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expense, who had not perceived the act, and expressed the most unfeigved astonishment at the unaccountable disappearance of the skipper's breakfast.
My interest became painfully wrought up, as we drew nearer the shorn hulk, which lay helpless, and apparently tenantless, in the trough of the sea; for of all objects of desolation and distress, none can present a more forlorn spectacle to my eye, or induce so sad a train of reflection, as a wreck at sea — unguided, and alone. She was a large ship, her masts gone by the board, and remnants of rigging hanging over the side, here and there, in such a careless manner, as seemed to indicate that no attempt had been made to repair the damages done her. The bulwark planking was torn off in several places from the staunchions; and her stern-boat, staved, hung from the davitts by but one fall.
“The pirates have been here at work, and be d-d to 'em,' said the captain, who had been for some minutes intently reconnoitering her.
Man the boat,' he added, turning to the chief mate; perhaps some poor fellow still survives on board. I have known men to escape, by concealing themselves until the incarnate devils had left their prey.'
• The jolly boat was instantly lowered, and I, with the chief mate, jumped into her, while the brig was hove to, a little to windward. In a few moments we were alongside the ship, and by the aid of the remnants of rigging, clambered easily upon deck, which was hardly reached, when a dog rushed out of the hurricane-house, with a fierce bark at first, and then with a piteous whine, came cringing and wagging his tail, up to me. But oh, Tackle! what a dreadful spectacle that deck presented! Gouts and dried puddles of blood almost covered it, and lay festering and putrefying in the sun and wind, sending forth a most intolerable odor. A death-like chill came over me, as I gazed around with horror; and I thought the very fountains of life would have curdled within me, as my mind glanced hastily at the retrospect. Pieces of human flesh, and hair matted in gore, were sticking to many places, and fragments of torn garments, some of them female, fluttered here and there. The hatches were all off, while broken boxes, torn and opened letters, and pieces of rich goods, thickly scattered around, certified, that the vessel had been thoroughly ransacked, and plundered of every thing valuable.
‘As the dog, by his motions, seemed to beckon us toward the hurricane-house, we entered together, while some of the boat's crew descended into the hold, to see if any one was concealed there. As I stepped in, I perceived a man seated in a chair, with his face par. tially turned from me, leaning over a cot which swung from the beams over head, and which appeared to contain a human form. Before advancing farther in, I called to him, but received no answer: I called again, yet louder; still no reply, nor was any motion of any kind elicited. Thinking that he might be dead, although his position did not warrant the conclusion, I advanced to the opposite side of the cot, and faced him. As I approached, he raised his head, and gazing wildly in my face, cried :
“Ay! ay! murder me now, and I will thank you for the blow!'
“I come not to murder, but to save you, my friend,' said I: 'but who have you here ?'
I glanced my eye toward the figure on the cot. It was the form of a fair and exceedingly delicate girl, apparently scarce out of her teens; but the eyes were sealed in death, and gleamed from the unclosed lids with a glazed and waxy glare. The face was not strikingly handsome, for the lower lip pouted, and would have given a cross expression to the countenance, had not the defect been redeemed by a milder turn in the rest of the features, which wore that earnest, endearing look, which alone renders some women attractive. Her chestnut tresses were tangled about her face, and fell in loose ring. lets over her snowy shoulders and bosom, and stains of blood were on the pillow. She seemed wasted, like one far gone in the consumption; and when I became cooler, and my senses more acute, I perceived that decay's effacing fingers' were already at work upon her.
“My friend,' said I, addressing her companion, who had assumed his former besotted expression, who are you? what ship is this ? and how came you in this sad plight ?'
To these questions he made no reply, but buried his face in his hands, and groaned deeply.
“Come, come,' said the mate who, though a rough, was a kind. hearted man - laying a hand on his shoulder, troubles that can't be cured must be endured; and we who go to sea, God knows, have our share of 'em. Our skipper has got some prime old New England aboard ; 't will raise your spirits. You shall have some of it.'
• The mate's rough attempt at consolation failed in its effect, however; and I thereupon proposed calling some of the crew into the cabin, to sew up the deceased in her cot, and bury her, before removing the survivor to our brig. The mate called two of the sailors, and set them at work to lash her up. So soon as they commenced, the stranger threw himself upon the body, and with tears streaming down his wan cheeks, cried out, in a voice of agony:
• Oh do n't take her away from me!-don't hurt her!--she can be of no use to you now - she's dead ! - her parents are dead! - she said she 'd be mine!' And then suddenly raising himself, he added, with a furious look : ‘Hands off, villain !' and aimed a blow at the mate, which weak as he was, would inevitably have felled him to the deck, had not one of the sailors observed the intention, and arrested his arm in time to avert the stroke.
“Take him out,' said the mate ; 'there is no use in keeping him here any longer. The man's mad.'
“No, no! do n't take me out! I will not go hence! Dearest Ann-stop !' he said, passing his hand across his forehead, and seeming to collect his faculties ; ' let me give her but one kiss, and then take me where you will.'
• He approached the corpse, bent down, and impressed one long impassioned kiss on the shrivelled lips, and turning wildly around, left the cabin.
