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over, I feared that you had grown well-nigh sick of | easy gentlemen of dishonest and nautical notoriety, sadness, of which these samo fugitive sketches are now nothing more than jolly, mahogany.faced have been for the most part compounded; and so, fellows, who spend half their time in smoking black knowing that ill health was not likely to produce pipes upon the grimy decks of colliers, and the anything more lively, I intended to have deferred | remainder in beershops ashore. “'Tis we-tis writing till I felt in better spirits. But that good ours that change, not they,” said Shelley--not of
— intention, like many better, is frustrated. I am the aforesaid sailors, but of the more delicate still alone-still sad—and still, as a respected “Sensitive Plant” and its congeners. But this is brother-contributor would phrase it, "morally and not a pleasant train of thoughts, and is base physically seedy." I have no books here—and I ingratitude to the noble old sea which is just now am too far from the town to care to scramble over flashing merrily in the sunlight, as though to chide rock and shingle for the sake of an hour's perusal the grumbling of discontent and dyspepsia. For, of the Times ; so I must write if only for pastime. after all, in spite of the hollowness which we find Having no companion, you must not wonder if I in everything of this world ; in spite of one's take you once more into my confidence and prattle glorious young feelings fading away like spring to you, even as though we were both located in a flowers, almost ere we have time to analyse their little lonely cottage hanging over a moaning sea. beauties; in spite of the wide, brain-bewildering All lonely men are, perforce, egotists; the inference gulf which in this life of ours is fixed irrevocably is as obvious as the excuse thereby sought. Par- between to be and to seem, the sea is still one grand don me, therefore, if I seek to relieve the dullness reality. If everything else be a lie, as cynics, of a lonely hour by enlisting your attention to aught | bilious money-spinners, and discarded Lotharios will I may have to say.
have you to believe, my dear young-lady-reader; if Some people in my situation would waste much everything else alters, till the thinker of to-day can time in describing the marine scenery hereabouts ; find no reliable bridge of thought to connect himit were a vain labour, methinks. Not but that the self with his double of yesterday, still the broad, sea, though written upon usque ad nauseam, is blue-I had well nigh said eternal-sea mocks worthy of a better pen than mine. What can I mutability--though it has been held by some say of it worth reading? Alas, as year by year ordinary people, and more crack-brained poets, who passes away, every time I walk para thina polu- don't know anything about it, and are distressed floisboto thalasses, (pardon this profanation of for a simile, to be a fit emblem of inconstancy. Homer's sovorous Greek by English type,) I find Yonder cliffs, as geologists with their hammers the sea is not the same to me as it was the time and strange jargon of “Silurian sandstone," “ blue before. The world, that mighty Iconoclast, has lias,” Oxford or Cambridge “clay formations," robbed me of much of that mysterious, childlike would tell you, have shrunk immeasurably, as years delight wherewith in boyhood we gaze on Father rolled by from their ancient altitudes; yonder Neptune-spending long hours on the brow of a castle on the hill, on whose battered battlements cliff, gazing on the blue waters, in a frame of mind a solitary cormorant sits all day, the incarnation of which were as hard to analyse as to control. As desolation, has crumbled away long ago beneath one who, after a long separation from an old and Time's hand, or a more merciless conqueror's; the dear friend, sees with sadness, on again meeting portcullis is choked with weeds—birds build in the bim, many and many a change in the well-remem- port-holes, and children play in the ruined hall, bered dear old face of “ lang syne”—many a kind where once stalwart retainers and mail-clad barons old expression lost or marred-many a hard new
caroused around their blazing log-fires; many and one written there in its stead by the false world's many a goodly vessel, which had borne on its decks fingers—little thinking all the while how far such stout hands and lion-hearts to plant the flag of observations
may be in great measure the result of England where roamed men of strange tongue and bis own changed feelings, so it is with me once outworn half-forgotten creeds, has sunk down more, gazing out of my open window on yonder beneath the booming waves flashing in the sun by
