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´╗┐Title: Newton Forster - The Merchant Service
Author: Marryat, Frederick, 1792-1848
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Newton Forster - The Merchant Service" ***

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Newton Forster, or the Merchant Service, by Captain Marryat.

________________________________________________________________________

Captain Frederick Marryat was born July 10 1792, and died August 8 1848.
He retired from the British navy in 1828 in order to devote himself to
writing.  In the following 20 years he wrote 26 books, many of which are
among the very best of English literature, and some of which are still
in print.

Marryat had an extraordinary gift for the invention of episodes in his
stories.  He says somewhere that when he sat down for the day's work, he
never knew what he was going to write.  He certainly was a literary
genius.

"Newton Forster" was published in 1832, the third book to flow from
Marryat's pen.  It was the first of his nautical books in which the hero
is not in the Royal Navy.

This e-text was transcribed in 1998 by Nick Hodson, and was reformatted
in 2003.

________________________________________________________________________

NEWTON FORSTER, OR THE MERCHANT SERVICE, BY CAPTAIN FREDERICK MARRYAT.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER ONE.

  And what is this _new_ book the whole world makes such a rout about?--
  Oh! 'tis out of all plumb, my lord,--quite an irregular thing; not one
  of the angles at the four corners was a right angle.  I had my rule
  and compasses, my lord, in my pocket.--Excellent critic!

  Grant me patience, just Heaven!  Of all the cants which are canted in
  this canting world--though the cant of hypocrites may be the worst,
  the cant of criticism is the most tormenting!  STERNE.

What authors in general may feel upon the subject I know not, but I have
discovered, since I so rashly took up my pen, that there are three
portions of a novel which are extremely difficult to arrange to the
satisfaction of a fastidious public.

The first is the beginning, the second the middle, and the third is the
end.

The painter who, in times of yore, exposed his canvass to universal
criticism, and found to his mortification that there was not a particle
of his composition which had not been pronounced defective by one
pseudo-critic or another, did not receive severer castigation than I
have experienced from the _unsolicited_ remarks of "damned good-natured
friends."

"I like your first and second volume," said a tall, long-chinned,
short-sighted blue, dressed in yellow, peering into my face, as if her
eyes were magnifying glasses, and she was obtaining the true focus of
vision, "but you fall off in your last, which is all about that _nasty_
line-of-battle ship."

"I don't like your plot, sir," brawls out in a stentorian voice an
elderly gentleman; "I don't like your plot, sir," repeated he with an
air of authority, which he had long assumed, from supposing because
people would not be at the trouble of contradicting his opinions, that
they were incontrovertible--"there is nothing but death."

"Death, my dear sir," replied I, as if I was hailing the look-out man at
the mast-head, and hoping to soften him with my intentional bull; "is
not death, sir, a true picture of human life?"

"Ay, ay," growled he, either not hearing or not _taking_; "it's all very
well, but--there's too much killing in it."

"In a novel, sir, killing's no murder, you surely will admit; and you
must also allow something for professional feeling--`'Tis my
occupation;' and after five-and-twenty years of constant practice,
whether I wield the sword or the pen, the force of habit--"

"It won't do, sir," interrupted he; "the public don't like it.
Otherwise," continued this hyper-critic, softening a little, "some of
the chapters are amusing, and on the whole, it may be said to be
rather--that is--not unpleasantly written."

"I like your first and third volume, but not your second," squeaked out
_something_ intended to have been a woman, with shoulder-blades and
collar-bones, as De Ville would say, most strongly developed.

"Well now, I don't exactly agree with you, my dear Miss Pegoo; I think
the second and third volumes are by far the most _readable_," exclaimed
_another thing_, perched upon a chair, with her feet dangling halfway
between her seat and the carpet.

"If I might presume upon my long-standing in the service, Captain ---,"
said a pompous general officer,--whose back appeared to have been
_fished_ with the kitchen poker--"If I might venture to offer you
advice," continued he, leading me paternally by the arm a little on one
side, "it would be, not again to attempt a defence of smuggling: I
consider, sir, that as an officer in his Majesty's service, you have
strangely committed yourself."

"It is not my defence, sir: they are the arguments of a smuggler."

