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« Hark! peals the thunder of the signal gun.”



The day had been particularly the dweller on the salt seas; and for fine, and I stood admiring the de- my part, I'd rather pass a week parture of the san as he was rapidly of nights in St. Edmund's Turret, retiring from the surface of the where the ghost of Esterling is for ocean, whose watery ridges were ever crying out, ‘Beware! Edmund, beautifully crimsoned with his part- beware! than I would be now upon ing beams; when my attention was those sleepy waves." The person who attracted by a group of peasants, stood next him, and whom I had who were silently watching the ap- concluded to be a fisherman, from pearance of something on the bound- the old and tattered jacket which he less deep, though its distance ren- wore, added to the foreboding redered it as yet scarcely discernible. marks of the first speaker-" Aye, I turned my eyes towards the ob- aye, I ween ye speak the truth, and ject which had so firmly fixed their may I never draw net again if some attention, and in a short time be- harm comes not to yon brig before held a vessel sailing in gallant trim midnight. I well remember, when before the breeze, which filled her forty years ago last March, the canvass. After observing it for a •Bonny Gilderoy,' stuck in the same considerable time, I saw it stop sud- place. She little knew her danger, denly in its course, and the sails, por thought that rocks were there, which but a minute before were because she did not see them, but 'swelled out by the wind, hang mo- the first squall pitched her bows tionless, while the streaming pennon under, and in half an hour she was curled itself round the mast. From shivered plank from plank. I shall the conversation of some old men never forget that day, nor the song who stood by me, I found her situa. which mad Wilson, as he was called, tion was by no means enviable. One, made the same day. Hold now, you who by his silver hairs and hoary shall hear it, unless my memory be look seemed to be the senior of the buried with him who made it." party, was remarking to his neigh- The old fisherman proceeded to bour—" Say what you will, Davy, sing in a voice by no means musibut I like not the look of yon sky; cal, yet suited well to the song itthose little clouds bode no good to self, and to the scenery around.


The winter's snow was on the ground,

The winds of March blew cold-
The gallant sun refused to shine,

To waste his beams of gold.
The sea look'd wild, the sky look'd dark,

Loud was the sea-gulls joy;
When from the west, on the billows breast,

Came the Bonny Gilderoy.
Anon the slumb'ring winds arose

And swept the briny sea,
The waves that long lay still and dead,

Now danced right merrily;
They beat against the rugged rocks,

Aye threat'ning to destroy,
But careless still, of good or ill,

Sailed the Bonny Gilderoy.

The thunders shook the murky sky,

The forked lightnings flash'd,
While loud the sparkling billows roar'd

That o'er the swiskers dash'd.
Then danger bid all hands aloft,

And found them full employ,
For the lightning past, and struck the mast,

Of the Bonny Gilderoy.
And then the piercing shriek was heard,

Mix'd with the oceans roar,
For all was lost, and the gallant ship

Shall plough the waves no more.
Full many a corse was cast on shore,

The ravens to decoy,
Which hovering flew round the lifeless crew

Of the Bonny Gilderoy. The song was scarcely ended earth. The few withered leaves wben'a rough looking sailor, who which still clung to the branches had been all along gazing from the rustled with a fearful motion; while heavens to the sea, and then to the the waves came slowly to the shore, ship, exclaimed aloud, “ Hold your and sent forth a low and hollow sound noise, Tom, we shall have enough as they beat against the cliffs, or of noise presently, for there goes flowed over the shells and pebbles the cormorant and the gull; and if of the coast. the black clouds deceive me not, we Darkness now asserted her pofrer shall soon hear the cries of man uncontrouled. No object could be mixed with their cursed croaking, discerned sare here and there a faint and the roar of the dashing breakers; glimmer which shone through the so bear a hand, let's down and make window of the cottager, and even safe the skiffs--there's no time to that was hardly distinguishable; for lose with so wild a sky above, and the inmates had well nighexcoded all so still a sea below us.' With that light, by croudiog round its source, he bounded off, followed by his com- where they sat either silently gazing panion, and they were soon lost at each other, or else relating some amidst the windings of the rocks. doleful narrative, of itself sufficient

