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tempted, but succeeded in sending up periodicals ; they were soused into the some pretty light floculent cirri from pot,--anniversary-addresses, songs of some of his sonnets and local descrip- victory, congratulatory odes, and most tions: his odes, however, gravitated lacrymose monodies and came out, most ponderously ;--Sotheby, whose forming a perfect drizzle, and making originals could not manage to extricate one's neckcloth feel like a dishclout. themselves from the level of the stru. Those who think I have been dream. tus ; but his admirable translation of ing, will expect now to be told that the Georgics, and of Oberon, were some unexpected jog, awoke me, er buoyed into a purer atmosphere ; that the pot burst with a bounce, and Hodgson was in the same scrape; his that I found it to be all illusion. No Lady Jane Gray, his Friends, &c. were such thing the conclusion was on converted into prone hazy vapour; this wise. The barrow being empty, while his translation did better for Mr Titlepage's shopman got between him, as his Juvenal rose with some de- the handles, and soberly wheeled it off gree of alacrity ;-Sir James Bland Bur- the ground. Mr Titlepage himself gess, whose Richard Cour de Lion made me a bow, and retired. Next had really, at this late date, hardly any morning I found that the pot had been right to come and suffocate us in a removed, but the ground remained muggy fog: we cannot indeed com- blackened and scorched where the fire plain, upon the same footing, of his had been kindled, and it does so to Dragon Knight, for since it is only & this hour. I have more admiration year or two old, it had the true un- than ever for Mr Howard's classificadoubted privilege of trying its fate in tion of the clouds into seven genera ; the pot, even though it issued in va- and as the old works of most of our pour of so thick a consistence, that existing poets are now “resolved into there was infinite danger of its giving air--thin air,” I am happy in the excatarrh and sore throat to his majes- pectation that they will set to work ty's faithful lieges,-the stratus was again, and supply us with a fresh stock. deadly heavy about this region of it; It will be satisfactory to know that Herbert, whose Scandinavian Hel- you believe in what I have told you; ga and Hedin betrayed no inclination (for what signifies it my being a trifle to soar ; and poor Pia Della Pietra still or so crazy, when I only relate to you remained in a vapour-bath ; but whe- plain matters of fact which actually ther it were malaria or not, i did not happened to me?) but if you range venture into it to try. Some others yourself with the disbelievers, I shall followed, whose names I could not dis- not fret; only you must then expect cover ; but the last I distinguished no more communications from was that of William Thomas FitzgeTald, whose verses indeed seemed most
Yours as you use me, ly to be contained in newspapers and
THE FLOATING BEACON.
One dark and stormy night we were sible, except the sparkling of the dison a voyage from Bergen to Christian- tant waves, when their tops happened sand in a small sloop. Our captain to break into a wreath of foam. The suspected that he had approached too sea ran very high, and sometimes broke near the Norwegian coast, though he over the deck so furiously, that the could not discern any land, and the men were obliged to hold by the rigwind blew with such violence, that ging, lest they should be carried away; we were in momentary dread of being Our captain was a person of timid and driven upon a lee-shore. We had en irresolute character, and the dangers deavoured, for more than an hour, to that environed us made him gradually keep our vessel away; but our efforts lose confidence in himself. He often proved unavailing, and we soon found gave orders, and countermanded them that we could scarcely hold our own. in the same moment, all the while A clouded sky, a házy atmosphere, taking small quantities of ardent spi. and irregular showers of sleety rain, rits at intervals. Fear and intoxicacombined to deepen the obscurity of tion soon stupified bim completely, night, and nothing whatever was vi- and the crew ceased to consult him,
or to pay any respect to his authority, than ever. He abused us all in the in so far as regarded the management grossest terms, and threatened his of the vessel.
