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IV.--HOMEWARD BOUND. brightened elsewhere regions in-ter-est specta-cle can'-vas fresh-ened soʻcial lone-li-ness ex-ul-ta-tion clus-tered friend-ly sol-emn mu-tu-al sol-i-tar-y eager glim-mered val-ley pe-cul-iar un-cer-tain-ty ear-nest no-bly
veiling re-flec-tion in-sep-ar-a-ble (CHARLES DICKENS (6. 1912, d. 1878). No noveliest of modern times occupies a higher position than Dickens. He was born in Portsmouth, but spent nearly all his life in London. He began his active life as a lawyer's apprentice; but soon left this employment to become a reporter. This occupation he followed from 1831 to 1836. While in this position he issued his first book, entitled “Sketches of London Society;" this was followed, in 1837, by the “Pickwick Papers," a work which suddenly brought much fame to the author. His other works followed in great rapidity, and his last was unfinished at the time of his death. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.]
1. At length and at last the promised wind came up in right good earnest, and away we went before it, with every stitch of canvas set, slashing through the water nobly. There was a grandeur in the motion of the splendid ship, as, overshadowed by her mass of sails, she rode at a furious pace upon the waves, which filled one with a peculiar sense of pride and exultation. As she plunged into a foaming valley, how I loved to see the green waves, bordered deep with white, come rushing on astern, to buoy her upward at their pleasure, and curl about her as she stooped again, but always own her for their haughty mistress still!
2. On, on we flew, with changing lights upon the water, being now in the blessed regions of fleecy skies ; a bright sun lighting us by day, and a bright moon by night; the vane pointing directly homeward, alike the truthful index to the favouring wind and to our cheerful hearts. At sunrise one fair Monday morning, - the twenty-seventh of June, I shall not easily forget the day,
- there lay before us old Cape Clear, God bless it, showing, in the mist of early morning, like a cloud : the brightest and most welcome cloud, to us, that ever hid the face of Heaven's fallen sister-Home.
3. Dim speck as it was in the wide prospect, it made the sunrise a more cheerful sight, and gave to it that sort of human interest which it seems to want at sea. There, as elsewhere, the return of day is inseparable from some sense of renewed hope and gladness; but the light shining on the dreary waste of water, and showing it in all its vast extent of loneliness, presents a solemn spectacle, which even night, veiling it in darkness and uncertainty, does not surpass.
4. The rising of the moon is more in keeping with the solitary ocean, and has an air of gloomy grandeur, which in its soft and gentle influence seems to confort
while it saddens. I recollect, when I was a very young child, having a fancy that the reflection of the moon in water was a path to heaven, trodden by the spirits of good people on their way to God; and this old feeling often came over me again, when I watched it on a tranquil night at sea.
5. The wind was very light on this same Monday morning, but it was still in the right quarter, and so, by slow degrees, we left Cape Clear behind, and sailed along within sight of the coast of Ireland. How merry we were, how loyal to the George Washington, how full of mutual congratulations, and how forward in predicting the exact hour at which we should arrive at Liverpool, may be easily imagined and readily understood. 6. The friendly breeze freshened again next day, and
we went once more before it gallantly. Towards evening the weather turned hazy, with a drizzliny rain ; and soon becaine so thick, that we sailed, as it were, in a cloud. Still we swept onward like a phantom ship, and many an eager eye glanced up to where the look-out on the mast kept watch for Holyhead.
7. At length his long-expected cry was heard, and at the same moment there shone out from the haze and mist ahead a gleaming light, which presently was gone, and soon returned, and soon was gone again. Whenever it came back, the eyes of all on board brightened and sparkled like itself. There we all stood, watching this revolving light upon the rock at Holyhead, and praising it for its brightness and its friendly warning, and lauding it, in short, above all other signal-lights that ever were displayed, until it once more glimmered faintly in the distance, far behind us.
8. Then it was time to fire a gun for a pilot; and almost before its smoke had cleared away, a little boat, with a light at her mast-head, came bearing down upon us, through the darkness, swiftly. And presently, our sails being backed, she ran alongside ; and the hoarse pilot, wrapped and muffled in peacoats and shawls to the very bridge of his weather-ploughed-up nose, stood bodily among us on the deck. And I think if that pilot had wanted to borrow fifty pounds for an indefinite period on no security, we should have engaged to lend it him, among us, before his boat had dropped astern, or (which is the same thing) before every scrap of news in the paper he brought with him had become the common property of all on board.
9. We turned in pretty late that night, and turned out early next morning. By six o'clock we clustered on the deck, prepared to go ashore; and looked upon the spires, and roofs, and smoke of Liverpool. By eight we all sat down in one of its hotels, to eat and drink together for the last time. And by nine we had shaken hands all around, and broken up our social company for ever. Charles Dickens.
SUMMARY.— Our vessel sailed gallantly along before a favouring wind. On the 27th of June Cape Clear was in sight-looking like a distant cloud. It was soon reached and passed, while all were merry and full of congratulation at the near prospect of Home. The next day brought a freshening breeze, and towards evening, there was haze with a drizzling rain. The revolving light of Holyhead appeared and was soon left far behind. At the signal of the gun-fire a pilot came on board, wrapped and muffled in peacoats and shawls. Next morning by six o'clock the passengers were clustered on deck to look upon the roofs and spires of Liverpool. By eight they were safely on shore, and by nine they had shaken hands to part company with each other for ever. Cape Clear—The first part of Ireland usually sighted by vessels
from America bound for Liverpool. Holyhead-a Welsh island passed on the voyage from south
Ireland to Liverpool.
Pre-dict-ing, foretelling. Con-grat-u-la-tions, expressions Pros-pect, view. of goodwill.
Re-volv-ing, circulating. Ex-ul-ta-tion, joy, rejoicing. To buoy, to keep afloat. Grand'eur, splendour.
So-cial, companion-like. In-def-in-ite, unlimited.
Tran-quil, calm. Muf-ied, wrapped up.
Vane, a small flag at the mastPhan-tom, a shade, a ghost.
QUESTIONS. When was Cape Clear sighted ? | In what way was he called ? What is it compared to? Why What is a pilot? How was this was it welcomed? How was the one dressed? Why was his newsnext day passed? What light was paper welcome ? When anxiously looked for? Where is they ready to land ? How did Holyhead? Who came on board ? the company part ?
EXERCISES.—1. Parse and analyse- The return of the day is inseparable from some sense of renewed hope and gladness.
2. Nouns are formed by adding ite, ive, or, ster, which mean one who;" as favourite, one who gets favour; operative, one who works (opus, operis, a work); precentor, one who sings before (pre, before, cano, I sing); chorister, one who is in the choir. Give the exact meaning of the following words-Canaanite, captive (capio, I take), gladiator (gladius, a sword), gamester.
[W. H. RUSSELL, a famous war correspondent, who has been present at nearly all the great battles of the last thirty years, with a view to report what he saw to The Times, or other newspaper with which he happened to be connected.]
1. The whole brigade scarcely made one effective regi. ment, according to the numbers of Continental armies, and yet it was more than we could spare. As they rushed toward the front, the Russians opened on them from the guns in the redoubt on the right, with volleys of musketry and rifles. They then swept proudly past,