; and between that island and
the shores of Grenada, a birdseye view could be obtained of the
little islands and rocks, some cultivated and some barren, known
as the Grenadines.  Among the plantations which appeared afar off,
nearest the sea coast, my guide pointed out the Pearl estates,
which, he said, with a degree of pride that caused me some
astonishment, produced more sugar than any two estates in that
part of the island.

In the course of the route, I asked a thousand questions of my
guide, who was an intelligent slave belonging to the Upper Pearl
estate, and seemed delighted with an opportunity to display his
knowledge.  He gave me much information, which I subsequently
found to be correct, in relation to the mode of managing estates
in the West Indies, and conducting the economy of those
establishments, each of which, although of course subjected to the
general laws of the colony, was in those days a community of
itself, under the government of an absolute despotism, the best
government in the world provided "the head man" possesses the
attributes of goodness, wisdom, and firmness, and is exempt from
the imperfections which seem inseparably attached to human nature.
But when a despot can boast of none of those attributes, woe to
the people who are obliged to submit to his oppressions and obey
his behests!

The island of Grenada, as is indeed the case with most of the
Windward Islands, is well watered by rivers running from the
mountains.  Some of the streams are of considerable size, and are
never dry in seasons of the greatest drought.  The water,
conducted by canals from these rivers, constituted the chief
motive power for the machinery on the sugar estates, although in a
few cases windmills were used for that purpose.  The estates
comprised each an area of some two to five hundred acres, a
considerable portion of which was planted with the cane.  The
remainder was improved as sites for the various buildings, gardens
for the slaves, fields of corn and "guinea grass," and other
purposes.  The "sugar works" were placed as near the centre of the
estate as convenience would admit.  The manager's house, which was
a large, inconvenient, one-story building, with numerous out-
houses, was generally situated on an elevated spot of land in the
vicinity.  Another house of smaller size was occupied by the

At no great distance from the "sugar works," and sometimes in
close proximity, was a collection of huts, thirty or forty in
number, cheaply constructed, with thatched roofs, and huddled
together without any regard to order, or even convenience.  These
were known as "negro houses," the dwellings of the slaves, where,
when their daily tasks were ended, they could rest from their
labors, and enjoy, without restraint, the few comforts which shed
a gleam of sunshine over their condition.

In their houses and families, the slaves made their own
regulations.  Their enjoyments consisted chiefly in social
gatherings and gossip.  The women derived gratification from showy
dresses and decorations, and sometimes displayed their barbarian
tendencies by indulging a love for scandal and mischief-making.
They seemed constitutionally gay and cheerful, as was seen by
their merry jokes and songs; and a loud, ringing, contagious,
African laugh, in the jocund chorus of which many joined, was
elicited on very slight provocation.

In their habitations the slaves were greatly influenced, and
sometimes controlled, by one or more intelligent individuals, who
held superior positions, as is often the case in other
communities.  The most important person among them was the "head
field-driver," who held that position on account of his superior
intelligence and fidelity.  The "head boiler" was also a man of
consequence among them, also the head carpenter, cooper, and mule-
driver.  These and others filled situations of responsibility,
which required more than ordinary capacity.  Of these trusts they
were proud.

The manager or overseer on a plantation seldom interfered in the
domestic arrangements of the slaves.  Their religious and moral
instruction was neglected.  The marriage tie was not regarded as
an indissoluble knot, but as a slender thread, to be broken by
either party at will.  It is therefore not remarkable that the
habits and conduct of these children of bondage were not of the
most exemplary character.  Each family, who wished it, had a small
lot of ground set apart as a garden in some district bordering
upon the mountains, where those who were frugal and industrious
cultivated yams, cassava, plantains, and other varieties of
vegetables or fruit, which were sold to managers of estates, or
carried to the nearest town on a Sunday and sold in the market
place.  In this way some of the most thrifty could supply all
reasonable wants, and even indulge in luxuries, which made them
the envy of their neighbors; for even in the lowly negro houses of
those plantations, as in every other assemblage of human beings,
without regard to CASTE or color, were exhibited all the passions,
virtues, and weaknesses incident to human nature.

Sunday in the island was generally regarded as a holiday.  The
slaves on the plantations on that day passed hours in cultivating
their gardens, as well as in disposing of their produce and
attending to their other concerns.  The planters visited each
other on the Sabbath, gave dinner parties, made excursions to the
neighboring towns to supply their wants at the stores, attended
militia musters and shooting matches, indulged in games of quoits
and other sports.  But religious services and religious
instruction were almost entirely unknown.  Young men often came to
the island who were educated in the strictest Presbyterian faith;
lineal descendants of the old Scottish Covenanters; they were
scandalized at the little attention given to religious duties and
the habitual and open violation of the Sabbath.  A few months,
however, of familiarity with the customs of the island produced a
striking change in their ideas and acts; and their consciences,
which were troublesome at first, were soon in a state of

A small amount of salted provisions, ling, stock fish, or salt
fish was served out every week to the slaves on the plantations as
a relish for their vegetables; and a limited, indeed scanty,
supply of coarse clothing was annually distributed among them.
For other articles of food and clothing, the slaves were compelled
to rely on their own industry and management, excepting in "crop
time," when the sugar works were in operation, and every person
was allowed an unlimited amount of sirup, which is highly
nutritious and wholesome.

On every plantation might be found some wretched-looking,
thriftless, or lazy negroes, of the vagabond order.  These
miserable beings formed the lowest caste, and were despised and
often persecuted by those of their fellow-slaves who were orderly
and industrious, and cherished habits of self-respect.  These were
the "pariahs" of the plantation, constituting a class of runaways,
who, to avoid work or punishment, or the gibes and jeers of their
more RESPECTABLE companions, took refuge in the mountains, and in
some of the islands became formidable by their numbers and
ferocity.  In Dominico, at one period, these run-away negroes,
MAROONS, as they were called, amounted to more than a thousand.
They were organized and armed, and subsisted by committing
depredations and levying contributions on the plantations.  They
were subdued only after a desperate and protracted struggle.

The owners of plantations in the English West India Islands, as I
have already intimated, usually resided at "home," in "Merry
England," or the "Land of cakes;" and if they realized a handsome
yearly profit from their estates, seldom interested themselves in
the condition or welfare of the slaves.  Their agents in the
islands were called ATTORNEYS, and were vested with almost
unlimited power in the management of the property.  The trust was
an important one, and the labors of an attorney were well
compensated, which made the situation desirable.  It was sometimes
the case that a person who bore a high character for shrewdness
and efficiency acted as attorney for several estates.  This gave
him great power and influence, moral and political, in the island.

The ATTORNEY, holding a grade higher than that of MANAGER, kept a
separate establishment, and lived in a loftier style.  He often
resided in a pleasant and healthy location, some miles, perhaps,
distant from the estate whose interest he was appointed to look
after, and revelled in tropical luxury and aristocratic grandeur.
The details of operations on the plantations were left to the
manager, who was appointed by the attorney; and this situation
being one of great importance, the manager being intrusted with
the management of the slaves and the cultivation of the estate,
required an incumbent of superior administrative abilities and
large experience.

The manager had generally two assistants to aid him in his arduous
task, and direct the operations on the plantation.  During half
the year, while the canes were planted and growing, these
assistants superintended the agricultural labors and attended to
various other matters, and in "crop time," in addition to their
usual duties, one had charge of the distillery and the other
looked after the manufacture of sugar.

These assistants were called BOOKKEEPERS or OVERSEERS.  They were
principally young men, of good characters, steady habits, and well
educated, who had left their homes in Scotland to seek their
fortunes in the West Indies.  Those who were not swept off by
malignant diseases incident to tropical climates, and who
continued correct in their conduct   which was not always the case
  after a few years would be promoted to the situation of manager;
and perhaps in time, if they evinced sufficient capacity, would
reach the highest object of their ambition and become an attorney.
It will be recollected that the poet Burns passed a whole day in
taking leave of his "Highland Mary," when he had made his
arrangements for going to the West Indies and obtaining a
situation as overseer on a sugar plantation.  Very few cases ever
came to my knowledge where a creole,   a white person born and
"brought up" in the West Indies,   was engaged on an estate in any
capacity.  The creoles were reputed lazy, loose in their morals,
ignorant and unfaithful agents.  They were seldom employed, unless
on a plantation which was notoriously unhealthy; where no man,
unless he was born in the torrid zone, could expect to resist
successfully the poisonous effects of the miasma.

From what I have said it will be inferred that the manager of a
plantation possessed great power, and that the treatment of the
slaves was regulated in a great measure by the promptings of his
head and heart.  A manager with a clear understanding, equable
temper, and elevated principles, could reconcile his duty to the
proprietor with justice and even kindness towards the slaves.  So
far from treating them with cruelty or even severity, he allowed
them every reasonable indulgence, and while he exacted the full
quota of labor, looked after their condition, and made them as
comfortable and contented as can be expected in a state of
bondage.  Such managers were seen in Grenada, and where they
ruled, the estates were prosperous, and the slaves cheerful and

Some managers, however, were of a different character, and,
instigated by whim, liquor, an evil temper, hatred to the African
race, or a desire to get an impossible amount of work, acted the
part of tyrants and oppressors, and made the slaves feel that they
were trodden beneath the foot of a master.

But policy, a regard for the interest of the owner of the estate,
generally prevented the infliction of ill treatment and privations
which bore severely on the slaves; and public opinion, as well as
the laws of the colony, restrained the manager from the commission
of extraordinary acts of cruelty.  In the British island of
Tortola, only a few years before my sojourn in Grenada, the
manager of a plantation was arrested for causing the death of a
slave by inhuman punishment.  He was tried, convicted of murder,
and hanged.  The penalty exacted met the sanction of public
opinion.  A full report of the trial was published in a pamphlet
form and circulated among the islands, and was doubtless the means
of preventing similar acts of monstrous cruelty.

Chapter XXVIII

Owing to the many delays on my route across the mountains, it was
twilight when I reached an ordinary looking house, situated on an
elevated piece of land surrounded on every side by fields of sugar
cane.  The lands in the vicinity appeared low, and there were
indications of swamps at no great distance.  About a mile off, in
a northerly direction, was the broad ocean.  A mule, saddled and
bridled, stood at the door.  My guide told me, with an air of
triumph, that this was the Upper Pearl estate.

As I alighted from my mule, a tall man, with a sad countenance,
thin and pallid cheeks, and a tottering frame, came out of the
house leaning upon the arm of another person.  This sickly-looking
gentleman, who proved to be the manager, welcomed me to the
plantation, and expressed satisfaction at my arrival.  He was on
the point of leaving the estate for a few days, he said, on a
visit to a friend near the mountains.  In the mean time Mr.
Murray, the gentleman by whom he was supported, was to look after
the plantation and attend to my comforts.  This spectral-looking
object then, with difficulty, mounted his mule, and accompanied by
an able-bodied negro on foot, slowly rode away from the estate.

Mr. Murray received me with cordiality, and tendered me the
hospitalities of the mansion.  He was a man of pleasing address
and more than ordinary intelligence.  I afterwards learned that he
was the secretary of Mr. Church, the attorney for the Pearl
estates.  After some little conversation, he abruptly asked me
what quarter of the world I came from.

"I am an American," was my not very definite reply.

"O," he remarked, with a significant wink, which was evidently
intended as a good-natured hint, "you are from Canada, or Nova
Scotia, I suppose."

"No, sir," said I, emphatically, determined that my position
should be distinctly understood, "I was born in the town of
Tyngsboro, in the state of Massachusetts, and am a citizen of the
United States."

Having a vague suspicion that the Pearl estate was not the
paradise described by Bohun, I inquired why the manager had left
the estate so abruptly.

"Because he is attacked with fever, and would not live forty-eight
hours if he remained here."

I was shocked at this announcement, and pursued my inquiries.  "Is
fever a common occurrence on this plantation, or is this sickness
of the manager an extraordinary case?"

"Common enough, in all conscience," replied Murray, with a laugh.
"Mr. Orr is the second manager who has been driven off by sickness
within the last six months.  Two overseers have died within a
year, one after the other, and until Mr. Church met with YOU, no
one could be found to take the place, which has been vacant
several weeks."

This was interesting intelligence, but I continued my inquiries.
"If the estate is so unhealthy as you represent, why are YOU
willing to remain here?"

"O, my stay here will be only a few days, or weeks, at most.
Besides, I am well seasoned, having resided ten years in the
island; and I make it a rule to keep my system well fortified
against fever by the liberal use of generous liquors; and if you
hope to LIVE here, you will do well to follow my example."

"Mr. Bohun told me that the upper Pearl estate was one of the
healthiest on the island.  How could he have been so grossly

"Deceived?  Not he; all humbug."

"But he surely does not know the estate is so unhealthy?"

"Not know it?  Bohun not know it?  Certainly he does.  Every body
knows it.  Every estate has its reputation, and the reputation of
the Pearl estates, both of them, is NOTORIOUSLY BAD.  No man,
unless his courage or his fortune is desperate, will take a
situation on either of these plantations."

I was astonished, dumbfounded at this intelligence, which
effectually silenced further inquiries.  After a short pause,
Murray proceeded: "The fact is, Mr. Church told me all about the
matter yesterday afternoon.  Bohun found it difficult to procure
you such a situation as you wanted, and was anxious to get you off
his hands.  Meeting Mr. Church in town, he asked him to take you.
Mr. Church objected, telling him it would be a pity to place you
on the Pearl plantation, where you might drop off in less than six
weeks.  But Bohun urged the matter; requested it as a personal
favor; and they being countrymen, you know   and so   and so   you
see your business was done, and here you are."

I undoubtedly looked grave at the interesting information thus
frankly given; and Murray, remarking it, continued, in a
consolatory tone: "Never mind, my good fellow; keep up your
spirits.  I thought it best to tell you the worst at once, and let
you know what you have to expect.  You will have to go through a
regular seasoning; and if you can stand that on the Pearl estate,
you may take your degree of M.D. as Doctor of Malaria, and bid
defiance to yellow fever forever after!"

I was not ambitious of such a distinction, and would gladly have
declined it, were it possible; but, on calmly surveying my
position, there appeared no alternative.  Relying on the
correctness of Bohun's suggestions and the disinterestedness of
his counsels, I had taken a step which could not, for a time at
least, be retraced.  I therefore determined to go forward and make
the best of it; look on the bright side of my situation, if it had
any bright side, faithfully perform the duties of my office, and
trust to my constitution and regular habits, in spite of the
counsels of Murray, for the rest.

I felt hurt at the conduct of Bohun, which from Murray's version
was not such as I was prepared to expect, notwithstanding my
experience in the dark side of human nature.  I still hoped that
Murray's statements might be exaggerated, and that Bohun was
actuated in his conduct towards me by feelings of grateful

On the following day Mr. Church visited the estate.  He was a
middle-aged man, had held a captain's commission in one of those
British West India regiments which, after having been reduced to
mere skeletons by battles with the French and yellow fever, were
unjustly and inhumanly disbanded, at a long distance from "home,"
leaving the brave men, who were thus rewarded for their services,
to return to their native country as they could, or struggle for a
precarious existence in a tropical climate.

Mr. Church chose to remain in the island and engage in the
planting business.  Possessing energy of character and rectitude
of principle, and having influential connections, he became in a
few years the attorney for the Pearl estates, married the daughter
of a Scotch planter, and resided very pleasantly and happily at a
beautiful seat called Bel-Air, situated a few miles from the Upper
Pearl.  He entered into conversation with me, instructed me in my
duties, regretted the absence of the manager, which might
unpleasantly affect my comforts, and gave me some precautionary
hints in relation to my health.  I felt somewhat reassured by my
conversation with that gentleman, and erroneously believing it
would be in my power to leave the island if I should think proper,
at no distant period, indulged in no unavailing regrets, but
philosophically resolved to make myself as comfortable as
circumstances would allow.

The treatment I met with among the planters, during my whole
residence in the island, was that of unvarying kindness; many of
them were well educated and cultivated a literary taste; had well-
furnished libraries, which were not kept for show; and the history
and writings of Ramsay, Ferguson, Burns, Beattie, Robertson,
Blair, and other distinguished Scottish authors, were as familiar
with some of the planters in Grenada "as household words."  The
early novels of the "Wizard of the North" were then exciting much
interest, which was shared by the inhabitants of the English West
India Islands.

The mildness of the climate seemed to have a tendency to melt away
that frigidity which is a characteristic of people of the north,
and the residents of the island were as frank, free, and
hospitable as if they had never been out of the tropics.  I soon
formed many pleasant acquaintances and acquired many friends.  And
this, with the aid of books in abundance, enabled me to pass my
leisure hours agreeably.  Notwithstanding the heat of the climate,
and the prevalence of the erroneous idea that violent physical
exercise in the tropics is injurious to the health of strangers, I
indulged often in recreations of a kind which excited the surprise
and called forth the remonstrances of my friends.

From my earliest recollection, I was a devoted disciple of good
old Izaak Walton, and the rivers on the north side of the island,
rushing down from the mountains, with deep pools, and rocky
channels, and whirling eddies, being well stocked with finny
inhabitants, furnished me with fine opportunities to indulge in
the exciting sport of angling.  My efforts were chiefly confined
to the capture of the "mullet," a fish resembling the brook trout
in New England in size and habits, although not in appearance.  It
is taken with the artificial fly or live grasshopper for bait; and
to capture it, as much skill, perseverance, and athletic motion is
required as to capture trout in the mountain gorges of New

I also occasionally indulged my taste for rambling in the
mountains.  In these excursions, which, although exceedingly
interesting, were solitary,   for I never could persuade anyone to
accompany me,   I always took a gun, making the ostensible object
of my rambles the shooting of RAMEES   birds of the pigeon
species, of beautiful plumage, nearly as large as a barnyard fowl,
and of delicate flavor.  These birds inhabited the deepest
recesses of the woods, and, although seldom molested, were
exceedingly shy.

Few animals are found in the forests and mountains of Grenada.
The agouti, the armadillo, and the opossum, are sometimes, though
rarely, seen.  The only quadruped I ever met with in my rambles
was an opossum, which I shot as it was climbing a tree.  Of
reptiles there are none in the mountains.  There are several kinds
of snakes in the island, some of which have never been described
by naturalists.  The species which is most common is a black snake
(constrictor) of large size, being frequently eight or ten feet in
length, and three or four inches in diameter.  These snakes are
treated not only with forbearance but kindness by the planters,
and in return render important service on the sugar plantations,
being most persevering and successful RAT CATCHERS; rats are
abundant, and exceedingly destructive to the sugar cane, on which
they subsist during a considerable portion of the year.  None of
the serpents in Grenada are poisonous, but in some of the islands,
particularly St. Lucia, there exists a snake which resembles the
rattlesnake in the ferocity of its attacks and the deadly venom of
its bite.  Having no rattles, no warning of danger is given to the
unwary traveller until the snake darts from its ambush and
inflicts a fatal wound; hence the name given to this dangerous
reptile is the LANCE DE FER.

In penetrating those mountain gorges, and climbing those mountain
ridges, steep and thickly covered with forest trees and vines of
many kinds, and of luxuriant growth, I sometimes passed hours
without meeting any sign of life, except the flitting and hum of
the humming-bird, and the loud and musical coo of the ramee.  That
mountain wilderness seemed the chosen home of the humming-bird.  I
there met with many varieties, some of which were exceedingly
beautiful.  My appearance in those forests caused them much
surprise, and to gratify their curiosity they sometimes flew
towards me, and hovered within a few feet of my face, as if eager
to examine my appearance and learn what object led me to intrude
on their mountain haunts.

There were, however, other and less interesting inhabitants in
that region, as I one day discovered to my great consternation.  I
was passing up the bed of a small stream, where the water, by
attrition during many ages, had worn a chasm or "flume" through
the solid basaltic rock, the walls of which rose at least a
hundred feet nearly perpendicularly, when I found an obstacle to
my further progress in the shape of some large rocks, which had
fallen from above and blocked the passage.  I was unable to scale
the CHEVAUX-DE-FRISE; but the whole body of water poured through
an aperture three or four feet above the bed of the stream; and
although it looked dark and dreary within, instead of retracing my
steps to find another route through the woods to the spot I wished
to reach, I determined to force my way into the gloomy cavern,
with the expectation of being able to emerge on the opposite side.

I listened for a moment at the mouth of the aperture, but heard
only the murmuring of the stream as it swept along through the
uneven channel.  I then thrust in my head, when I heard a rushing
noise as of the flapping of a thousand wings, and the next moment
I was sprawling on my back in the water, having been summarily
capsized, partly by force and partly by an involuntary start of

I raised my head and beheld a legion of BATS, some of them of
uncommon size, issuing in a stream from the mouth of the cave.
These animals in the tropics are numerous, and seclude themselves
from the light of day in caverns or other dark and lonely
recesses, where they attach themselves to the roof, and clinging
to each other are suspended in large pyramidal clusters or
festoons.  When disturbed, they take wing, and hastily quit their
abodes.  By unthinkingly intruding on their territories, which had
probably never before been invaded, great alarm was excited among
the inmates; a terrible confusion ensued, and the general rush to
the aperture caused my unceremonious overthrow.

In one of my mountain excursions, I lost my way while enveloped in
a dense mist, and, after descending a steep ridge, came upon a
platform or terrace of several acres' extent, which at first view
seemed to have been formed by artificial means on the mountain
side.  This plain was level, and thickly covered with coarse
grass, which, finding a genial soil and region, grew to a height
of five or six feet.  Near the centre of the prairie stood the
only tree which flourished on this fertile spot.  It was a silk
cotton tree.  I made my way through the grass with difficulty to
the tree, which by measurement I found to be twenty-five feet in
circumference   larger than any other tree I ever saw in the
island.  Immense branches shot out horizontally about twenty feet
from the ground, extending to a distance in every direction from
the trunk sixty or eighty feet.  Indeed, the gigantic size of the
tree, its rich and luxuriant foliage, and its noble and majestic
appearance, were in perfect keeping with the place.  I tarried
some time beneath its branches, and gazed with interest on the
picturesque scene, regretting that I had no companion to share my
admiration, and thinking that as doubtless no human being, unless
some wild Carib in days of yore, had ever previously visited that
singular spot, so it was likely centuries would pass away before
any other individual would chance to behold and admire that
beautiful terrace on the mountain side.  I then plunged among the
trees and vines growing upon the steep declivity on the further
side, and, after a precipitous retreat of two or three hundred
feet, heard the murmuring of a stream below, by following which I
at length reached a cultivated district.

The clouds on those mountain tops often collect with extraordinary
quickness, and, while the sun is shining brightly on the
cultivated lands, pour down the rain in deluging showers, which,
rushing in cataracts through the gorges, swell the rivers
unexpectedly, sometimes causing fatal disasters by sweeping away
horsemen or teams when fording the streams.  The rise of a river
from this cause is sometimes alarmingly sudden; the water comes
down in solid phalanx, six or eight feet in perpendicular height,
and extends from bank to bank; and with irresistible force sweeps
down rocks and trees, shaking the earth on the banks, and making a
loud and rumbling noise like distant thunder.

The vicinity of Grenada to the continent causes this island, as
well as Tobago and Trinidad, to be exempt from the hurricanes
which have proved a terrible scourge in several of the Windward
Islands, and from time to time have been terribly destructive to
life and property.  In Barbadoes, on the 10th of October, 1780,
nearly all the plantations were ruined by a hurricane of
inconceivable fury, and between four and five thousand persons
lost their lives.  Grenada has only once been visited by a
hurricane since its first settlement by a French colony from
Martinico, in 1650.  But this hurricane was the means of removing
a far greater evil, the circumstances attending which were of an
extraordinary nature, and which I shall relate as I learned them
from the lips of many who were witnesses of their occurrence.

It was about the commencement of the present century that this
island suffered much from a visitation, which threatened to bring
famine and desolation, and destroy, not only the present, but the
future hopes of the planter.  There suddenly appeared,
simultaneously in different parts of the island, a great number of
BLACK ANTS, of large size, being fully an inch in length, and of a
kind until then unknown in Grenada.  They probably belonged to the
species known as "the large black ant of Africa," remarkable for
its boldness and voracity.  Although the inhabitants of that
fruitful island were wont to treat strangers with hospitality,
they were inclined to depart from their usual habit so far as
related to these new and strange visitants, who seemed inclined to
be more troublesome than was consistent with the welfare of the
old residents.

In the course of a couple of years the number of these invaders
increased to an incredible amount; they attacked the fruit on the
trees and the vegetables in the gardens; and the fields of sugar
cane, once so green and flourishing, soon looked as if a fire from
heaven, the scourge of an offended deity, had passed over them.
Not only the fields, but the trees, the roads, and the dwelling
houses, were covered with these ants; and when all sustenance was
destroyed in one quarter, they took up their line of march in
immense armies and proceeded elsewhere in search of food.  In
these migratory excursions, if they came to a brook or small
river, their progress was not stayed.  Those in front were
impelled into the stream by the pressure from behind; and,
although myriads were swept away and drowned in the rushing
waters, many were borne to the other side and continued their
journey.  In some cases, where the current was not strong, a sort
of living bridge was formed, over which immense numbers of these
pestiferous insects passed in safety and dry shod.  Nothing seemed
to check their progress or reduce their numbers.

The inhabitants, both white and black, as may be conceived, were
in great consternation, and were about to make preparations to
move to some more favored soil, when a furious hurricane was
experienced.  The destruction of property was great; dwelling
houses and sugar works were destroyed, and lives were lost.  The
inhabitants who survived the tempest were in despair, believing
their calamities would never cease.  But they soon found, to their
great joy, that this hurricane was a blessing, rather than a
curse.  THE BLACK ANTS WERE EXTERMINATED, and none have since been
seen in the island.

Chapter XXIX

I have already stated that the French established their first
settlement in the island of Grenada in 1650.  They found the
island inhabited by the Carib Indians, who, regarding the white
men as beings superior in goodness as well as intellect, gave them
a cordial welcome, and treated them with kindness and hospitality.
The French, well pleased with their reception, gave the cacique a
few hatchets, knives, and beads, and a barrel of brandy, and very
coolly took possession of the island they had thus purchased.
Their conduct in this respect reminds one of the language of the
ill-treated Caliban to the proud Prospero:

"This island's mine,
Which thou tak'st from me.  When thou camest first,
Thou strok'dst and made much of me; wouldst give me
Water with berries in't; and teach me how
To name the bigger light, and how the less,
That burn by day and night; and then I loved thee,
And showed thee all the qualities of the isle
The fresh springs, brine pits, barren place and fertile;
Cursed be I that did so."

The remonstrances of the Caribs against the wrongs they were
doomed to suffer were as little heeded by the colonists as the
complaints of Caliban by Prospero.  The French were resolute,
powerful, and rapacious, and treated the red men with inhumanity.
The Indians, unable to contend with their oppressors by open
force, fled to their mountain fastnesses, and commenced an
obstinate predatory warfare upon the whites, murdering without
discrimination all whom they found defenceless.  This led to a
bloody and protracted struggle for the mastery; and a
reenforcement of troops having been sent from France to aid the
infant colony, it was decided, after mature deliberation, that the
most expeditious and effectual mode of ending the war, and
establishing peace on a permanent basis, was TO EXTERMINATE THE

These original "lords of the soil" were accordingly driven from
their fastnesses, hunted by parties of soldiers, shot down like
wild beasts wherever found, until their number was reduced from
thousands to about one hundred.  Bing cut off from the mountains
by a military force, this remnant of a powerful band fled to a
promontory on the north part of the island which overlooked the
ocean, and, hard pressed by their civilized foes, more than half
their number leaped over the rocky precipice into the sea which
dashed against its base.  The others were massacred.

This promontory has ever since been known as "Morne des Sauteurs,"
or the "Hill of the Leapers."  I have stood upon the extreme point
of this promontory, where I could look down some eighty or a
hundred feet into the raging abyss beneath, and listened to the
mournful tradition as detailed by one of the oldest inhabitants of
the island.  This is only ONE of the vast catalogue of cruelties
and wrongs that have been inflicted on the Indians by the whites
in constant succession, from the first settlement of the New World
to the present time.