"You wrote the book, sir," replied he, sharply; "I can assure you, that
I should not be surprised if the Admiralty took notice of it."

"Indeed, sir," replied I, with assumed alarm.

I received no answer, except a most significant nod of the head, as he
walked away.

But I have not yet arrived at the climax, which made me inclined to
exclaim with the expiring Lion in the fable--

A midshipman--yes, reader, a midshipman--who had formerly belonged to my
ship, and had trembled at my frown, ranged up alongside of me, and with
a supercilious air, observed--

"I have read your book, and--there are _one_ or _two_ good things in
it."

Hear this, admirals and captains on half-pay! hear this, port-admirals
and captains afloat!  I have often heard that the service was
deteriorating, going to the devil, but I never became a convert to the
opinion before.

Gracious Heaven! what a revengeful feeling is there in the exclamation
"O that mine adversary had _written a book_!"  To be snarled at, and
bow-wowed at, in this manner, by those who find fault, because their
intellect is not sufficient to enable them to appreciate!  Authors, take
my resolution; which is, never to show your face until your work has
passed through the ordeal of the Reviews.--Keep your room for the month
after your literary labour.  Reviews are like Jesuit father confessors--
guiding the opinions of the multitude, who blindly follow the
suggestions of those to whom they may have entrusted their literary
consciences.  If your work is denounced and damned, still you will be
the gainer; for is it not better to be released at once from your
sufferings, by one blow from the paw of a tiger, than to be worried
piecemeal by creatures who have all the will, but not the power, to
inflict the _coup de grace_?

The author of "Cloudesley," enumerating the qualifications necessary to
a writer of fiction, observes, "When he introduces his ideal personage
to the public, he enters upon his task with a preconception of the
qualities that belong to this being, the principle of his actions, and
its necessary concomitants, etcetera, etcetera."  That such preparation
ought to be made, I will not deny; but were I to attempt an adherence to
these rules, the public would never be troubled with any production of
mine.  It would be too tedious a journey in prospective for my wayward
intellect; and if I calculated stages before I ordered my horses, I
should abandon the attempt, and remain quietly at home.  Mine is not a
journey of that methodical description; on the contrary, it is a ramble
hand-in-hand with Fancy, with a light heart and a lighter baggage; for
my whole wallet, when I set off, contains but one single idea--but ideas
are hermaphrodite, and these creatures of the brain are most prolific.
To speak more intelligibly, I never have made any arrangement of plot
when I commenced a work of fiction, and often finish a chapter without
having the slightest idea of what materials the ensuing one is to be
constructed.  At times I feel so tired that I throw down the pen in
despair; but it is soon taken up again, and, like a pigmy Antaeus, it
seems to have imbibed fresh vigour from its prostration.

I remember when the "King's Own" was finished, I was as happy as a
pedestrian who had accomplished his thousand miles in a thousand hours.
My voluntary slavery was over, and I was emancipated.  Where was I then?
I recollect; within two days' sail of the Lizard, returning home, after
a six weeks' cruise to discover a rock in the Atlantic, which never
existed except in the terrified or intoxicated noddle of some master of
a merchant vessel.  It was about half-past five in the evening, and I
was alone in my after-cabin, quite alone, as the captain of a man-of-war
must be, even when in presence of his ship's company.  If being sent to
sea has been pronounced by the officers and men to be _transportation_,
being the captain of the ship may truly be designated as _solitary
confinement_.

I could not send for any one to whom I could impart the intelligence--
there was no one whom I could expect to sympathise with me, or to whom I
could pour out the abundance of my joy; for that the service prohibited.
What could I do?  Why I could dance; so I sprung from my chair, and
singing the tune, commenced a Quadrille movement,--"Tal de ral la, tal
de ral la, lity, lity, lity, liddle-um, tal de ral ha, tal--"

"Three bells, sir," cried the first lieutenant, who had opened my door
unperceived by me, and showed evident surprise at my motions; "shall we
beat to quarters?"--"Certainly, Mr B---," replied I; and he
disappeared.  But this interruption produced only a temporary cessation:
I was in the height of "Cavalier seul," when his head popped into the
cabin--

"All present, and sober, sir," reported he, with a demure smile.