This seemed to be the signal for to terrify the superstitious peasants the whole to depart, and in a short without the assistance of the por. time I was the only one left, except tending elements. Many a tale of indeed a young man, who till now most terrifying description had al had escaped my observation, and ready been told, and many more but who was leaning against an old half related was deprived of its conwall a short way off, with his arms clusion, and cut short on the verge folded and apparently regardless of of its melancholy catastrophe by a every thing, save the vessel, upon loud blast of wind, which threatened which he had fixed his eyes immov- destruction to half the village, and ably. But the darkness of the night, the flying open of the doors anwhich now came on apace, concealed nounced to those within the arrival him from me, and I fancied he had, of the storm they had been fearfully following the example of the rest, expecting. The rain, at the same retired to his home. The moon now time, began to descend; at first in a rose, but the scud which swept wild- few large drops, which pattered ly over the horizon only permitted mournfully against the windows, it to be seen at intervals, while the and increased in a minute to the largeness and paleness of the halo tempest shower: — the lightning with which it was surrounded evi- flashed faintly along, and the rumbdently indicated the approach of a ling of the thunder was heard at a storm ; which was confirmed by the distance, Though every fiash grew awful stillness which reigned on more vivid than that which had pre

The name of a chain of bidden rocks, where the scene of the present narrative is laid.

ceded it, and every peal became 80 attentively on the vessel. The louder and louder ; while the in- boat darted o'er a wave and was lost tervals between each was filled up from sight in a moment. By the with the whistling of the wind, and flash of the guns we could still disthe roar of the breakers, which had tinguish the brig whenever the surf, now risen to considerable violence. which now rose to a tremendous

Nothing could be well greater height; presented a clear passage; than the contrast which, at this but the little skiff seemed to have time, existed between the tumult disappeared for ever, and it was without, and the silence within given up for lost by most persons. doors. For each sat silent and mo- However, after waiting in painful tionless as a statue; or if any one suspence for several minutes, it was ventured to speak it was done in so again observed wearing to its obsubdued a tone, that it sounded but ject, and a shout froin the vessel as a whisper, and even then the announced that the crew had recog. speaker seemed afraid of infringing nised the intrepid hero who had upon the rights of the maddened come to their assistance. But fate elements. But this lethargy was seemed determined to thwart all hu. not doomed to last long, for we were man efforts, for a heavy swell, acsoon roused from it by the thrilling companied with a resistless squall report of the signal gun, which of wind, forced the ill-fated vessel broke upon the ear with an awful against one of the rocks sbe had so echo, and seemed possessed of elec- long, avoided ; and, from the contric power again, once-twice- fused noise which ensued, we under, thrice the signals were lieard in stood, alas! too well that she was rapid succession ; and now the idea wrecked—that all was passed. Darkof fellow-beings being in danger ness now completely veiled cvery roused all from the stupor which the object from our sight, and the next first report cast them into. Each flash of lightning shewed us the forgot for a while the tempest which ship, though still together, yet laid a few minutes before had filled them completely on her beam-ends, and with fear, and rushed toward the washed by every wave. shore. By the time I had reached About an hour after the storm it, the beach was covered with those began to abate, and the moon peepwho being better acquainted with ed through the clouds at intervals. the ways, had got there before me. We still continued on the beach in But no one could do more than ex- hopes of being able, every minute, press his feelings in sudden ejacu. to gain some information concernlations, as the lightning or the ing the wreck ; but we waited in flashes from the guns, which now vain; the vessel still remained imkept up an incessant firing, revealed movable, and the fragments which the vessel to his view, where she foated ashore had nothing on them might be seen struggling between from which we might learn her (wo sharp rocks, which rose upon naine or place of destination. Mideach side of her, and against which night arrived, and we were well rethe angry breakers beating caused paid for all our anxiety by the apthe surf to cover the ship every mi- pearance of our little skiff, emerging nute. The people on the shore, from the waves with its gallant either stood motionless with fear, charge, and two other persons. We or ran madly from place to place hailed it with all our might, but our along the rocks, to catch a glimpse joy was considerably damped on if possible of the stranger vessel, for receiving no