The French, who were long in possession of the island of Grenada,
established on the plantations French customs, the French
language, and the Roman Catholic religion.   When the island fell
into the hands of the English, although no organized plan was
adopted to interfere with the customs of the slaves, or change
their language, the English failed in acquiring the attachment of
the negroes, who lamented the absence of their French masters, and
sighed for their return.

Early in the year 1795, during the French revolution, a plan was
conceived by some white men and five mulattoes, in Guadaloupe, who
were aware of the existence of this discontented feeling, to
create an insurrection among the slaves in Grenada, and take
possession of the island.  Emissaries were sent among the
plantations, who conferred with the principal negroes, and
secretly made arrangements for the work they contemplated.  In the
month of August, two or three sloops, each containing thirty or
forty men, with a supply of arms and ammunition, arrived in the
harbor of La Baye, on the eastern side of the island.  The
expedition was commanded by an active and intelligent mulatto
named Fedon, and landed in the night, captured the small fort
which overlooked the harbor, took possession of the town, murdered
a number of the white inhabitants, and plundered the houses and
stores.  Runners were employed to convey the news to the different
plantations, and the insurrection of the slaves was complete.

Some of the white men of the plantations received secret
intelligence of the rising among the blacks, and lost no time in
fleeing to a place of safety; others remained unconscious of the
approach of danger, and were murdered.  Deeds of cruelty were
perpetrated on this occasion by the negroes, a relation of which
would chill the stoutest heart.

It unfortunately happened that when this insurrection broke out,
the acting governor with several members of the council, and some
merchants and planters of great respectability, were on a visit to
the eastern part of the island.  As soon as they heard of the
attack on La Baye, and the progress of the insurrection, they left
the quarters where they had been hospitably entertained, and,
accompanied by their host and some other gentlemen, proceeded to
the sea shore, and embarked in a sloop, with the intention of
proceeding to St. George, which was the seat of government, and
was strongly fortified and garrisoned.

As the sloop was passing the little village of Guayave, some
negroes appeared on the shore, bearing a flag of truce, and
indicated by expressive gestures a wish to hold a conference with
the governor.  This functionary, not aware of the dreadful
atrocities that had been committed, and hoping that some means
might be agreed upon to heal the disturbances, imprudently ordered
the vessel to be anchored in the roadstead, and himself and a
number of the most influential of his friends went ashore in a
boat, and were landed on the beach.  A party of armed blacks, who
until that moment had been concealed, immediately surrounded them,
pinioned them, and marched them away.  The boat was seized by the
negroes, and a party pushed off for the purpose of boarding the
sloop, and securing the remainder of the white men; but they,
having witnessed the capture of the governor and his companions,
suspected the object of this maneuver, cut the cable, and with a
fine breeze, distanced the boat which had started in pursuit, and
proceeded to St. George with the mournful news.

The rebel chief, Fedon, collected around him, as it were by a
single tap of the drum, an army of some thousands of blacks, and
distributed among them a considerable number of fire-arms.  Others
were armed with weapons hastily prepared; and the great body of
the insurgents, being desperate men, stimulated by the hope of
freedom and the desire of vengeance, with leaders of ability and
some military skill, the insurrection assumed a formidable

Fedon took possession of Mount Quaqua, a high, steep, and somewhat
bald mountain in the interior, and there encamped with his army.
The base of the mountain was cultivated, and furnished excellent
pasturage for the many cattle which were driven thither from the
various plantations to furnish subsistence for his army.  This
place he fortified, determined to make it his stronghold in case
of adversity; and he went vigorously to work in organizing and
disciplining his army with a view to make an attack on St. George
before the government could receive reenforcements, and thus get
possession of the whole island.

The governor and his friends, and other prisoners, principally
planters, having been strictly confined for several days, and
treated with many indignities, were conveyed under a guard to the
camp of the rebel chieftain.  Fedon caused them to be brought
before him, and after exulting over their capture, and heaping
upon them insults and abuse, ORDERED THEM TO BE SHOT.  This
sentence was executed on the following day.  Only one of the
number escaped to tall the sad tale.  This was Mr. Bruce, a
merchant residing at St. George, who had acted as attorney for the
Pearl plantations.  When led out with others to be executed, a
negro whispered in his ear, "Massa, my capen tells me, shoot you!
But I no shoot you!  Only make b'live.  You stand up straight
when I fire, you fall to ground, and scream, and twist, all same
as if you be dead!"

The deception was successful.  The negro, whose name was Quamina,
and belonged to the Lower Pearl estate, was stationed opposite to
Bruce.  The word was given.  Bruce fell with the rest, and
imitated to admiration the agonies of a dying man; and Quamina, at
the risk of his life, succeeded in saving that of the white man.
That night, he contrived to get him outside the lines, conducted
him on the road leading to St. George, and left him.  Mr. Bruce,
after much fatigue and several hair-breadth escapes, reached the
town, being the only one among the prisoners carried to the camp
who escaped from the clutches of the monster.

I may as well state here, that after the insurrection was quelled,
Mr. Bruce manifested towards his preserver a grateful spirit.  He
wished to give him his freedom, but Quamina, who was a negro of
consequence on the estate, refused to accept it.  Quamina was
elevated to the situation of head-boiler; and Mr. Bruce every year
made him a visit, gave him a sum of money, clothing, and valuable
presents for himself and wife.

The military forces in the island were not more than were needed
to occupy the forts and defences of St. George, where the white
population had fled, with the little property they could take with
them on the breaking out of the rebellion.  Parties of insurgents,
commanded by chiefs appointed by Fedon, who exercised absolute
power, had the range of the rest of the island.  The rebels made a
desperate attempt to capture St. George, but were repulsed with
great loss.

Affairs remained in this condition for nearly a year, before any
efficient measures were adopted by the British authorities to
regain possession.  At length General Abercrombie, with a large
military power, landed, and, joined by the regular forces in St.
George, and some companies of militia, succeeded in driving the
insurgents from the sea coast to the mountains.  He then invested
Mount Quaqua, cut off all supplies from the army of Fedon, and
compelled him to fight, surrender, or starve.  The insurgent
chief, with some of the leaders of the insurrection, and a portion
of the rebels, attempted to cut their way through the English
army, and some of them succeeded, among whom was Fedon.  He
proceeded to the sea coast, embarked in an open boat with a few
companions, and was probably drowned, as he was never heard of

The plantation negroes, generally, returned to the estates to
which they had been attached, and, with a few exceptions, were
forgiven, and work on the plantations was resumed.  A number of
the colored persons, slaves and freemen, who were chieftains under
Fedon, or had signalized themselves by extraordinary acts of
cruelty, were arrested and hanged.

One of the most efficient officers among the rebels was named Jack
Shadow.  He was a free mulatto, a shrewd, intelligent creole, and
previous to the insurrection, had resided in the town of Guayave,
and exercised the trade of carpenter.  With the assistance of his
wife, a mulatto, he also cultivated a garden, and contrived to
gain a comfortable living.  When the insurrection, instigated by
the French revolutionists, broke out in the eastern part of the
island, Jack hastened to join the insurgents, and was cordially
received by Fedon, who intrusted him with an important mission,
which he executed with such adroitness as to gain the confidence
of the chief, who appointed him to a high command in the army.
Jack was one of Fedon's most efficient officers, and signalized
himself by his bitter hatred to the whites, and the zeal with
which he abetted his chief in the horrid scenes of cruelty that
were enacted.

When the insurrection was quelled, Jack Shadow, although wounded,
made his escape, with some others of the most obnoxious rebels, to
the woods and mountains in the interior of the island.  They
endeavored to conceal themselves from the pursuit of the whites,
but in the course of one or two years were all, with the exception
of Jack, ferreted out and shot when apprehended, or taken to jail,
tried, and hanged.

Jack, however, remained in the mountains.  A large reward was
offered for him, dead or alive; and parties of armed men often
scoured the woods, hoping to find his lair and shoot or capture
the rebel chief.  But though it was known he was hid in a certain
part of the island, he eluded all endeavors to arrest him for ten
or twelve years, and might perhaps have died of old age, had he
not been betrayed by his wife.

It was subsequently ascertained that Jack had erected a hut by the
side of a ledge of rocks, which was almost inaccessible to a
stranger; and this hut, being surrounded with bushes and
undergrowth, and covered with vines, could not be recognized as a
habitation by any one unacquainted with the fact.  His wife,
Marie, remained in her humble cottage in Guayave, and, it appeared
still cherished affection for her husband.  He was visited in the
wilderness by Marie at certain times, and supplied with
necessaries and whatever she thought might conduce to his comfort
in that wretched abode.  At his urgent request, she also furnished
him, occasionally, with a JUG OF RUM, with which to cheer his
spirits and solace his solitude.  He gradually acquired an
insatiable fondness for spirituous drinks, and insisted on being
supplied, even to the exclusion of articles vastly more suitable
to his condition.

The consequence of the indulgence of this habit was soon
exhibited.  He became gloomy, sullen, and ferocious.  He no longer
treated his wife, to whom he was so much indebted, and the only
being with whom he associated, with his wonted kindness and
affection, but, when maddened with liquor, often abused her.
Marie bore this for a long time with patience.  She still sought
his hiding-place at times, and bore him the poisonous beverage,
probably unconscious that she was thus indirectly the cause of the
changed conduct in her husband.  He continued his ill treatment,
especially when under the influence of liquor, and after a time
the affection of Marie for her husband was extinguished.  She
began to regard him as the fierce outlaw and murderer, who
cherished no gentle affections, but took pleasure in abusing the
woman who held his life in her hands, and had labored hard and
risked much to screen him from capture and cheer him in his
concealment.  Her visits became more seldom, and the ill temper of
her husband increased.

One night, Marie pursued her devious way to the mountains to
furnish Jack with the accustomed supplies.  He snatched form her
hand the liquor, and took a deep draught.  The poison did its
work.  He became excited, and quarreled with his wife; and, roused
to fury by her reproaches, struck her with his hand, seized her by
the shoulder and thrust her from the hut, tumbling her over the
ledge.  Marie rose, groaning with pain, being severely bruised.
The cup of her indignation, which had long been full, was now
overflowing.  She slowly returned to her home in Guayave, brooding
over schemes of revenge, and formed the determination to betray
her husband into the hands of justice.  She called upon Dr.
Duncan, a rich planter and a magistrate, and offered to guide him
to the spot where Jack Shadow, the daring rebel, was concealed.

Within a couple of hours after the magistrate received the welcome
information, he was on his way to the mountains, accompanied by
Marie and a guard of soldiers.  They entered the thicket on the
side of the mountain, where Jack Shadow had taken up his abode.
They came to a precipitous ledge of rocks.  "Move gently, now,"
said Marie, in a low voice; "we are close upon his hut."

The soldiers could see nothing resembling a hut.  With their
muskets loaded, and bayonets fixed, they with difficulty made
their way through steep, rugged, and crooked passes, and, after a
toilsome march, stood by the side of Jack's habitation.

The sergeant was now quietly arranging his men in such a manner as
to insure the captivity or death of the outlaw, when one of the
soldiers stumbled, and his musket struck the ground with a ringing
noise.  Jack, who had just awakened from his drunken nap, heard
the ominous sound.  He had no weapons, but relied on the security
of his retreat and his activity and strength.  He cautiously
opened the door, in front of which stood a soldier with his musket
pointed towards him.  The sergeant cried, "Surrender, or you are a
dead man!"

Jack made one last desperate struggle for life.  He sprang down
the ledge, turned aside with one hand the bayonet which was thrust
at his bosom, and felled the soldier with the other; but ere he
could clear the guard, his shoulder was transfixed by another
bayonet, which disabled him, and in a few minutes he was stretched
at the feet of the soldiers, a wounded, pinioned captive.  Before
the sun had set that afternoon he was securely lodged in the
prison at Guayave, heavily ironed, and the prison was guarded by a
detachment of soldiers.

The trial of Jack Shadow soon came on before a bench of
magistrates.  His identity was proved; also the conspicuous part
he had taken in the insurrection, and the bloody acts which he had
committed.  The outlaw was condemned to death.  His deportment was
sullen and dogged to the last.  He refused to see his wife, who,
when too late, regretted the steps which, prompted by anger and a
short-lived desire for revenge, she had taken for his arrest.  He
was hanged on a gallows, about a quarter of a mile outside the
village of Guayave.

Chapter XXX

I remained on the Upper Pearl estate, and found much to interest
an inquiring mind.  Murray, although there were some good points
about him, was not considered trustworthy.  In his cups he was
quarrelsome and as choleric as a Welshman; and a fondness for
liquor was his besetting sin.  He was an excellent accountant and
an efficient clerk, but could hardly be relied on when a clear
head and cool judgment were required.

A short time before I became acquainted with Murray, he had
quarreled at a dinner party with a Mr. Reed, the manager of a
coffee plantation.  The lie was exchanged, a blow was struck; a
challenge was given and accepted on the spot.  The next morning
the parties met, with their seconds, firmly bent upon shooting
each other.  There was no flinching on the part of the principals;
no desire evinced to give or receive an apology.  The seconds,
however, were made of milder stuff; and neither of them being
Irishmen, thought they would be justified in rendering the duel a
bloodless one, and transforming a grave matter into a harmless
joke.  They accordingly loaded the pistols with powder only,
keeping the bullets in their pockets; probably taking the hint
from the well-blazoned proceedings in the duel fought at Chalk
farm, a few years before, between Jeffries and Moore,

"When Little's leadless pistol met the eye,
While Bow Street myrmidons stood laughing by."

The word was given, and both parties fired.  No harm was done; but
apologies were out of the question, and "another shot" was loudly
and peremptorily called for, and the distance, eight paces was
shortened to six.  The farce was again repeated, when Murray,
wondering at the bloodless result, espied a smile on the features
of his second, which did not seem in keeping with the gravity of
the occasion.  His suspicions were aroused; and the seconds, on
being charged with duplicity, acknowledged the fact, adding that
it would be worse than folly to shoot each other, and suggesting
that they should shake hands, take a good breakfast together, and,
in a Christian spirit, banish all enmity from their hearts.

This advice, so wise in itself, was not taken in good part by
either of the principals.  They were indignant at having been
imposed upon, and made a laughing-stock to the community.  Murray
could not control his temper, but threw his pistol at the head of
his second, cutting him badly in the face, and knocking him over;
he chased the second of his antagonist off the field, and then
offered his hand to the man whom he had twice attempted to shoot,
which in a kind spirit was heartily grasped; and the two
principals in the duel, who, five minutes before, eagerly thirsted
for each other's blood, rode off together sworn friends and
brothers, and were afterwards as great cronies as the Irish Bard
and the Scotch reviewer.

Mr. Orr, the manager of the Upper Pearl, who left the estate,
bowed down by disease, on the evening of my arrival, had a narrow
escape from death.  When he recovered, after a severe illness of
several weeks, he refused to resume his situation, declaring he
had got enough of the Pearls to last him his lifetime.

Mr. Church rode over from his residence every morning, and gave
instructions, which I carried out to the best of my ability.  The
reputation of the Pearl estates for fevers was such, it was
difficult to find a respectable person who would take the station
of manager, or, if he accepted the situation, relying on the
strength of his constitution, he was not wont to occupy it long.
One of that description was engaged after Orr's resignation was
received, but he was driven off in a few weeks by an attack of
fever and ague, which nearly shook him to atoms.  Another, of more
doubtful character, was subsequently engaged, but he was found by
the attorney tipsy before eleven o'clock in the forenoon.  Had it
been in the afternoon, it might have been excused; but to get
drunk in the morning was an unpardonable offence.  In vain he
pleaded that he had taken only a few drops to neutralize the
effects of the malaria; he was discharged.

After a few months' residence on this plantation, breathing by
night and by day the foul and noxious miasma from the swamps, and
just as I began to flatter myself that my constitution would
weather the storm, I experienced an attack of headache, chills,
and fever.  By dint of resolution and nerve, which will accomplish
much, I succeeded in throwing it off, being determined not to
succumb through imagination or fear.  A few days afterwards the
attack was renewed with greater violence, and I was compelled to
admit its reality, and acknowledge the supremacy of remittent
fever.  Mr. Church manifested much interest in my behalf.  He
caused a skillful physician to attend me, and promptly provided me
with every thing the occasion required, excepting a salubrious
atmosphere; and on being told that this was indispensable to my
recovery, he generously caused me to be transported on a litter to
"Bel-Air," the beautiful and healthy villa in which he resided.
Here I was provided with a comfortable apartment, and received the
kindest attention from Mrs. Church.  After a severe struggle the
fever left me in a weak and emaciated condition, and weeks elapsed
before I was permitted to resume my duties of the estate.

My wardrobe, although it had been replenished by Bohun, in a style
which I thought unnecessarily liberal was still far from
approaching what, by persons of simple tastes, would be called
genteel.  As I was now liable to be thrown into the company of the
WELL-DRESSED visitors to Bel-Air, it was thought by Mr. Church
perhaps at the suggestion of his wife   that some improvement in
my external appearance might be desirable.  Accordingly, one day,
on returning from a journey to St. George, he brought me, greatly
to my astonishment, a dress coat, of bottle-green hue, much too
large, which he had purchased ready-made; a pair of stockinet
pantaloons, too tight for even my slim shanks, and a flashy-
looking vest, which, for aught I know, may have been made of the
stuff called "thunder and lightning;" so that, when rigged out in
my genteel habiliments, I must have looked not unlike Moses, in
the "Vicar of Wakefield," going to the fair, but far more

I cared less about the effect I might produce in my unaccustomed
finery than the expense of such luxuries, which I knew I could not
afford, and which would inevitably subject me to much
inconvenience.  My salary, I found on inquiry, was a nominal one,
  barely sufficient to furnish me with ordinary comforts.  I had
already incurred a serious debt in the purchase of a saddle and
bridle and other articles which I could not dispense with; and
although I fully believed Mr. Thomas would never call upon me to
refund his disbursements on my account in St. George, I knew human
nature too well to suppose that Mr. Church would not deduct from
my salary the price of those genteel articles of dress, which were
of no more use to me than a marlinspike to a dandy.  Indeed, had I
indulged in such unreasonable hopes, I should have been undeceived
when a bill for sundries from a trader came to hand, of an amount
far exceeding my expectations, with a polite request that I would
transmit the money at the earliest convenience!

There was no help; I had put my hand to the plough, and must go
forward.  I thus found myself enchained to the island for at least
twelve months.  Indeed, a longer period than that must elapse
before I could expect, by the closest economy, to pay off the
debts I had incurred.  I now, too late, regretted that I had
listened to the representations of Bohun, and allowed him to
manifest his GRATITUDE for my services, the consequences of which
served to embarrass me, and place me in a position which I did not
covet; for which I was not calculated by habit or inclination, but
from which I could see no means of escaping.

I returned to the Pearl estate and resumed my avocations.  Months
passed away; and although an occasional chill, followed by fever,
reminded me that I was continually breathing an unhealthy
atmosphere, I felt a sanguine hope that I should not again be
affected by diseases incident to the climate, and that I had
already qualified myself for the honorary degree which was
referred to by my friend Murray.  My hopes were fallacious.  I was
again attacked by a remittent fever of an obstinate character.  I
was again conveyed to Bel-Air.  The doctor was again summoned, and
he had a difficult task in restoring me to health.  But he
protested against my return to the Pearl estate, declaring that
another attack would place me beyond the reach of medical

It chanced that Mr. Coxall, a rich merchant of St. George, who had
a lumber yard and depot of stores in Greenville, was in want of a
clerk to look after his affairs in that place, and in consequence
of Mr. Church's recommendation he gave me the situation.  My
duties were pleasant; and I often visited the plantations in the
neighborhood, where I acquired a number of friends.  My
emoluments, however, were inconsiderable; I was in debt, and the
amount of my pecuniary obligations was not lessened by the
repeated visits of a popular physician during my sickness.

During this time I had not heard a word from Mr. Thomas, or Bohun,
his clerk.  I supposed they had forgotten me; but I did those
gentlemen injustice.  I had hardly been a year in the island when
I received a letter from Mr. Thomas, enclosing a bill in the
handwriting of Bohun, of every article with which I had been
furnished in St. George, not omitting my board at two dollars and
a half a day, which Bohun so roundly swore should be reduced at
least two thirds.  The sum total of the bill amounted to more than
one hundred dollars,   an enormous sum in my then straitened
circumstances; and the letter contained an intimation that, having
been a year in the island, and in regular employment, it was
expected that I was able and willing to settle the accompanying

Although I entertained faint hopes of being able at some future
day to reimburse Mr. Thomas for his expenses on my account, I
never expected that he would make out this bill, including even
the most trifling item, or hold me responsible for the
unpardonable blunder of Bohun in relation to my board, and subject
me to the mortification of a dun.  It appeared, however, that he
considered all obligations, on his part, discharged, when an
unenviable situation was procured for me on a plantation, where
the chances were nine out of ten that I should find my grave
within three months!  I made a brief reply to this letter, in
which I expressed my feelings without reserve; assured him he need
not trouble himself further about his money; that if I lived he
should receive the full amount, principal and interest, as soon as
I could earn it.

This unexpected demand on my resources troubled me greatly.  It
had the effect to postpone, almost indefinitely, the time when I
should leave Grenada, and return to the occupation I preferred,
that of a mariner.  I could not quit the island honorably or
openly without paying my debts; and I could not for a moment
entertain the idea of sneaking out of it in a clandestine manner.
I was the only citizen of the United States in the island, and I
persuaded myself that the honor and reputation of my country were
identified, to a certain extent, with my conduct while exercising
a humble employment in that secluded portion of the globe.  It
would be well if others, exercising duties of a more important
nature, would recollect this fact; and when their consciences or
sense of propriety are not sufficient to restrain them from
unworthy acts, let them summon patriotism to their aid, and
remember that the disgrace is not confined to themselves, but is
shared by the land which gave them birth.  By acting on this
principle, our country would be more honored abroad than it now

After I left the Pearl estate I enjoyed excellent health, with the
exception of an occasional attack of intermittent fever,   a
malady which, although distressing and debilitating, is seldom
regarded as alarming.  Those only, who were liberally dosed some
forty years ago with the powder of Peruvian bark, the sovereign
remedy for fever and ague, can duly estimate the value of the
services rendered to suffering humanity by the discovery of a mode
of administering it in a concentrated form, that of QUININE.

Although some estates were regarded as healthy while others were
notoriously the reverse, on no part of the island could persons be
secure from those fatal diseases, most dreaded in a tropical
climate, such as dysentery, and malignant or yellow fever.  It was
really startling to notice the sudden deaths which sometimes took
place even among those who considered themselves acclimated, and
were habitually in the enjoyment of excellent health.  This may
have been in part, owing to the irregular mode of living in a
climate where the humanizing influence of female society was but
little known.  Dinner parties among the planters were frequent,
where the most tempting liquors were produced, and excesses on
such occasions, when fun and frolic were rife, were considered not
only excusable but laudable.

I had been two years in the island, when I received an official
notification that I was appointed one of the constables or civil
officers of the district in which I resided, and was expected to
qualify myself forthwith to perform my duties.  Being well known
as a citizen of the United States, I was greatly surprised at this
event; and believing that I could not legally discharge the duties
of any office of trust, honor, or emolument, however humble, under
the British government, I hastened off at once to Mr. Lumsden, an
old, and highly respectable planter, who resided on his own
estate, and had acted as a magistrate for many years.

"Mr. Lumsden," said I, exhibiting the document, "I have been
appointed a constable for this district."

"Well, what of that?  The appointment is a good one.  I
recommended you myself."

"I am obliged to you for your good opinion," said I, "but you know
very well that I am a citizen of the united States; have never
taken the oath of allegiance to the British government, and never
intend to; consequently I am not eligible."

"Pooh, pooh!  Nonsense!  That makes not a farthing's difference.
You will do well enough."

"And more than that," I continued, "I am only nineteen years of
age; that alone is sufficient to incapacitate me."

"Young man," said the magistrate, with all the solemnity and
wisdom of a Dogberry, "whether you are a Yankee or a Calmuck,
whether your are sixty years old or sixteen, it matters not.  You
have been appointed a constable for this district, AND A CONSTABLE
YOU SHALL BE.  So no more frivolous excuses.  If you do not
prepare yourself to act in that capacity when called upon I will
cause you to be reported and fined."

There was no more to be said; the argument relating to the fine
was unanswerable; and I caused myself to be qualified forthwith.
The duties were not arduous.  The only official duty required of
me, during my term of office, was to summon a coroner's jury, on
one occasion, to sit on the body of a runaway slave, who was
stabbed by a watchman while committing depredations on some "negro
gardens" in the night time.

Mr. Coxall finally gave up his establishment in Greenville, and I
was obliged to look elsewhere for employment.  A newspaper was
published at St. George, owned and edited by an Englishman, who
had been a non-commissioned officer in the regiment which was
disbanded in the island a few years before.  I had then, even at
that early age, some indefinite hankering after newspaper life,
and having picked up a crude mass of knowledge, incongruous and
undigested, perhaps, from the many books I had devoured, I
flattered myself that I could render good service as assistant
editor of the St. George Chronicle.
I accordingly offered my services to the proprietor, but found him
less liberal in his opinions than the worthy sons of Scotia with
whom I had been intimately associating.  His prejudices against
the Yankees were unconquerable.  He did not even reply to my
letter, but stated to a friend of mine that he must be very hard
pushed before he would take a YANKEE into his office to assist in
printing and editing an English newspaper.

I again turned my attention to the planting business.  A vacancy
having occurred on the Hermitage estate, owing to the sudden
death, by yellow fever, of a very promising young man from
Aberdeen, who had been in the island only a few months,  I
succeeded, through the kind exertions of Mr. Church, in obtaining
the situation.

The Hermitage was one of the finest plantations in Grenada.  It
was pleasantly  situated on elevated ground, a few miles from the
sea shore, and was the residence of Mr. Houston, a gentleman of
great respectability, who was attorney for the estate, and also
for the plantation adjoining, called Belmont.  Some years
previously the Hermitage had been the residence of the owner of
these estates, an Englishman named Bailey.  He had spared no
expense in stocking the grounds with fruits of various kinds, had
planted bread-fruit and bread-nut trees, which, besides proving
ornamental, furnished nutritive food for the slaves.  Mr. Houston
found, however, that the fruit orchards required more labor and
care to keep them in good condition than could be profitably
spared from other duties; and the beautiful and umbrageous bread-
fruit and bread-nut trees shaded some portions of the fertile land
capable of producing good sugar cane.  The axe was, therefore,
freely used, and, one after another, nearly all the trees which
produced this excellent fruit were cut down.  Other fruit trees,
as the orange, the guava, pomegranate, avocado pear, golden apple,
water lemon, soursop, etc. grow spontaneously on almost every
plantation, and furnish an abundance and a variety of refreshing,
nutritious food, at different seasons.  Plantains, peas, cassava,
kalliloo, yams, and several other kinds of esculent vegetables,
some of which bear a close resemblance to the potato in every
thing excepting the form, are raised in abundance with very little
labor.  The calabash tree is also found growing wild on every
estate.  It resembles an apple tree of moderate dimensions, and
bears calabashes of every size, from those which contain several
gallons to those which hold only half a pint.  These calabashes
are of great value on a plantation, being used as vessels for all
purposes and occasions except for cooking.

It is hardly necessary to say that my debt to Mr. Thomas was
liquidated as soon as I could obtain the means, even by
anticipating my salary; and I eagerly looked forward to the time
when, by exercising the strictest economy, I should be able to
quit a place where, notwithstanding many things which were
unpleasant, I had found valuable friends and enjoyed many
comforts, and had been treated by all with whom I came in contact
with confidence and kindness.  During my stay, my feelings were
never hurt by ungenerous allusions to my native country.  Whatever
unpleasant associations were produced, from time to time, among
the planters by the passing events of the war, they were
restrained by a feeling of delicacy, which I could duly
appreciate, from indulging in offensive remarks in my hearing.  On
one occasion their forbearance, politeness, and respect for myself
were put to a severe test.