• The preparations were soon completed ; and having taken the precaution to cut off a lock of her hair, we were about passing her out of the cabin, to launch her overboard, when one of the sailors suggested that it might be as well to leave her where she was, and VOL. IX.
to set the hull on fire; for some vessel might be injured, or sunk, by running into her in the night, and she could not be got into port without the greatest trouble; while, if the corpse were thrown into the sea, the sharks would get it before ten minutes had elapsed.
* The advice appeared judicious; and after hailing the brig, to obtain the captain's permission, we hastily collected a few articles, and having fired the hulk in two or three places, returned on board with the dog, and the unfortunate survivor, who allowed himself to be placed in the boat without saying a word, or making the slightest resistance. Heavy columns of smoke rising, for the greater part of the day, far astern of us, indicated the position of the burning ship; and painfully sad and acute were my feelings, when my mind reverted to the deserted girl, and her gleaming, ocean-rocked funeral pile.
“The remainder of our voyage was prosperous, and marked by the occurrence of no new adventure. The captain, mate, and myself endeavored, by all the means in our power, and by every show of kindness, to restore the spirits of our new passenger; and we were at last successful enough to remove in a great degree the abstraction of mind in which he was at first wrapped; though a deep melancholy still hung over him, which all our efforts were in vain exerted to dispel. He spoke but seldom, and then only in reply to questions put to him by one or other of us; and as he never adverted to his former history, delicacy forbade our hinting at the subject, although our curiosity was wound up to the highest pitch.
•We were delayed for some weeks in Curacoa, in disposing of our cargo, and obtaining a new one, during which time, by unremitted attention and constant association, I had in a great measure won the stranger's confidence. As he became more communicative, he displayed in mind and manners all the polish of the gentleman. We were again at sea, and nearly in the same place where a few weeks before we had fallen in with the plundered ship, when the stranger suddenly broke the thread of some desultory discourse which he had been maintaining with me, as we sat together on the sky-light, by remarking:
«. It was hereabout, my kind friend, that we first met. Here you found me in an awful situation indeed ;' and his brow darkened as he spoke ; 'you saved my life, too; but I now set so little value upon it, that I know not whether to thank you or not for the deed.'
"I deserve not your thanks,' said I, 'for I risked nothing in your behalf.'
" That may be true,' he interposed, 'that may be true ; but few however, would have borne with my wayward humors, and exerted themselves to restore me to myself, as you have done, and I only regret that it does not lie in my power to make you a suitable return.' * I have observed,' he continued, yourcuriosity to learn my adven. tures, and would have gratified it long since, but my mind shrank from the mere contemplation; and I felt how hard a task it would prove to relate them.'
". In case you had done it,' said I, you should, at any rate, have had my sympathies in your misfortunes, and such consolation as I was able to offer.'
“Some minds,' he replied, 'derive more pleasure from the play of their own sympathies, than from those of their friends, which are apt to be mingled with too great a spice of idle curiosity; and perhaps such is the case with my own. You shall hear my misfortunes, however, and then you will be better able to judge, whether, as they arose in part from my own indiscretions, they do or do not merit your sympathy.'
Of that dull lake that slumbereth
Ere whelmed beneath her fiëry death,
Eager divides the glowing rind;
The store his cheated senses find;
Can such deceitful tree alone
That man its treasures seeks to win,
Holds but a skeleton within,
Behold the tree Ambition rears —
Its golden apples flash and glow,
Dazzling the eyes of him below,
And is there that within to pay
Behold the graceful tree which grows
The sportive sunbeams, flickering through
Its dancing leaves and clustering fruit,
Mix with warm shadows at its root,
Their lovely promise to the eye ?
The touch of cold reality ? Those clusters crushed, to brain and heart, A maddening rapture will impart, Which must subside, and heart and brain Will calmly feel and think again, Yet feel and think that hope hath been Beguiled and dazzled by the sheen or fruits which glorious promise made Of bliss unmingled, undecayed.
Behold the tree of Wealth, which spreads A thousand branches far around,
Each, like the banyan, weaving threads For future roots to clasp the ground. Lo! how it flashes on the sight With golden fruit, so rich and bright, That Atalanta's self might stay To pluck at least one branch away: Each breeze that sways the loaded limb, Bears through the visitas long and dim Soft-ringing music and faint wail, Like golden bells in fairy tale; And eye and ear the influence feel,
Till the heart dreams that bliss must flow From that which offers to unseal
Each treasured wish that man can know. And pain and labor, day by day, Will man endure, to bear away Those fruits, which to his upturned eye Blaze with unmingled brilliancy.
The prize is gained - the golden skin
The blackened core of selfishness,
The opiate sleep will never bless :
Not all that richly glitters, gold;
The goodliest fruit a worm enfold.
There is one tree of fairer fruit Than Love, Ambition, Wealth can show;
A tree whose wide, heav'n-planted root Nor storm nor whirlwind can o'erthrow; Its root Religion, pure and true – Its stem is Virtue — and the dew That bathes its branches comes from GOD, And gives them strength to spread abroad, Till in their mighty shadows rise All charities of social ties; All fadeless Powers of brightest hope, All duties in their widest scope: No eye such glorious fruit hath seen
As that which hangs abundant there, Yet with the richness hid within,
No other richness can compare :