A minute to render her any assistance in her brought it to where we stood, but its present situation was altogether im- cargo was stiff; one had ceased to possible. However, to do all that breath-the generous youth, indeed, might be done, two small boats were was still alive, but the power of utbrought forward, and a liberal re- terance was gone, and ere morning ward offered to any who would be he also was a corpse. While the hardy enough to risk their lives for third, the maid he loved, and whom the preservation of others. Instantly he had rescued from a watery grave, one of them was occupied by a at the expence of his own life, suryoung man whom, by the glare of vived but a week, and now rests beà torch, I recognised to be the same side him in the church-yard of St. that I had seen at night-fall gazing D.




54 Make way there, ho! a group of players come,
Hark! to their drums and trumpets-give them room;
We'll have right royal sport my merry masters;
Here's one that swears he'll play us any thing."-old Play.

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“ What can be pleasanter than trionic fame, but without the slightthe profession of a player ? Sir, est particle of talent to imitate hathere is nothing like it; an actor's man nature, and your good sense can life presents a constant succession scarcely present to you a more ridiof variety; he lives in a scene of culous figure. Behold him in the delusion, dispensing delight to thou- act of tearing a passion to tatsands, and inhaling in return the ters, to very rags, to split the ears grateful incence of their praise; he of the groundlings,' groaned at by is

the boxes, hissed by the galle

ries, pelted by the pit (here “ The glass of fashion, and the mould of form;

Dick gave an involuntary shudder), The observed of all observing."

made the laughing stock, in short,

of all his friends and acquaintances. "Wherever he goes the public eye A poet,"' I continued,“ may pass mus. is on him, and the utmost import- ter, although his verses are as poor ance is attached to his most trivial as chicken broth; a briefless lawyer actions.

Your poets are but se- has generally something to comcondary beings; 'tis true, they have mend him on the score of wit or the merit of invention, but what are waggery, eren if his legal knor. their conceptions if not embodied ledge were insufficient to supply by the actor? The genius of the him with powder for his wig; a bad one is confined within the limits of painter, or a crazy musician, carry imagination; like the figures of a something about them to redeem phantasmagoria, his hero's are only their absurdity, but a player, withreflected on the curtain of our fan- out talent, is of all hounds the dallcies, till the other enters on the est. He is a black sheep among scene, and turning the airy nothing's men; 'a tainted wether of the fiock. into flesh and blood, gives to the No, no, my dear Dick, if you regard entire representation a startling rea- your own interest, and the advice of lity.” Such was the eulogium on one who sincerely wishes you well, an actor's life, pronounced some you would try any thing on sooner years since, by my stage - struck than the sock or buskin : for, be asfriend, Dick Spouter, as I in vain sured that, excepting in the instance endeavoured to persuade him to of a few gifted persons, who have abandon the idea of following the risen into sudden eminence by the profession of a player, for which, mere effort of their natural abilities, notwithstanding his wit, and other the profession of an actor is, of all most companionable qnalities, I others, the most hazardous to atcould not but consider him to be tempt, and the most laborious to totally unfitted.

