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rials, was clean and neatly put on, and her countenance sweet and expressive. The little girl who followed her began to amuse herself by picking up shells, and the woman advanced towards the cross. She turned to the sea and looked long and anxiously on its calm expanse, shading her eyes with her hand. At length she threw herself at the foot of the cross, and raising her large dark eyes to the image extended on it, she seemed to pray fervently, whilst abundance of tears flowed down her cheeks. For some time she remained in the same attitude; and Sedley saw that her whole heart was in her prayers.
Suddenly the little girl came running towards her, calling out in an eager voice — " Jenni, Jenni ;" Jenni started up hastily, and the child, taking hold of her clothes pointed to the sea. The two then ran down close to the water's edge, and gazed silently on the distant ocean. Far, very far away, and like black spots on the horizon, Sedley discerned some objects which grew more distinct each moment. Gradually
they approached and increased in size ; soon their forms became visible, and the light sails and cordage of fishing boats were drawn against the glowing sky. So smooth was the water that they glided over its surface without any perceptible motion, and as they came nearer, sounds of life were borne on the still air; the voices of the sailors and their monotonous cry floated at intervals towards the shore, and were faintly re-echoed from the lofty mountains and craggy rocks which girt the land.
Nearer and nearer came the fishing boats, till at length every cord was visible, and the forms of the men on board plainly recognisable. The boats were three in number, and soon they passed close to the spot where the wooden cross stood.
As the boats glided slowly along, all the sailors bowed their heads reverentially to the sacred symbol, and devoutly crossing themselves, returned thanks for their safe return; the cries on board were hushed for some seconds, and then re-commenced as the little fleet pursued its course.
The fishermen had passed near enough to recognize Jenni, who was doubtless known to all of them, and greetings were exchanged between them ; but as she gazed on the receding boats, she shook her head mournfully, and wrung her hands impatiently. Sedley now advanced towards her, and ventured to ask her if she expected the return of any relative from a fishing expedition. The simple young woman was too much absorbed in her own sorrows to note the distinguished air of the stranger who thus addressed her, and she answered readily, that her husband, to whom she had only been married a month, had accompanied the fishing-boats they had just seen, and that the four vessels had sailed together two days ago; the others as he saw, had returned in safety, but where was her husband's bark ?
She gave Sedley this information in hurried tones, and then ran rapidly towards the village. Sedley followed her, and arrived in time to see the disembarkation of the newly-arrived fishermen, and the delight with which their return
was greeted ; nor had they come back emptyhanded. Their expedition had been most fortunate, and, with honest pride, they displayed their cargoes to their wives, mothers, and daughters, who crowded around them with affectionate solicitude. It was an affecting and beautiful sight to note the smile of tenderness illumining the rugged countenances of these poor men as they walked to their humble homes, linked arm in arm with some dear relative, whose whole happiness was bound up in their safety, and whose whole thoughts were for their comfort.
Oh! the inestimable blessing of female love and attention, which can make, of the dreariest or meanest habitation, a sweet resting-place for the weary minds and bodies of those with whom she is linked !
Jenni had flown to the landing-place, and eagerly inquired for her husband's boat. The man she addressed told her that they had all been separated the night before by a gale of wind, and when the daylight returned, Antonio's bark was missing, but he had no doubt that it would speedily make its appearance. The man's words and countenance expressed no anxiety, yet Jenni burst into tears and sobbed violently, then running back along the beach she returned to the spot where stood the cross. Sedley had a small telescope with him, and he followed the poor creature, and offered her the use of it, as she was straining her eyes in the hope of discerning a sail.
She thankfully accepted the glass, and told Sedley that she feared he must think her very silly to be so fearful, but that her extreme anxiety was occasioned by a dream she had bad the night before, and which had left an impression on her mind not to be shaken off.
Sedley saw that it would be vain to attempt reasoning with her, as her faith in dreams and omens was too deeply-rooted to be shaken ; and she continued alternately praying, and looking through the glass, and wringing her hands, whilst the little girl, who was her sister, seeing Jenni so disturbed, cried without ceasing, at her