The romance of the thing is gone-who yonder breakwater; many a note-worthy captain shall give back to me, what Longfellow calls “the bas sailed from this barbour to take a now forgotten secret of the sea,” its vague, weird charm ? The part in the privateering cruises of Drake and white-sailed ships, which at one time called up Hawkins on the far Spanish Main, and has returned such strange fancies, (such pleasing associations hither to die and leave no memorial behind him, with olden argosies, adventurous buccaneers, and save a grey stone or two in the old churchyard distant regions where the sun shines through a but this blue sea is the same to-day, save for its cloudless blue sky the livelong day on feathery alternations of storm and calm, as it was when the palm trees and rivers yellow with sands of gold, -- Baleares, who dwelt bard by, painted their bodies pardon this long parenthesis) --seem now but blue, and slung stones at the haughty legions of the
) what they really are- mere trading-vessels—mere Cæsars. Aye, the grand old sea is Time's great “ Mary Anne's” of Bristol and “Rosa Matilda's" reality—a mockery of man's vain-glorious dreams of Carnarvon, and the like--their captains and and petty sway—and the most comprehensive crews, who were at one time such capital represen- | emblein of Eternity on which man can look and see tatives of the “ Red Rover” and other free and I therein reflected his own littleness and his Maker's
might together. And now the sea is calm as At sundown it was floating out-10 parent-rock was nigh: glass—the clear blue waves come splashing in over And now 'tis cast upon the shore to wither, droop, and die! the dark rocks; and from the place where I sit, I. And such is life, and such are ve-a lot most passing
strange : can see down many feet below me, so clear is the Born but to leave the dearest-born tat for stort and sea hereabouts, the purple and green sea-weeds change; swaying to and fro with the tide on the bottom. Rocked on the surge of sorrow—and, when the storm is This is a glorious September day, warm enough to past,
To lie neglected on Time's strand with withered hearts at render a stretch of an hour or more upon the short
last ! tarf of the cliff yonder a safe possibility, and cool
Oh! cease, unquiet heart of mine-'i'will not be a'ways enough to dispel any feeling of languor which seaside places on this coast too often tend to increase There is a shore where Joy will bloom beyond Time's ebb and rather than remove. And yet I feel sad, hardiy
flow; knowing why. It may be that I remember bygone and then, perchance, I'll hear once inore one long-lost voice's
tone, days spent on another shore—it may be — for Less mournful and
more musical — before our Father's “happiness," as Byron truly says, “was born a throne. twin”--that, remembering in my loneliness a long. lost companion of olden sea-side rambles I need
And now, dear reader, let me endeavour to such an one now to complete, by sharing, my en
make you some amends for all the time you have joyment of the fresh air and the thoughts that lost already in reading what I have written, by arise in localities like this. It seems to-day such telling you a story of this place, which I heard a weary while since I sat on a coast, bleaker far from the lips of a weather-beaten octogenarian than this, with one whom on earth I shall see no
sailor who, I shrewdly suspect, had been a smuggler more-yet it is but a very few years ago—I and an actor in the scenes le described. But all remember then thinking Earth held no fairer spot this demands another chapter. than that barren corner of Great Britain, with its miles of arid rock and foaming sea on either side. I am now amidst scenes far more favoured by nature than those so dear to my recollections
CHAPTER II. and yet, forsooth, I am sad at heart. I have found that writing poetry—or what with me passes THE SMUGGLER'S REVENGE : A SEA-SIDE YARX. for such-relieves thoughts like these. There is Come list awhile unto a greybeard's story. - od Play, little wonder then if I should occasionally run
A fearful tale-the truth were worse.-P. B. Shciky. up lines like the following:
In the year 179-, some five miles from the place The plashing waves come moaning in beneath the rocks where I am now writing, lived Jolin Brown, the hereby;
son of a substantial yeoman-farmer, and the hero Among the wild flowers on the cliff the restless wind doth
of the tale I am now about to tell -a tiae, jovial, sigh; The sheep-bells tinkle on the hills-sweet music to mine open-hearted young fellow was he in those dars
handsome enough to turn the heads of half the Like echoes from the pleasant track of boyhood's early years. girls within an afternoon's ride of his father's Oh! it was on a day like this I sat on Ocean's shore
homestead, where, but for his restless dislike With one whose gentle voice on earth can comfort me no
of any settled mode of life, he might perlaps bave more ; And ere we parted many a vow all lovingly we gave;
been now leading a tranquil old age. But the life We never met again, and now the grass grows o'er her of a farmer had no charms for him.
