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I Journal of Choice Reading,
· | large sum of money was needed, not less than
| £90,000. WARDLAW was at home before this, with his The difficulties were great; but he entered on hands full of business ; and it is time the reader this project with two advantages. In the first place, should be let into one secret at least, which this he enjoyed excellent credit; in the second, he was merchant had contrived to conceal from the City of not disposed to be scrupulous. He had been cheated London, and from his own father, and from every several times; and nothing undermines feeble rechuman creature, except one poor, simple, devoted titude more than that. Such a man as Wardlaw is soul, called Michael Penfold.
apt to establish a sort of account current with huThere are men, who seem stupid, yet generally | manity. go right; there are also clever men, who appear to “Several fellow-creatures have cheated me. Well, have the art of blundering wisely: “sapienter de- I must get as much back, by hook or by crook, from scendunt in infernum," as the ancients have it; and several fellow-creatures." some of these latter will even lie on their backs, after After much hard thought, he conceived his double a fall, and lift up their voices, and prove to you that master-stroke: and it was to execute this he went in the nature of things they ought to have gone up, out to Australia. and their being down is monstrous ; illusory.
We have seen that he persuaded Helen Rolleston Arthur Wardlaw was not quite so clever as all to come to England and be married; but, as to the that; but still he misconducted the business of the other part of his project, that is a matter for the firm with perfect ability from the first month he en reader to watch, as it develops itself. tered on it. Like those ambitious railways, which 'His first act of business, on reaching England, ruin a goodly trunk with excess of branches, not to was to insure the freights of the Proserpine and the say twigs, he set to work extending, and extending, Shannon. and sent the sap of the healthy old concern a-flying He sent Michael Penfold to Lloyd's, with the to the ends of the earth.
requisite vouchers, including the receipts of the gold He was not only too ambitious, and not cool merchants. Penfold easily insured the Shannon, enough; he was also unlucky, or under a curse, or whose freight was valued at only six thousand something; for things, well conceived, broke down, pounds. The Proserpine, with her cargo, and a in his hands, under petty accidents. And, besides, hundred and thirty thousand pounds of specie to his new correspondents and agents hit him cruelly boot, was another matter. Some underwriters had hard. Then what did he? Why, shot good money an objection to specie, being subject to theft as well after bad, and lost both. He could not retrench, as shipwreck; other underwriters, applied to by for his game was concealment; his father, was kept Penfold, acquiesced ; others called on Wardlaw himin the dark, and drew his four thousand a year, as self, to ask a few questions, and he replied to them usual, and, upon any hesitation, in that respect, courteously, but with a certain nonchalance, treatwould have called in an accountant and wound up ing it as an affair which might be big to them, but the concern. But this tax upon the receipts, though was not of particular importance to a merchant inconvenient, was a trifle compared with the series doing business on his scale. of heavy engagements that were impending. The To one underwriter, Condell, with whom he was future was so black, that Wardlaw junior was sore on somewhat intimate terms, he said, “I wish I tempted to realize twenty thousand pounds, which a could insure the Shannon, at her value; but that man in his position could easily do, and fly the coun- | is impossible: the City of London could not do it. try. But this would have been to give up Helen The Proserpine brings me some cases of specie, Rolleston; and he loved her too well. His brain but my true treasure is on board the Shannon. was naturally subtle and fertile in expedients; so he She carries my bride, sir." brought all its powers to bear on a double problem ; “ O indeed! Miss Rolleston?” how to marry Helen; and restore the concern he “Ah, I remember; you have seen her. Then you had mismanaged to its former state. For this, a I will not be surprised at a proposal I shall make you.
One day they were discoursing of gratitude; and! From these we select some that are better worth Mr. Hazel said he had a poor opinion of those per- the reader's attention, than anything we could sons, who speak of “the burden of gratitude," and relate in our own persons at this stagnant part of make a fuss about being “laid under an obliga- | the story, tion." * As for me,” said he," I have owed such a debt,
PASSAGES FROM MR. HAZEL'S DIARY. and found the sense of it very sweet." " But perhaps you were always hoping to make a
" CHARACTERS ON BOARD THE PROSERPINE. return," said Helen.
“ There are two sailors, messmates, who have “ That I was: hoping against hope.”
formed an antique friendship; their names are John • Do you think people are grateful, in general ?" | Welch, and Samuel Cooper. Welch is a very able “No, Miss Rolleston, I do not,”
seaman and a chatterbox. Cooper is a good sailor, “Well, I think they are. To me at least. Why, / but very silent; only what he does say is much to I have experienced gratitude event in a convict. It the purpose. was a poor man, who had been transported, for “The gabble of Welch is agreeable to the silent something or other, and he begged papa to take Cooper; and Welch admires Cooper's taciturnity. him for his gardener. Papa did, and he was so “I asked Welch what made him like Cooper so grateful that, do you know, he suspected our house much. And he said, “Why, you see, sir, he is my was to be robbed, and he actually watched in the messmate, for one thing, and a seaman that knows garden night after night: and, what do you think? | his work; and then he has been well eddycated, and the house was attacked by a whole gang; but poor he knows when to 'hold bis tongue, does Sam.' Mr. Seaton confronted them and shot one, and was “ I asked Cooper why he was so fond of Welch. wounded cruelly; but he beat them off for us; and He only grunted in an uneasy way at first; but was not that gratitude ?”.