The war between Great Britain and the United states deprived the
inhabitants of the British West India colonies of many comforts
and luxuries which they enjoyed when free intercourse was
maintained between the United States and the different ports in
the English islands.  During the war, all the stores and
provisions, lumber, and other important materials required on the
plantations, were conveyed thither from ports in Great Britain in
ships sailing under convoy of men-of-war.  The arrival of these
ships, which took place at certain seasons, when the produce was
ready for shipping, was anxiously expected, as they were freighted
not only with useful articles for the estates, but also contained
generous lots of hams, porter, cheese, wines, and other delicacies
and condiments, ordered by the planters themselves for their
especial benefit and enjoyment.  It was a day of jubilee and
rejoicing when a ship known to be freighted with these "good
things" and "creature comforts" arrived safely in port.

At the proper season, in 1814, the good ship Corunna, of Bristol,
was expected at Greenville.  This ship was an old trader, and the
captain had been intrusted with many commissions, which, as he was
an honest and faithful man, it was not doubted he would execute
satisfactorily.  Most of the planters in that part of the island
were looking out anxiously every day for the arrival of the
Corunna.  Their private stores had been long exhausted, and they
longed to have them replenished.  The ship was an unreasonable
time on her passage.

It was Sunday afternoon.  I was dining with Mr. Stevenson, the
manager of the Tivoli estate, in company with several planters.
The house was situated on an elevated spot, and commanded a fine
view of the sea, extending nearly from the Grenadines to LaBaye,
the port of Greenville.  It was distant from the sea shore not
more than a couple of miles.  Suddenly, on looking out of the
front windows of the dining hall, a large ship was seen under full
sail, coming with a fair wind from the direction of the Grenadines
and steering towards LaBaye.

"That is the Corunna," shouted one of the gentlemen present.

"Not the Corunna," remarked Mr. Stevenson.  "The Corunna is not so
good looking and is of a different model.  The West India fleet,
however, must have arrived at Barbadoes, and the Corunna will soon
be along."

At that moment another ship appeared, carrying a cloud of canvas,
coming round the point.  This vessel was not the Corunna, and kept
close in with the land, running also for LaBaye.  A shade of
disappointment rested on the features of some of the planters; but
all continued to gaze eagerly in the direction of the sea, hoping
that the long expected ship, bearing, not the Golden Fleece from
Colchis, but treasures from England, of far greater value in the
estimation of their owners, would next make her appearance.  Their
expectations were realized.  Another ship came into view, with
every sail set which would draw; royals, skysails, and studding
sails, from the truck to the deck, and the British ensign was
waving at her peak.

"There comes the Corunna, at last!" exclaimed Mr. Stevenson.

"The Corunna!  The Corunna!" was the responsive cry.

"I declare," said Mr. McInnis, the manager of the Carriere estate,
"I feel greatly relieved.  I began to think the ship had been
picked up by some Yankee privateer, and my Stilton cheese and
'brown stout' gone in another direction."

"I was suspicious, myself, that some accident of that kind had
happened," replied Mr. Stevenson; "but she is safe enough now, and
will be at anchor in an hour or so.  Therefore, let us fill our
glasses, and drink the health of her successful commander."

The glasses were filled; but before their contents were quaffed,
the company were startled by the loud report of a cannon, which
came booming across the land.  At this moment another vessel,
which had fired the gun, was seen coming round the point,
following closely in the wake of the Corunna.

This vessel was of a model widely different from those which first
came along.  She was a long, low, black hermaphrodite brig, with
tall, raking masts, and a row of ports, evidently intended for use
rather than ornament.  Every plank in her hull, every rope at her
mast-head, and every cloth of her canvas looked as if they meant
MISCHIEF.   Her national flag, which bore the stars and stripes,
was not necessary to proclaim the presence of one of the much
dreaded American privateers.  The company looked as if the angel
of destruction was hovering over the island.

"A privateer!  An American privateer!" exclaimed Stevenson.  "The
Corunna is nabbed after all."

"Not so!" said Mr. McCrimmon of Belmont.  "Not so!  The Corunna
will show fight.  Her captain is a brave man, and will not strike
his flag without good reason.  Look there, he fires a broadside!

The Corunna now changed her course, keeping away before the wind,
and running directly for the land.  She discharged three or four
guns from her starboard ports, which were replied to by the "long
Tom" of the privateer.  The captain of the ship, apparently,
considered it useless to fight, and made an attempt to run the
ship ashore; but his object being perceived by the Yankee, he also
kept off, and sailing much faster than the Englishman, placed his
brig between the ship and the beach, hammering away in the mean
time with his "long Tom."  The Corunna fired no shot in return,
and in a few minutes hauled down her flag in token of surrender.

It subsequently appeared that the three ships had left England and
came to Barbadoes with the large outward bound West India fleet;
but being well armed, and stoutly manned, had concluded not to
wait for convoy to Grenada, and the risk being small, agreed to
keep together, stand by each other, and combine their forces if
menaced by an enemy.  They passed the Grenadines, came in sight of
their port, and were exulting in having accomplished the passage
in safety, when the Yankee privateer brig Chasseur, of Baltimore,
Captain Boyle, shot out from behind the promontory of Sauteurs and
gave chase.  A harbor was in sight ahead and the enemy astern.  It
is perhaps not remarkable that under these circumstances
discretion outweighed valor; that the two headmost vessels FORGOT
THE AGREEMENT, and, adopting the memorable order which was acted
on by the "Grand Army" after the burning of Moscow,   "SAUVE QUI
PEUT,"   ensconced themselves, as quickly as possible, in the snug
harbor of Greenville.  The captain of the Corunna was a brave man,
as had been truly said.  He was anxious to fight, but his men,
after one ineffective broadside, left the guns.  He then attempted
to run his ship ashore, but was foiled by the superior sailing of
the enemy.  The Corunna had a miscellaneous cargo of considerable
value, and a successful attempt was made to carry her into an
American port.  She reached Wilmington in safety, and the North
Carolina cotton planters doubtless ate and drank with a keen
relish the good things which were intended for the sugar planters
of Grenada.

It may be easily imagined, that the news of a treaty of peace
having been signed at Ghent, was received with great and sincere
delight by the inhabitants of the English islands.  Far from their
native homes, and in a great measure free from political
excitement, they manifested no great interest in the results of
the war, indulging only a vague desire and expectation that
British arms would prevail.  The war had caused them great
inconvenience, and deprived them of many comforts; and it was
difficult to say whether my friends or myself derived the most
gratification from the fact that peace was established between the
two countries.

Time passed on.  I had nearly cleared myself from debt, and had
even fixed the period when I should be able to leave Grenada and
engage in other pursuits.  My friends combated the resolution I
had taken, assuring me of success, even to the extent of my
wishes, if I would remain on the island.  Indeed, I was more than
half promised the management of a plantation near Guayave, called
Grosse Point, by Mr. McQueen, the Receiver General.  Fearing I
might be tempted to remain, by offers which I should be unable to
withstand, I was anxious to hasten the period of my departure.

About this time a bill, providing for a registry of the slaves in
every British colony, was passed by the Parliament of Great
Britain, with a view to put a more effectual barrier to the
African slave trade.  This bill was not understood by the blacks.
They were aware that some law intended for their benefit, perhaps
favoring their emancipation, had been enacted, and not
experiencing any advantageous results, after waiting patiently
some weeks they began to consult together, to murmur, and exhibit
signs of discontent, which caused great alarm.  On several estates
the field laborers in a body, including the head drivers and other
magnates, left their homes and went to St. George.  They demanded
to be put in possession of those indulgences and rights to which
they supposed they were entitled by the law which had just been

The planters, recollecting the bloody scenes that had been
enacted, years before, at the beginning of the insurrection headed
by Fedon, were greatly alarmed.  Military organizations were
formed in different districts, and a regular night patrol, and a
well-devised system of espionage, were kept up for several weeks.
The governor of Grenada and the Grenadines, at this period, was
Major General Riall, who had distinguished himself while
commanding the British army on the Canada frontiers, and was
wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Niagara.  Acting with
judgment, firmness, and discretion, he succeeded in pacifying
those bodies of slaves who sought him, and explained the true
character of the act.  They slowly returned to the plantations and
resumed their labors; but were evidently dissatisfied, and more
than half convinced that even the governor was deceiving them.

To add to the excitement, a rumor was spread abroad, and obtained
belief, that a number of aliens had arrived in the island, with
the intention of stirring up another insurrection; and a sort of
panic prevailed among the whites.  The governor issued a
proclamation, declaring that every free person who was not a
native citizen of Great Britain, or who had not taken the oath of
allegiance, must appear forthwith before the executive authorities
of St. George, and report himself and state his object in being on
the island.

I felt myself included in the list of aliens, and in spite of the
remonstrances of friends, who insisted that the proclamation did
not apply to me, I determined to comply with its directions, and
go immediately to St. George.  Accompanied by a gentleman who was
connected with the government, and to whom I had a letter of
introduction, I called upon his excellency.  The governor was a
thick-set, ruddy-faced man, with a decidedly military air, of
simple habits and courteous manners.  He received me with great
politeness.  On being informed that I was an American, he waived
all desire for an explanation in regard to the cause of my
residence in the island; and further remarked, that should it at
any time be in his power to render me service, it would give him
pleasure to do it.

When peace was established between the two countries it was
expected the ports in the English islands would be thrown open for
trade, as before the war.  In this expectation the planters were
disappointed.  In order to protect the trade in the British
American provinces, the importation of produce in American bottoms
was prohibited.  Consequently there was no direct communication
between English ports in the West Indies and ports in the United
States.  Our vessels landed and sold their cargoes in St. Thomas,
St. Bartholomew, or some other free port, where they were shipped
in English bottoms, and thence conveyed to the English islands.

There being no opportunity to go directly to the United States
from Grenada, I sought the means of proceeding to some other port,
where I should be likely to fall in with an American vessel.  I
called on Mr. Budge, a merchant of St. George, with whom I had
some acquaintance, to make inquiries.  He informed me he was on
the point of chartering a small vessel in which to proceed to St.
Pierre in Martinico, should sail in the course of a few weeks, and
would cheerfully give me a passage to that port.

I returned to the interior of the island in fine spirits, and
commenced making the necessary arrangements for my departure.  In
due time, having received information from Mr. Budge that his
sloop would sail on a certain day, I took leave of my numerous
friends, bade farewell to the plantations; to the lonely glens and
deep gorges in the mountains, which for me, had many charms, and
took the "Grand Etang" route for the capital.  I could not bid
adieu to my kind Scotch friends without emotion.  Several of them
expressed an intention to visit the United States before the lapse
of many years, perhaps to settle there for life, and promised to
look me up.  But I have never seen them since.  With the sight of
a Scotchman, however, is associated many pleasing recollections;
and a Scotch accent has ever sounded grateful in my ear since I
left the shores of Grenada.

During my residence in Grenada my duties were neither arduous nor
difficult.  Had I complied with the advice of friends and
remained, I might have succeeded as a planter, and led for a
number of years a lazy, monotonous, vegetative kind of life.
Nevertheless, my stay was not unproductive of advantages.  I found
much to interest and occupy an inquiring mind; and my situation
gave me an opportunity to gratify a thirst for information, to
gain an intimate knowledge of tropical life, usages, and
productions which has often since proved of signal service.  I was
brought into communication with people of different nations,
different characters, and different modes of thinking; of
different politics, philosophy, and religion; all of which has a
tendency to eradicate or weaken early prejudices, liberalize
opinions, and inculcate charitable views of human nature.  While
such a relation with people of other countries can never diminish
the feeling of patriotism in a well-balanced mind, it will lead a
persons to discover, acknowledge, and respect, in other
communities and other nations, much that is good and worthy of

After paying my debts and supplying a few pressing wants I found
remaining in my pocket fifty Spanish dollars.  I had emerged from
a state of poverty and dependence.  I was rich, having the means,
without much doubt, of procuring a passage from Martinico to some
port in the United States.

Chapter XXXI

It was about the middle of September in the year 1816 that I
embarked with Mr. Budge in a little sloop bound to St. Lucia and
Martinico, after having resided in Grenada nearly four years.  We
had a few other passengers, one of whom was a French gentleman
named Chambord, who had fought a duel with an Englishman in St.
Lucia a few months before.  This duel grew out of a fierce dispute
in relation to the battle of Waterloo, and the comparative merit,
in a military point of view, of Napoleon and Wellington.  The
Frenchman, being an adroit swordsman, got the best of the argument
by running his antagonist through the body, and leaving him
senseless, and apparently lifeless, on the field.  He made his
escape to Grenada.  Having learned that the champion of Wellington
was in a fair way to recover from his wound, he was now on his
return to his home.

We tarried but a short time at St. Lucia, merely lying off and on
at the mouth of the port of Castries, or Carenage, which is one of
the most beautiful and safe harbors in that part of the world; the
entrance being so narrow that two ships cannot pass through it
abreast; but inside, the extent of the harbor and depth of water
are sufficient to furnish good anchorage and shelter from
hurricanes for a large fleet of ships of the largest class.

On arriving at St. Pierre I found a fearful hurricane had raged in
that quarter only a week or ten days before.  The wind, blowing
from the eastward directly into the open roadstead with
irresistible fury, had driven every vessel in port ashore on the
beach.  The ship Cato, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, having all
her cargo discharged, and presenting a large surface of hull to
the wind and the waves, was found, after the tempest had subsided,
high and dry in one of the streets, in a condition which precluded
the possibility of getting her into the water, and was broken up.
Others were launched on "ways" constructed for the purpose; while
some sustained but little injury, and were easily got afloat.  One
English brig, built of the red cedar of Bermuda, a material
greatly in favor at that time on account of its remarkable
resistance to DECAY, was crushed like an egg-shell the moment it
struck the shore, and the fragments were strown along the beach.

At the time I arrived at St. Pierre the yellow fever was
prevailing to an alarming extent among the inhabitants.  The same
epidemic prevailed in Point Petre, Guadaloupe, and the numerous
immigrants from France, in some cases whole families, who sought
those shores with the hope of improving their condition, were cut
off by this terrible disease soon after their arrival.  Some cases
of yellow fever appeared among the shipping in St. Pierre, and
nearly every one proved fatal, showing the malignant type of the
disease.  Great alarm was manifested lest the epidemic should
spread among the vessels, and sweep off whole crews, and I
subsequently learned that these apprehensions were realized.

I engaged lodgings on shore, and was there an eye witness to the
ravages of this plague of the West Indies.  Young and healthy men,
full of hope and gayety, with rich prospects in the future, were
visited by this grim messenger soon after they set their feet on
those shores; and few, very few, recovered.  Death was doing a
mighty business at Martinico at that time; and during my brief
stay I listened to many a thrilling tale of hopes blighted, ties
of affection sundered, and sorrows awakened by the remorseless
action of the "King of Terrors."  The strong man was cut down
while boasting of his strength; and youth, beauty, or worth
furnished no protection from the attack of this West India

After my long residence in Grenada I had no fear of yellow fever
in Martinico; and in several cases at my boarding house I was able
to render valuable assistance.  I was now anxious to get temporary
employment of some kind, or procure a passage to the United
States.  I was every day getting nearer the bottom of my purse;
and I trembled at the idea of finding myself penniless in the town
of St. Pierre.  I could hardly hope to meet with the sympathy and
kindness from the Frenchmen of Martinico that I found in Grenada
among the natives of Scotland.

Owing to the shipwrecks, caused by the hurricane, there was no
want of seamen; and I could not even get an opportunity to work my
passage to an American port before the mast.  I had been so long
in the West Indies that I had lost the distinguishing marks of a
Yankee.  And my broad accent, my swarthy complexion, my
unseamanlike costume, adapted to the climate, all seemed to
contradict my statement that I was an American sailor.

At Martinico I fell in with an Englishman, Captain William Parker,
who had resided in the islands for many years, and was thoroughly
acquainted with the trade in that part of the globe.  He was then
making preparations to engage in a sort of wholesale smuggling
business, and had obtained possession, by hook or by crook, of two
registers of American vessels.  One was a BONA FIDE register of a
privateer which had been captured during the war, and the other a
forgery neatly executed by an artist in Martinico, having the
signatures and seals duly arranged and perfected, but leaving
blank the description of the vessel.

With these registers,   valuable documents, in his estimation,
having cost him no trifling sum,   it was his wish to proceed to
New York, and with the aid of some unscrupulous capitalist,
purchase an English schooner, answering nearly to the description
in the register of the privateer; or, failing in that, procure an
English vessel of any kind suitable, and fill up the blanks with a
description of the same in the other American register.  Then with
two captains, one English and one American, each acting as mate
alternately, and with a crew who could be confided in, HE PROPOSED
the advantages, in the way of port charges and duties, of an
American vessel in an American port and an English vessel in an
English port!  A few voyages successfully performed on this plan,
he plausibly urged, would be productive of immense profit to all

Parker was desirous that I would embark with him in this
enterprise, and act as the nominal American commander.  But I had
an instinctive repugnance to proceedings of such an underhand,
unlawful character.  This of itself would have been enough to lead
me to reject his proposition; and furthermore I had no confidence
in the man, or his ability to carry his project into operation.  I
thanked Parker for his friendly offer, and the COMPLIMENT it
conveyed, but declined to enter into any engagement of the kind.
Whether he succeeded in carrying his project into effect I never
learned; but the same plan was successfully put into execution by
an enterprising rogue about the same time, who undertook to run a
vessel between Baltimore and Barbadoes, carrying out flour and
bringing back coffee and sugar.  He performed two trips
successfully, but on the third got into trouble.  One of the crew,
who had been unadvisedly punished for insubordination, gave
information to the authorities in Barbadoes, which put a period,
for a time at least, to his enterprising pursuits.

A few days before I landed in St. Pierre, the brig Betsey, Captain
Blackler, arrived in the harbor from Marseilles.  A large portion
of her cargo was discharged, and Captain Blackler concluded to
send the brig with the remaining portion, consisting of wine im
casks, to New Orleans, while he remained behind to transact
important business for the owner of the brig, William Gray, of
Salem.  Accordingly the mate, Mr. Adams, an intelligent and highly
deserving young man, belonging to Marblehead, was placed in
charge, and the mate of the unfortunate ship Cato, which forsook
her proper element to explore the streets of St. Pierre, and could
not get back, was engaged as mate of the Betsey.

 I applied to Captain Blackler for a passage to New Orleans.  The
brig was fully manned, with six stout, able-bodied seamen before
the mast, and cook, mate, and captain, nine in all.  Captain
Blackler demanded forty dollars for a passage in the cabin; by no
means an exorbitant charge.  Nevertheless this was a poser, as
after paying for my board, I had only twenty dollars remaining.
This matter, however, was satisfactorily settled by a COMPROMISE,
  a happy way of getting rid of a difficulty.  I proposed to
advance twenty dollars before quitting Martinico, and give an
obligation for twenty more when the brig should arrive at New
Orleans; and he agreed to the proposition.  But HOW I should raise
twenty dollars on reaching New Orleans, was a question I could not
answer, and did not like to consider.  I strove hard to convince
myself I should never be called upon for payment, or if called
upon, that fortune would favor me by furnishing, in some way, the

Captain Blackler was a gentleman much respected and esteemed.  He
was a good specimen of an American shipmaster.  When we got under
way he came on board, apparently in good health and spirits, to
bid us farewell.  I shook hands with him as he stepped over the
side.  He gave some final instructions to Mr. Adams, who had
assumed the command of the Betsey.  They mutually wished each
other continued health and prosperity, expressed a hope to meet
before long in Marblehead, and parted   NEVER TO MEET AGAIN!
Before another week had passed they were both summoned before
their God.  It was afterwards ascertained that Captain Blackler
was attacked by yellow fever a few days after the brig left
Martinico, and was quickly added to the numerous band of victims
to that disease.

The brig Betsey was about two hundred and twenty tons burden; a
clump, dull-sailing craft, of rather venerable appearance, with no
pretensions to youth or beauty, having braved the dangers of the
seas for thirty years; nevertheless she was now apparently as
sound, safe, and tight as any vessel that crossed the ocean.
Captain Adams was a worthy man, of an amiable character, who had
been educated to his business; and the mate, Mr. Ricker, had been
commander of a ship, and was strongly recommended as an able and
faithful officer.  The crew were Americans, resolute-looking,
powerful fellows, in robust health.  There had been no sickness on
board during the voyage; and all of them, including the captain
and mate, were rejoiced to leave the island of Martinico.  As the
mountains faded in the distance they fancied they had left the
yellow fever far behind, and congratulated each other on their
good fortune.

Our route, as will be seen by examining a chart or a map, was a
remarkably interesting one.  It extended through the Caribbean
Sea, where the trade winds blow unceasingly from the eastward, in
a direction south of some of the most beautiful and picturesque
islands in the world, as Porto Rico, St. Domingo, and Cuba, and
ranged along in sight of Jamaica and the Caymans, then rounded
Cape Antonio, once the notorious haunt of pirates, and entered the
Gulf of Mexico.  Leaving the harbor of St. Pierre under such
auspices, I anticipated a delightful trip and being a passenger,
with no duties to perform, and no responsibility resting on my
shoulders, I was prepared to enjoy the POETRY of a seafaring life.

 The night following our departure there was a gentle breeze from
the eastward, the sea was smooth, and everything in the
atmosphere, on the ocean, or in the vessel gave promise of a
pleasant passage.  I remained on deck that night until twelve
o'clock, in conversation with Captain Adams.  He seemed in a
particularly pleasant and communicative mood; spoke of his past
life, which had been but little clouded with misfortune, and
indulged in the most cheerful anticipations with regard to the

The next day I learned that one of the seamen, named James Smith,
belonging to Wiscasset, in Maine, was unable, from illness, to do
his duty.  I found that Smith was not a favorite with the crew,
being a lazy fellow, who would act the part of an "old soldier"
when an opportunity offered.  As he did not seem very sick, and
some thought he was feigning illness to avoid work, no alarm was
excited in consequence.

There was a man on board the Betsey whose name was Gaskell; a
tall, stalwart fellow, belonging to Greenbush, New York.  He
showed in his words and actions that he was unprincipled, a
thorough reprobate, whose soul had been case-hardened in crime.
This man ridiculed the illness of Smith; tried to rouse him from
his berth in the half-deck; declared that he was "shamming
Abraham," and threatened him with a rope's end unless he gave over
skulking.  Gaskell spoke of the mortality among the Frenchmen in
Martinico, and this furnished him with an inexhaustible source of
amusement.  Indeed, human suffering, lingering death by shipwreck
or disease, always moved him to mirth and laughter.  And yet he
was not deficient in intellect and education; but had used them
for evil purposes.  He was coarse, sensual, intemperate, and
terribly profane.  He boldly avowed a disbelief in a God, and
sneered at the idea of punishment for crime in the future.  He
loved to talk of the yellow fever; he set that fearful disease at
defiance, and said he never enjoyed himself so gloriously as he
had done the year previously at Savannah, when the yellow fever
was sweeping off the crews of the shipping in that port by
hundreds, and he found employment as a carpenter, and cleared ten
dollars a day by making coffins for the "Yankee" sailors.  I felt
from the outset that this Gaskell was a bad man, and a further
knowledge of him confirmed my impression and increased my disgust.

In the course of the day I visited the half-deck, at the request
of Captain Adams, to examine the condition of Smith.  I found him
in a feverish state, languid, his spirits much depressed, and with
a slight headache.  At the time I had no suspicion that he was
visited with yellow fever, the disease appeared in so mild a form.
Some medicine was given him, and it was expected that in a day or
so he would recover his health.

The next morning, being the third day after leaving Martinico, I
was awakened soon after daybreak by a succession of groans which
came from the captain's stateroom.  I entered the room, and was
greatly alarmed at finding Captain Adams laboring under a severe
attack of illness.  He was seized with pains in the head and back,
accompanied with scorching fever.  His pulsations were strong,
quick, and irregular.  He said he must have caught a violent cold
the night before, by remaining on deck without his coat or hat.  I
did not contradict him; but I had seen persons in a similar
condition, and I knew he was suffering from yellow fever in its
most alarming form.

All the medical skill I possessed was put in requisition; but the
captain grew worse, and before night he was aware of the true
character of the disease, and seemed to feel there was no chance
for his recovery.  I strove to minister consolation and inspire
him with hope, but in vain.  He acknowledged that life had charms
of the most attractive description; fortune had favored him beyond
his expectations; he had relations and friends whom he dearly
loved; and there was one bright being in his native town to whom
he had plighted his vows of affection, and to whom he hoped to
have been united for life if Providence had willed his return.
But he was resigned to the will of the Almighty.  He did not even
murmur at the fate which he knew awaited him.  He prayed to his
God to pardon the sins he had committed, and looked forward with
hope to a glorious immortality.

The breeze had been light and the sea remarkably smooth since we
left St. Pierre; and the brig, steering to the north-west, had
made slow progress.  On the morning after the captain was taken
sick we expected to be in sight of Porto Rico; and Captain Adams
asked Mr. Ricker, the mate, if any land was in sight.  The mate
thoughtlessly replied, "'The Dead Man's Chest' can just be seen
off deck." This was the English name of a small island, or cluster
of rocks, some five or six miles south of Porto Rico, resembling
in appearance a coffin, and called, in Spanish, "Moxa del Muerta."

Captain Adams remarked, in a soliloquizing strain, "The Dead Man's
Chest? Already in sight?  Well, it will soon be wanted; I am

The sufferings of this excellent man were intense.  The pains in
his head and back kept increasing; yet his mind was tranquil, and
he retained command of his mental faculties until the last moment
of his life.  During his illness he expressed kindness for others,
and made suggestions to the mate about sailing the brig and
carrying on the work.  As he grew weaker, he gave explicit
directions to Mr. Ricker in regard to the duties which would
devolve upon him at his death, and intrusted me with a solemn
message to his dearest friends, which I afterwards faithfully

On the third day after the fever commenced the BLACK VOMIT set in.
This is generally regarded as a fatal symptom, being almost always
the precursor of death.  But the fortitude of the captain never
for a moment forsook him.  He was sustained in that dread hour by
a guiltless conscience and a steadfast, deep-rooted, religious

A few hours after this alarming prognostic made its appearance, he
died, while I was bathing his forehead; and a prayer hung upon his
lips, even as the spirit left the earthly tabernacle.  He died as
became a Christian; and his features in death were tranquil as
those of a sleeping infant.

His body was soon afterwards brought on deck, where the whole
ship's company were assembled.  The funeral rites were simple, but
solemn and impressive; and far away from the friends of his youth,
with no heart-stricken relatives to gather around the coffin, and
form a mournful procession to the grave, and hallow the burial
spot with the tears of affection, the mortal remains of our worthy
commander were launched into the deep.  They were committed, not
to the silent tomb, but to that vast burial place, that "God's
Acre" of almost illimitable extent, where deep caves, and recesses
invisible to mortal eye, have served for ages as the last resting
place of myriads of human beings, cut off untimely, without
warning note of preparation, from the hopes and disappointments,
the joys and sorrows, of this world; where, without headstone or
monument, inscription or epitaph, to mark the place, with only the
rushing winds to mourn their departure, and the murmuring waves to
chant their requiem,

"After life's fitful fever, they sleep well."

It is remarkable that in no part of the world, in any age, has the
sea been selected as a burial place for the dead.  Indeed, the
idea of being drowned at sea, or dying on shipboard to be intombed
in the fathomless ocean, is so abhorrent to many individuals that
it is with fear and trembling they trust themselves on the water.
It was a belief of the ancients, that to insure happiness
hereafter, the dead body of a human being must be covered with
earth; otherwise the departed spirit would never enter the Elysian
Fields, but wander restless on the nether banks of Styx, in full
view of delights and joys which it could never expect to realize.

Mr. Ricker, the mate, now took command of the brig.  This man
possessed a warm and affectionate heart, and was deeply moved by
the death of the captain.  He wept aloud when the interment took
place, and sought to alleviate his grief by copious draughts of
spirituous liquors.  He wept and drank himself to sleep while
reclining on a hen-coop.  In a few hours he awoke, and wept again;
then told the cook to bring the brandy bottle, which soon acted as
an opiate, and banished his sorrows.  He pursued this course,
crying and drinking for more than a week; and during the greater
part of this time, while I was witnessing scenes of sadness and
death enough to chill the stoutest heart, he incapacitated
himself, by intoxication, from performing his duties as commander
of the ill-fated vessel.