“ A life of grave!
excitement for me !" said the wilful young man to In reeking towns, 'midst din and smoke the world maintains
his father's remonstrance, "none of your hum. its sway ;
drum, stay-at-home, fireside happinesss for Jack The cares of dim To-morrow cloud the weary one's Today;
Brown.” And, so thinking, he soon joined a band And so 'lis sweet to Nature's slırine for weary hearts to
of smugglers, who at that time infested this coast. come, As doth the way.worn traveller unto liis long-lost home. In those days smuggling was not only more common I've wandered many a dreary mile and happiness I've sought, but less disreputable than now. France being And found Hope's tree that budded fair hath blossomed into
almost closed to fair traders by war, those who pought;
required such fripperies as muslins and the like, I've wandered like the prodigal - until in sorrow wild I thought upon lost innocence—and envied every child; or such creature comforts as Cognac, were obliged I've loved and lost — I've heard false vows till falsehood's if they studied economy-to buy them in the self grew sweet ;
cheapest market; and this was in the hands of I've sighed away my spirit's strength at many a syren's the smugglers, who at that time formed no incon
feet; And I must wander still — who fain would linger by this siderable proportion of England's maritime popushore,
lation. Young Brown, who from his childhood And “dream away this life of care" -- and never wander had been used to the sea, in a short time from the
opening of this narrative had, by his energy and
aptness for command, elicited warm praises from I saw a sea-flower clinging to a rock but yestermorn;
his brother smugglers, and was speedily elected Ere noon I saw that luckless flower upon the wild wave borne !
captain of as "rakish"a looking lugger, called
'the Petrel,” as ever baffled a King's cruiser. Once for Kate's hand. Scandal said that she had not in every week or two the Petrel brought in the much treated the young man quite fairly—that, though coveted muslins and silks for the ladies, and the she had up to a certain period encouraged his Cognac, &c., for their liege lords, who, however addresses, the moment Brown appeared on the much they might reprobate smugglers and smug. field she had slighted Gilbert in a manner unde. gling in public, had not the least objection to served-for, however harsh and unamiable in other become purchasers in private of the smugglers' respects might have been the character of George wares, at far lower rates than they could have Gilbert, he loved her with all that deep--I had purchased them of the fair traders as by law well nigh said—stern attachment of which such protected and recognised.
natures—and such only—are capable. Just beAmong Brown's intimate companions, was an fore she formally declined his suit, he had led a old schoolfellow, who had joined him in his con- steadier life, and had promised, if she would only traband cruises, a man of two or three-and-twenty, offer him an object in view, that he would go to by name George Gilbert, the son of a gentleman London and there make use of his talents to rein reduced circumstances, and who, having been trieve the past, and brighten the future. But, no wild at college, to which by his father, at great — Brown was a handsome, dashing, young sailor, personal inconvenience, he had been sent, for he and poor George was a man destitute of such adwas a youth of promise, in expectation of then vantages, and consequently, was, like many a betdoing something good for himself, had some ter man by many a more foolish girl, jilted. And so, months returned home, and growing tired of family like a sensible man, for a time he bore the blow in reproaches, and having too much spirit to wish silence, and endeavoured to make the best of it. to live as a pensioner on paternal good nature, True, she had deceived him, and then as coldly had joined the Petrel's adventurers. Brown and undeceived him, and then given him for his pains he were friends, yet never were two men more a sneer and his congée. No matter ; pride would utterly dissimilar in mind and body. By the side enable him to bear it, and for a while pride did. of the genial Jack Brown, the quiet, saturnine One evening, as he was strolling homewards George Gilbert made a poor figure-yet there was along the cliff, he saw the two lovers, Brown and more in him than a stranger would have supposed his affianced, sitting among the bushes in a loving -as the smugglers soon discovered. Stern in téte-à-téte. Having no wish to play the part of a feature, with a face whereon a smile seldom beamed listener, he was turning away, when he heard his --and then it was a smile more unpleasant than any name mentioned. He had