صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

in the Texel. In order to save themselves, if possible, the men all got into the long-boat, and were just ready to put off; but not having their captain among them, they called to him to hasten down, because the sea ran so high that it broke over the boat, and endangered her beating to pieces against the sides of the stranded vessel. The captain, in this nice and perilous point of time, recollecting that his wife was sea-sick in the cabin, could not bear the ungenerous thought of endeavouring to save himself without her, and was earnestly labouring to bring her along with him. But she, who had heard the men cry out that the boat would sink under the weight of two persons more, embraced him passionately, and refused to go. She wept, and told him in the most moving manner, that a woman in such an extremity would prove a dangerous incumbrance. She implored him not to think of dividing his care, but to employ it all for preservation of his single life, much dearer to her than her own was.

For some time he pressed her in vain; but prevailed with her at length to come up with him upon deck; where the first observation they made was, that the boat was out of sight; having been beaten off by the force of the swell that rose between her and the vessel.

[ocr errors]

He was gazing speechless on her face, in a despair which he found no words to utter, when a billow, breaking over the midship, washed him headlong into the sea, and left her shrieking and alone behind him, in a condition so far less supportable than his, that, after a succession of the bitterest outcries, she fell forward in a swoon, and sunk senseless after him.

The boat, in the mean time, endeavoured to return to the ship, and passing providentially near their captain, who was yet faintly swimming, the men discerned him in the sea, and took him up quite spent and speechless; in which condition they laid him in the bottom of the boat, and coming along the ship's side, one of the sailors looking up, saw something like a woman, with her arms and clothes entangled in the shrowds.

This woman was the captain's wife, who, in the moment of her falling forward, had been saved and supported against that part of the rigging! She was still in a swoon, and insensible, but so beloved by the mariners, that they redoubled their efforts to get aboard, that they might have it in their power to save her, and they were so fortunate in their humanity, that they found means to lift her into the boat;

where they laid her, dead in all appearance, by her husband, who was in the same condition.

They put off again, and with great difficulty got ashore upon one of the islands in the Texel, where the captain, coming to himself, told his men, that they would have done more kindly had they let him perish in the sea, since the life they had forced upon him must for ever be imbittered by her unhappy end, for whose sake only he had thought it worth wishing for, His wife was now recovering, and near enough to hear and answer this noble instance of his tenderness. They flew, astonished and quite lost in ecstacy, into each other's arms; and it is easier to imagine than describe what they thought and said on so transporting an occasion!

Let me only add, that this relation was faithfully taken from the mouth of a gentleman, who was an eye-witness of the miraculous and providential particulars.

I am,

Your most humble Servant.

PLAIN-DEALER, No. 88, Jan. 22, 1725.


Dissolve frigus, ligna super foco
Large reponens.


Now melt away the winter's cold,
And larger pile the cheerful fire.


Sir, It has been often disputed among the philosophers, in what part of the body the soul is seated. It will not be thought, I hope, a less important inquiry, to examine what external scenes call her forth into action; whether her virtues open fairest in the sunshine, or the shade; in the closet, or the usual seat indeed of intrigue, the bed-chamber. The old sages were content, like ignoble sportsmen, to surprize her in her last retreat, the pineal gland: I follow her in her strongest efforts, whether she is pursued by want, or in pursuit of fame.

The ancient poets, who are generally sup. posed to be the greatest masters of thought, ata tributed their happy exercise of it to their great patron, the sun : that they might enjoy his kind influences the freer, we find them quitting the smoke and riches of the city, for some country

retirement, where they might temper the directer rays, with cooling breezes, shady groves, purl. ing streams, and melody of birds ; where they might behold nature without disguise, and copy her without interruption ; where they might at once earn their laurels, and gather them.

Our Northern poets think themselves warranted, at all adventures, to follow their great originals; who yet, from the difference of climate as well as circumstances, seem to stand in little need of such cooling refreshments. It would make one smile, if it were not barbarous to smile upon such an occasion, to see them, beyond even poetical fiction, invoking the gentle gales, while they are shivering under the bleak north-east, or at best when

Lull'd by Zephyrs thro' a broken pane.

According to their own system, we have not above four poetical months throughout the year; and yet, 'tis well known, we have verse as well as peas in all seasons; and 'tis an imposition upon our taste and judgment to make us believe, that either of them are the effects of a natural shade and sun. In short, an Italian genius may

be produced by a happy mixture of both ; but a British one must be owing to some other cause, more generally adequate to so great

« السابقةمتابعة »