Smith was still lingering under the attack of a disease which we
now knew to be yellow fever.  He was gradually growing worse.
Others of the crew were also visited by this dreadful pestilence,
and the deck of the brig resembled one of the fever wards of a
hospital.  The groans of the poor fellows were enough, one would
think, to create sympathy in the coldest bosom.  But they had no
effect upon Gaskell, excepting to excite derision; and when he
spoke to his sick or dying shipmates with a ribald jest on his
lips, and a scornful grin on his features, I longed to fell him to
the deck.  I rebuked him for his want of feeling, and suggested
that, proud as he was of his strength and immunity from sickness,
he might, notwithstanding, become an object of sympathy to his
shipmates, and need their assistance.  The answer I received was a
boisterous laugh, as if the idea was too absurd to be entertained.

Many years have passed since these events occurred, but even now I
cannot recur to them without a feeling of sadness.  And no one,
not familiar with such scenes, can form an idea of the distress
which a mortal sickness produces on board a ship at sea.  The
captain had died, and the mate, who should have taken his place,
was constantly in a state of beastly intoxication.  Three of the
crew were struggling with yellow fever, and, to add to our
troubles, Gaskell made his way into the hold, and broached a cask
of wine; and those who were not sick followed the example of the
mate, and got drunk, and drowned in vociferous shouts and songs
the groans of their suffering shipmates.  Under these
circumstances, I had no alternative but to take on myself the
responsibility of navigating and sailing the vessel.  And while
proceeding along the fruitful shores of St. Domingo, and the
picturesque coast of Jamaica, I passed whole nights on deck,
engaged in tending the sick, trimming the sails, and steering the
brig.  It was truly fortunate that the wind continued light and
the weather pleasant.

Smith, who was the first man taken sick, did not recover.  His
illness gradually increased; for several days his mind wandered,
but he was not troublesome, and died on the tenth day after we
left St. Pierre.  On the day of the captain's death, a young man,
belonging to Connecticut, was seized with a fever, and died five
days afterwards in a state of delirium.  His case required
constant care and attention, as he made more than one attempt to
throw himself overboard, in order, as he believed, to embrace his
parents and friends in his own native village.  Two others were
taken alarmingly ill, but after suffering severely for several
days gradually recovered.  The cook, a stout black fellow, inured
to warm climates, rendered me great assistance in taking care of
the sick.  But on the morning on which we beheld the mountains of
Jamaica he also was visited by yellow fever.  The symptoms were
alarming, and there seemed no prospect of his recovery; but on the
third day of his sickness, AND AFTER THE BLACK VOMIT HAD
COMMENCED, and while I sat watching by his berth, expecting that
in a few minutes he would breathe his last, he seemed to revive,
and I put some rice-water to his lips.  He swallowed a small
quantity; the terrible forerunner of a speedy dissolution
disappeared, and from that moment his strength gradually
increased, the fever left him, and before we reached New Orleans
he had recovered.

While the cook was still dangerously ill, one morning early, as we
were slowly sailing along towards the Grand Cayman, Gaskell came
crawling up the steps leading to the half-deck, and tottered along
towards me.  I was appalled at the change which a single night had
made in his appearance.  The defiant, rollicking ruffian no longer
stood before me; the sneer was no longer on his countenance, his
eyes no longer sparkled with mischief, and his language was not
interlarded with disgusting profanity.  His eyes were glassy, his
cheeks ghastly pale, and a cold sweat, produced by FEAR, stood on
his forehead.  The workings of suffering and terror were imprinted
on his features, and he looked as if twenty years had been added
to his life in one short night.

And he had cause for alarm; the yellow fever had fastened upon him
with a vice-like grasp, and he felt it in his inmost soul.  The
man was a coward, after all.  He thought himself secure from the
scourge, and put on a mask of defiance.  He now knew that he had
deceived himself, and all his daring vanished.  HE WAS AFRAID OF

In tremulous accents, Gaskell described the symptoms of the
disease.  The shooting pains in his head, neck, and shoulders were
insufferable, and he entreated me to do something, any thing, to
relieve the pain, and restore him to health.  He urged me to bleed
him, which I undertook, and opened a vein in each arm, but the
blood would not flow; the vital current seemed to be congealed by
fear.  He then begged me to bathe his back with camphor and
opodeldoc, and although I knew the operation would produce no
effect, I consented to his wishes, and for more than an hour
rubbed his back as he desired, and bathed his head with vinegar
and lime juice.

But the disease could not be removed.  It seized upon his vitals,
and he rapidly grew worse.  His pains were great, but his mental
agonies were greater.  For worlds I would not suffer what that man
suffered while rushing into the fearful embraces of death.  His
mind was clear and unclouded, while madness would have been mercy.
His life had been loose and depraved.  He had been guilty of many
crimes, and in the day of death the stings of conscience pierced
him to the soul.  His evil deeds came back to him in that hour;
they were stamped on his heart as with a red-hot iron.  I tried to
console him, but in vain.  He would not listen when I spoke of
death, and fiercely motioned me away when I attempted to read
aloud a chapter from the Bible.  He said but little; but what he
did say were words of bitterness and despair.  He declared, with
an awful oath, that he would not die, and struggled fiercely for
life to the last.  I never shall forget the wild and ghastly
countenance and distorted features of that dying man, who, only a
few days before, while in the full flush of health, declared, with
a diabolical grin, that he feared neither God nor man.

The fever had now run its race, but our ship's company was greatly
reduced in number and in strength.  The captain and three of the
seamen had been committed to the waves, and others had not fully
recovered from the effects of the fever.  Mr. Ricker was the only
person on board, with the exception of myself, who had entirely
escaped.  Whether drunkenness acted, in his case, as a preventive,
I will not undertake to say; neither will I advise any one to try
the hazardous experiment.

We were now in sight of the Isle of Pines, fourteen days having
elapsed since we sailed from Martinico, when I observed
indications of one of those severe gales not unusual in the Gulf
of Mexico and vicinity, and known at "northers."  Light-handed as
we were, and without an efficient head, I was aware that our
situation was a critical one.  I then felt justified in doing what
I should have done sooner; I threw overboard every drop of spirit
I could find, and then applied myself to rouse Mr. 'Ricker from
his drunken inactivity;  I explained to him my apprehensions of a
gale of wind, and the necessity for making preparation for the
coming tempest.  This brought him to his senses; and after
grumbling somewhat at the loss of his liquor, and taking a deep
draught of water, he entered with energy on the sphere of his

Ricker was a man of large stature and great physical strength.  He
was also a thorough seaman, and, when not stupefied with liquor,
was an active, energetic man.  By his powerful aid, and under his
direction, the brig was soon put in a condition to withstand the
heavy gale from the north, which soon came upon us, and completely
ventilated the steerage and cabin, which had so long been the
depository of a pestilential atmosphere.  The "norther" lasted two
days, the greater part of which time we were lying to, under a
close-reefed main-topsail; and when the gale abated, we found
ourselves further north than at its commencement, and not far from
Cape St. Antonio, the western extremity of Cuba,   a fact which
illustrates in a striking manner, the force of the current which
at certain times sets north, like a sluice-way, between Cuba and
Yucatan, into the Gulf of Mexico, and is the origin of the Gulf

We entered the Gulf of Mexico, and with a fair breeze sailed for
"the Balize."  In a few days we struck soundings near the mouth of
the Mississippi, and soon fell in with the turbid waters that are
swept far out to sea by the strength of the current of that mighty
river.  We steered for a lighthouse, constructed of granite, on
the eastern extremity of a point, and which, resting on a
quagmire, was hardly completed before it assumed an attitude
resembling the leaning tower of Pisa, and in six months afterwards
it took a horizontal position.  It is hardly necessary to say it
was never lighted.  We took a pilot and entered the river by the
Balize or "South-east Pass," which was the deepest channel at that
time, and navigable only for vessels drawing not more than fifteen
feet of water, and, by dint of hard labor,   steam towboats being
then unknown,   worked our way to the city of New Orleans.

Chapter XXXII

I have already stated that the owner of the Brig Betsey was Mr.
Gray, of Salem, a merchant of great enterprise, probity, and
wealth.  He soon afterwards removed to Boston, and was known
throughout this country and the maritime cities of Europe by the
name of "Billy Gray."  His agent in New Orleans was Nathaniel
Ware.  Mr. Ricker explained to him the mournful events which had
taken place on the passage from the West Indies, and Mr. Ware
exhibited deep sympathy while listening to the tale of suffering.
Ricker, prompted by a feeling of gratitude which showed the
goodness of his heart, gave me full credit for the services I had
rendered during the passage; explained the nature of my connection
with the brig, and placed in the hands of Mr. Ware the written
obligation I had given Captain Blackler, and which was found among
the papers of Captain Adams.  This document, which had caused me
much anxiety, Mr. Ware returned, along with the twenty dollars I
had previously paid towards my passage.  He also thanked me for
the assistance I had rendered Mr. Ricker, and added something more
substantial, in the shape of twenty-five dollars, "as a trifling
compensation," he said, "for my services," although, for obvious
reasons, he was not aware of their full extent.  He suggested
that, if I designed to follow the sea, I could remain in the brig
on pay, and that the command of the vessel would be given to Mr.
Ricker.  He further said he would represent my conduct in a
favorable light to Mr. Gray, which he did, and years afterwards it
was remembered to my advantage.  Mr. Ricker himself urged me to
remain, and occupy the situation of mate.  It was in vain I
assured him that my practical knowledge of seamanship was limited,
and what little I once knew I had forgotten during my residence in
the West Indies.  He said he knew me better than I knew myself; he
would excuse all imperfections, as he had seamanship enough for
both, and to spare.  I was not convinced; I had also some
misgivings in regard to the weakness which he had exhibited, amid
danger and death, on the passage through the Caribbean Sea; and I
feared he had contracted a habit which would render any man unfit
for a situation involving great responsibilities, not only in
relation to property but also of life.  Nevertheless, I gladly
embraced the opportunity to remain on board for a time.  The brig
would probably be several weeks in port, and my future course
could be guided by circumstances.

The moral condition of New Orleans at this period   the year 1816-
1817   was deplorable.  For vice and immorality, it doubtless bore
away the palm from every city in Christendom or heathen lands.
Gaming houses, and vile, disgusting receptacles of vice and
infamy, were thickly scattered over every part of the city.
Midnight brawls and robberies were frequent; and hard-fought
fisticuff encounters, sometimes between two individuals, and
sometimes between two squads of half a dozen on-a-side, were
taking place on the levee, or in its neighborhood, almost every
hour in the day.

The population of the city was of the most heterogeneous
character.  Frenchman and Spaniards, of all complexions, native-
born citizens, formed the basis.  To them were added a thin
sprinkling of Yankees, mostly enterprising business men; and an
influx of refugees, adventurers, smugglers, pirates, gamblers, and
desperate scoundrels from all parts of the world.  The large
number of ships waiting for freight, and constantly arriving,
furnished a formidable body of sailors, many of them old men-of-
war's men, who, keeping themselves well primed with whiskey, were
always ready for a set-to, a riot, or a row.  And if we add to
these the boatmen of the Mississippi,   not only those who came
down the river in flatboats, but that numerous class, now extinct,
of hardy, powerful, reckless, quarrelsome fellows who managed the
KEELBOATS, the only craft that could stem the current of the
Mississippi before the introduction of steamboat navigation,   it
will be easily imagined that vice struggled hard to exercise full
and uncontrolled dominion over the capital of Louisiana.

Ineffectual efforts were made to repress tumult and establish
order.  The police regulations were in a wretched condition.  The
police officers were more inclined to look after the blacks than
the whites; and the calaboose was filled every night with
unfortunate darkies, who in a humble way were imitating the vices
of the more enlightened CASTE.  When symptoms of a serious riot
appeared, the military were called out.  On more than one
occasion, the sailors on one side to the number of two or three
hundred, and the Kentucky and Tennessee boatmen of equal or
superior numbers on the other, were drawn up in battle array, and
commenced a desperate contest with hard knuckles, bludgeons, and
missiles of every description,   revolvers and bowie-knives had
not at that time been introduced into such MELEES,   when the
military made their appearance, and the belligerents were

Fighting on the levee became an established custom, and was
sometimes resorted to as an exciting pastime.  If a couple of "old
salts" quarrelled under the stimulus of a glass of grog, instead
of bandying words, and pouring into each other a broadside of
vulgar epithets, they quietly adjourned to the levee and took it
out in hard knocks, and after having fought with desperation, and
pummelled each other out of all resemblance to human beings, they
would go on board their ship and cheerfully attend to their

One day I watched with no little interest a pitched battle between
a wooden-legged sailor and a French stevedore.  The sailor,
although he was wanting in one of his limbs, was said to be a
valuable seaman   one who would never shrink from work of any
kind.  He would go aloft in a gale or in a calm, and lend a hand
at reefing or furling as promptly as any man in the ship.  His
wooden leg was so constructed, with iron machinery, at the
extremity, that he could stand on a ratline or a hawse without
difficulty.  The stevedore, who was a powerful fellow, expected to
make short work of the cripple, taking it for granted that Jack
could not stand firm on his pins; and indeed, almost at the
beginning of the combat, the man with the timber toe was capsized.
His opponent, flushed with success, and disregarding the rules of
honorable warfare, determined to give Jack a drubbing while he lay
sprawling on his back.  But as he approached him with mischievous
intent, his fist clinched and his eyes flashing fire and fury,
Jack watched his opportunity, and gave him two or three kicks with
his iron-shod wooden leg in swift succession.  They were so
strongly and judiciously planted that the astonished Frenchman was
compelled to measure HIS length on the ground, from which, to is
great pain and mortification, he was unable to rise, and wooden-
leg hobbled off with the palm of victory.

The most savage and revolting contest which I witnessed was a
"rough and tumble" fight between two Mississippi boatmen.  One was
a young man, of slight frame, and rather prepossessing appearance;
the other was a burly, broad-shouldered ruffian from Tennessee.
The quarrel originated in a gaming house, over a pack of cards,
and the parties adjourned to the street to settle the matter in
regular style.  But few words were interchanged.  They grasped
each other firmly by the waist, and after a severe struggle for
the mastery, both fell heavily to the earth, when the real battle
commenced.  In a close, but not loving embrace, they rolled over
and over again.  No blows were given; they seemed to be clutching
at each other's faces, but their motions were so quick, violent,
and spasmodic that I could not see how their hands were occupied.
The struggle was soon over; the Kentuckian released himself from
the relaxed grasp of his prostrate antagonist, and sprang to his
feet.  He looked around on the spectators with a smile of triumph,
then entered the miniature Pandemonium, apparently without having
received injury.  His vanquished opponent was assisted to his
feet.  He was groaning, quivering in every limb, and manifesting
symptoms of insufferable agony.  I pressed forward, eager to
ascertain what injury he had received in this strangely conducted
combat, when, to my great horror, I saw the blood streaming from
his cheeks, and shuddered as I witnessed other and unmistakable
proofs of a successful attempt at gouging.

Nor were these pugnacious propensities, which seemed epidemical,
confined to the lowest classes in society.  They were manifested
by those who moved in a higher sphere, and who, looking with
contempt on vulgar fisticuffs and gouging, settled their
difficulties satisfactorily according to the established rules of
the DUELLO   with sword, pistol, or rifle.  Hostile meetings on
the levee, below the city, where the population was sparse, and no
impertinent interruptions could be apprehended, were frequent.
Indeed, the intelligence, some pleasant morning, that a duel had
just been fought, and one of the parties lamed in the sword arm,
or scientifically run through the body with a small sword, or
bored through the cranium with a pistol-bullet, excited little
attention or remark, excepting among the friends and relatives of
the parties.

One duel, however, was fought while I was in New Orleans, which,
being attended with some unusual circumstances, caused
considerable talk.  The principals were a French gentleman and a
lieutenant in the navy of the United States.  A dispute occurred
in a billiard room; the Frenchman used some insolent and
irritating language, and, instead of being soundly drubbed on the
spot, was challenged by the naval officer.  The challenged party
selected the small sword as the medium of satisfaction,   a weapon
in the use of which he was well skilled.  The American officer was
remonstrated with by his friends on the folly of fighting a
Frenchman, a noted duellist, with his favorite weapon, the small
sword; it was rushing on certain death.  But the challenge had
been given, accepted, and the weapons agreed on; there could be no
change in the arrangement; and, indeed, the Yankee, who was a
fine, determined-looking young fellow, showed no disposition to
"back out."

"I may fall in battle," said he, "by the sword or shot of a brave
Englishman, but never by a thrust from a spit in the hands of a
spindle-shanked Frenchman! Dismiss all fears on my account; I will
give this 'PARLEZ-VOUS FRANCAIS' a lesson in fighting he little
dreams of."

They met on the duelling ground at the appointed hour.  There were
more spectators present than usual on such occasions.  The
Frenchman affected to treat the matter with indifference, and made
some frivolous remarks which excited the laughter of his
countrymen.  Indeed, the chances seemed to be a hundred to one
against the lieutenant, who could handle with terrible effect a
cutlass or a boarding-pike, but was almost a stranger to a weapon,
to excel in the use of which, a man must be as loose in the joints
as a posture maker, and as light in the heels as a dancing master.
And yet there was something in the cool, resolute, business-like
bearing of the Yankee which inspired his friends with some
confidence in his success; and they watched the proceedings under
an intense degree of excitement.

The parties took their places, assumed the proper attitudes, and
crossed swords.  The Frenchman grinned with anticipated triumph.
It was clear that, confident in his skill, and richly endowed with
feline propensities, he intended to amuse himself and the
bystanders for a few minutes, by playing with his intended victim.
His antagonist, however, stood firm, until the Frenchman, with a
nimble caper, changed his ground, when the officer bounded
forward, got within the guard of his opponent, and with a thrust,
the force of which nothing could withstand, sent his sword,
apparently, through the body of the Frenchman to the hilt!

The poor fellow was hurled to the ground by the violence of the
shock, and supposed to be mortally wounded.  That he was not
KILLED outright was certain, for, owing to surprise and grief at
this unlooked-for result, the fear of death, or extreme physical
pain, he discharged a volley of screams that could be heard a mile
off, writhed and twisted his body into all sorts of shapes, and
manufactured, gratuitously, a continuous and ever-changing series
of grimaces, for which the younger Grimaldi would have pawned his
cap and bawble.

The wails and contortions of the wounded man were such, that it
was some time before his friends and a surgeon who was present
could examine his condition, which appeared deplorable enough.
Indeed, an examination seemed hardly necessary, unless for the
purpose of gratifying curiosity, as the wretched man, amid his
groans and screams, kept repeating, with much emphasis and pathos,
the terrible words, "JE SUIS ASSASSINE!  JE SUIS ASSASSINE!  (I am
killed!  I am killed!)  But as his voice grew stronger, instead of
weaker, at every repetition of the phrase, doubts were entertained
of his veracity; and a surgical inspection showed beyond cavil,
that he was laboring under a hallucination, and asseverating with
needless energy what was not strictly true.

That he was not killed on the spot, however,   impaled on a rapier
as an unscrupulous entomologist would impale a beetle,   could
hardly be regarded as the fault of his opponent.  The thrust was
directed to the place where the centre of the body of the
Frenchman should have been, BUT IT WAS NOT THERE.  The sword
passed only through the muscles of the abdomen, from the right
side to the left, perforating his body, it is true, and grazing,
but not injuring, the larger intestines.  The wound in itself was
not a dangerous one, although the disturbance among the bundle of
integuments threw the discomfited duellist into almost mortal
agony, and led him to believe he was a dead man, while
experiencing in his own person a liberal share of the pain he was
so ready to inflict on others.

Chapter XXXIII

The Betsey remained some weeks at the levee at New Orleans before
Mr. Ware could fix upon a voyage.  In the mean time Ricker
remained on board as master of the brig; and for several days
after our arrival in port his habits were correct and his conduct
without reproach.  Gradually, however, he strayed from the paths
of sobriety.  He was of a social turn; frank, honest cheerful, and
liberal-minded.  He possessed other valuable traits of character;
was a good sailor and a skilful navigator, but he could not resist
the fascinations of the intoxicating cup.

Intemperance disqualifies a man from employments where the
exercise of cool judgment, and clear, undisturbed reasoning
faculties are required; and no person addicted to habits of
intemperance should be intrusted with the command of a ship, where
property to a large amount and lives of incalculable value, are,
as it were, given into his hands.  If records of disasters could
be faithfully (here the page is torn and cannot be read) and
unfolded, we should have an appalling list of easy (torn page)
quarrels, mutinies, and shipwrecks which have (torn page) caused
by intemperance on the part of the (torn page.)

Mr. Ware, the commercial agent of Mr. Gray (torn page) the brig
had seen Ricker more than once intoxicated which roused his
suspicions that all was not (torn page) unlucky afternoon he found
him in a helpless condition, which convinced him that Mr. Ricker,
notwithstanding his excellent qualities, was not a (torn page)
could be safely given the control of (torn page) the high seas.

Ricker was mortified at losing, through (torn page) the command of
the brig.  He (torn page) however, of harsh or unjust treatment on
the part of Mr. Ware; and consented to remain as mate, promising
to refrain entirely from the use of spirituous liquors.  The
command was given to an officer in the United States navy,
Lieutenant Rapp; and in this way I was ousted from the berth which
Ricker was so desirous I should fill.  There was no longer a home
for me in the cabin of the Betsey, and I shipped as an ordinary
seaman on board the brig Casket, of New York, Captain Mott, bound
on a voyage to Havre.

The Casket was a large and handsome brig, and besides the captain,
mate, boatswain, and cook, carried six hands before the mast.  The
chief mate was a hard-looking customer, somewhat advanced in
years, rough in his manners, and profane and coarse in his
language.  But the captain was a fine-looking man, about thirty
years old, rather dignified and reserved.  His appearance spoke
volumes in his favor, and the crew who joined the ship in New
Orleans rejoiced in this opportunity of shipping in a fine vessel,
with a whole-souled captain, and bound on a European voyage!

Before we reached the Gulf of Mexico, however, the (torn page)
sang a different tune.  They found the mate more (torn page)
unreasonable, and every way disagreeable, if (torn page) than he
looked; and the captain evidently re- (torn page) sailor as a
piece of machinery to be wound up (torn page) for the performance
of certain duties, but (torn page) human attributes.  Whether a
heart beat (torn page) bosom, and his head was furnished with
(torn page) Mott knew not, neither did he care.  The (torn page)
of any one of the crew were never (torn page) If a man was sick
and incapacitated (torn page) was told, with an oath, to "bear a
hand (torn page) not be skulking in the forecastle;" and (torn
page) his duties, he was regaled with stern (torn page) language,
and sent upon missions at times, and under circumstances, which
showed that Captain Mott thought a few sailors, more or less, in
the world, were of no manner of consequence.

In former days every Yankee shipmaster was not a live, wide-awake,
pushing, driving, web-footed Jehu, who disregarded fogs, was
reckless of collisions with ships, fishing vessels, or icebergs,
and cared little whether he strained the ship and damaged cargo,
provided he made a short passage, as is the case in this
enlightened age when "Young America" is in the ascendant.  An "old
fogy" was occasionally met with, who, being well paid for his
services by the month, prided himself more upon the STRENGTH of
his ship's sailing than her rapidity.  This appears from the
following scene which once took place on board a Boston ship:

Captain Jarvis was lying in his berth, dreaming of a long passage
and plenty of money at the end of it, when he was awakened by the
unwonted noise of water under the counter, giving rise to the
suspicion that the officer of the watch was carrying more sail
than was expedient.  He jumped out of his berth, rushed up the
steps, popped his head out of the companion-way, and sharply

 "Mr. Popkins, heave the log."

Mr. Popkins:  Ay ay, sir!

Captain Jarvis:  How fast does the old ship go, Mr. Popkins?

Mr. Popkins:  Nine knots, sir!

Captain Jarvis:  Nine knots!  Julius Caesar!  I am astonished.
Take in some of that canvas immediately, Mr. Popkins.  I can't
afford to sail so fast as nine knots.

Mr. Popkins: Ay, ay, sir.

The studding sails were hauled in, and the main royal and fore and
mizzen top-gallant sails furled.

Captain Jarvis:  How fast does she go now, Mr. Popkins?

Mr. Popkins (after heaving the log.)  Seven knots and a half, sir!

Captain Jarvis:  Too fast, sir   much too fast!  Take in more
sail.  Why, Mr. Popkins, we shall be at the end of our voyage
before we know it, at this rate.

Mr. Popkins, with the men of the larboard watch, went to work, and
in a few minutes the ship was running along quietly under her
three topsails, jib, and spanker.

Captain Jarvis: Throw the log, Mr. Popkins.

Mr. Popkins: She is now going six knots, sir.

Captain Jarvis: Six knots!  Very well   very well indeed, Mr.
Popkins.  Always bear in mind that we are not paid by "the run,"
or the voyage; and six knots is very fair sailing between man and
man.  It is better to sail strong than to sail fast.  Don't let me
catch you running off at the rate of nine knots again.  Stick to
six and you will do, otherwise there will be no wages coming to us
when we get home.  Do you hear, Mr. Popkins?

Mr. Popkins, gruffly, (he had a sprinkling of Young America in his
composition.)  Ay, ay, sir!

Although Captain Mott was sometimes deficient in judgment, and on
more than one occasion narrowly escaped losing overboard some of
the crew, or wrecking the brig, he was, nevertheless, an excellent
seaman, managed his vessel with skill, and navigated her with
unusual correctness.  Not being paid by the month but by primage
on the freight, he was a veritable "driver," and lost no
opportunity to urge his vessel ahead, even at the risk of starting
a butt, springing a spar, or losing a man.  Being always willing
to work, on hand in any emergency, and never shrinking from
danger, I was often a sufferer from his go-ahead instincts, as
well as from his arbitrary mandates and unfeeling disposition.
And were it not that there is,

"A sweet little cherub which sits up aloft,
And looks out for the life of poor Jack,"

I should have become food for fishes long before we reached the
longitude of the Western Islands.

One afternoon, before we left the Gulf Stream, a thunder squall
arose from the south-east.  It came towards us rapidly, as if
borne on the wings of the Genius of Storms.  Its whole aspect was
"wicked" in the extreme, and every man on board knew that prudence
required sail to be taken in and preparations made for the
reception of the tornado.  The captain was on deck, but the
boatswain unfortunately remarked, "That squall looks like an ugly
customer, sir, and it will soon be necessary to shorten sail."

This remark, made in the most respectful manner, roused the
captain's ire.  He chose to consider it an unauthorized and
impertinent interference on the part of the petty officer; the
squall, as well as the boatswain, was denounced in language not
often heard in a drawing room, and both were consigned to a hotter
place than the craters of Mauna Loa.

The clouds spread over the zenith, the thunder rattled as if it
would rend the welkin, the wind began to blow in short-lived
puffs, as if making preparations for a regular "blowout;" the men
were stationed at the halliards, fore and aft, waiting with
intense anxiety the result, and the captain was pacing the
quarter-deck, looking as savage as a hungry bull-dog, and
determined to show that he was not to be frightened by squibs, but
would carry sail in spite of the squall.

At that time we were under courses, topsails, top-gallant-sails,
and a main-royal; our fore-royal mast was snugly stowed alongside
the long-boat on deck, where, at that tempestuous season, the main
one should also have been.  The order at length was given, "Clew
up the main-royal!  Let a hand go aloft and furl it."

The sail was clewed up, and in a few seconds I was clinging to the
sliding gunter royal mast, and gathering in the canvas, while the
captain was denouncing me for a lubber, for not accomplishing
impossibilities.  The lightning was flashing around ne, and the
peals of thunder were deafening; the rain was beginning to fall,
and the wind to blow with alarming violence, before I could spill
the sail and pass the gaskets.  Suddenly I heard a tumultuous
noise as of the roar of angry breakers.  I cast my eye to
windward, and beheld the whole surface of the sea covered with a
sheet of snow-white foam.  At the same moment I heard the voice of
the captain, who was now really alarmed, in a tone which could be
heard above the roar of the hurricane, shouting, with frantic
energy, "Hard up your helm!  Hard up, I say.  Let go all the
halliards, fore and aft!  Haul up the mainsail!  Lower away that
try-sail!  Clew down the top-gallant sails!  Why don't you put the
helm hard up?"