been more than man if frown—with nothing genial about it--cold as he had not paused awhile then. Involuntarily ho moonlight-a smile of mingled bitterness and listened and soon verified in his own person, the contempt, George Gilbert, nevertheless, was em- old proverb, that "listeners hear no good of them. phatically the brain of the Petrel's crew. He it selves;" for Kate was just then telling Brown the was who planned, for others to execute. When- issue of poor Gilbert's unsuccessful suit, adding ever a cool, calculating spirit, a keen eye and thereto sundry facetious comments of her own, indomitable perseverance were required, Gilbert which went like swords through the heart of the was the man who furnished them; whenever a proud man who heard every word then spoken, dashing enterprise was to be carried out by a and never forgot or forgave one—and Jack Brown, strong nerve, a reckless heart, and an iron hand, with a horse-laugh, said, “Poor devil !" till he then Jack Brown was truly “Jack at a pinch.” roared again. Little thought fickle Kate Furness, Little wonder then if, with two such men banded that pleasant evening, of the fearful consequences together in one cause, the Petrel soon became that would ensue from those foolish words of hers, famous for successful cruises, and hair-breadth spoken, after all, in merry jest, but taken by one escapes—or that her crew, who were all joined of the listeners in fierce revengeful earnest--little together in a kind of partnership, soon were in a thought she how a moment had alienated from good way to realise a handsome livelihood by their her the faithful heart that had loved her for years. nefarious practices, in spite of the revenue. Liitle thought Brown how his coarse laugh, in
Now, although it is by no means my intention which there was not the least particle of ill nature, to dose my readers with too much sentimentality had severed a friendship that had existed from in these veritable chronicles, still I suppose I childhood between himself and his old school. should be lessening whatever interest my story fellow, Gilbert, turning the friend into a deadly may possess, by omitting such love matters as enemy henceforward. But it was so. From that are necessary to that story's development.
hour Gilbert hated Kate and Brown with all that Let me be brief, however.
intensity which belongs to temperaments like his. Jack Brown wooed and won as pretty a girl as Still, Gilbert and Brown sailed together as here. ever wore a contraband silk dress, or kissed a tofore, till one day as they were cruising off Jersey, handsome young smuggler,-Kate Furness. It a few hasty words between the two led to a was likewise surmised at the time that George quarrel --- blows were exchanged, and the combaGilbert—thouglı he had never shown any feeling tants were separated by their crew. Directly of interest when Brown announced his engagement they landed, Gilbert demanded satisfaction on the to his lady love-had at one time been a suitor spot, and Brown, after a few well meant but vain
THE SMUGGLER'S REVENGE. attempts at reconciliation, took his ground and old schoolfellow if he thought that a mere foolish shot his quondam friend through the arm. At his quarrel justified such hatred as his. For a own request Gilbert was left behind in St. Heliers, few minutes Gilbert looked at him with a smile and the Petrel sailed home. His wound, which of hate, blended strangely with contempt, ere be was a simple flesh wound, rapidly healed, and from replied :that time bis connexion with the Petrel ceased. “ Think you, Brown, that a petty squabble like But he had formed his plan already to crush his that would have really turned the old friend of hated rival.
twenty years standing into a life-long foe, or that In a few months Brown was married to Kate a few blackguard words, followed by a well-directed Furness, and for a year all went on happily. Gil- bullet from a wrong-headed idiot like you, could bert, hy exerting what little interest bis father have made me what I am ? No-it needed somepossessed with the county members, procured an thing more to do that.” appointment in the coast-guard, and from that “And that something was ?” asked Brown, day it was remarked that more seizures were made eagerly, in spite of himselfalong the shore, and the Petrel went more rarely “Listen, and you shall know a secret," said to the coast of France. Knowing well the cha- the other. racter of the man they had lost as a friend, the "'A year or two ago I loved deeply, purely Petrel's crew became dispirited, and Brown speedily and truly, a village girl. Aye-you may smile, found that the worst day's work he ever did was smile—but men like me can love as well —or far his quarrel with George Gilbert.
