Page images
[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

The broad blue Atlantic was unbroken had trodden down his hopes, he endeavored by the slightest breeze, and the rising sun to crush the passion with all the force he was reflected in its mirror-like surface. could summon; yet when he imagined he Slumbering on its bosom lay a small had overcome the deep-rooted sensation, schooner, a model of symmetry, which rose still, phenix-like, it would rise up again in and fell with the long gentle undulations of his soul, and overwhelm all his former resothe waters; the sails hung idly from her lutions. The object of his ill-starred affecyards and booms, and not even a zephyr tion was the daughter of a naval officer of sighed through the light rigging that fell high renown. In the summer of his fortune, from her taunt masts; her hull was entirely the father had encouraged his hopes; but black, but from the stern-head to the quar- when that fell, the smile that used to welter stancheon was a thick range of guns, come his visit was changed to the cold, whose red muzzles formed a striking con- haughty, commonplace expression of slentrast to the sable broadside from which they der civility, till at length the once hospitable projected. She was a noble vessel; and her door was closed to his approach. calling was easily distinguished by her war His natural inclination led him to the relike appearance.

solution of endeavoring to overcome his pasHer commander, Walter Macarthy, was sion by going to sea. While his aged father the only son of a wealthy merchant, who lived, filial tenderness forbade him to desert had carried on an extensive commerce from his couch ; but when he saw the only tie the city of Limerick, but who, from heavy that bound him to the land of his fathers misfortunes, was reduced to the lowest ebb deposited in the clay, he wrote a last adieu of poverty, and who finally died a victim to to the mistress of his heart, and departed the uncertainty of earthly hopes, leaving his from the place of his birth with but one sigh son heir to a barren world. The youth was for her with whom he left his affections. He about twenty years old when his father directed his course to Portsmouth, where he died. Nature seemed to have concentrated entered on board a squadron which was all her art in moulding his outward person about to sail on a cruise up the Mediterin all the symmetry of manly beauty, while ranean. They had several actions with the his mind was a strange intermixture of reck- pirates who infested those seas, in all of lessness and benevolence. He had a heart which our hero so distinguished himself, that which the charms of woman alone could he was quickly raised to a command suitaunstring; but when the spirit of revenge ble to his exploits ; and every succeeding or anger nerved it in wrath, the mad cour- engagement brought laurels to his honored age of the lion lay in his arm, and he who brow. In this manner nearly four years provoked him soon had cause to repent his passed away, and at length, being recomill-fortune. In the day of his prosperity he mended to the Admiralty Board, they inhad loved; but now that the fickle goddess / vested him with the command of a small

brig, to sail against a famous French smug- dreadful contest he had so opportunely congler that traded on the north-western coast cluded, when the frigate's long-boat, crowded of England. On the third day after sailing with officers, came alongside; but when he from Spithead, he hove in sight of his ob- saw the old commodore with open arms apject, then about to land a valuable cargo; proaching, he reverentially uncovered, and and after four hours' hard fighting, in which bowed low to him. The old man suddenly he lost nearly one half of his crew, he towed stopped short, and, recoiling a few paces, the prize into port, where, having delivered raised his hands to his forehead, as if to her up to the authorities, and refitted, he bring some recollection hither; then, with a proceeded to London to surrender his com- tear-drop standing in his

tear-drop standing in his eye, he stretched mand. But his little vessel was destined to out his hand to Macarthy, and said, “And never reach the land. When he was dou- is Walter Macarthy my preserver?" Emobling the Land's End, a tremendous galetion choked his further utterance, but in a from the north-east set in, and he was blown few moments he continued : “Walter, I out to sea; however, when the storm began have wronged you ! Yes, by Heaven, I have to abate, he again stood on his former deeply, foully wronged you; but a soul like course, and was proceeding steadily on, when yours must forgive;" and the old man lowthe bursts of artillery broke over the swell-ered his voice while he said, “I will endeaing ocean, and the very heavens seemed to vor to make amends, in some degree, for the tremble in echoing back the heavy booms. pain I have caused you." Macarthy immediately resolved to alter his Macarthy was silent; not a word escaped course, and he was soon slashing on towards his lips; but he fervently pressed the comthe place whence the sounds proceeded. A modore's hand to his bosom, and then turnfew leagues brought him in sight of two ed hastily away, to hide the tribute of gratilarge ships in a hot engagement; and, crowd-tude that rose to his eye. What must he ing all sail