I was sensible of the danger of my situation, standing on "the
hounds" of the top-gallant mast, and almost within reach of the
truck, while the brig, with all sail set, was exposed to the fury
of this terrible thunder gust.  Obeying an irresistible impulse to
take care of "number one," I slid down the topmast cross-trees,
caught hold of the weather top-gallant backstay, and came on deck
much faster than I went aloft!  My feet had hardly touched the
deck when a gust struck the brig with a fury which I have seldom
seen surpassed.   It rushed upon us like an avalanche on a hamlet
in an Alpine valley.  Halliards, sheets, and tacks were let go,
but the yards were still braced up, and the sails could not be
clewed down.  Before the vessel could get before the wind her lee
side was buried in the water.  The conviction seized every mind
that a capsize was inevitable, and there was a general rush
towards the weather gunwale, and a desperate clutching at the
shrouds.  At this critical moment the main-topmast snapped off
like a pipe stem, just above the cap, and carried with it the
fore-top-gallant mast.  The brig righted, fell off before the
wind, scudded like a duck, dragging the broken spars, and her
sails torn to ribbons; and a cold shudder crept over me when I
thought of the appalling danger from which by sliding down the
backstay, I had so narrowly escaped.

When we struck soundings off the English Channel, the word was
given to the boatswain to bend the cables and get the anchors over
the bows.  The wind was blowing hard from the northward, with
violent squalls and a short head sea, and Captain Mott showed no
disposition to reduce the canvas in order to lighten our labors,
but carried sail and drove the vessel as if he was running from a
pirate.  The brig frequently plunged her knight-heads under water,
deluging every man on the forecastle with sheets of salt water.
In the mean time the captain, and also the mate, dry-shod on the
quarter-deck, grinned, and winked at each other, at witnessing our
involuntary ablutions, with the mercury at the freezing point,
while subjected to this severe course of hydropathic treatment,
and doing work which, under ordinary circumstances, could have
been accomplished in a few hours.

Reefing a topsail in a gale is an evolution simple in itself; and
when the sail is placed by the skill of the officer of the deck in
a proper condition, the work aloft can be accomplished in five
minutes, even by a bungling crew.  But Captain Mott seemed to take
pleasure in placing obstacles in the way of the ready performance
of any important duty, and held the crew accountable for any
extraordinary delay.  Thus in reefing topsails, the men were
sometimes half an hour on the yard, endeavoring in vain to do a
work which his own obstinacy or ignorance rendered impracticable,
and he, all the while, cursing and swearing at the crew for their
inefficiency, in a style which would have done credit to the
leader of a press-gang.

The men, generally, were good seamen, and able and willing to do
their work, and with proper treatment would have proved first rate
sailors; but it is an old and true saying that bad officers make a
bad crew.  When a man's best efforts are rewarded with abuse, it
is unreasonable to expect that he will perform his various duties
with alacrity and cheerfulness.  It was customary, at that period,
for rum to be served out to the crew, and the minimum allowance,
in nearly all American vessels, was a glass of rum at dinner, with
an extra glass during exposure to inclement weather, or when
engaged in unusually fatiguing labors.  This extra glass was
generally served out by the steward at the companion-way, and the
men were summoned to partake of this indulgence by a call to
"splice the main brace."

Captain Mott, however, refused to furnish the crew of the Casket
with the usual daily allowance of grog.  This refusal, there was
reason to believe, was caused, not by a commendable wish to
promote temperance, and break up habits of intoxication, but from
a desire to gratify a surly and unamiable disposition, and deprive
the men of an enjoyment which they highly prized.  With such a
captain and mate, and regulations of the most arbitrary and
stringent character, it may be imagined that the grumbling at hard
treatment, and the muttered curses against the inmates of the
cabin, were neither few, nor far between.

But the captain, while he refused the DAILY allowance of grog, did
not deem it advisable to withhold the usual allowance on Saturday
night, when every true sailor loved to meet his shipmates around a
flowing bowl, and pass a happy hour in lively conversation,
singing sea songs, spinning yarns, and drinking with heartfelt
emotion the toast of all others the dearest and best
"Sweethearts and Wives."

"Of all the nights that grace the week,
There's none can equal this;
It binds the mind in friendship's bonds;
It heightens social bliss.
For though far distant from the land,
At home our thoughts shall be,
Whilst, shipmates, joining heart and hand
Hail Saturday Night at Sea."

No one can imagine the tender, thrilling, and holy associations
which cluster round those words, "Sweethearts and Wives," unless
he has been long separated from those he loves, a wanderer on a
distant sea.  That Saturday night toast came home to the bosom of
every man who carried a heart beneath a blue jacket.  The
gallantry of the sailor has often been spoken of.  His devotion to
woman is proverbial.  With few opportunities to mingle in female
society, he can, nevertheless, truly estimate its value, and
appreciate its advantages.  Indeed, I have known old sailors,
whose rough and wrinkled visages, blunt and repulsive manners,
coarse and unrefined language, were enough to banish gentle Cupid
to an iceberg, exhibit the kindest and tenderest feelings when
speaking of WOMAN, whom in the abstract they regarded as a being
not merely to be protected, cherished, and loved, but also to be

I shall never forget the well-deserved rebuke I once received from
a sturdy old tar for an ill-timed comment on a woman's personal
appearance.  It was in St. Salvador.  The captain of a Portuguese
ship was going on shore accompanied by his wife.  The boat crossed
the bows of the ship I was in; the feminine garments attracted the
attention of all hands, who suspended their work and gazed upon
the charming object as if they beheld something more than mortal.
As the boat passed onward, and we resumed labors which the glimpse
of a petticoat had interrupted, with a want of gallantry which I
trust is foreign to my character, for which I cannot even now
account, and of which I was afterwards heartily ashamed, I
casually remarked, "Well, there's nothing wonderful about her,
after all; she's HOMELY enough, in all conscience!"

"Hawser," said my old shipmate, in a solemn and impressive manner,
gracefully waving the marlinspike which he held in his hand,

"Saturday Night" in olden times was not only devoted to
reminiscences of home and affectionate associations, but was also
the time selected for indulgence in the songs of the forecastle.
After the usual toast, "Sweethearts and Wives," had been drunk
with enthusiasm, some one of the crew was called on for a song,
and the call was responded to without affected reluctance; and the
beams, carlines, and bulkheads of the old forecastle rang again
with stirring songs or ballads poured forth from manly and musical
throats, in praise of beauty, descriptive of life at sea,
recording deeds of heroism, or inculcating lessons of patriotism.

To these songs of the forecastle, sung on the land as well as on
the ocean, in beauty's bower as well as in the sailor's sanctuary
or the stifled cabin, in days when accompaniments to vocal music
were not considered necessary, when the full melodious sound of
the human voice, THE NOBLEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD, was not
strangled, drowned, or travestied by the noise of the everlasting
piano, played with artistic skill   to these spirit-stirring songs
of the forecastle was commerce indebted for many of the finest and
best sailors ever sprinkled with salt water.

The well known songs of "the Bay of Biscay," "Black Eyed Susan,"
and "Cease, Rude Boreas," once listened to with emotion and
delight at the cottage fireside, or the fashionable drawing room,
and the many songs long since forgotten of a similar character,
written by salt water poets, and sung by mariners at home and
abroad, have transformed enthusiastic and adventurous landsmen
into sailors by scores, as by the touch of an enchanter's wand.
Dibdin did more to man the "wooden walls of old England" with
brave and effective men than all the press-gangs that ever
infested the banks of the Thames.

There was one man on board the Casket who, more than all others,
aided to keep the crew cheerful and happy.  He was the life and
soul of the forecastle.  Not all the oppressive and unfeeling acts
of the captain, and rough and unjust treatment from the mate,
which would naturally excite indignation and a discontented
spirit, such as sometimes will lead to insubordination on the part
of the crew, followed by the free use of handspikes, rope's ends,
and manacles, on the part of the officers, could repress the
spirits of Jonas Silvernail, spoil his jokes, or lessen the volume
of his hearty and sonorous laugh.  Jonas was a native of Hudson,
in New York; a young, active, intelligent sailor, who, always
good-humored, was never more happy than when singing a sea song,
spinning a merry yarn, or playing off a practical joke.  Jonas was
one of those jovial mortals who seemed determined to make sure of
present enjoyment, and let the future take care of itself; to bask
in the sunshine of life, while others despondingly wilt in the

Good humor is contagious; and it was owing to the cheerful,
contented spirit, infused among the crew of the Casket by
Silvernail's example, that they forbore from insolent
remonstrances, and wisely resolved to bear the ills they had,

"Than fly to others which they knew not of."

Such a man in the forecastle of a ship   and in my seafaring days
such men were not rare   is a treasure.  He lightens the labors of
a crew, adds to the harmony and happiness of all on board,
shortens a passage, and, as a natural consequence, promotes the
interests of the owner.

On one occasion, however, Silvernail's fondness for fun threatened
to disturb the harmony which was wont to reign in the forecastle.
Among the crew was a big, clumsy Dutchman, through whose thick
cranium no joke could penetrate, and whose feet were of
proportions as huge as his head, each resembling, in size and
shape, a Brazilian catamaran.  The men conversing one day of the
dangers of the seas, and the best means of preserving life in
cases of shipwreck, or when accidentally falling overboard, Hans,
who cherished a strong attachment to his own dear person,
expressed a regret that he had no cork jacket, by whose aid he
could float above the waves.

"Be under no concern on that account," remarked Jonas.  "If you
were in the water, a cork jacket would be of no more use to you
than a pair of curling tongs to Cuffy, the black cook.  But don't
try to swim.  TREAD WATER lustily with those mud scows (pointing
to his feet) and you will never go to the bottom."

"You just let my foot alone," said Hans, his face glowing with
indignation.  "You are always poking fun at my foot, and I don't
half like it.  My foot is one very good foot, (holding it up, and
swaying it backwards and forwards;) just fit to kick an impudent
vagabone with and teach him better manners."

"That may be true," said Silvernail, with a provoking grin; "but
if you should chance to miss the vagabone, as you call him, YOUR

This, and the loud laugh from his shipmates, with which it was
attended, was more than even the phlegmatic Dutchman could bear.
He made a furious pass at Jonas with his much-abused foot, which,
if it had taken effect, would have demolished the joker in a
twinkling.  But Jonas stepped aside, caught the ponderous foot in
his hand, and the next moment Hans was sprawling on his back.  He
arose, breathing guttural but incomprehensible denunciations
against his tormentor, who escaped from  his clutches by nimbly
running up the ratlines to the foretop, where he could safely
indulge his merriment over the wrath of the Dutchman.

I was often amused at the ingenious manner in which Jonas managed
to get over a difficulty.  One day when, with the wind abaft the
beam, blowing a strong breeze, we were carrying a main-topmast
studding sail, the boatswain very properly undertook to get up a
preventer-brace on the weather main yard-arm.   A rope was
procured, which had already been considerably worn, and the
boatswain expressed some apprehension that it was hardly strong
enough for the service required.  "O," said Jonas in an off-hand,
decided manner, "it will hold on until it breaks; and if it was
ever so strong it could do no more."

The boatswain appeared favorably struck with the unanswerable
logic embraced in the remark, and made no further objection to the

On this voyage I had one source of pleasure, of an elevated
character, which was denied to the rest of my shipmates.  This was
my attachment to books.  Before I left New Orleans, I purchased a
variety of second-hand volumes; a miscellaneous collection, which
enabled me to pass many pleasant hours on our passage to Havre,
and at the same time lay in a stock of information which might
prove of great value at a future day.

In books I found biographies of good men, whose example fortified
my mind against the temptations to vice and immorality, which
beset the sailor on every side.  They furnished me with an
interesting occupation in an idle hour, acted as a solace for
disappointment, and a faithful friend and consoler in anxiety and
trouble; inspired me with a feeling of emulation, and bade me look
forward with hope.  Many is the hour when, after a hard day's
work, or an exciting scene of peril or suffering, by the dim light
of a tallow candle, or a lamp manufactured by my own hands, while
others were lamenting their hard fate, or pouring out their
indignation in unavailing grumblings, I have, while poring over a
book, lost all sense of unhappiness, and been transported far away
to other and happier scenes; sometimes exploring with Barrow the
inhospitable wastes of Africa; accompanying Christian on his
journey to the Celestial City; sympathizing with the good Vicar of
Wakefield in his domestic misfortunes; sharing the disquietudes of
Rasselas in the "Happy Valley;" tracing, with almost breathless
interest, the career of some ancient hero whom Plutarch has
immortalized, or lingering over the thrilling adventures and
perils of "Sindbad the Sailor."

A sailor before the mast, as well as the inmates of the cabin, has
many hours on every voyage, which may be and should be, devoted to
reading and study.  When a resident of the forecastle, I have by
my example, and by urgent appeals to the pride, the ambition, and
good sense of my shipmates, induced them to cultivate a taste for
reading, and awakened in their minds a thirst for information.
Some of these men, by dint of hard study, and a determination,
even at a late day, to shake off all profligate habits, and be
something more than a common sailor, qualified themselves for a
different station, and eventually became respectable shipmasters
and merchants.

We lost one of our crew overboard, on this passage, in a manner
somewhat singular.  He was an Italian, called Antonio, and
remarkable for a love of cleanliness   a priceless virtue, when
not carried to excess.  He was continually washing his face and
hands, as if to get rid of impurities communicated by the
atmosphere.  One Sunday afternoon, with a strong breeze on the
quarter, the brig was reeling it off at the rate of eight or nine
knots, and a rough and turbulent sea was helping her along.
Notwithstanding the wind was three or four points abaft the beam,
Captain Mott insisted on carrying main-topmast and middle
staysails, and occasionally when the vessel was a little off of
her course, the main-topmast staysail sheet, which was fastened to
a cleat in the main deck, would give a "slat," with great
violence.  Antonio had just left the helm, and, according to his
usual custom, proceeded to draw a bucket of water from alongside,
in which to immerse his face and hands.  But while he was
stooping, in the very act of performing his ablutions, the brig,
through the inattention of the helmsman, was run off her course
nearly before the wind, the staysails were becalmed and the main-
topmast staysail sheet, that is, the rope which kept the sail in
its proper position, give a terrible jerk, caught the unfortunate
Italian behind, lifted him from his feet, and actually tossed him
over the gunwale.  The thing was so sudden, he had not time to
struggle, or even to scream, as he sank beneath the billows, while
the brig swept onward, leaving him far astern.  The cry, "A man's
overboard!" was instantly raised by those who witnessed the sad
event.  One man sprang into the weather main shrouds in order to
keep an eye on the poor fellow who became a martyr to cleanliness.
The helm was put down, the brig rounded to, and sails laid aback.
But attempts to rescue him were fruitless.  He was not seen after
he struck the water.

After having been about forty-five days at sea, we got sight one
morning of "the Caskets," in the middle of the English Channel,
about thirty miles west of Cape LaHogue, and on the following day
entered the harbor of Havre, the seaport of Paris, situated at the
mouth of the Seine.

Chapter XXXIV

Nothing remarkable happened during our stay in Havre, excepting an
unpleasant affair in which our good-humored shipmate, Jonas
Silvernail, played a principal part.  The master of an English
brig, an ignorant man, but excessively arrogant and presuming, one
day took some of our men to task on the quay, accusing them of
having taken a portion of his crew to a grog-shop, where they
plied them with liquor until they were drunk, and then left them
alone in their glory.

Jonas, in behalf of the crew of the Casket, stoutly but
respectfully denied the correctness of the statement, so far as
himself or his shipmates were concerned, and was about making an
explanation, which must have been satisfactory, when he was
interrupted by the excited Briton, who not only gave him the lie
direct, but went so far as to define, in coarse and profane
language, the particular character of the lie.

Jonas, although a model of subordination on shipboard,
nevertheless possessed the spirit of a man, and would not brook
abuse or insolence from any one who had no rightful authority over
him.  His eye sparkled, his lip quivered, and his fingers
convulsively contracted, while he remarked, in a tone somewhat
emphatic, "When a blackguard gives a gentleman the lie, he is, of
course, prepared to defend himself!"

Acting upon this supposition he levelled a blow at the
Englishman's face, which laid his cheek open to the bone, and
stretched him on the wharf in double-quick time, as flat as a

Here was a pretty business!  The affair looked serious for Jonas,
as the Englishman swore vengeance against the Yankee ruffian, if
there was any law or justice among a frog-eating people!  Jonas
was arrested, but by the kind agency of Mr. Beasley, the American
consul, he was relieved from restraint on payment of a moderate
fine.  The choleric Briton was taught a valuable lesson, and in
all likelihood put a curb on his tongue ever afterwards when
talking to strangers, especially if the stranger happened to be a

After having discharged our cargo of cotton, we sailed from Havre
in ballast.  We encountered a strong head wind in the chops of the
Channel, and were beating about for several days.  One night we
were steering a course about north-north-west, under single-reefed
topsails, courses and spanker, with the wind at west, while the
fog was so thick that the jib-boom could hardly be seen from the
forecastle, and supposed ourselves at least thirty miles to the
southward of the Scilly Islands.  Jonas and myself, who were
walking the main deck, while the boatswain was leaning lazily
against the quarter rail, and the captain and mate were sleeping
in their berths below, were startled by a dull, moaning sound,
which, ever and anon, seemed to come up from under the lee bow.
The noise became more distinct.  "What can it be?" said I,

"I know it now," exclaimed Jonas.  "It is the ROTE of the breakers
dashing against the rocks, and we must be lively, or we shall soon
be in kingdom come.  Boatswain!" shouted he, "Breakers!  Breakers
ahead!  Call up the captain!" and hastening forward he made such a
noise on the forecastle as to rouse out all hands, who rushed on
deck marvellously lightly clad, but prepared to encounter some
mighty evil.

The captain was awakened by the word "breakers," a word which
sounds ominous in a sailor's ears, and was on deck in a trice.  He
heard the rumbling noise, the character of which could not be
mistaken.  "Ready about!": he screamed.  "Stations, men!  Hard
down the helm!"

The brig came up into the wind, the sails shivered, but owing to
the head sea or some other cause, she would not come round, and
soon gathered stern way.  But captain Mott was a good seaman.
"Brace round the head yards!" he exclaimed.  "Lower away the
spanker peak!"

The brig, by the action of the helm, the head sails being thrown
aback, fell off rapidly on her heel, and soon gathering headway,
barely cleared the dark and rugged cliffs of St. Agnes in the
north, which now, as well as the powerful beacon light by which
they were surmounted, broke through the dense fog.

It was a narrow escape.  Fifteen minutes more would have carried
us among the sunken rocks and ledges which are piled together in
admirable confusion on the southwest side of the Scilly Isles, and
the vessel and all hands would have been among the things which

The wind came round to the eastward on the following day, and we
shaped our course across the Atlantic, bound for Savannah, whither
we arrived, without the occurrence of any remarkable incident,
about the first of May, 1817.

Having passed a couple of months in Savannah a few years before, I
was aware from personal inspection of the wretchedly low character
of the sailor boarding houses in that city; and I shuddered at the
idea of passing the few days or weeks of my sojourn in Savannah at
one of these "omnium gatherums" of intemperance and iniquity.

I gave to my shipmates such a graphic but faithful description of
the sailor boarding houses in Savannah, that the boatswain of the
brig, with Jonas Silvernail and William Jones, agreed to join me
in trying to secure quarters of a character somewhat more
respectable than the dens of iniquity frequented by sailors.  We
flattered ourselves there would be no difficulty in finding such a
boarding house as we wished, knowing there were many mechanics at
that time in Savannah, temporary residents, who were accommodated
with board in well-regulated families at a reasonable rate, and we
saw no reason why we should not be treated with equal favor.

Accordingly, the day after our arrival in port, having received
our discharge, we carefully removed from our hands all stains of
tar, rigged ourselves out in our neatest apparel, put on our most
sober and demure faces, and started off on a cruise after a
boarding house.  We had received some desultory information from
persons we had fallen in with about the wharves, which in a
measure influenced our course.

We were not particularly successful in our quest.  The simple fact
which we could not deny, that "WE WERE SAILORS," was sufficient to
bar every door against our entrance.  It was in vain we
represented ourselves as remarkably staid and sober sailors,
possessing amiable dispositions, not given to liquor or rowdyism,
and in search of quiet quarters in a respectable family.

To all this the one fatal objection was opposed, "WE WERE
SAILORS," and of course could not reasonably expect to be received
into any respectable house.  No faith was given to our professions
of sobriety.  The term "sailor" in the minds of those good people
was synonymous with "blackguard" or "drunken vagabond."  It
comprehended everything which was vile or wicked.  After applying
at more than a dozen different places, and finding the estimate of
a sailor's character every where the same, and that exceptions to
the general rule in this case were not allowed, we reluctantly
abandoned our exploring expedition, disgusted and mortified at
finding such unfounded prejudice existing against sailors, whom WE
not only believed to be human beings, and entitled to rights,
privileges, and indulgences as such, but a class of men which
actually included many worthy, honest, well-behaved individuals,
as well as those of an opposite character.  We could not but doubt
the policy as well as justice of a line of conduct which represses
every effort on the part of seafaring men to cultivate a self-
respect, and elevate themselves in the scale of society; a line of
conduct which is calculated to thrust them contemptuously back,
and plunge them deeper in the slough from which, perhaps, they are
striving to emerge.

In those days there was no "Mariner's House" or "Sailor's Home"
established in our large seaports by true philanthropists for the
benefit of seamen, where this useful but too long neglected and
condemned class might find a quiet, well-regulated, and
respectable house, with its doors thrown open to receive them.

We returned, crestfallen and disheartened, to the brig, and passed
another night in the forecastle; and the next morning, being
compelled to find an asylum on shore, we inspected several of the
sailor boarding houses, with a view to select the least
objectionable for our temporary home.  There was little room for
choice.  The landlords were all swaggering foreigners; their rooms
were filled with a dense effluvia arising from a combination of
odors, in which the fumes of tobacco and rum constituted a
prominent part; and drinking grog, playing cards and dominoes,
swearing, quarrelling, and fighting seemed to be the principal
occupation and amusements of the main portion of the boarders.

Such were the scenes I was destined to witness in Savannah; such
were the men with whom I was compelled to associate; such were the
temptations to which I was subjected, and which few could pass
through unscathed; such were MY "schools and schoolmasters" in
early life.

After much hesitation and many misgivings, we finally established
our quarters at the sign of the "General Armstrong," which was
kept by John Hubbard, a tight little Irishman, a regular "broth of
a boy," illiterate, not being able to write his name, with a
tongue well steeped in blarney, with a conscience as elastic as a
piece of India rubber, and a consummate adept in the art of
wheedling a sailor out of his money.

The sign which was placed conspicuously over the door of this
boarding house was a popular one, and well calculated to attract.
It was not intended to represent General Armstrong of
revolutionary memory, the avowed author of the treasonable
"Newburg Letters," but the American privateer of that name, riding
at anchor, and in the act of battling with the British boats in
Fayal.  Hubbard had been a petty officer in the privateer, and
prided himself on the part which he took in that memorable affair,
and on which he dearly loved to dwell, to the great admiration of
his half-drunken auditors.

The General Armstrong privateer was a brig belonging to New York,
mounting a battery of eight long nines and a twenty-four pounder
amidships.  The brig, a remarkably fast sailing vessel, was
commanded by Samuel C. Reid, a young and gallant sailor, who
displayed much courage, activity, and skill in harassing the
enemies of his country on the high seas, and had been successful
in capturing many valuable British ships.

While cruising off the Western Islands in the autumn of 1814, the
privateer being short of water, to procure a supply put into Fayal
on the morning of the 26th of September.  On the afternoon of the
same day three English ships-of-war arrived, anchored at the
entrance of the harbor, and received from the pilots and fishermen
intelligence that the far-famed American privateer General
Armstrong was then in port, and lying beneath the guns of the

Captain Reid, witnessing the arrival of these ships, did not
consider himself altogether safe from attack.  He knew that his
vessel was particularly obnoxious to the British, who would be
likely to disregard neutrality laws, spare no pains, and overcome
almost any scruples in order to insure her destruction; also, that
Portugal was a feeble power, which existed only by the sufferance
and protection of Great Britain.  Therefore Captain Reid, instead
of relying on international law as a barrier against aggression,
determined to rely on himself and the brave men with him; and when
the British ships appeared in the offing, he commenced making
vigorous preparations for defence.  As soon as it was twilight he
commenced warping his vessel nearer the shore.  This manoeuver was
seen from the decks of the English squadron, which consisted of
the Plantagenet ship-of-the-line, the Rota frigate, and the
Carnation gun-brig; and four boats were immediately sent off,
filled with armed men, who pulled directly towards the privateer.

But Captain Reid was watching the movements of the enemy.  He
ordered his men to pause in their labors, and stand ready to give
their visitors a warm reception.  When the boats arrived within
speaking distance, he hailed, but received no answer; the boats
pulled on in gloomy silence.  He hailed again, but there was no
reply, but the men redoubled their efforts at the oars.  Captain
Reid, aware there was no time to be lost, hailed a third time,
ordering the boats to keep off, or he would fire into them.  The
boats kept on.  The word was given to "FIRE," and a volley of
musketry was poured into the densely crowded boats, causing great
confusion and killing and wounding a large number of the crews.
The fire, however, was returned by the British, and the first
lieutenant of the privateer was severely wounded and one man was
killed.  After a sharp, but severe contest, in which the enemy
made desperate attempts to get alongside, the boats hauled off and
returned to their respective ships.

Captain Reid knew this was only the beginning of the drama.  He
encouraged his men, and got in readiness for a more serious
engagement.  He moored his vessel close to the shore, loaded his
large guns to the muzzle with grape and canister, and every musket
with bullets and buckshot.  His men were all on deck ready and
eager to meet the foe.

The moon had risen, and lighted up the bay, so that objects could
be distinctly seen at a considerable distance.  And soon after
midnight, twelve boats, carrying nearly four hundred men, and
armed with carronades, swivels, and blunderbusses, as well as
muskets, pistols, and cutlasses, left the squadron and pulled
directly for the privateer.  The crisis was at hand, and although
the brave commander of the privateer knew that his vessel must
eventually fall into the hands of his unscrupulous enemy, he
determined to defend her to the last.

A fierce and desperate engagement ensued.  As soon as the boats
came within range, they were greeted with the contents of "long
Tom;" and the nine pounders also faithfully performed their work.
The guns were served with almost incredible skill and activity,
and aimed with the nicest precision.  The fire was returned by the
boats, although it was evident that some of them suffered severely
from the effects of the first broadside.  Others, however, dashed
alongside, with the expectation of carrying the privateer by
boarding; but here, again, they were disappointed.  Pistols and
muskets flashed from every porthole, and boarding-pikes and
cutlasses, wielded by strong hands, presented a CHEVAUX-DE-FRISE
which the enemy could not overleap.  The carnage was terrible; the
contest lasted over half an hour, and resulted in the total defeat
of the British, who, with bull-dog ferocity and obstinacy,
although foiled in their desperate effort to take the privateer,
were unwilling to abandon the enterprise, and were shot and hewn
down by scores.  Only three of the officers escaped; several of
the boats were destroyed, and two of them, after the action, were
found alongside the brig, literally filled with the dead and

The boats which survived the conflict, crushed and discomfited,
pulled slowly back to their ships, bearing with them many of the
wounded.  Of the four hundred who left the ships an hour and a
half before, full of health, high in spirits, and eager for the
battle, hardly one hundred and fifty returned unharmed.

The attack on the boats by Captain Reid and his brave men was so
sudden and overwhelming, that the enemy, notwithstanding the
convulsive efforts of a few, seemed incapable of making any
effective resistance.  Instead of being the attacking party, their
efforts were mainly confined to ineffectual attempts to defend
themselves.  Thus, on the part of the Americans, the loss in the
two engagements was only two killed and seven wounded.  One of
those who fell was Mr. Williams, of New York, the second
lieutenant.  The first and third lieutenants were among the
wounded.  Thus, early in the action Captain Reid was deprived of
the services of his most efficient officers, but he was equal to
the emergency, and his cool and intrepid conduct secured the

On the following morning, soon after daybreak, the Carnation gun-
brig was hauled in within point blank gun-shot, and opened a fire
on the General Armstrong; but the gallant commander of the
privateer, being determined to submit to no other than a superior
force, returned the fire with his long twenty-four pounder so
effectually, boring the brig through and through at every shot,
that she was soon glad to haul off to avoid being sunk at her
anchors.  Preparations were now making to bring in the frigate;
and aware that to prolong the contest would be worse than useless,
Captain Reid ordered the brig's masts to be cut away, a hole blown
through her bottom, and with all his men, trunks, chests, and
baggage, took to his boats and safely reached the shore.  They had
not been landed fifteen minutes when the dismasted sinking vessel
was boarded by the British boats without resistance, and
immediately set on fire.  Such was the fate of the General
Armstrong privateer!