crew with severe punishment, if they About midnight our main-sail was did not come on board, and return to split, and shortly after we found that their duty. His manner was so viothe sloop had sprung a leak. We had lent, that no one seemed willing to before shipped a good deal of water attempt to constrain him to come on through the hatches, and the quantity board the boat; and after vainly rethat now entered from below was so presenting the absurdity of his congreat, that we thought she would go duct, and the danger of his situadown every moment. Our only chance tion, we bid him farewell, and rowed of escape lay in our boat, which was away. immediately lowered. After we had The sea ran so high, and had such all got on board of her, except the a terrific appearance, that I almost captain, who stood leaning against the wished myself in the sloop again. The mast, we called to him, requesting that crew plied the oars in silence, and we he would follow us without delay. heard nothing but the hissing of the “ How dare you quit the sloop with- enormous billows as they gently rose out my permission ?” cried he, stag- up, and slowly subsided again, withgering forwards. “ This is not fit out breaking. At intervals, our boat weather to go a-fishing. Come back was elevated far above the surface of back with you all !"-" No, no," the ocean, and remained, for a few returned one of the crew, we don't moments, trembling upon the pinnawant to be sent to the bottom for your cle of a surge, from which it would obstinacy. Bear a hand there, or we'll quietly descend into a gulph, so deep
behind." Captain, you and awful, that we often thought the are drunk,” said another ; « you can- dense black mass of waters which not take care of yourself. You must formed its sides, were on the point of obey us now."-" Silence ! mutinous over-arching us, and bursting upon villain," answered the captain. “What our heads. We glided with regular are you all afraid of? I'his is a fine undulations from one billow to anbreeze-Up mainsail, and steer her other ; but every time we sunk into right the wind's eye."
trough of the sea, my heart died The sea knocked the boat so vio- within me, for I felt as if we were dently and constantly against the side going lower down than we had ever of the sloop, that we feared the former done before, and clung instinctively to would be injured or upset, if we did the board on which I sat. not immediately row away; but, an- Notwithstanding my terrors, I frexious as we were to preserve our lives, quently looked towards the sloop. The we could not reconcile ourselves to the fragments of her mainsail, which reidea of abandoning the captain, who mained attached to the yard, and grew more obstinate the more we at- fluttered in the wind, enabled us to tempted to persuade him to accom- discern exactly where she lay, and
At length, one of the crew shewed, by their motion, that she leapt on board the sloop, and having pitched about in a terrible manner. seized hold of him, tried to drag him We occasionally heard the voice of along by force; but he struggled re- her unfortunate commander, calling solutely, and soon freed himself from to us in tones of frantic derision, and the grasp of the seaman, who imme- by turns vociferating curses and blasdiately resumed his place among us, phemous oaths, and singing sea-songs and urged that we should not any with a wild and frightful energy. I longer risk our lives for the sake of a sometimes almost wished that the crew drunkard and a madman. Most of would make another effort to save him, the party declared they were of the but, next moment, the principle of same opinion, and began to push off self-preservation repressed all feelings the boat ; but I entreated them to of humanity, and I endeavoured, by make one effort more to induce their closing my ears, to banish the idea of infatuated commander to accompany his sufferings from my mind. us. At that moment he came up from After a little time the shivering canthe cabin, to which he had descended vass disappeared, and we heard a tu a little time before, and we imme- multuous roaring and bursting of bil. diately perceived that he was more lows, and saw an unusual sparkling under the influence of ardent spirits of the sea about a quarter of a mile
One of the sailors cried out ly increased in loudness. We coon that the sloop was now on her beam perceived a tremendous billow rolling ends, and that the noise, to which we towards us.
Its top, part of which listened, was that of the waves break- had already broke, overhung the base, ing over her. We could sometimes per- as if unwilling to burst until we were ceive a large black mass heaving it- within the reach of its violence. The self up irregularly among the flashing man who steered the boat, brought surges, and then disappearing for a her head to the sea, but all to no purfew moments, and knew but too well pose, for the water rushed furiously that it was the hull of the vessel. At over us, and we were completely imintervals, a shrill and agonized voice mersed. I felt the boat swept from uttered some exclamations, but we under me, and was left struggling could not distinguish what they were, and groping about in hopeless desand then a long-drawn shriek came peration, for something to catch hold across the ocean, which suddenly grew of. When nearly exhausted, I receimore furiously agitated near the spot ved a severe blow on the side from a where the sloop lay, and, in a few small cask of water which the sea had moments, she sunk down, and a black forced against me. I immediately twic wave formed itself out of the waters ned my arms round it, and, after recothat had engulfed her, and swelled vering myself a little, began to look gloomily into a magnitude greater an foi the boat, and to call to my comthat of the surrounding billows. panions; but I could not discover any
The seamen dropped their oars, as vestige of them, or of their vessel. if by one impulse, and looked expres. However, I still had a faint hope that sively at each other, without speaking they were in existence, and that the a word. Awful forebodings of a fate intervention of the billows concealed similar to that of the captain, appear- them from my view. I continued to ed to chill every heart, and to repress shout as loud as possible, for the sound the energy that had hitherto excited of my own voice in some measure reus to make unremitting exertions for lieved me from the feeling of awful our common safety. While we were and heart-chilling loneliness which my in this state of hopeless inaction, the situation inspired ; but not even an man at the helm called out that he echo responded to my cries, and, consaw a light a-head. We all strained vinced that my comrades had all perishour eyes to discern it, but, at the mo- ed, I ceased looking for them, and ment, the boat was sinking down be pushed towards the beacon in the best tween two immense waves, one of manner I could. A long series of fawhich closed the prospect, and we re- tiguing exertions brought me close to mained in breathless anxiety till a ris- the side of the vessel which contained ing surge elevated us above the level it, and I called out loudly, in hopes of the surrounding ocean. A light that those on board might hear me like a dazzling star then suddenly and come to my assistance, but no one flashed upon our view, and joyful ex- appearing, I waited patiently till å clamations burst from every mouth. wave raised me on a level with the “ That," cried one of the crew, chains, and then caught hold of them,
must be the floating beacon which and succeeded in getting on board. our captain was looking out for this As I did not see any person on deck, afternoon. If we can but gain it, we'll I went forwards to the sky-light, and be safe enough yet.” This intelligence looked down. Two men were seated cheered us all, and the men began to below at a table, and a lamp, which was ply the oars with redoubled vigour, suspended above them, being swung while I employed myself in baleing backwards and forwards by the rolling out the water that sometimes rushed of the vessel, threw its light upon their over the gunnel of the boat when a faces alternately. One seemed agitated sea happened to strike her.