“ All that you pursue; and, as I once heard from have said, my dear Dick," said I, an eminent performer, who is still “is no doubt very fine, and perhaps in the enjoyment of a merited repuvery true. The life of a favourite tation, it is not till the mental and actor, I grant you, glides on plea- bodily faculties of a player are on santly enough, once he has passed the decline, that he begins to underthe grand ordeal of public opinion. stand bis profession.' In short, my Indeed, I believe there is no des- dear Dick," I added, “there are so cription of talent so much courted, many difficulties to be encountered, or so well paid in these times, as and such various crosses and vexathat of a successful actor; but turn tions to be endured, ere a man can the picture for

a moment, and fancy arrive at any thing like a respectthe reverse. Do but imagine a man able rank in the profession, that usfull of immortal longings after his- less you had talent the most decided


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to start with, and even then, such have given a new reading. The
is the capricious and uncertain na- pain I felt brought the tears into
ture of public taste, that you could my eyes ; but I never flinched, and
not be certain of success. I, for one, thus instead of enjoying my morti-
should give my decided vote againstfication, he was obliged to stand by,
your pursuing this line of life.” the unwilling witness of my glory.
Dick, who had heard me to the end -“ After this flourish, my dear
with tolerable patience, finding it Dick," said I, “I shall add no
in vain to alter my opinion, or to more than merely to wish you every
gain my approval to his favourite success; but where, may I ask you,
scheme, gave up the task of com- do you propose to make your public
batting my arguments, and merely debit ?" — “I did intend," said
added, " I regret that I am obliged Dick, “ to have started at once in
to disagree with you, my good Sir, London; but, as Henry VI. says,
but my resolution being fixed, your I did not wish to be the cause of
advice unfortunately comes too late, civil broils.' After


appear, as I have made up my mind to leave ance, I am fully aware that the two London to night, for the purpose of rival establishments would go to making a provincial tour previous loggerheads about me, to try which to the opening of Old Drury, where should claim me as its own; and I have no doubt of obtaining a first- then I should be the talk of the rate engagement. Indeed, my own town, and every one would be pointanticipations of success,” he added, ing at the great Mr. Spouter.' with the inost self-satisfied look, Besides, I have no particle of envy " are considerably strengthened by in my composition, and I did not the opinion of several amateur think it altogether a fair busifriends, who have witnessed my ness to eclipse established merit. performance of some of Shakspeare's Kean, Young, and Marready, are top characters. Among others I deserving actors in their way; but may mention the names of Lord comparisons might be drawn to Frederick Fustian, Sir Richard Rant, their prejudice, and I wish to avoid and Major Monthit, with whom I every thing that tends that way“ had the honour to play at Chel- for these reasons I have fixed upon tenham and elsewhere; and, be- Bath my starting-post, and tween us both, I cut them all out. thither I shall proceed to night; None of them were fit to tie my shoe and if you look in the papers tostrings. Had you but seen me as wards the close of next week, you Hamlet, in my cut velvet dress and will see the account of my debût. black bugles, you would have said I appear in my favourite character,

Hamlet, and I anticipate the most • How well be looks the prince; bis complete success. How I shall astolofty, air

nish the natives: the town shall Gives full assurance of bis high de- teem with my praise, and the critics gree :

shall laud me to the skies. Nothing Nobility to others lends a grace,

like it since the time of Garrick's But he, methinks, reflects a lustre on it.'

first appearance in Goodman's-fields.

I shall be the stare, the talk, the Sir, they were all mad, down-right go! mad with envy at the thought of my plucking their laurels; and, would I will astonish even Garrick's shade,

On Kemble's brows the laurel'd wreath you believe it! the Hon. Augustus

shall fade, Featherbrain, who played Horatio

Young, Kean, Macready, shall no lonto me, finding that I threw his ta

ger blaze; lents so completely into the shade, Ye lesser stars bide your diminished had the meanness to try to put me

rays!'ont several times, by pretending to forget his cue; and, when he found “ Bravo! Dick," cried I, “

you are that I was too perfect in my part to certainly inspired." _“ Inspired,"

” be disconcerted by his blunders, he my dear Sir,” he answered, "" how actually trod on my corn, as if by can I be otherwise. I'd positively accident, at a most particular pas- give fifty pounds that you should be sage, of which he knew I meant to present, how would your unworthy

Eur. Mag. Dec. 1823.


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