when I pressed for a reply, he let out two words, – While she was speaking so earnestly, Mr. Hazel's | Capital company'; and got away from me. blood seemed to run through his veins like heavenly " Their friendship, though often roughly exfire, but he said nothing, and the lady resumed with pressed, is really a tender and touching sentiment. gentle fervor, “ Well, we got him a clerk's place in I think either of these sailors would bare his back à shipping-office, and heard no more of him ; but be and take a dozen lashes in place of his messmate. did not forget us; my cabin here was fitted up with I too once thought I had made such a friend. every comfort, and every delicacy. I thanked papa | Eheu! for it; but he looked so blank, I saw directly, he “Both Cooper and Welch seem, by their talk, to knew nothing about it; and now, I think of it, it consider the ship a living creature. Cooper chews. was Mr. Seaton. I am positive it was. Poor fel- / Welch only smokes, and often lets his pipe out: he low! And I should not even know him if I saw is so voluble. him."
“Captain Hudson is quite a character: 'or, I Mr. Hazel observed, in a low voice, that Mr. Sea- might say, two characters; for he is one man when ton's conduct did not seem wonderful to him. he is sober, and another when he is the worse for “ Still,” said he, - one is glad to find there is some liquor: and that I am sorry to see is very often. good left even in a criminal.”
Captain Hudson, sober, is a rough, bearish seaman, "A criminal.!” cried Helen Rolleston, firing up with a quick, experienced eye, that takes in every “ Pray, who says he was a criminal ? Mr. Hazel, rope in the ship, as he walks up and down his once for all, no friend of mine ever deserves such a quarter-deck. He either evades, or bluntly declines name as that. A friend of mine may commit some conversation, and gives his whole mind to sailing great error or imprudence; but that is all. The his ship. poor grateful soul was never guilty of any down-' “ Captain, Hudson, drunk, is a garrulous man, right wickedness : that stands to reason."
who seems to have drifted back into the past. He Mr. Hazel did not encounter this feminine logic comes up to you and talks of his own accord, and with his usual ability; he muttered something or always about himself, and what he did fifteen or other, with a trembling lip, and left her so abruptly, twenty years since. He forgets whatever has octhat she asked herself whether she had inadvertent- curred half an hour ago; and his eye, which was an ly said anything that could have offended him; and eagle's is now a mole's. He no longer sees what awaited an explanation. But none came. The his sailors are doing alow or aloft; to be sure he no topic was never revived by Mr. Hazel; and his longer cares ; his present ship may take care of hermanner, at their next meeting, showed he liked self while be is talking of his past ones. But the her pone the worse that she stood up for her friends. surest indicia of inebriety in Hudson are these two.
First, his nose is red. Secondly, be discourses upon The wind steady from the west for two whole a seaman's duty to his employers. Ebrius rings the days, and the Proserpine showed her best sailing changes on his duty to his employers' till drowsiqualities, and ran four hundred and fifty miles in ness attacks his hearers. Cicero de officiis was all that time.
very well at a certain period of one's life : but Then came a dead calm, and the sails flapped bibulus naula de officiis is rather too much. lazily, and the masts described an arc; and the sun “N. B. Except when his nose is red, not a word broiled; and the sailors whistled; and the Captain about his duty to his employers.' That phrase, drank; and the mate encouraged him,
like a fine lady, never ventures into the morning During this calm, Miss Rolleston fell downright air. It is purely post-prandial, and sacred to occaill, and quitted the deck. Then Mr. Hazel was very sions when he is utterly neglecting his duty to his sad : borrowed all the books in the ship, and read employers, and to everybody else. them, and took notes ; and when he had done this, "All this is ridiculous enough but somewhat he was at leisure to read men, and so began to study alarming. To think that her precious life should Hiram Hudson, Joseph Wylie, and others, and take be intrusted to the care and skill of so unreliable a a few notes about them.
« Joseph Wylie, the mate, is less eccentric, but rapidly through the water, bearing us all homeward. even more remarkable. He is one of those power- Helen Rolleston has resumed her place upon the fully built fellows, whom Vature, one would think, deck; and all seems bright again. I ask myself constructed to gain all their ends by force and how we existed without the sight of her. directness. Bat no such thing: he goes about us softly as a cat; is always popping up out of holes « This morning the wind shifted to the southand corners, and I can see he watches me, and tries west: the captain surprised us by taking in si to hear what I say to her. He is civil to me when But his sober eye had seen something more than I speak to him; yet. I notice, he avoids me quietly. ours; for at noon it blew a gale, and by sunset it Altogether, there is something about him that puz-was deemel prudent to bring the ship's head to the zles me. Why was he so reluctant to let me on wind, and we are now lying-to. The ship lurches, board as a passenger? Why did he tell a down- anıl the wind howls through the bare rigging: bat right falsehood? For he said there was no room she rides buoyantly, and no danger is apprehended. for me : yet, even now, there are two cabins vacant, and he has taken possession of them.