with passion, and the other surveyed An hour's hard rowing brought us him with a scornful look. They both so near the light-house that we almost talked very loudly, and used threatenceased to apprehend any further dan- ing gestures, but the sea made so much ger; but it was suddenly obscured noise that I could not distinguish what from our view, and, at the same time, was said. After a little time, they a confused roaring and dashing com- started up, and seemed to be on the menced at a little distance, and
rapid- point of closing and wrestling toge
I soon fol
ther, when a woman rushed through abated, but the sea still ran very high, a small door and prevented them. I and a black mist hovered over it, beat upon deck with my feet at the through which the Norwegian coast, same time, and the attention of the lying at eleven miles distance, could whole party was soon transferred to be dimly seen. I looked in vain for
the noise. One of the men immediate- some remains of the sloop or boat. i ly came up the cabin stairs, but stop- Not a bird enlivened the heaving exi ped short on seeing me, as if irresolute panse of waters, and I turned shud
whether to advance or hasten below dering from the dreary scene, and again. I approached him, and told asked Morvalden, the youngest of the my story in a few words, but instead men, when he thought I had any of making any reply, he went down chance of getting ashore. “ Not very to the cabin, and began to relate to the soon, I'm afraid,” returned he. “We others what he had seen.
are visited once a-month by people lowed him, and easily found my way from yonder land, who are appointed into the apartment where they all were. to bring us supply of provisions and They appeared to feel mingled sensa- other necessaries. They were here ontions of fear and astonishment at my ly six days ago, so you may count how presence, and it was some time before long it will be before they return. any of them entered into conversation Fishing boats sometimes pass us duwith me, or afforded those comforts ring fine weather, but we won't have which I stood so much in need of. much of that this moon at least.”.
After I had refreshed myself with No intelligence could have been food, and been provided with a change more depressing to me than this. The of clothing, I went upon deck, and idea of spending perhaps three weeks surveyed the singular asylum in which in such a place was almost insupportProvidence had enabled me to take re- able, and the more so, as I could not fuge from the fury of the storm. It hasten my deliverance by any exerdid not exceed thirty feet long, and tions of my own, but would be obliged, was very strongly built, and complete- to remain, in a state of inactive susly decked over, except at the entrance pense, till good fortune, or the regular to the cabin. It had a thick mast at course of events, afforded me the means midships, with a large lantern, con- of getting ashore. Neither Angerstoff taining several burners and reflectors, nor Morvalden seemed to sympathize on the top of it; and this could be with my distress, or even to care that lowered and hoisted up again as often I should have it in my power to leave as required, by means of ropes and the vessel, except in so far as my depullies. The vessel was firmly moor- parture would free them from the exed upon an extensive sand-bank, the pence of supporting me. They returnbeacon being intended to warn seamen ed indistinct and repulsive answers to to avoid a part of the ocean where all the questions I asked, and appearmany lives and vessels had been lost ed anxious to avoid having the least in consequence of the latter running communication with me. During the aground. The accommodations below greater part of the forenoon, they emdecks were narrow, and of an inferior ployed themselves in trimming the description ; however, I gladly retired lamps, and cleaning the reflectors, but to the birth that was allotted me by never conversed any. I easily perceimy entertainers, and fatigue and the ved that a mutual animosity existed rocking of billows combined to lull me between them, but was unable to disinto a quiet and dreamless sleep. cover the cause of it. Morvalden
Next morning, one of the men, seemed to fear Angerstoff, and, at the whose name was Angerstoff, came to same time, to feel a deep resentment my bedside, and called me to break- towards him, which he did not dare fast in a surly and imperious manner. to express. Angerstoff apparently was The others looked coldly and distrust- aware of this, for he behaved to his fully when I joined them, and I saw companion with the undisguised fiercethat they regarded me as an intruderness of determined hate, and openly and an unwelcome guest. The meal thwarted him in every thing. passed without almost any conversa- Marietta, the female on board, was tion, and I went upon deck whenever the wife of Morvalden. She remainit was over. The tempest of the pre.. ed chiefly below decks, and attended ceding night had in a great measure to the domestic concerns of the vessel.