It is perhaps not strange that, before my shipmates and myself had
been a week at the boarding house, around whose attractive sign
clustered such patriotic associations, Downes, the boatswain of
the Casket, and Jones both became acclimated to the noxious
atmosphere redolent of alcohol and other disgusting compounds,
succumbed to the temptations by which they were surrounded, and
drank as much grog, were as noisy and unruly, and as ready for a
quarrel as any dissolute old Irishman in the whole circle of Jim
Hubbards' household.  Indeed the boatswain, a young fellow
possessed of many excellent qualities, and who had made a
resolution to reform some bad habits in which he had indulged, got
drunk before he had been three days an inmate of the
establishment, quarrelled with an English sailor, fought with him,
was severely whipped and furnished with a couple of magnificent
black eyes.  So true is the sentiment, beautifully expressed in
the language of the poet,

"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
But seen too oft, familiar with the face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace."

The generality of Jim Hubbard's boarders were what may be
technically termed "a hard set."  Among them were many foreigners,
who seemed to have been the off-scourings of their native
countries, and whose manners and morals had not been improved by
the peculiar discipline and lessons in ethics they had become
familiar with on board English men-of-war or Patriot privateers.
In truth they were a band of roistering blades, and by day and by
night, when not dead drunk, were restless, noisy, vociferous, and
terribly profane.  Flush with their money, and acting from
generous impulses, they would urge a stranger to drink with them
in good fellowship, and if the invitation was declined, were
equally ready to knock him down or kick him into the street, as
unworthy the society of good fellows.

Whole crews came to the house, from long voyages, with pockets
overflowing with cash.  They were received with smiles of welcome
by Hubbard, and the treasures of his bar were placed before them.
At the proper time they were told by their obliging landlord that
it was a praiseworthy custom among new comers to "treat all
hands."  Then commenced a course of unrestrained dissipation,
which was not interrupted so long as their money held out.  They
became uproarious, and took a strange pleasure in enacting scenes,
which should never be witnessed out of Bedlam.  But as their money
diminished their landlord gave them the cold shoulder; their love
of frolic and fighting was sensibly lessened, and their spirits at
last fell to zero on being told by their sympathizing host, who
kept a careful watch over their finances, and kindly aided them in
spending their money by making fictitious charges, and exacting
double prices for what they actually had, that THEIR CASH WAS ALL
GONE; that it was not his custom to give credit, and the sooner
they found a ship, and cleared out, the better.

Such, I am sorry to say, was the character of most of the sailor
landlords in "days lang syne."  And notwithstanding the efforts
which have since been made to elevate the condition of the sailor,
and provide him with a comfortable house on shore, I greatly fear
the race is not extinct; and that Jack, even in these days, often
becomes the prey of one of these crafty, plausible, smiling,
unprincipled scoundrels, who hands him a bottle of rum with one
hand and picks his pocket with the other; who, under the guise of
friendship, bears towards the sailor the same kind of affection he
is prepared to expect from the man-eating shark which is seen
prowling round a ship.  If he falls into the clutches of either,
he is sure to be taken in and done for.

But among Jim Hubbard's boarders, there were a very few of a
different character from those I have described; some who kept
sober, and had a due regard to the rules of propriety.  These,
sometimes, sought to restore order out of chaos, but soon
abandoned the attempt as a bootless task, and bowed submissively
to the storm whose force they could not arrest.  Among these was a
young man named Catlin.  He was rather below than above the medium
size, but had a broad chest and a muscular frame.  He was
evidently a thorough sailor; his countenance was open and
intelligent; he was quiet and unobtrusive in his manners, and
often seemed disgusted with the unruly conduct of the major part
of the boarders, some of whom had been shipmates with him in a
former voyage.  Catlin was troubled with an impediment in his
speech, and it was doubtless owing to this, as well as to his
sober habits, that his voice was seldom heard amid the vocal din
which shook the walls of the General Armstrong.

One morning a large ship arrived in Savannah from Boston, with a
choice crew, consisting of the boatswain and ten fine-looking,
athletic young men.  After the ship was made fast at the wharf,
and the decks cleared up, the crew received permission to go
ashore; and, neatly rigged and headed by the boatswain, a splendid
looking, symmetrically built native of Connecticut, who stood six
feet two inches in his stockings, and wore a feather in his hat
like a Highland chieftain, they paraded through several of the
streets of Savannah, singing, laughing, and cheering, bent on a
regular frolic.  They occasionally stopped at hospitable houses,
where "for a consideration" they could be accommodated with liquor
to assuage thirst and enliven their already lively spirits.

It was about nine o'clock in the evening when this jovial crew
came to Jim Hubbard's boarding house, entered the public room, and
called for something to drink.  Some of these men were disposed to
be quarrelsome, and were insolent to the landlord; clearly wishing
to provoke a fight; and a considerable number of the boarders
instantly threw off their jackets, ready to take the part of their
host.  The parties being nearly equal, there was a very distinct
prospect of a neat little row, or a regular pounding match.

Just as the parties were coming to blows the boatswain interposed,
requesting his shipmates to keep quiet and close their clamshells;
and then in an arrogant and defiant tone, stretching himself to
his full height, he exclaimed, "If there is any fighting to be
done here, I am the man to do it."  And, with a dash of that
spirit of chivalry which animated the Paladins of old, he added,
"I challenge any man in the house to step into the street, and
face me in a regular boxing match."

His large stature, big whiskers, insolent tone, and menacing
gestures were calculated to inspire awe, and those who had shown
themselves most eager to take part in the MELEE, shrank
instinctively from the idea of meeting this son of Anak in single
combat.  But Catlin, the meek-looking, quiet, inoffensive,
stuttering Catlin, who had been an attentive looker-on without
evincing any disposition to take part in the proceedings no sooner
heard the challenge, so vain-gloriously given, than he bounded
from his seat in a corner of the room, and stood before the
doughty champion.

"I ca-ca-ca-nt stand th-th-at," said Catlin, his eyes flashing
with indignation.  "I am your m-m-man!"

The affair became interesting.  A ring was immediately formed in
front of the boarding house, into which the champions of the
respective parties, denuded of all unnecessary covering, and each
attended by his second, entered.  The crew of the ship, the
boarders of the General Armstrong, and the inmates of various
boarding houses in the vicinity, formed quite a numerous body of
spectators.  The combatants very properly dispensed with the
absurd custom of shaking hands before they came to blows.  After
glowering at each other for a moment, they went vigorously to
work.  The boatswain seemed determined to demolish his puny
antagonist at once by some well-directed blows, and might possibly
have succeeded if the blows had taken effect.  But Catlin parried
or avoided them with surprising skill and agility, until the
boatswain losing patience, grasped his antagonist in his sinewy
arms, and after a brief struggle, Catlin was thorn heavily upon
his back.

He rose from the earth, like a second Antaeus, with renewed vigor,
and when the boatswain attempted to repeat the operation, Catlin
dealt him a blow in the body which fairly lifted him from his
feet, and, doubling him up, dropped him motionless on the ground.

By the aid of his second, the boatswain was soon again on his
feet.  The fight was renewed, and continued with but little
cessation for fifteen or twenty minutes, during which time Catlin
had been twice thrown, but had received no visible injury; and the
boatswain's features had been knocked out of all shape, and he had
been several times felled to the earth by the terrible blows given
by his antagonist.  His endurance was wonderful; he submitted to
his pounding like a hero, but he was rapidly losing strength; was
evidently suffering much from pain, and another round would
probably have finished the fierce contest, crowned Catlin with the
victor's wreath, and led to a general tumult and row, when some
new actors entered on the scene and changed the order of the

These actors appeared in the guise of a squad of police officers,
the city patrol, who had received intelligence of the row.  They
broke through the ring, without regard to ceremony, and made a
dash at the men who were striving so hard to maul one another.
The boatswain unable to resist or flee, was easily captured, and
also his second.  But Catlin, having heard the cry of "the watch!
the watch!" as these vigilant preservers of the public peace broke
through the ring, gave his antagonist a parting blow which he long
remembered, forced his way through or leaped over the dense throng
which obstructed his progress, and with the speed of a race horse
rushed into the house, and almost before the officers of the law
were aware of his escape, he had donned his garments, and without
a scratch on his person, mingled unsuspected with the throng of
spectators.  The boatswain, notwithstanding the woeful plight he
was in, for he was dreadfully punished, was marched off to the
guard house, accompanied by his faithful second, and on the
following day was mulcted in an exemplary fine for disturbing the

The most singular battle between two-legged brutes that I ever
beheld, was fought one day between two stout negroes in the
neighborhood of my boarding house in Savannah.  They had cherished
a grudge against each other for some time, and accidentally
meeting, a war of words ensued, which attracted a crowd of
spectators, who kindly used all possible efforts to induce them to
break the peace, in which charitable enterprise they finally

Much to my surprise, and greatly to the amusement of the
bystanders, the darkies made no use of their fists, neither did
they grasp each other by the waist, or resort to the worse than
savage practice of gouging.  They retreated from the spot where
they had been standing, until the space between them would measure
some ten or twelve paces, a good duelling distance, and then
instead of throwing tomahawks or javelins at each other's heads,
or discharging bullets of lead from the mouths of pistols or
blunderbusses, they bowed down their heads, as if overcome with
humility, and rushed at each other with inconceivable fury.

Like knights of ancient days, they met half way in the lists; but
instead of shivering their spears right manfully, their heads came
in contact, like a collision between two locomotives, making a
noise like a clap of thunder.  As they rose from the ground from
which they were both thrown by the violence of the shock, fire
seemed actually to flash from their eyes, and they shook their
heads from shoulder to shoulder for several seconds, apparently to
know if all was right within.

The result being satisfactory, they retreated a short distance,
not so far as at first, and again tried the terrible experiment of
seeing which head was the hardest.  After giving several of these
practical illustrations of the noble art of butting, in a fashion
that would have cracked, crushed and demolished the thickest
craniums belonging to the Caucasian family, but which seemed to
produce little effect on these hard-headed sons of sires born on
the banks of the Niger, one of the belligerent parties watched an
opportunity when his opponent was off his guard, dexterously
evaded the favor intended for him, and drove his own head with
tremendous force against the bosom of his antagonist.

This of course finished the engagement, for the poor fellow was
thrown backwards with violence to the ground, where he remained
for some time senseless, while the grinning victor received the
congratulations of his friends.

Chapter XXXV

I passed nearly three weeks in Savannah at Jim Hubbard's boarding
house, mingling freely with the different characters who
frequented that establishment, making my observations on men and
things; and if at times I felt humiliated and uncomfortable, I
solaced myself by the reflection that my sojourn in that place
would be brief, and in the mean time would open to my inspection a
new chapter in the book of life; and being constitutionally of a
hopeful disposition, and seldom troubled with despondency, instead
of suffering my thoughts to dwell on present perplexities, I
looked forward to more prosperous scenes and happier times.

At length I found an opportunity to quit Savannah, of which I
shall ever retain a vivid recollection, by shipping before the
mast in a good wholesome-looking brig, known as the Joseph, of
Boston, and bound to Gottenburg, with a cargo of tobacco.

The name of the brig was not a very attractive one, but I had
learned long before that the names of merchant vessels, being
bestowed according to the taste, fancy, or whim of the owner,
should never be regarded as indicative of character, any more than
the names of individuals.  The first vessel I sailed in, although
named after the most beautiful and swift fish that swims the
ocean, the dolphin, was one of the ugliest and dullest sailing
crafts that ever floated on salt water.

Some ship-owners have a great partiality to animals; hence we find
noble ships bearing the names of creatures of every description,
from the most ferocious beast to the most unsightly reptile.
Other ships carry on their sterns the names of heroes and
heroines, gods and goddesses; satyrs, nymphs, civilians, poets,
artists, statesmen, and demagogues; of kings, warriors,
buccaneers, philanthropists, and brigands.  It is thus we count
among our ships a Hercules and a Joan of Arc; with Apollos,
Minervas, Canovas, Hogarths, John Howards, and Robin Hoods, with a
dense sprinkling of Mammoths and Mosquitoes, Tigers and Humming
Birds, Whales and Butterflies, Nondescripts, Demons, volcanoes and

Some names of ships are ingenious and quaint, others commonplace
or ridiculous; some are expressed in a phrase consisting of a few
words, others in a word of one syllable, and sometimes of one
letter.  Thus we have the INO, and the GUESS; awkward names to
repeat when asked, "What is the name of that ship?" and the "Catch
me if you can," and the "What d'ye think 'tis like?" which, by
their respective godfathers, are thought to be extremely witty.
Thus, we have the "Ay, ay, sir," the "Tom," the "A No. 1," the
"Tallyho," and the "W."

During the last war with Great Britain two privateers were built
by the same individuals, and were intended to cruise in company;
they were called the "United we stand," and the "Divided we fall."
A number of years since, three large and elegant ships constituted
a line of English packets between Liverpool and Charleston, in
South Carolina.  They were, with commendable taste, named after
three celebrated poems by three distinguished British poets, the
"Lalla Rookh," the "Corsair," and "Marmion."  An opulent merchant
in Rhode Island, having been repeatedly disappointed in his wish
to have a male descendant, although he was the father of half a
dozen cherry-cheeked GIRLS, gave the name of "Boy" to a ship of
his, which was launched a few weeks after the birth of his
youngest daughter.  This ship was a fortunate one, and a great
favorite of the owner, but never arrived at man's estate,
continuing "a boy" to the end of the chapter.

Some ship-owners give to their vessels names of individuals
distinguished for talent or worth, or who have served their
country nobly by sea or by land.  Some bestow on their ships those
names that are dearest to them; those of their sweethearts, their
wives, their children, brethren, sisters, or friends, as the case
may be.  Thus we have the "Three sons," "Ten Brothers," "Four
Sisters," "Sally Anne," "Aunt Hitty," and "Huldah and Judy;" and
thus we may account for the euphonious name of a vessel, once
belonging to Windsor, in Virginia, the "Jonathan Jacocks."

Some years ago two Boston merchants were engaged in building a
ship for the freighting business.  When finished, there was a
difference of opinion in regard to the selection of a name.  One
proposed the name of a distinguished southern statesman, Mr.
Poinsett; the other, an old shipmaster, remonstrated against
giving the ship the name of any living person; and he carried his
point.  "The man you mention," said he, with energy and emphasis,
"is a good fellow enough now; but before two years, he may change
his politics, or do some other shabby act that will stamp his name
with infamy.  And then how foolish we shall look when hailing our
ship.  No!  Never while you live, call your ship, or your child,
after any living great man; but take the name of some one whose
excellence is vouched for by a tombstone."

A line of packet ships was projected, and in part established some
thirty-five years ago, between Boston and Liverpool, by some
public-spirited merchants.  The project, however, after a time was
abandoned.  Three new and beautiful ships were built for this
enterprise, and plied regularly between the two ports; they were
named the Emerald, the Topaz, and the Amethyst.  If the
undertaking had been successful, other ships would have been added
with names of a similar stamp, as the Diamond, the Ruby, the
Coral, or the Pearl.

The government of the United States has, for many years, adopted
the plan of naming ships-of-the-line after the different states in
the Union, the frigates after the rivers, and the sloops of war
after the principal cities; thus we have the Vermont, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, etc.,   the Brandywine, Raritan, Merrimac, etc.,
and the Jamestown, Portsmouth, Hartford, etc.  As no more ships-
of-the-line will probably be constructed, comparatively few of the
states will receive the honor originally intended.

The introduction of large clipper built ships, within a few years,
has been attended with a new and distinct class of names, some of
which are of a decidedly poetical character, and fill the largest
speaking trumpet to its utmost capacity; thus the ocean is
traversed in every direction by "Winged Racers," "Flying Arrows,"
"Sparkling Seas," "Shooting Stars," "Foaming Waves," "White
Squalls," "Sovereigns of the Seas," and "Thunder Showers;" and we
may soon see launched the "Almighty Dollar."

The brig Joseph was commanded by Ezra Allen, a very worthy, well-
meaning man, of moderate capacity, and an indifferent sailor.  The
mate, Mr. Bowen, was an energetic, down-east Yankee, with a drawl
as long as the deep sea line, and almost as much twisted.  He was
one of those queer mortals, manufactured nowhere but in New
England, who, restless, inquisitive, ingenious, and bold, can
readily adapt themselves to any situation, and, under a very raw
and green exterior, conceal an inexhaustible mine of practical
good sense and available intelligence on almost every subject.
Mr. Bowen, although deferential in his deportment towards the
captain, and ever treating him with a good show of respect, was in
reality master of the brig; his advice being solicited on the most
trivial occasion, and every suggestion he made in relation to the
management of the vessel was eagerly seized upon by the captain.
Indeed, Bowen was a model of a mate; industrious, economical, and
faithful, treating the crew with kindness and consideration, yet
exacting their full quota of labor.  No "bread of idleness" was
consumed where he had the direction of affairs.  Under his
management there was perfect subordination, without the necessity
of resorting to heavers and handspikes as a means of enforcing

The second mate, Mr. Conners, was a little, weasel-faced man, of
uncertain extraction, who had a great idea of his importance, and
like other mates I have seen, bustled about the decks, as if to
make up in noise and bustle deficiencies in merit; forgetting that
a quiet, decided, straightforward manner is more effective in
enforcing authority, and establishing discipline, than the
roughest language breathed through iron lungs.  We had but a brief
opportunity to test his worth, for, on the second day after
leaving port, Mr. Conners was attacked with illness, stricken down
and confined to his state-room, where he lay, suffering much pain,
and uttering moans of a character not unfamiliar to my ears.  The
chief mate came on deck while I was at the helm, and in answer to
my inquiries, gave me the particulars of his illness.

"Mr. Bowen," said I, "that man has got the yellow fever, and it is
a severe case.  It will probably go hard with him."

"Do you think so, Hawser? Said Mr. Bowen, slowly drawling out his
words; "well, I don't know but you are more than half right.
There have been some deaths from yellow fever in Savannah already
this season, and who knows but"   and turning to the captain, who
at this moment came on deck, carelessly handling his toothpick, he
exclaimed, "Captain Allen, Mr. Conners has got the yellow fever!"

The captain started back, aghast, at this terrible announcement.
His face was as white as a sheet.  "The yellow fever, Mr. Bowen!
God forbid!  What makes you think so?"

"Why," replied the mate, "the symptoms are precisely those of
yellow fever; and you know there were some fatal cases among the
shipping before we left Savannah."

"That's true, Mr. Bowen   true as a book.  Perhaps it IS the
yellow fever.  O Lord!  The yellow fever on board the Joseph!
What SHALL we do, Mr. Bowen?  Had we not better put back?  Who
knows whose turn it may be next?  The yellow fever!  Why, this is

And the yellow fever it proved to be.  The unfortunate man was
seized with delirium in less than twelve hours after he was
attacked, and died on the following day.  The captain was terribly
frightened, and was half disposed to make for the nearest port and
resign command of the brig.  But Mr. Bowen succeeded in calming
his fears, and convince him, that by sprinkling the cabin and
forecastle freely with vinegar, and burning brimstone, tobacco-
leaves, and tar several hours in a day for several successive
days, the infected atmosphere would be rendered pure and
innoxious.  The experiment was tried; and for more than a week the
captain, to the great annoyance of the sailors, was every day busy
in devising means of salutary fumigation, and carrying them into
effect, or, in other words, trying to drive out one poison by
introducing another a hundred times more offensive to our
olfactories, and attended, if possible, with more unpleasant

We pursued our course towards Gottenburg; steering nearly in the
direction of the Gulf Stream, passing to the southward of the Bank
of Newfoundland, and then standing away to the northward and
eastward, with a view to pass north of Scotland and enter the
Skager-rack through the broad passage which separates the Orkneys
from the Shetland Islands.  On the passage we fell in with the
little islet, or huge rock, known as Rockal, which lies almost in
mid-ocean, being about two hundred miles west of the coast of
Scotland.  This rock is only a few hundred feet in length, and
rises abruptly to a height eighty or a hundred feet.  It is craggy
and precipitous, and is the resort of seals, and myriads of birds,
as osprays, gulls, and gannets, which abound in that part of the
ocean, and there, undisturbed by the presence of man, lay their
eggs and rear their young.  Rockal has the appearance, when first
seen, of a large ship under sail, and is of a dark gray color,
being covered in some parts, probably to the depth of many feet,
with birdlime, or guano, the accumulation of ages.  But as this
rock is exposed to the peltings of the pitiless storms, which are
frequent in this part of the world, and is subject to the extremes
of heat and cold, it is possible that the rich beds of guano with
which it is covered are not of the best quality; besides, as it
can boast of no bay or nook in which a vessel, or even a boat, can
ride in safety, but is exposed on every side to the constant
succession of waves rolling onward eternally across the ocean, but
not always in the same direction, forbidding the landing of any
human being on its craggy sides, its treasures, however valuable,
will probably remain undisturbed forever.

This restlessness of the ocean, creating an undulating surface,
even during long-continued calms, excites the wonder of all who,
never having been abroad upon the waters, imagine its surface is
always smooth and unruffled unless disturbed by a gale of wind.
This "tramp of the ocean waves" is beautifully described by
Charles H. Brown, one of the "Bowdoin Poets":

"Roll on, old Ocean, dark and deep!
For thee there is no rest.
Those giant waves shall never sleep,
That o'er thy billowy breast
Tramp like the march of conquerors,
Nor cease their choral hymn
Till earth with fervent heat shall melt,
And lamps of heaven grow dim."

The next land we fell in with was Fair Isle, which lies about half
way between the Shetland and the Orkney Islands, being about
twenty-five miles south of Sumburgh Head, the southern extremity
of the principal of the Shetland Islands.  Fair Isle, as is indeed
the case with all these islands which are susceptible of
cultivation, is inhabited by a rude and hardy race of beings; the
men being engaged a large portion of the time in the ling and cod
fishery, which is extensively carried on in this part of the
world.  Taking advantage of their locality in mid-channel, the
boatmen from Fair Isle also board vessels which pass to an fro,
going "north about," and exchange fish and a slender variety of
vegetables for tobacco and rum; those articles, so unnecessary to
happiness or comfort, being greedily coveted by the rude and semi-
barbarous inhabitants of those regions, who also, be it said to
their credit, will not object to receive a dozen of biscuit, a
piece of beef or pork, or a goodly portion of any other palatable
article of food.

We were boarded by two of these boats from Fair Isle, well filled
with stalwart and sturdy beggars; and dealing with such a man as
Captain Allen, good natured and wanting in decision and energy,
their solicitations for favors almost took the shape of peremptory
demands, and the brig was virtually laid under a heavy
contribution.  Some of the most bold and importunate visited the
forecastle, and manifested such an inquisitive and rapacious
spirit in their quest after tobacco, that we were provoked to
treat them in a manner most inhospitable, and drive them on deck.

Proceeding across the head of the North Sea, and running for the
"Naze of Norway," the weather being pleasant and the sea smooth, I
persuaded Mr. Bowen to throw a fishing-line over the stern and let
it trail, with the expectation of catching some mackerel.  We
succeeded in capturing several of those excellent fish, and also
two or three gar-fish; a kind of fish I have never met with
elsewhere excepting in the tropical seas.  These gar-fish of the
North Sea were of comparatively small size, about fifteen inches
in length, but of most delicious flavor.  Their long and slim
backbone being of a deep emerald green color, Captain Allen, with
characteristic sagacity, concluded that these fish were poisonous
and unwholesome, and banished them from the cabin.  They were
heartily welcomed in the forecastle, however, their qualities
fully tested, and the skipper was pronounced the most verdant of
the two!

Passing the Naze, a high bluff point at the south-western
extremity of Norway, and then losing sight of the rough,
mountainous coast, intersected by innumerable arms of the sea,
called FIORDS, penetrating inland for miles, we crossed the
Skager-rack and entered the Cattegat Sea, which divides the
western shores of Sweden from the coast of Jutland, and which is
about a hundred miles in length and fifty miles in breadth.  We
soon got sight of Wingo Beacon, a high pyramidal monument, built
on a rock at one of the entrances of the fiord on which the city
of Gottenburg is situated, and procured a pilot, who took us
through a narrow, winding channel among the rocks, into a snug
haven surrounded by barren islets, and brought the brig to anchor.

Here we were obliged to remain until visited the next morning by
the health officer; for the quarantine regulations of Sweden,
although not so vexatious and absurd as in many other ports of
Europe, were nevertheless very strict.  A case of plague or yellow
fever was never known in Gottenburg, or in any other port in
Sweden, yet it was the universal belief among medical men that
both diseases were contagious, and could be imported in ships from
the Mediterranean and the West Indies.  Therefore, an elaborate
code of sanitary regulations was established, and precautions of
the most useless, yet annoying character to persons engaged in
commerce, were taken to prevent the introduction of diseases,
which could not exist an hour in that northern climate.

The health officer, a grave and dignified personage, with a
formidable posse, was rowed alongside the brig in an eight-oared
barge.  He asked the question, "Are you all well on board?"


The crew were summoned to the side of the vessel, and their
phizzes critically examined by the doctor.  We were then ordered
up the rigging as high as the tops, to exhibit our activity, and
prove that our muscles were in good working condition.

"Where is your roll of equipage?" asked the doctor.

This document, containing a list of the crew as shipped in Havana,
and certified at the custom house, after having undergone an
unpleasant process of purification, was passed to the health
officer, by the aid of a pair of tongs with legs of extraordinary

On counting heads, and comparing the actual number of those who
were anxiously looking over the gunwale with the list of the
ship's company, that vigilant functionary shook his head.  One of
the number was missing!  An explanation was demanded.  Captain
Allen was embarrassed.  He trumped up a clumsy story about a bad
cold, ill health of long standing, consumption, etc., but
whispered not a syllable of yellow fever.  He was a poor hand at
deception; but he might as well have stated the whole truth, for
as in all places abroad where strict quarantine laws are
established, if one or more of the crew is missing, it matters not
whether he died of accident or disease, the health officers take
it for granted, and insist upon it in spite of evidence to the
contrary, that he died of plague if the vessel is from the
Mediterranean, or of yellow fever if from a southern American port
or the West Indies.

Greatly to the mortification of Captain Allen, and to the loudly
expressed dissatisfaction of the crew, the brig was ordered to

Nor was this all the trouble and annoyance consequent on the
deficiency in the "roll of equipage."   Fumigations in the cabin
and the forecastle, of a character stronger and more disagreeable
than Captain Allen ever dreamed of, were carried on, under the
direction of the pilot and a revenue officer, several times a day.
They were attended with a most inodorous effluvia, and caused such
a general concert of sneezing and coughing, by night as well as by
day, that one would have thought influenza, in its most fearful
shape and with giant power, had seized every man by the throat.

Chapter XXXVI

Laws for the preservation of the health of a community have been
established among civilized nations in every age.  And when these
laws are based on reason and intelligence, they undoubtedly
subserve a noble purpose.  But the quarantine laws all over the
world, with some rare exceptions, being the offspring of ignorance
and terror, are not only the climax of absurdity, but act as an
incubus on commerce, causing ruinous delays in mercantile
operations, much distress, and unnecessary expense.

The PLAGUE was formerly universally regarded as a contagious
disease, and to prevent the horrors which attend its introduction
in large cities, the most stringent laws have been enacted for
ages.  But the contagiousness of the plague is now doubted by many
enlightened physicians.  Whether it be so or not, it never made
its appearance in countries bordering on the North Sea or the
Baltic, or on the American continent.  Although many vessels every
year, almost every month, arrive in our principal ports from the
Levant, freighted with rags and other articles, constituting a
medium through which this disease, if contagious, would surely be
propagated, yet this dreadful scourge of cities, in ancient and
modern times, has never been brought across the Atlantic.