better than people of your kind-your love may One dark night, however, after they had ascer- have been a plaything for your vanily—mine was tained that Gilbert was on the sick list, the smug. the one hope of life. I loved—was rejected, after glers had arranged to effect a landing of several having been coldly deceived and loved on still. tubs of spirits, and this was to be brought I could have borne that. Aye-I loved and was about as follows :
a fool for my pains. She I loved might have been About a mile from their usual landing-place, a girl with no more heart than head—a jilt—but where the shore was less rocky than nearer home, though thus driven from the only hope whereby my to a siile, on the summit of the cliff, was soul then seemed to anchor-my trusting love filung attached a strong block and pulley, with one in my face—I forgave that, and would have carried man to work it, a second as a general assistant in my secret forgivingly to my grave. She loved case of need, and a third some quarter of a mile another; and I was to furnish mirth for my rival. off on the look out. Then the lugger ran in shore Well-one evening I was walking out over yonas close as possible, and the tubs were floated off der cliff-I saw her sitting by the side of him she and conveyed by the smugglers to a snug cranny, loved—who could not love her with half the there affixed to the pulley, and then wound up to intensity I had done—I heard words of endearthe brow of the cliff, when they were conveyed by ment-words I shall never more hear or speak in the second man to the third, who soon disposed of this world now—then I heard my name mentioned them in a convenient stackyard, to wait till called with many a heart less jest by her, for whom I for. But the smugglers had “reckoned without had suffered so much unrepiningly. I heard their host," as the saying is. The sick-list was enough to tell me that in their eyes I was fit to merely a sham, and in less time than served to be mocked and sneered at by a false coquetteconvey four tubs up to the stile from the beach, to be the topic of the coarse jests of an empty. a shrill whistle from the smuggler's outpost, an. headed boor. My blood was turned to gall-tbat nounced that danger was abroad. The smugglers night I swore a bitter oath-I bave kept the first on the beach regained their lugger and awaited the part of it already—for that girl was Kate Furness, safe advent of the rest to sheer off. But it was and that man was-yourself; aye-you-John too late. George Gilbert, with four or five men, Brown--the prisoner of the Coast Guard to-night was running to the scene of action, the smug-1-the committed for trial to-morrow—the transglers on the high-ground were intercepted, and ported—if there be justice in the land at the after a short conflict were worsted, and by Brown's next assizes. And I will keep that oath still order retired, leaving one of their number shot further.'” through the body on the grass, and Brown hin- So saying, he walked out and left his prisoner self a prisoner, though not before he had sent a to his reflections—which which were not of a very bullet through the hat of one and the leg of pleasant nature. Not that the stout heart of another of his assailants.
Brown feared for himself—but for his wife who He was dragged off to the Preventire station, was hourly expecting her confinement. He knew and there detained in safe custody till morning that, if he was transported, she could be at the when he could be taken before a magistrate. mercy of Gilbert in some measure; and he knew During that night he bitterly reproached Gilbert enough of the ingenuity of bis captor to feel sure with his treachery in turning his hand against his that he would allow nothing to baulk him of his former shipmates, and taking advantage of the revenge. knowledge he had acquired on board the Petrel, to “Scoundrel!" shouted he in his despair, “if capture her captain. He then went on to ask his I ever hear that my wife and the child yet unborn
suffer aught at your devilish hands,- I will come denness of his capture. Poor Mrs. Brown rushed back, if it be three thousand miles and twenty to the door, and then stood wringing her hands in years hence, to take such a revenge as man shall all the helplessness of despair, till she saw the never forget."
men preparing to march Harry off, when she said; These words were heard—not by the ear for George Gilbert, I did not think two and which they were intended—but by one of the twenty years ago, when you and I stood together in coast guard outside the prisoner's door, who re- my father's garden, that you would ever bring me membered them long after the prisoner was wear- sorrow like this--that you could ever ruin the ing his heart out in a foreign land.