, he soon came within range of have felt when the father of her whose their guns. The British ensign was flutter- image was enshrined in his soul, once more ing from the mizen peak of one, while that took him to his bosom, and dashed down of France spread its proud folds from the the barrier that intervened between him and foremast head of the other. Macarthy did the object of his early love! The officers not long hesitate, but, getting his little brig and men who were looking on this scene ready for action, he bore up to the assistance were filled with wonder, and most of them of his countryman. The Frenchman had shook their heads, unable to understand why boarded his antagonist, and numbers fell on their old weather-beaten commander should both sides; but when the English beheld be so moved. But while they were conjecthe succor that had arrived, their sunken turing the cause, a new event called all their courage sprang up again, and they soon re-energies together; after a sort of tumult repulsed the boarders who had rushed on below, which lasted a few minutes, the carthem. Broadside after broadside did the penter rushed upon deck, and with hurried little brig pour into the stern of the enemy, accents announced that a shot had struck until at length, overpowered by the renewed the vessel on one of the bilge-planks, and attacks of both crews, and finding their ves- she was fast sinking. All was immediate sel fast sinking, the Frenchman struck, and bustle, each endeavoring to save as much the English ensign floated above theirs, amid as he could conveniently carry. The boats the triumphant cheers of the victors. Mu- were soon manned; and, just as Macarthy tual congratulations ensued, and the vener- stepped into the last boat, and moved away able commander of the British frigate rushed to a short distance, his gallant little brig forward to embrace his preserver. Macarthy rolled heavily in the sea, and the water was leaning on his cutlass, fatigued after the closed over her in a vast whirlpool. The



But may


same fate befel the French ship in about rapidly away, and the time of parting at half an hour afterwards; and the frigate length came. soon got under weigh, bearing the crew of " Walter," said the affectionate girl, as the brig and the prisoners, in addition to the they lingered, gazing on the full moon saildiminished number of her own men. ing through her ocean of glory, and a pearl

drop glittered in her eloquent blue eyeAfter a tedious journey, the commodore “Walter, I am a little sad ; there is a whisand Macarthy at length came in sight of their pering consciousness within me that a destination. Oh! how did the restored rude hand will part us.

I cannot free mylover's heart bound when all the scenes of self from the idea, for I felt the same forehis early endearments severally presented boding before you went first. themselves to his view, and when the car God avert that stroke, for I shall sink under riage drove up to the door of the house that its affliction !" and she fervently raised her contained his Emily! In a few moments now streaming eyes to heaven. the lovely girl, with every charm floating “Emily,” said Macarthy, “your fears are around her, rushed into the arms of her fond groundless; the power is not of earth that father, and then, with burning blushes suf can drag you from my bosom. Cheer up! fusing her face and bosom, she paid a tri- Fortune will smile, and thenbute of true affection to the enchanted Ma “Is not that a bad omen, Walter ?" said carthy. She was, in truth, a model of female Emily, smiling languidly, and pointing to a loveliness. The rich, glossy, black tresses dark, heavy cloud that rushed over the that floated in unrestrained locks over her moon, and darkened every object. neck, and fell gracefully back, revealing a “I heed not omens, love," said Macarthy, noble forehead, white as Parian marble, con- “when thou art my horoscope. Fortune trasted beautifully with the clear transpa- shall pursue my tread when thou art the rency of her bosom; while her easy, natu- star of my destinies. It will rain soonrally majestic carriage, and exquisitely sym- adieu, Emily;" and, for the first time, he metrical figure, left no room for the most sealed his parting with an ambrosial kiss. fastidious critic to stand upon. Then she The morning came, gloomy and cheerless, had such a heart, and such a spring of noble and with it a letter from the Admiralty still affections ! In short, she was a paragon of more gloomy to the fate of Walter. It remental and bodily perfection.

quired his immediate attendance at London, But to our tale. A week passed away, and he must set out without a moment's in which Walter reveled in all the delights delay. of mutual love. But his happiness was too He took a hasty farewell from the old complete, of too divine a cast to dwell in commodore, but a still more painful and mortal bosom. He had walked out with lengthened one from his heart-bursting his Emily, and the shades of evening closed daughter. over them before they thought of returning,

“Oh !” said she, “Walter, I guessed but the moon rose up and shed down her aright. Adieu! I feel our happiness is at mild, chaste light. It is at such a time that an end;" and a torrent of tears gushed from the heart will open, and the most secret the eyes of the fair one. Macarthy was workings of its core develop themselves. It overcome; he once more pressed her to his is in such an hour that the breathings of heart, and tore himself from her embrace, affection will arise like incense, and offer and in a few moments was on the road. themselves in sacrifice at the shrine of eter After a fatiguing journey, he reached nal fidelity. Emily talked long and endear. London, and presented himself at the office ingly, and the ravished Walter could have of the Board. What must have been his bowed down in adoration. The hours passed astonishment when he was there arraigned

« PreviousContinue »