“ Last night, as I lay in my cabin, unable to sleep,
I heard some heavy blows strike the ship's side reu The mate of this ship has several barrels of peatedly, causing quite a vibration. I felt alarmel, spirits in his cabin, or rather, cabins, and it is he and went out to tell the captain. But I was obliged who makes the captain drunk. I learned this from to go on my hands and knees, such was the force of one of the boys. This looks ugly. I fear Wylie is the wind. Passing the mate's cabin, I heard sounds a had, designing man, who wishes to ruin the cap- that made me listen acutely; and I then found the tain, and so get his place. Bat, meantime, the ship blows were being struck inside the ship. I got to might be endangered by this drunkard's misconduct. the captain and told him. 0." said he, ten to I shall watch Wylie closely, and perhaps put the one it's the mate nailing down his chests, or the captain on his guard against this false friend. like.' But I assured him the blows struck the side
* Last night, a breeze got up about sunset, and of the ship, and, at my earnest request, he came out H. R. came on deck for half an hour. I welcomed and listened. He swore a great oath, and said the her ag calmly as I could ; but I felt my voice tremble labber would be through the ship's side. He then and my heart throb. She told me the voyage tired tried the cabin-door, but it was locked. her much; but it was the last she should have to “ The sounds ceased directly. make. How strange, how hellish (God forgive me * We called to the mate, but received no reply for saying so!) it seems that she should love him. for a long time. At last Wylie came out of the gunBut, does she love him? Can she love him? Could room, looking rather pale, and asked what was the she love him if she knew all ? Know him she shall matter. before she marries him. For the present, be still, "I told him he ought to know best, for the blows my heart.
were heard where he had just come from. *** She goon went below and left me desolate. I “ Blows!' said he; I believe you. Whr, a wandered all about the ship, and, at last, I came tierce of butter had got adrift, and was bumping up upon the inseparables, Welch and Cooper. They and down the hold like thunder.' He then asked were squatted on the deck, and Welch's tongue was us whether that was what we had disturbed him for. going as usual. He was talking about this Wylie, entered his cabin, and almost slammed the door in and saying that, in all his ships, he had never known our faces. such a mate as this ; why the captain was under his “I remarked to the captain on his disrespectful thumb. He then gave a string of captains, each of conduct. The captain was civil, and said I was whom would have given his mate a round dozen at right; he was a cross-grained, unmanageable brute, the gangway, if he had taken so much on him, as and he wished he was out of the ship. But you see, this one does.
sir, he has got the ear of the merchant ashore ; and “Grog!' suggested Cooper, in extenuation. so I am obliged to hold a candle to the Devil, as the
« Welch admitted Wylie was liberal with that, saying is.' He then fired a volley of oaths and and friendly enough with the men; but, still, he abuse at the offender; and, not to encourage foul preferred to see a ship commanded by the captain, language, I retired to my cabin. and not by a lubber like Wylie.
The wind declined towards daybreak, and the • I expressed some surprise at this term, and said ship recommenced her voyage at & A. M.; but unI had envied Wylie's nerves in a gale of wind weder treble-reefed topsails and reefed courses. encountered early in the voyage.
“I caught the captain and mate talking together “The talking sailor explained, In course, he has in the friendliest way possible. That Hudson is a been to sea afore this, and weathered many a gale.' humbug; there is some mystery between him and But so has the cook. That don't make a man a the mate. sailor.' You ask him how to send down a to'- "To-day H. R. was on deck for several hours. gallant yard or gammon a bowsprit, or even mark a conversing sweetly, and looking like the angel she lead line, and he 'll stare at ye, like Old Nick, is. But happiness soon flies from ne; & steamer when the angel caught him with the red-hot tongs, came in sight, bound for Sydney. She signalled us and questioned him out of the Church Catechism. to heave-to, and send a boat. . This was done, and Ask Sam there, if ye don't believe me. Sam, what the boat brought back a letter for her. It seems do you think of this Wylie for a seaman?'.
they took us for the Shannon, in which ship she "Cooper could not afford anything so precious, in was expected. his estimate of things, as a word ; but he lifted a “The letter was from him. How her cheek great brawny hand, and gave a snap with his finger flushed and her eve beamed as she took it. And and thumb, that disposed of the mate's pretensions ( the sadness, the agony, that stood beside her unto seamanship more expressively than words could heeded. have done it.
" I left the deck; I could not have contained my• “The breeze has freshened, and the ship glides self. What a thing is wealth! By wealth, that