husband and child of one who never sought to Brown was tried-found guilty of smuggling injure you or yours.” and firing, with intent to kill, at two of His Ma- Softly, my dear madam,” sneered Gilbert, in a jesty's revenue officers, &c., and sentenced to fierce whisper, which, though unheard by his death-which was commuted to "transportation men, was perfectly audible to the wretched mother. beyond the seas for the term of his natural life.” “Do you remember sitting on the cliff twenty.one There was what the local newspapers of the day years ago, and giggling with John Brown, at tha called "an affecting scene in court,” when his 'poor simpleton, George Gilbert, as you then grey-headed father entreated the mercy of the stern phrased it, as though a proud man's love were Judge on the prisoner for the sake of his poor worthy of nothing more than a weak girl's heartless wife and his unborn child. There was a yell of laughter ?” Then, motioning her a few steps execration from the assembled mob outside the further off his men and their prisoner, he contiSessions-House as Gilbert passed out-to which nued, “if you have forgotten that, I have notthat amiable personage vouchsafed a contemptuous do you remember it, Mrs. Brown, nou?” sneer as sole reply. And in a few months the She did, indeed, remember all too well. capture of the Petrel by the ever vigilant Gilbert "George," gasped she, "mercy--mercy for the broke up Brown's gang, and the s ory of the trial sake of my boy who never harmed you. I was and the sentence were speedily forgotten, save by but a silly girl in those days—you will not--you the convict's wife and a few sympathisers, smug- cannot seek to crush my home for such a girlish glers, who, over their pipes and grog, would often folly as that. George—if you ever loved me, avouch their opinion that Brown would yet come pity me now. I have been punished already too back again to keep his oath, of which--thanks to far by the loss of poor John. Is there no mercy, that loquacious member of the coast guard who George;" asked she, looking up imploringly into originally overheard it—they were aware. With the Revenue officer's stern face, which for an one of these men Brown kept up a correspondence instant worked convulsively, and then subsided and thus knew everything that took place in his into its wonted passionless expression. absence. But Gilbert appeared to have forgotten After a while he answered in a husky voice, his old grudge against Kate, and so Brown's heart “ Kate Brown! think of what I might have grew light on that score. The revenue officer been; for, though the son of a ruined father, I only bided his time till he could wreak his ven- had, some fools said, talent, and I would, for your geance more terribly through her son.
sake, have yet made for us a place in the worldand then think of all I have suffered-think of
what I am—the detested Revenue spy. Think Twenty years had passed away from the night of the struggle that must have been here, where a when Jack Brown was taken by the Coast Guard, heart once was, ere love was turned to undying and Mrs. Brown, who had been established by her hate like mine, and then ask yourself if there can relatives in a shop in the town adjoining her girl- be any mercy for you, at the hands of a man like hood's home, was, with a few friends celebrating me ?” the birthday of her son Harry, a fine young man who had inherited from his father a handsome She answered not a word, but gazed at him face, an athletic frame, and as adventurous a spirit like one distraught, as he said to his men,as his who was far away. His mother was calling “Now, my lads, away with him," and turning to mind her long-lost husband, and instituting to the weeping mother, added, "To share, I hope, fond comparisons between him and her wild boy, if not at present, his father's fate,” and the young regretting that both would follow a lawless course man was dragged off. But the party had not adof life, when a tap came at the door, it was opened, vanced many yards when, with an effort of despeand in walked Gilbert and two of bis followers. rate strength, he wrested his arm from one of his The poor mother saw all at a glance. Rushing to captors, knocked him down, and snatching the cutthe side window, she threw it up, and screaming, lass from the other’s grasp, struck him a fearful "Fly—dearest Harry-fly!” endeavoured to im- blow across the head. The man fell bleeding at pede the further advance of the officers. The his feet, as Harry, waving his weapon, shouted to effort was useless ; in a moment they had dragged Gilbert to
In an instant Gilbert. who him from the window, and had led him away a was some yards in the rear, stood before him, and prisoner to the door, where he stood breathless pointing a pistol at the young man's breast, said, with impotent rage and astonishment at the sud- I in a voice of quiet determination,