The small pox is another disease against the introduction of which
quarantine laws have been established.  That it is contagious
there is no question; but by the blessed discovery of vaccination,
this disease, once so dreadful, is robbed of its horrors, and
rendered as harmless as the measles or the whooping cough,
insomuch that laws, formerly enacted in different states to
protect the people from the dangers of the small pox have
generally been repealed.

The Asiatic cholera, when it first made its appearance in Europe,
was believed to be contagious.  Quarantine laws, of the most
stringent character, were adopted to prevent its introduction into
seaports, and military CORDONS SANITAIRE were drawn around the
frontiers of nations to shut it out of villages and towns, until
it was ascertained to be an epidemic disease, the germs of which
were in the atmosphere, and could no more be controlled than the
winds which sweep the earth.

The YELLOW FEVER, however, has for many years been the most
terrible bugbear, and to prevent its introduction into the
seaports of Europe and the United States has been the chief end
and aim of the absurd and ridiculous quarantine regulations to
which I have referred.  It has never been regarded as contagious
by well-informed men in countries where it is most prevalent, and
now, in spite of long-existing and deeply-stamped prejudices, it
is generally admitted, by enlightened physicians, that the YELLOW

Persons in good health may leave a port where yellow fever
prevails, and carry within them the seeds of the disease, and on
arriving at another port several days afterwards, or on the
passage thither, may be attacked with the disease in its most
appalling character, and die; BUT THE DISEASE IS NOT COMMUNICATED
TO OTHERS.  Indeed, the yellow fever is not so INFECTIOUS as the
typhus or scarlet fever, which prevails every season in northern

When the yellow fever broke out in New York, and caused much
alarm, nearly forty years ago, the first cases occurred in the
vicinity of Trinity Church, and until destroyed by a black frost,
it spread gradually in every direction from this common centre,
insomuch that the "infected district" was clearly defined and
marked out from day to day.  Persons, who had been in the
"infected district," and left it for other parts of the country,
were subsequently attacked by this disease hundreds of miles from
New York, and died; but not a single instance occurred in which it
was communicated to others.  And so in the West Indies: the yellow
fever sometimes rages fearfully in one city or town, while in
another, on the same island, not a single case exists, although
there is a daily and unobstructed intercourse between the two
places.  And whenever, owing to some mysterious agency, it makes
its appearance, precautions to prevent its extension seem useless.
It overleaps all barriers, and attacks with equal severity the
inmates of a palace or a filthy hovel, the captain of a ship in a
splendid cabin, surrounded with phials and pills, and Jack in the
forecastle, redolent of tobacco, and destitute of ventilation.

The quarantine regulations in Boston formerly partook of the
unreasonable and absurd character, which, to a greater or less
extent, has marked these regulations in all maritime countries.
Vessels arriving from certain ports where yellow fever was
supposed to prevail, were not allowed to haul to a wharf and
discharge cargo, or hold any direct personal communication with
the city, until the expiration of twenty-five days after leaving
port.  Thus a vessel from the West Indies, having perishable
commodities on board, might reach Boston in twelve days, the
vessel and cargo in good condition, and every man stout and
hearty.  But it was supposed that yellow fever might lurk among
the crew, or lie concealed among boxes of sugars or cigars, and,
therefore, thirteen additional days were allowed to give it an
opportunity to escape.  At the expiration of that time, when the
patience of the men, kept so long in durance vile without the
shadow of a cause, in sight of their homes, was exhausted, and the
perishable portion of the cargo in a most unwholesome state of
decomposition, caused by the delay, the vessel was pronounced
pure,   in a fit condition to receive PRATIQUE, and allowed to
haul alongside the wharf, receive visitors on board, and discharge

The reader, inexperienced in the mysteries of sanitary
regulations, may smile at the absurdity of such proceedings, but
the system of guarding the public against the horrors of the
yellow fever, adopted by the health department of Boston, was in
those days remarkably judicious and indulgent, when compared with
the regulations in other cities, and which exist at the present
time, not only on the other side of the Atlantic, but in this
country.  And, to the credit of Boston, and as an illustration of
the intelligence of her citizens, it should be recorded that this
seaport, the principal one in New England, WAS THE FIRST IN THE
NOT CONTAGIOUS, and to repeal those ridiculous, useless, and
burdensome "quarantine laws," which, originating in panic terror,
have been instituted from time immemorial, to prevent the
introduction of plague and yellow fever, and establish in their
stead sanitary regulations, which are in accordance with the
dictates of common sense.

Infectious diseases are sometimes caused by the foul air arising
from a ship's hold, owing to the decomposition of vegetable
substances in a hot climate, or to an accumulation of filth,
without ventilation, when crowded with passengers.  The malignant,
pestilential disease, caused by inhaling this noxious atmosphere,
often sweeps off portions of the crew and passengers; and those
who visit a ship under such circumstances, and breathe the
poisonous gases, even in a northern latitude, are liable to be
attacked by this fatal disease.  But the ordinary quarantine
regulations will afford no protection in such a case.  A few
weeks' delay in quarantine after the crew have become acclimated,
and fumigations, and sprinklings with acids in the cabin, until
all hands are pickled or smoke-dried, will not purify the ship's
hold, prevent the exhalation of pestilential gases, and arrest the
progress of infection.

Then may we not hope that the expensive quarantine establishments,
with sweeping, indiscriminating regulations, founded on prejudice,
and continued through fear and ignorance, a disgrace to this
enlightened age, and a dead weight on commercial enterprise, will
soon be abolished?  In their stead let a board of health be
instituted, with an office where business can be transacted at all
hours.  Let the master of every vessel which arrives in port, and
on board of which deaths have occurred during the passage, report
the same at the health office, that judicious measures, such as
are adapted to the particular case, may be resorted to, in order
to protect the community or individuals from inconvenience or
danger when INFECTIOUS diseases exist.

Time passes slowly in quarantine.  The officers of a ship are
generally taciturn, surly, and exacting; and the crew are unhappy,
discontented, disposed to grumble, and ready to quarrel and fight
on the most trivial occasions, and often without any occasion
whatever.  At the expiration of ten protracted days after we let
go our anchor in the outer harbor of Gottenburg, we were again
honored with a visit from the health officer.  The crew manifested
their vigorous physical condition by another clamber up the
rigging.  The officer came on board, shook hands with the captain,
and congratulated him on being released from quarantine.  The
pilot took charge of the vessel, the men were ordered to man the
windlass, which order was obeyed with alacrity.  Faces diminished
in longitude, and were lighted up with smiles.  The anchor song of
"Yeo, Heave O," never sounded more musical or inspiring than on
that occasion.  Sail was made on the brig with magical dexterity,
and the crew were in fine spirits, jocund, and happy, as we
thridded the channel extending some ten miles to the city, looked
with surprise upon the innumerable barren rocks and islets
scattered around, and entering the strait, surveyed with
increasing interest and pleasure cultivated fields, and neat-
looking dwelling houses, and men, women, and children, busily
engaged in their customary occupations.  We felt that we were in
the world once more.

Gottenburg is a large and populous city, situated on a plain near
the extremity of the fiord, about thirteen miles from the
Cattegat, but almost encircled by steep and craggy rocks, hills,
and a bold and picturesque scenery, with a fine harbor, the
entrance to which is easily defended; it is conveniently located
for the foreign trade of Sweden, and next to Stockholm, has the
most extensive commerce of any port in the kingdom.  Its exports
consist chiefly of iron and steel, brought from rich mines nearly
two hundred miles in the interior, by a well-perfected system of
inland navigation.  We lay some weeks at anchor in the upper
harbor, and I had abundant opportunities to visit the city, mark
its peculiarities and note the character of its inhabitants, who,
in Gottenburg and vicinity, as in other parts of the kingdom, are
simple and industrious in their habits, and civil and hospitable
to strangers.

After our cargo was discharged and a sufficient quantity of iron
taken on board for ballast, the American consul informed Captain
Allen that he had a prisoner under his charge, accused of a
capital crime, whom it was necessary to send to the United States
for trial, and that the brig Joseph had been selected for the
honor of conveying the criminal across the ocean.  The captain did
not appear flattered by this mark of confidence on the part of the
consul; he ventured a weak remonstrance, but finally submitted
with a good grace.  Preparations were accordingly made for the
reception of the prisoner, who had made one of the crew of the
large clipper schooner Plattsburg, on board which vessel mutiny,
piracy, and murder had been committed.

The Plattsburg sailed from Baltimore about the 1st of July, 1816,
bound on a voyage to Smyrna, in the Mediterranean, with a cargo of
coffee, and $42,000 in specie.  The schooner was commanded by
William Hackett; the name of the chief mate was Frederick Yeizer,
the second mate was Stephen B. Onion, and Thomas Baynard was the
supercargo.  The crew consisted of six persons, all of whom were
foreigners, and among them were some desperate, hardened ruffians,
who had learned lessons in villany on board Patriot privateers,
some of which, under no legal restraint, and responsible to no
government, were little better than pirates.  The names of these
men were John Williams a Canadian, Peter Rog a Dane, Francis
Frederick a Spaniard, Miles Petersen a Swede, William Stromer a
Prussian, and Nathaniel White an Englishman.

Before the Plattsburg had passed Cape Henry symptoms of
insubordination appeared among the crew.  One of the men, named
John Williams, was particularly insolent and troublesome, and was
chastised by the captain, after which the voyage was quietly
pursued, and the crew were obedient and apparently contented.  But
beneath this apparent calm a terrible storm was brewing.  A
fiendish plan was devised by Williams and Stromer, and agreed to
by the rest, to murder the officers and get possession of the
money, which they knew was on board.  They first determined to
poison the captain, supercargo, and mates, but owing to some
failure in their calculations, this plan was abandoned.  When off
the Western Islands, it was determined, after some discussion to
seize on the officers while they were taking an observation of the
sun at meridian, and, following the example of the mutineers of
the Bounty, compel them to embark in the long-boat, and run their
chance of reaching the shore.  Williams and Stromer provided
themselves with cords in order to bind the captain, and also with
weapons to knock him on the head if he should resist; but when the
time for action arrived, the hearts of their associates failed
them, and the project was abandoned.

Williams reproached his shipmates for their cowardice.  They were
not lacking in rascality, but they wanted nerve to carry into
effect the desperate design of taking possession of the schooner.
Another consultation was held, and it was concluded that the
SAFEST proceeding would be to massacre the officers before they
could have an opportunity to make resistance.  This plan was
resolved upon, and all the details were carefully arranged, and
every man had his part assigned him in the fearful tragedy which
was about to be enacted.

Accordingly about midnight, on the 24th of July, being then but
little more than a hundred miles to the westward of the Straits of
Gibraltar, a loud cry was heard from the forecastle, of "Sail, ho!
Right ahead!"

Mr. Yeizer, the mate, rushed forward to obtain a view of the
vessel, and on stepping forward of the windlass, was felled to the
deck by a murderous blow from a handspike in the hands of one of
the mutineers.  His body was instantly seized upon and thrown
overboard.  The second mate, who had just been called, hearing the
cry of "a sail," hastened on deck and was going forward, when he
was struck a violent blow, and grappled by Williams, who
exclaimed, "Here is one of the rascals!  Overboard with him!" But
the captain, alarmed by the cries and trampling on deck, now made
his appearance, and Williams released his grasp on Onion and
attacked the captain, who, unsuspicious of any mutinous
intentions, was unarmed.  He was summarily disposed of, being
brained by a handspike or heaver, and thrown into the sea.  Onion,
greatly terrified, escaped down the companion-way, and concealed
himself in the bread locker.

The mutineers now called upon Mr. Baynard, the supercargo, to show
himself on deck.  He hesitated, but on being assured that no harm
was intended, and threatened with instant death if he did not make
his appearance at once, he passed up the companion-way, and while
conversing with Williams, was mercilessly murdered by Stromer and

Three of the pirates now entered the cabin in search of the second
mate, and the question was raised whether his life should be
spared.  After some debate it was determined that he should not be
killed, provided he would take an oath to be faithful to their
interests and aid them in their future proceedings.  Onion, on
hearing the decision, came out of his hiding-place, took the
prescribed oath of fidelity, and was admitted a member of the
fraternity.  As some proper organization for the management of the
vessel was considered necessary, Stromer was chosen captain,
Williams's chief mate, and Onion retained his position as second

On the morning succeeding this terrible crime, the specie was
taken from "the run" beneath the cabin and brought on deck.  Each
man   including Onion and Samberson, the cook, who took no part in
the outrage   received a share of the money, which was measured
out in hats and tin pots,   a single share amounting to about five
thousand dollars.

And now the important question arose to what part of the world
should they direct their course, in order to sell the vessel and
cargo and make their escape with their ill-gotten booty; for they
knew the deed would soon be known and the avengers of blood be
upon their heels.  They, finally, concluded to shape their course
to the northward, and enter some obscure port in Norway, where no
very strict inquisition would probably be made into the character
of the vessel of their intentions, and from which place they could
easily find means of proceeding to other parts of Europe.  Onion,
who was a skilful penman, was directed to manufacture some new
invoices of cargo and alter other papers in such a manner as to
deceive, for a time at least, the revenue authorities of such port
as they might enter; and Williams altered the ship's log-book to
correspond with the story they had agreed upon.

They arrived at Cleveland, a small port in Norway, about the
middle of August, and conducted their affairs in such a way as to
give no cause for supposing anything was wrong, But when Stromer
expressed a desire to sell the vessel and cargo, without being
particular in regard to the price, suspicions were excited that
all was not right; and those suspicions were strengthened by some
careless remarks of Frederick and Rog after they had been drinking
freely.  The schooner was accordingly seized and taken possession
of by the proper authorities, and brought round to another wharf,
where an investigation took place.  This of course alarmed the
guilty crew, and before their iniquity was discovered, each man
took his share of money so dearly earned, and in all haste left
the shores of Norway.

Williams, Onion, Rog, Frederick, and Samberson embarked in a sloop
for Copenhagen, where they landed in fine spirits; and under the
direction of Frederick, who was a native of that city, undertook
to open a store, and with this object purchased a variety of
goods.  But it was not long before some circumstances drew upon
them the attention of the police.  They were arrested, and
Samberson exposed the whole horrible transaction.  These men were
thrown into prison, and intelligence of their arrest was sent to
the American government; but more than two years expired before
they were brought to this country in the United States ship

Stromer and White went off together; and Stromer probably
proceeded to Prussia with his share of the money.  He was never
discovered by the satellites of justice; but White was
subsequently arrested and brought to trial.  Petersen, who was a
native of Gottenberg, returned directly to his home.  He had
parents in that city of respectable standing, besides brothers and
sisters.  He told his relatives an ingenious tale to account for
his prosperous condition, but he was speedily tracked by the
officers of justice, and one day while enjoying himself with his
friends, and lavishly spending his money, he was arrested for the
dreadful crimes of piracy and murder, and thrown into a dungeon,
where he remained heavily ironed for nearly twelve months, when he
was transferred to the brig Joseph for conveyance to the United

Chapter XXXVII

We sailed from Gottenburg one morning about the first of
September, 1817, bound to Boston.  Having been long absent from my
home without intercourse of any description with my friends and
relations, and having seen during that period striking
exemplifications of the caprices of fortune, having experienced
"many ups and downs," the downs, however, being decidedly in the
majority, I felt a strong desire, a yearning, to return once more
to my friends in New England.  I was convinced there were worse
places in the world than my own dear native land, and far worse
people than those among whom my lot had been cast in childhood.

It was on a Saturday we sailed from Gottenburg.  It had been
Captain Allen's intention to sail on the previous Thursday, but he
was unexpectedly detained.  On Friday morning all the arrangements
were completed; the brig was ready for sea, the wind was fresh and
fair, but not a step was taken towards getting under weigh.
Indeed our worthy captain plumply told Mr. Bowen that NO
crew, one and all, as well as the mate, were amused at this
exhibition of weakness, which did not increase the respect for his
character; for ALL sailors are not superstitious, although they
are proverbially regarded as such.

Petersen, the prisoner, who was brought on board in irons, bore no
resemblance in personal appearance to the ferocious, ill-looking,
big-whiskered ruffian, whose image is conjured up by the mention
of the word "pirate."  On the contrary he was a gentle-looking
youth, only nineteen years of age, of a slight figure, pale
complexion, and a pleasant, prepossessing countenance.  He spoke
English fluently, and by his conduct, intelligence, and plausible
representations, soon won the favor of every man on board.  He
declared that he did not participate in the mutiny; that it was
planned without his knowledge; that when the murders were
committed he was asleep in the forecastle, and fear for his own
life induced him to accept a share of the money and endeavor to
conceal the crime.

His story was believed by Captain Allen and others, and he was
relieved from his handcuffs every morning, and allowed to leave
his quarters in the half-deck and range the vessel, mix with the
sailors and assist in the performance of the various duties; and
he showed himself an active, obedient, and intelligent seaman.  He
often expressed a wish that his trial should take place; he was
confident of an acquittal, and longed to be once more at liberty.

I may as well state here that the trial of the mutineers of the
Plattsburg, viz., Williams, Rog, Frederick, Petersen, and White
took place on the 28th of December, 1818, before the U.S. Circuit
Court, in session at Boston, Justice Story presiding.  They were
defended by able counsel, but convicted on circumstantial
evidence, corroborated by the direct testimony of Samberson and
Onion.  It appeared on the trial that the mild and amiable-looking
Petersen was one of the most forward and active of the mutineers.
It was he who gave the signal for action by crying "Sail, ho!" and
he subsequently assisted in throwing overboard the mate and
murdering the captain.

The execution of these pirates was appointed for the 21st of
January, 1819, but on the ground that the time between the
sentence and execution, twenty-four days, was too short to allow
the criminals to make their peace with God, a respite was granted
until the 18th of February.  On that day they were placed in a
wagon, and a procession was formed of an imposing character,
which, after passing through Court Street, State Street, India
Street, and Milk Street to the Main street, now Washington street,
proceeded to "the town land on boston Neck," where the execution
took place in presence of twenty thousand people.

These men died a terrible death, in a strange land, far from their
homes and kindred.  Although such number witnessed the execution,
few sympathized with them in their sufferings, for all
acknowledged that their sentence was just.  Their execution,
doubtless, acted as an impressive warning to others, and
restrained desperate ruffians from the commission of desperate

In all ages, crimes of a dark dye when committed on the ocean,
have been regarded as exhibiting a more depraved character in the
criminal than crimes of a similar description committed on the
land.  At sea there are no constables or police officers, no
magistrates or good citizens ready and willing to aid in
preserving the peace of society, protecting life and property when
endangered, and in arresting a rogue or murderer.  For this reason
laws relating to mutiny, piracy, and murder on the seas are
punishable with death.  In many atrocious cases it is difficult,
perhaps impossible, to obtain proof sufficient to convict the
offender; but whenever a violator of those laws, whether a
principal or accessory, is arrested, tried, and convicted, THE
PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE SURE TO FOLLOW.  The certainty of punishment
is a mighty preventive to crime.  The impulses of that false
philanthropy which seems to flourish in the present age, can never
be more injuriously indulged than by persevering and unscrupulous
efforts to influence the press and rouse public opinion in favor
of setting aside the verdict of a jury, and snatching a red-handed
murderer on the high seas from the gallows.

Nothing particularly remarkable occurred during our passage home.
It was in the season of the year when severe gales are met with on
the Atlantic, but the brig Joseph proved a good sea boat, tight as
a drum, and could lie to or scud without danger of being
overwhelmed by the combing waves.  On this passage a little
incident occurred off the Orkney Islands, that will convey some
idea of the dangers to which those are subjected whose home is on
the ocean.

We were lying to in a gale.  The wind blew fiercely in flaws, and
there was a high and turbulent sea running.  The brig was at times
uneasy, and in the pauses of the gale rolled heavily to windward
as well as to leeward.  Orders were given to send down the fore-
top-gallant mast.  I hastened with alacrity aloft for that
purpose, and had reached the cross-trees, when in a lull of the
tempest, the brig, lying in the trough of the sea, lurched
fearfully to windward.  I grasped firmly one of the top-gallant
shrouds above the cross-trees, but the rope being old and decayed,
parted in the horn of the cross-trees BENEATH MY HANDS.

I clung, with a desperate grasp, to the rope, but was thrown out
with a jerk in an angle of forty-five degrees with the horizon,
and when the brig suddenly righted I attained for a few seconds a
horizontal position, and to an observer on deck must have looked
not unlike a spread eagle burgee at half-mast.  If I had
relinquished my grasp at that moment I should have been thrown
into the sea some thirty feet from the vessel's side, and a full
period would have been put to the adventures of Hawser Martingale.
But, notwithstanding the muscles of my arms were severely
wrenched, I was fortunately able to retain my grasp.  The next
moment the action of gravitation, together with the roll to
leeward, threw me back with terrific force against the topmast
rigging, which I eagerly seized, and then rejoicing at my lucky
escape from a great danger, and regardless of the bruises I had
received, I went on with my work.

On the passage homeward I often indulged in reflections in regard
to my future position in life; and while walking the deck at night
loved to let my fancy roam and picture castles in the air, which,
I fondly hoped, might at some future day be actually constructed.
My highest ambition was to gain, as rapidly as possible, a
thorough knowledge of my business, procure the command of a good
ship, and by my own labors, acquire a competence before age should
weaken the faculties or diminish a relish for society; and then,
residing in my own house with a small piece of land attached which
I could cultivate with my own hands, and within a few miles of the
metropolis of New England, surrounded by a pleasant neighborhood,
and enjoying domestic happiness in all its purity, gently sail
down the stream of life.

This was not an extravagant dream.  Yet the chances were at times
terribly against its fulfilment.  But I never despaired, and fully
believed that if Providence should grant me life and continued
health, THE CASTLE WOULD BE BUILT.  In the darkest hours I kept a
bright lookout ahead, far ahead for the cheerful and safe harbor
which imagination had so often portrayed.  And the dream has been
realized almost precisely as it appeared to me in my youthful
days; and I have  enjoyed for many years, in the retirement which
my fancy painted, as much happiness as usually falls to the lot of
man in this checkered life, with a strong hope,

"When the brief voyage in safety is o'er,
To meet with loved friends on the far distant shore."

About forty days after leaving Gottenburg we reached the Grand
Bank of Newfoundland, and crossed it in latitude of forty-four
degrees.  We fell in with many fishing vessels riding at anchor in
thirty fathoms of water, the hardy crews of which, rigged out in
their "boots and barvels," were busily engaged in their useful but
arduous occupation.  When on the centre of the bank, the fog which
had previously obscured objects at a distance, was suddenly swept
away, and we counted from the deck seventy-four schooners at
anchor, besides several which were under sail.

The Bank of Newfoundland is of enormous extent, reaching some two
hundred and fifty miles into the Atlantic, from the southern part
of Newfoundland and islands in that vicinity.  Its southern
extremity is in about forty-two degrees of latitude, and fifty
degrees west longitude from Greenwich.  The depth of water varies
from twenty-five to fifty fathoms.  The Bank is in the direct
track of vessels bound to and from Europe, and many sad disasters
have occurred to the fishermen, while lying at anchor in rough
weather in a dense fog.  In some instances they have been run
down, crushed to fragments, by large ships under full sail, and
every one of the crew has perished.

The fish on this Bank are chiefly cod, and have been taken in
incredible numbers by the crews of vessels built and fitted out
for this purpose, for more than two hundred years; and in times
past this fishery has proved a certain source of income, and
sometimes of wealth, to bold and enterprising men.  But for a
number of years this business has not been so profitable as
formerly, and not so many vessels have been employed.  It has been
intimated by evil-disposed persons that the capital stock of the
Bank is getting reduced, and that it will ere long fail to make
discounts or pay dividends.  But such rumors are the offspring of
calumny; the Bank is undoubtedly sound, has a solid bottom, and
its treasures and resources are inexhaustible.

The fishermen of the Grand Bank, in "days lang syne," belonged
chiefly to Marblehead and Cape Ann.  They were a bold, hardy,
sinewy set of men, inured to fatigue and reckless of danger,
cheerful in their dispositions, impatient under restraint, fond of
what they considered good living, ready with a joke or yarn on all
occasions, and not a little inclined to superstition.  Indeed the
fishing vessels on the Bank, if we are to credit the tales told
years ago, were often favored by the presence of death warnings,
mysterious noises, ghosts, and apparitions. Sounds were heard and
sights seen on board fishing vessels on the Bank, which filled the
stoutest hearts with fear and wonder, and would even astonish the
most inveterate spiritualist of the present day.

On shore the fishermen were a jolly set of fellows, social in
their dispositions, not given to vicious indulgences, but somewhat
careless of their earnings, regarding their resources as
inexhaustible as "the fish in the sea."  They married early, made
kind and affectionate husbands, and were, in almost every case,
blessed with a numerous offspring; indeed, Marblehead fishermen of
sixty years of age would remind a person of the Bible patriarchs
for the number of their descendants.  Their wives, fresh,
blooming, spirited, and good-humored, were grandmothers at six and
thirty, great grandmothers at fifty-four, and great great
grandmothers at the age of seventy-four!

The fishermen were patriotic, too.  They were dear lovers of their
country and its institutions, and prided themselves on their
attachment to democracy.  In the war of the revolution the
citizens of Marblehead and Gloucester, and Cape Cod, no longer
able to pursue their accustomed vocations, joined the armies which
fought for freedom, and rendered important services on the land as
well as on the ocean.  In the latest, and, we trust, THE LAST, war
with Great Britain, they came forward almost to a man, to assist
in manning our frigates and privateers; and no class of men
rendered better services, or could be more confidently relied on
when deeds of daring were to be performed, than the whole-hearted
and hard-handed fishermen of Massachusetts Bay.

As a nursery for seamen for our merchant ships in time of peace,
the fishing business has proved of immense advantage to the
country, and that policy may justly be regarded as suicidal on the
part of the national government which would throw barriers in the
way of its success.

To those who are familiar with the extent and geographical
position of the Grand Bank of Newfoundland, it may seem
surprising, perhaps incredible, that fishing vessels have been
known to seek for it, day after day, in vain.  Yet that such
occurrences have taken place in "olden times" is an established
fact.  But to the honor of our fishermen it may be said that such
blunders in plain navigation have been exceedingly rare, and as
much owing to a free circulation of the fiery liquid, which addles
men's brains, as to sheer ignorance.

Many years ago a schooner sailed from Gloucester bound to the
Grand Bank, in charge of a thick dunderhead of a skipper, and a
crew of about equal mental calibre.  In putting up the stores the
grog was not forgotten.  Indeed it was regarded as a necessary on
shipboard, as a shrewd counsellor in difficulty and danger, a
friendly consoler when borne down by misfortune, and a cheerful
companion in prosperity, which could not be too often embraced.

The schooner met with head winds before she reached the meridian
of Cape Sable, and was beating about for several days between Cape
Sable and St. George's Bank.  At length the wind hauled to the
southward, and the skipper put the schooner's head to the north-
east, and let her run, making a fair wind of it.  On the following
day, towards night, he got soundings in twenty fathoms.  "Hallo!"
shouted the skipper, "what a lucky fellow I am; I have hit the
broadest and shoalest part of the Bank the first time of trying!
I verily believe I could hit a nun buoy if it was anchored in any
part of the ocean.  But never mind, boys, let us freshen the nip;
we'll stand well on to the Bank, then let go the kellock, and haul
up the cod!"

He stood on for a couple of hours, when greatly to his
mortification and amazement, he found his schooner floundering and
thumping on a sand bank.  She soon knocked a hole in her bottom,
and the crew with great difficulty made their escape to land,
which was not far off.  Even then the skipper was disposed to
believe ha had found an island on the Bank which had never before
been discovered; and it was hard work to convince him that he was
cast away on the Isle of Sable!

Another case is said to have occurred of clumsy navigation on the
part of one of our Marblehead skippers.  The tale is traditionary,
but no less authentic on that account.

The fishing schooner Codhook was ready for a trip to the Grand
Bank for a cargo of the deposits, when the skipper, a faithful,
skilful, hardy old fisherman, as is the case with most of this
valuable class of men, was taken sick, and compelled reluctantly
to relinquish the voyage.  It became necessary to find a skipper,
and as it was a busy season, it was not an easy matter to procure
the right kind of a man.  After a time, however, it was concluded
that nothing better could be done than to appoint old Jonas
Hardhead skipper for this single trip.