She was rather good-looking, but só was going on below. He would then reserved and forbidding in her mane gaze intently upon the heavens, and ners, that she formed no desirable ac- next moment take out his watch, and quisition to our party, already so heart- contemplate the motions of its hands. less and unsociable in its character. I did not offer to disturb these reveries,
When night approached, after the and thought myself altogether unobserlapse of a wearisome and monotonous ved by him, till he suddenly advanced day, I went on deck to see the beacon to the spot where I stood, and said, lighted, and continued walking back- in a loud whisper," There's a vilwards and forwards till a late hour. I lain below-a desperate villain-this watched the lantern, as it swung from is true he is capable of any thing side to side, and flashed upon different and the woman is as bad as him."-I portions of the sea alternately, and asked what proof he had of all this. sometimes fancied I saw men strug- L" Oh, I know it," returned he; gling among the billows that tumbled "that wretch Angerstoff, whom I once around, and at other times imagined I thought my friend, has gained my could discern the white sail of an ap- wife's affections. She has been faithproaching vessel. Human voices seem- less to me yes, she has. They both ed to mingle with the noise of the wish I was out of the way. Perhaps bursting waves, and I often listened they are now planning my destrucintently, almost in the expectation of tion. What can I do? It is very terhearing articulate sounds. My mind rible to be shut up in such narrow grew sombre as the scene itself, and limits with those who hate me, and to strange and fearful ideas obtruded have no means of escaping, or defendthemselves in rapid succession. It ing myself from their infernal machiwas dreadful to be chained in the nations." Why do you not leave middle of the deep-to be the con- the beacon,” inquired I, “and abantinual sport of the quietless billows- don your companion and guilty wife?" to be shunned as a fatal thing by -"Ab, that is impossible," answered those who traversed the solitary ocean. Morvalden ; “ if I went on shore I Though within sight of the shore, our would forfeit my liberty. I live here situation was more dreary than if we that I may escape the vengeance of had been sailing a thousand miles the law, which I once outraged for the from it. We felt not the pleasure of sake of her who has now withdrawn moving forwards, nor the hope of her love from me. What ingratitude! reaching port, nor the delights arising Mine is indeed a terrible fate, but I from favourable breezes and genial must bear it. And shall I never again weather. When a billow drove us to wander through the green fields, and one side, we were tossed back again climb the rocks that encircle my naby another ; our imprisonment had no tive place ? Are the weary dashings variety or definite termination ; and of the sea, and the moanings of the the calm and the tempest were alike wind, to fill my ears continually, all uninteresting to us. I felt as if my the while telling me that I am an exfate had already become linked with ile ?- '-a hopeless despairing exile. But that of those who were on board the it won't last long,” cried he catching vessel. My hopes of being again hold of my arm; they will murder permitted to mingle with mankind me! I am sure of it I never go to died away, and I anticipated long sleep without dreaming that Angeryears of gloom and despair in the stoff has pushed me overboard." company of these repulsive persons in- “ Your lonely situation, and inacto whose hands fate had unexpectedly tive life, dispose you to give way to consigned me.
these chimeras,” said I ; «
you must Angerstoff and Morvalden tended endeavour to resist them. Perhaps the beacon alternately during the night. things aren't so bad as you suppose. The latter had the watch while I re- ->“ This is not a lonely situation," mained upon deck. His appearance replied Morvalden, in a solemn tone. and manner indicated much perturba. "Perhaps you will have proof of what tion of mind, and he paced hurriedly I say before you leave us. Many vesfrom side to side, sometimes mutter- sels used to be lost here, and a few are ing to himself, and sometimes stop- wrecked still; and the skeletons and ping suddenly to look through the sky- corpses of those who have perished lie light, as if anxious to discover what all over the sand-bank. Sometimes, at