Jonas, or "Uncle Jonas," as he was familiarly called, had been to
sea during the greater part of his life, but for the last few
years had been engaged occasionally in the fishing business; and
when he could be kept sober he was a valuable fisherman, for few
could endure more hardship, or haul up the cod faster than Uncle
Jonas.  He also boasted of his skill in navigation, and according
to his own story could handle a quadrant or even a sextant as
adroitly as a marlinspike.  It was finally settled that he should
act as skipper on this voyage, provided he would promise to keep
sober.  Jonas gave the pledge with alacrity, although his feelings
seemed hurt that his sobriety was doubted; he even declared that
he was never otherwise than sober in his life; and was forthwith
inducted into office.

In order to aid him in keeping his promise to the owners, Uncle
Jonas took with him on board some ten or a dozen bottles of "old
Jamaica," a beverage which he dearly loved; and although he seldom
got absolutely drunk when on shore, it was rarely the case that he
went to bed sober.  He had no doubt of his qualifications to
perform well his duty as skipper, and was determined to have a
jovial time at all events.

He had a quadrant and a Bowditch's Navigator, as well as a chart
of the Atlantic Ocean and of the American coast. But all this
machinery was of little use to Uncle Jonas.  Indeed he secretly
despised book-learning, regarding it as a humbug, and relied upon
his experience and judgment in navigating his vessel.  He was
aware that by steering a course east, or east half south, and
running in that direction for several days, he would strike the
broadside of the Grand Bank, which he expected to know by the
color of the water, the soundings, the many birds, and the fishing
vessels at anchor.  He also supposed that when he returned with a
glorious fare, a westerly course would fetch some part of the
coast, when he should certainly fall in with vessels, and easily
ascertain the where-away of Boston Bay, with all of which coast he
was familiar.

The schooner Codhook left the wharf with a roaring north-wester,
and in order to secure a lucky cruise Uncle Jonas treated himself
and his companions, a jolly set of fellows also, with a stiff
glass of grog.  He afterwards drank to a fair wind, to a
continuance of the breeze, and repeated this operation so often,
that what little knowledge and judgment he could boast of when he
left the wharf,  insensibly oozed away; and for nearly a week his
mental faculties were a great deal below par.  In the meantime the
wind blew a fresh breeze from the westward without intermission,
and the old schooner rolled and wallowed along with nearly all
sail set, at a tremendous rate, and actually crossed the Bank on
the fifth day after leaving port.  But the weather was foggy, and
the eyes of the skipper were dim.  No change was observed in the
water, no birds or fishing vessels were seen.

Onward the schooner went, with all sail spread to the wind, like a
new Flying Dutchman, until the seventh day after leaving port,
when the wind began to abate a little and haul to the southward.
The horizon was now clear, and Uncle Jonas began to look out for
vessels, and expressed a decided opinion that he was nearly up
with the Bank.  The sun went down and no fishing vessels were seen
under sail or at anchor.  He was confident they would be visible
on the following day, and in order that his vision might be
clearer, he swallowed a strong potation before he turned in.

On the next morning not a vessel of any description was in sight,
and the skipper, confident that the Bank could not be far off,
concluded to sound.  The deep-sea lead was thrown, but he got no
bottom with ninety fathoms of line.  "Wheugh!" exclaimed Uncle
Jonas, "what has become of the Bank?"

The wind now blew merrily from the south-west, and merrily sailed
the schooner; Uncle Jonas keeping a sharp look-out for fishing
vessels, and sounding every six hours.  Ten days passed away, and
he began to be alarmed, and expressed fears that the Bank had
failed, refused payments, sunk, or cleared out!  He continued,
however, to consult his Jamaica friend, and sought its advice and
assistance in his perplexity.  It is singular that in times of
difficulty and danger, when a clear head is particularly
necessary, men who have charge of property, and the lives of their
fellow-men, are prone to consult the rum bottle, which always
produces an effect precisely the reverse of what is desired.

At length, on the twelfth day of the passage, Uncle Jonas, whose
patience was nearly exhausted, saw a large number of gannets and
gulls; the water was remarkably chilly, and seemed to have a tinge
of green.   "Aha," said the skipper, "I have got you at last."
But he could not see any fishing vessels, or obtain bottom with
ninety fathoms of line.

On the following morning, however, much to his gratification, he
obtained soundings in sixty fathoms of water.  "There," exclaimed
the skipper triumphantly to his men, "you more than insinuated
that I was no navigator, but I have carried the ship straight to
the Grand Bank in fine style.  We will stand on until we get
thirty fathoms of water, and then go to work like men."

His companions acknowledged their error, asked pardon for doubting
his infallibility, and promised never again to question his
ability to navigate a vessel to any part of the globe.

But, much to the surprise and disappointment of Uncle Jonas, the
water did not shoal, but rather deepened as he kept along to the
eastward.  He again became bewildered, and could hardly help
admitting that there might be some mistake in the matter, as he
never found such deep water on the Bank before. He repeatedly
swept the horizon with his glass, hoping to conjure up some
vessel, and procure definite information in regard to his
whereabouts.  In the afternoon he saw a ship approaching from the
eastward, and his heart was gladdened at the sight.  He hauled the
schooner on a wind, hoisted his colors, and prepared to speak the
ship.  She proved to be the packet ship James Monroe, Captain
Wilkinson, bound from Liverpool to New York.  Uncle Jonas eagerly
inquired of the captain of the ship if he had fallen in with any
fishing vessels on his passage.

"Ay, ay," was the reply; "I saw a number of them in the Irish

"Irish Channel!" echoed the skipper, with a howl of agony.  "Why,
where are we, my good fellow; do tell us where we are."

"We are about thirty-five miles south-south-east of Cape Clear,
and on the Nymph Bank!"

Uncle Jonas dashed his trumpet to the deck, and sprang
perpendicularly four feet by actual measurement   so true, it is,
that astonishment prompts a man instinctively to extraordinary
gymnastic exercises!

The skipper was in an awkward dilemma.  He had gone across the
Atlantic, with a fair and fresh breeze, safely and expeditiously
enough; but he cherished strong doubts whether his skill in
navigation would suffice to carry him back.  He explained the case
candidly to Captain Wilkinson, who, after a hearty laugh at the
expense of Uncle Jonas, consented to furnish him with a navigator.
He accordingly put a young man on board the schooner who was a
proficient in the art of navigation   an art with which the
commander of a vessel on the ocean should be somewhat familiar.

As a preliminary step, the new captain caused the remainder of the
"Jamaica" to be thrown overboard, and every thing else which was
akin to it.  Uncle Jonas begged hard to retain it as a solace
under trouble; but he was overruled by the new navigator, and also
the crew, all of whom felt mortified at the result of the trip
thus far, and overboard it went.  The head of the schooner was got
round to the westward, her sails were trimmed to the breeze, and
the schooner jogged along quietly in the wake of the ship until
the latter was out of sight.

In due time, that is, in about thirty-five days after having
spoken the ship James Monroe, for the wind was westerly nearly the
whole time, the schooner Codhook reached the Grand Bank.  Neither
the navigator nor the crew would consent to remain there any great
length of time   indeed, for various reasons, all were anxious to
return to Marblehead.  In about a fortnight afterwards they
reached the port from which they started, after an absence of
about two months, having had a glorious cruise, but bringing home
a slender fare.

Uncle Jonas was laughed at until the day of his death; but he
always warded off the ridicule by declaring that no fishing
schooner had ever before reached Cape Clear from Massachusetts Bay
in fourteen days from leaving port!

We crossed the Grand Bank in the brig Joseph, and proceeded on our
way towards Cape Cod.  But meeting with south-west winds after
passing the Isle of Sable, we were forced to the northward on the
coast of Nova Scotia.  Here we were enveloped in fogs of a density
which seemed appalling.  Unable to obtain a meridian observation
of the sun, and swept about by unknown currents, we were uncertain
of our latitude, and more than once came near wrecking the brig on
that dangerous iron-bound shore.

After beating to windward a few days, the wind hauled us to the
southward and eastward, the fog towards noon, to a very
considerable extent, dispersed, and Captain Allen obtained a
meridian altitude of the sun, the horizon being as he erroneously
thought, well defined.  Having thus determined the latitude to his
satisfaction, he ordered the brig to be steered about west-south-
west, which, he supposed, would carry us round Cape Sable, clear
of all danger.

This cape is well known as the southern extremity of Nova Scotia,
a dangerous point, on which, notwithstanding the lighthouse on its
extremity, many vessels have been wrecked, and a countless number
of lives have been lost.  The fog again gathered around the brig
soon after the sun had passed the meridian, and became so dense
that for several hour it was impossible to perceive any object,
even at the distance of twenty yards from the vessel.  But Captain
Allen, confident in the correctness of his latitude by
observation, manifested no anxiety, and kept the brig on her
course, without ordering any particular lookout, which, indeed,
would hardly have been of use, or using the lead.

There was a steady breeze, and the brig was going through the
water at the rate of six or seven knots, when, just as the shades
of evening began to fall, the thick curtain, which had hitherto
surrounded us on every side, was suddenly lifted.  The fog
vanished as if at the will of an enchanter; and, to the
consternation of Captain Allen and every person on board, we
discovered craggy ledges of rock rising out of the water directly
ahead and on either side, and not a quarter of a mile off!

We were running directly on Cape Sable.  It was a narrow escape.
The brig was immediately put round on the other tack, and we
clawed off from the land with all possible speed, shuddering at
the idea of the dangers which in the fog-darkness had surrounded
us, and truly grateful for our preservation.

The fogs on our coast are a great impediment in the way of
navigation.  They screen from view the lighthouses in the night,
and the headlands in the daytime, and are often the cause of
perplexity and dismay even to the most skilful navigator, and have
led to the destruction of thousands of vessels.  The philosopher,
who, stimulated by the spirit which led Professor Espy to attempt
to control the storms, change the density of the atmosphere, and
produce rain in times of drought, should succeed in placing in the
hands of the navigator the means of dispelling fogs at will when
navigating a dangerous coast, would indeed be a benefactor to
sailors, and deserve the richest tribute of gratitude.

As we approached the shores of Massachusetts, having been six
weeks at sea, every person on board was anxious to obtain a sight
of land once more, notwithstanding our vessel was stanch and
strong and our provisions and water abundant.  There is always a
pleasant excitement among a ship's company at the prospect of soon
terminating a voyage.  We drew towards Cape Cod, and one night
when the soundings indicated that we were not far from the shore,
a good look-out was kept from the topsail yard for the light; but
no light was visible through the night.  Soon after daybreak, the
LIGHTHOUSE, right ahead, was plainly seen from the deck with the
naked eye, being not more than five or six miles off.  Whether the
light had been allowed to expire through inattention on the part
of an unfaithful keeper, or a thick haze had collected over the
land and veiled it from the view of vessels in the offing, as was
suggested by some good-natured individuals, was never known.

All was now bustle and excitement.  The land was in sight; the
"highlands of Cape Cod" were plainly visible; the wind was north-
east, and every thing indicated that we should be safely anchored
in Boston harbor, or hauled snugly in, alongside the wharf, before
another night.

It is pleasant to witness the exuberance of spirits on such an
occasion.  Orders were promptly obeyed; every man moved as if he
had been suddenly endued with a double portion of strength and
activity; smiles lighted up every countenance; the joke and the
laugh went round, and even Cato, the philosophic African, as he
stood near his camboose and gazed earnestly on the barren sands,
clapped his hands with glee, exhibited a store of ivory which
would have excited the admiration of an elephant.  Even the old
brig seemed to participate in the joyousness that pervaded the
ship's company, and glided along smoothly and rapidly, gracefully
and merrily, as if conscious that a quiet haven and a snug resting
place were at hand.

Passing Race Point we soon came in sight of the "south shore" of
Massachusetts By, the land hallowed by the trials and sufferings
of the Pilgrims.  We passed near Cohasset Rocks, dangers, which,
it is well known, have caused the destruction of many a noble ship
and in full view of Boston lighthouse we received a pilot on

Pilots should be a happy as well as a useful class of men.  When a
ship arrives at the entrance of a harbor, after a long passage,
the sight of a pilot carries joy to every heart.  He appears truly
in the guise of "a guide, philosopher, and friend," is warmly
welcomed, and treated with kindness and hospitality.  The news is
eagerly demanded, friends are inquired for, and the words which
fall from his lips are attentively listened to, carefully noted,
and prized as highly as the sayings of the Delphic oracles.

The dome of the State House was soon distinctly seen; a
conspicuous object, which seems to rest lightly upon the countless
edifices, a mural crown upon a kingly city.  We thridded the
narrows, and off Long Island Head Captain Allen suddenly
recollected he had a prisoner under his charge.  Petersen had been
released from durance in the morning as usual, and light-hearted
and joyous, had toiled with the crew, apparently sympathizing in
their feelings.  Speaking English fluently, and well acquainted
with the harbor, for he had sailed a voyage out of Boston, it
would have been easy for him to slip quietly over the bow and swim
to the shore, where, it is possible, he might have escaped the
fearful punishment that awaited him for his crimes.  But he made
no effort to escape, and was now conducted below by the mate,
handcuffed, and confined to his quarters in the half-deck.

We had no sooner anchored off Long Wharf than Captain Allen went
ashore, and in about an hour the United States Marshal,
accompanied by a posse with handcuffs and shackles, came on board
and demanded the prisoner.  Petersen was brought on deck and
delivered into his hands.  But his countenance had undergone an
appalling change within a few hours.  He seemed suddenly to have
realized the horrors of his situation.  His features were pale,
and his eye seemed glazed with fear as he looked upon the officers
of justice, and, trembling in every limb, was assisted into the
boat.  A sense of his guilt, and the terrible consequences, now
seemed to weigh upon his spirits.  The penalty exacted by the laws
for the crimes of piracy and murder stared him in the face.

We arrived in Boston on the 24th of October, 1817, having been
fifty-four days on our passage from Gottenburg.  I had not
accumulated treasures during my wanderings, but I had improved my
constitution, acquired a habit of resignation and cheerfulness
which bade defiance to the freaks of fortune, gained some
knowledge of the world, and rejoiced in robust health, one of the
greatest of earthly blessings, and which as often cheers and
enlightens the condition of the poor man, as his more fortunate
fellow-mortal rolling in riches.

When paid off, I found myself in possession of means to rig myself
out in decent apparel, and provide myself with other exterior
appurtenances of a gentleman; and also to defray my expenses on a
visit to my relations in New Hampshire, from whom I had so long
been separated, and whom I longed to convince by tangible proofs
that I was still in the land of the living.  And thus I returned
from my wanderings after an absence of nearly seven years, during
which I had witnessed many eventful scenes, and had studied the
page of human nature in various climes.

Notwithstanding my occasional hard fortune at sea, a seafaring
life still possessed many powerful attractions.  I was bound to it
by a charm which I did not attempt to break.  Besides, I had put
my hand to the plough and I would not look back.  Although I had
passed many happy hours in the forecastle, free from care and
responsibility, and associating with men whose minds, if may be,
were uncultivated, but whose heads were well furnished and whose
hearts were in the right place, yet visions of an important
station on "the quarter-deck," at no distant period, were often
conjured up by my imagination; and I resolved that many day should
not pass before I would again brave the perils, share the strange
excitement, and court the joys which accompany life on the sea.


When we embark on the ocean, we are astonished at its immensity,
bounded only by the horizon, with not a speck of land, a solitary
rock, or landmark of any description, to guide the adventurers
cast adrift on its broad surface, with "water, water, every
where;" and when we see its face agitated by storms, and listen to
the thunder of its billows, and reflect on its uncertain and
mysterious character, and on the dangers with which it has been
associated in every age, we wonder at the courage and enterprise
of those early navigators, strangers to science, who dared embark
on the waste of waters in vessels of the frailest construction, to
explore the expanse of ocean and make discovery of,

"New lands,
Rivers and mountains on the spotted globe."

Even familiarity with the sea, which has become the great highway
of nations, does not diminish its sublimity, its wild beauties,
its grandeur, and the terrible power of its wrath.

The immensity of the sea, notwithstanding its surface has been
traversed and measured by thousands of voyagers for centuries,
fills the contemplative mind with awe, as a wonderful creation of
Almighty Power.  One can hardly realize its vast extent from
figures and calculations, without sailing over its surface and
witnessing its immensity, as day after day passes away, the cry
being still "onward, onward!"  and the view bounded on every side
by the distant horizon.

On gazing down into its depths, when not a breath of wind sweeps
over its surface, when its face is like a polished mirror, we find
the water almost as transparent as the air we breathe, yet the
keenest optics can penetrate but a few fathoms below the surface.
The movements, the operations instinct with life, that are
constantly taking place in that body of water, and the mighty
changes which are going on in the vast tract of earth on which it
reposes, are invisible to mortal eye.

Within a few years, the progress of scientific knowledge has
enabled man to measure the depths of the ocean, which were
formerly believed to be as unfathomable as boundless in extent.
From soundings which have been taken, it is ascertained that the
configuration of the earth at the bottom of the sea, is similar to
that portion which rises above the surface, undulating, and
interspersed with hills, and valleys, and plains, and mountain
ranges, and abrupt precipices.  The greatest depth of water at
which soundings have been obtained, being between five and six
miles, is deeper than the altitude of the highest mountain of
which we have knowledge; and there may be cavities of far greater
depth.  Geological researches prove that at an early period of the
history of the earth its surface was vastly more irregular than at
the present time.  Not only the mountains on the earth were
higher, but the deepest valleys of ocean were far deeper.
Disintegrations caused by exposure to water or the atmosphere, and
abrasions from causes with which we may not be familiar, have
lowered the mountain tops, and created deposits which raise the
plains and fill the deepest chasms.  And here geologists find the
origin of the earliest formation of stratified rocks.

Men have striven in vain to develop the secrets which lie hidden
in the sea.  Imagination has been at work for ages, and in some
cases has pictured the bottom of ocean as a sort of marine
paradise, a nautical Eden, with charming grottoes, spacious
gardens, coral forests, ridges of golden sands, and heaps of
precious gems; and abounding in inhabitants with fairy forms,
angelic features, and other attributes corresponding with the
favored region in which they flourish, who sometimes rise to the
surface of ocean, and seated on the craggy rocks, sing sweet
ballads to charm away the life of the unwary mariner.  Leyden, a
Scottish poet, imagines one of these charming denizens of the deep
to describe, in the following poetic language, the attractions of
this submarine world:

"How sweet, when billows heave their head,
And shake their arrowy crests on high,
Serene, in Ocean's sapphire bed,
Beneath the trembling surge to lie!

"To trace with tranquil step the deep,
Where pearly drops of frozen dew,
In concave shells, unconscious sleep,
Or shine with lustre, silvery blue.

"Then shall the summer's sun from far
Pour through the waves a softer ray,
While diamonds, in a bower of spar,
At eve shall shed a brighter day."

Others, however, with fancies equally vigorous, but less ornate or
refined, give us different sketches of the doings in Neptune's
dominions. They picture the bottom of ocean as un uninviting spot,
replete with objects calculated to chill the blood and sadden the
heart of man; inhabited by beings of a character rather repulsive
than prepossessing, as salt-water satyrs, krakens, polypuses, and
marine monsters of frightful aspects and hideous habits; glimpses
of which are occasionally seen by favored inhabitants of these
upper regions, sometimes in the shape of monstrous sea-serpents,
with flowing manes and goggle eyes, lashing with their tails the
astonished waters of Massachusetts Bay.

In "Clarence's Dream: we find Shakespeare's idea of the sights
exhibited far down beneath the ocean waves:

"Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
A thousand men that fishes gnawed upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl;
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels;
All scattered in the bottom of the sea.
Some lay in dead men's skulls!"

Although man can fathom the depths of the sea, and may by
scientific experiments, conducted with immense labor and expense,
succeed in mapping out the great ocean basins, and obtaining an
accurate idea of the configuration of that part of the earth which
lies beneath the waters, yet the true character of the scenery,
vegetation, and inhabitants of that region must remain unknown
until some new philosophical and mechanical principles shall be
discovered to pave the way to a system of submarine navigation,
and the enterprise confided to some daring Yankee, with the
promise of an exclusive patent right to its use for a century to

In the mean time we may rest assured that no valuable gems or
lumps of gold have yet been brought up by the plummet.  Indeed, so
far as is shown by the soundings, the bottom of the ocean is
covered with microscopic shells, so wonderfully minute that
thousands may be counted on the surface of a single square inch.
We know also that the bed of ocean, for at least four hundred
years, has served as a repository, a burial-place, not only for
earth's choicest productions and myriads of human beings, gone to
the bottom in sunken ships, but for disappointed hopes, false
calculations, and sanguine schemes for the realization of fortune
and honor.

The immensity, the majesty, and the wonders of the sea are
manifest, and acknowledged by all.  But what can surpass its
beauty when in repose!  What scene can be more sublimely beautiful
than the sea when gazed upon from the mast-head of a ship, gliding
along as if impelled by the breath of a fairy!  Every thing in the
vicinity, as well as the vast expanse stretching out on every
side, is calculated to inspire confidence, invite security, and
give complete reliance on its gentle and pacific character.  While
enjoying the delightful scene, the passions are hushed.  The sea
seems the blest abode of tranquillity.  We are alive only to its
beauty, its grace, its magnitude, its power to interest and charm,
to benefit mankind and beautify the world.

And how calmly beautiful is the close of day!  What nameless
charms cluster around a sunset at sea!  The heavens and light
clouds are not clad in purple and gold; but the western sky is
attractive and lovely in the richness of its sober brilliancy.
The sun, with undivided glory, goes down in the west, sinking
gently and gradually beneath the well-defined horizon, like the
spirit of a good man in the evening of life, departing for a
better world.

Night drops her curtain only to change the scene and invest it
with holier attributes.  The moon sheds her light on the surface
of the ocean.  No sounds break the stillness of the hour as the
ship, urged by the favored breeze, quietly, yet perseveringly,
pursues her course, save the murmuring ripple of the waves, the
measured tread of the officer of the watch as he walks the deck,
the low, half-stifled creaking of a block as if impatient of
inactivity, the occasional flap of a sail awakened out of its
sleep, and the stroke of the bell every half hour to mark the
lapse of time, sending its musical, ringing notes far over the
water.  What a time is this for study, for contemplation, for
enjoyment!  The poet Gilfillan, in describing a lovely night at
sea, says, with true poetic warmth and energy,

"Night closed around the ship; no sound
Save of the splashing sea
Was heard.  The waters all around
Murmured so pleasantly,
You would have thought the mermaids sung
Down in their coral caves,
So softly and so sweetly rang
The music of the waves!"

Were such scenes always met with at sea, was its surface always
smooth, the winds favorable and the sky unclouded, little
resolution or physical endurance would be required to navigate the
ocean; the energies which call THE SAILOR into life would no
longer be necessary; the sea would be covered with pleasure yachts
of the most fanciful description, manned by exquisites in snow-
white gloves, propelled with silken sails, and decked with
streamers, perhaps with flowers, while their broad decks would be
thronged with a gay and happy bevy, of both sexes and every age,
bent on pleasure and eager to enjoy the beauties of the sea.

But this attractive spectacle is sometimes changed with magical
rapidity!  The scene shifts; and instead of gentle zephyrs and
smooth seas, the elements pour forth all their pent-up wrath on
the devoted ship, and events are conjured into being which rouse
into action the noblest faculties of man.  If the records of the
sea were truly kept, they would tell of hurricanes, shipwrecks,
sufferings, and perils too numerous and appalling to be imagined,
to struggle successfully against which demands those
manifestations of courage and energy, that, when witnessed on the
land, elicit the admiration of mankind.  These chronicles, if
faithfully kept, would tell of desperate encounters, of piracies
where whole crews were massacred, of dark deeds of cruelty and
oppression, of pestilence on shipboard, without medical aid and
with no Florence Nightingale to soothe the pains and whisper
comfort and peace to the dying!

And what may be said of the mariners, the life-long actors on this
strange, eventful theatre,   the sea,   who perform their
unwritten and unrecorded parts, face danger and death in every
shape, and are heard and seen no more?  Is it remarkable that,
estranged from the enjoyments which cluster around the most humble
fireside, and familiar with scenes differing so widely from those
met with on the land, they should acquire habits peculiar to
themselves and form a character of their own?

The failings of this isolated class of men are well known; a
catalogue of their imperfections is scattered abroad by every wind
that blows; they are acknowledged, even by themselves, and
enlarged upon and exaggerated by those who know them not.  True
are the words of the poet,

"Men's evil manners live in brass;
Their virtues we write in water."

Those who are familiar with a seafaring life, and have had
opportunities for analyzing the character of the sailor, know that
it possesses many brilliant spots as well as blemishes, and that
it would be cruel and unjust on the part of those more favored
with the smiles of fortune, to steel their hearts against sympathy
for his sufferings, or respect for his intrinsic worth.

The sailor is said to be rough and unpolished, as well as addicted
to vices.  It is true he is seldom a proficient in classical
studies, or versed in the logic of the schools.  But he is
conversant with men and manners in various parts of the globe, and
his habits of life, and opportunities for observation, supply him
with a fund of worldly wisdom and practical knowledge, which
qualify him to render good service when strong hands and bold
hearts are in demand on the land as well as on the sea.  It should
be remembered, also, that the sailor has few opportunities of
receiving instruction in polite literature, of learning lessons of
moral culture, and of sharing the pleasures and refinements of
domestic life.  The many temptations to which he is exposed should
also be remembered, and it will be found that, with his generous
heart and noble spirit, he is far more worthy of confidence and
respect than the thousands we meet with in society, who, in spite
of words of warning and the example of good men, with every
inducement to pursue the path of rectitude, voluntarily embrace a
life of dissipation, consume their substance in riotous living,
and become slaves to habits of a degrading character.

The same records that tell of stormy passions, profligate habits,
thrilling disasters, and violent deaths on the sea, also chronicle
the manifold deeds of philanthropy, heroism, self-devotion, and
patriotism of those,

"Whose march is on the mountain wave,
Whose home is on the deep!"

Of those who, however rough and unpolished, are ever ready to
lend a protecting hand to the weak, to spend their last dollar in
encouraging the unfortunate or relieving distress, and to risk
their lives in defence of the honor of their country, and the flag
which waves over their heads.

When we look at the hardships, sufferings, and perils of the
sailor, with his few enjoyments and recreations, and consider the
services he renders society,   that by his courage and energy we
enjoy the countless advantages of commerce, and that through his
means are spread abroad the blessings of civilization and
Christianity, while for HIM "no Sabbath bell awakes the Sabbath
morn,"   we ought to cherish a sense of gratitude and indulgence
for that class of men "who go down to the sea in ships and do
business on the great waters;" to that class of men to whom we
intrust, with confidence, not only our golden treasures, but our
wives and our children, all which are most dear to us.

So far from despising the character and calling of the sailor, and
regarding him with an eye of distrust, let us throw a veil over
his faults, appreciate his virtues, be ready at all times to give
him words of good cheer, and encourage him to keep within his
bosom a clear conscience and an honest heart.  Let us not grudge
our influence or mite in favor of measures to elevate his
character and promote his comfort while sailing over the
tempestuous sea of life; or in preparing for his reception,
towards the close of the voyage, when broken down with toil and
suffering, a quiet haven, a SNUG HARBOR, where, safely moored,
secure from storms and troubles, he can calmly await the
inevitable summons aloft.


My task is finished.  I have given, in the foregoing pages, a
brief, but strictly truthful, summary of my adventures during a
few years of my early life.  It would have been comparatively easy
to concoct a series of incidents far more wild, romantic, and
improbable, and, therefore, more interesting, than any thing
contained in this simple narrative.  But I have preferred to give
a faithful transcript of events which actually occurred.

If the tale of my trials, temptations, resources, and enjoyments
will tend to brighten a passing hour of the indulgent reader,
throw light on the character, habits of life, recreations, and
perils of the common sailor; guard an unsuspecting young man
against temptations to vice, and encourage him to exert all his
energies, and boldly press forward in the channel which leads to
usefulness and honor; my labors will not have been in vain, and I
shall never regret having attempted to lift a corner of the
curtain, which has for centuries screened from public view, JACK

                              The End


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