"Except the captain, I presume you are thinking," replied I.

"Oh! no indeed, sir; I observed that you were very merry."

"I am, Mr B---, but not with wine; mine is a sort of intellectual
intoxication not provided for in the Articles of War."

"A what! sir?"

"Oh! something that you'll never get drunk upon, as you never look into
a book--beat a retreat."

"Ay, ay, sir," replied the first-lieutenant; and he disappeared.

And I also beat a retreat to my sofa; and as I threw myself upon it,
mentally vowed that, for two months at the least, I never would take up
a pen.  But we seldom make a vow which we do not eventually break; and
the reason is obvious.  We vow only when hurried into excesses; we are
alarmed at the dominion which has been acquired over us by our feelings
or by our habits.  Checked for a time by an adherence to our
resolutions, they gradually recover their former strength, until they
again break forth, and we yield to their overpowering influence.  A few
days after I had made the resolution, I found myself, like the sailor,
_rewarding_ it, by writing more indefatigably than ever.

So now, reader, you may understand that I continue to write, as Tony
Lumpkin says--not to please my good-natured friends, "but because I
can't bear to disappoint myself;" for that which I commenced as an
amusement, and continued as a drudgery, has ended in becoming a
_confirmed habit_.

So much for the overture.  Now let us draw up the curtain, and our
actors shall appear upon the stage.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER TWO.

  Boldly I venture on a naval scene,
  Nor fear the critics' frown, the pedants' spleen.
  Sons of the ocean, we their rules disdain.

  Hark!--a shock
  Tears her strong bottom on the marble rock.
  Down on the vale of death, with dismal cries,
  The fated victims shuddering, roll their eyes
  In wild despair--While yet another stroke
  With deep convulsion rends the solid oak,
  Till like the mine in whose infernal cell
  The lurking demons of destruction dwell,
  At length asunder-torn, her frame divides,
  And crashing, spreads in ruin o'er the tides.
  FALCONER.

It was in the dreary month of fog, misanthropy, and suicide--the month
during which Heaven receives a scantier tribute of gratitude from
discontented man--during which the sun rises, but shines not--gives
forth an unwilling light, but glads us not with his cheerful rays--
during which large tallow candles assist the merchant to calculate his
gains or to philosophise over his losses--in short, it was one evening
in the month of November of the year 17---, that Edward Forster, who had
served many years in his Majesty's navy, was seated in a snug arm-chair,
in a snug parlour, in a snug cottage to which he had retired upon his
half-pay, in consequence of a severe wound which had, for many years,
healed but to break out again each succeeding spring.

The locality of the cottage was not exactly so snug as it has been
described in itself, and its interior; for it was situated on a hill
which terminated at a short distance in a precipitous clift, beetling
over that portion of the Atlantic which lashes the shores of Cumberland
under the sub-denomination of the Irish Sea.  But Forster had been all
his early life a sailor, and still felt the same pleasure in listening
to the moaning and whistling of the wind, as it rattled the shutters of
his cottage (like some importunate who would gain admittance), as he
used to experience when, lying in his hammock, he was awakened by the
howling of the blast, and shrouding himself in his blankets to resume
his nap, rejoiced that he was not exposed to its fury.

His finances did not allow him to indulge in luxuries, and the
distillation of the country was substituted for wine.  With his feet
upon the fender, and his glass of whisky-toddy at his side, he had been
led into a train of thought by the book which he had been reading; some
passage of which had recalled to his memory scenes that had long passed
away--the scenes of youth and hope--the happy castle-building of the
fresh in heart, invariably overthrown by time and disappointment.  The
night was tempestuous; the rain now pattered loud, then ceased as if it
had fed the wind, which renewed its violence, and forced its way through
every crevice.  The carpet of his little room occasionally rose from the
floor, swelled up by the insidious entrance of the searching blast; the
solitary candle, which from neglect had not only elongated its wick to
an unusual extent, but had formed a sort of mushroom top, was every
moment in danger of extinction, while the chintz curtains of the window
waved solemnly to and fro.  But the deep reverie of Edward Forster was
suddenly disturbed by the report of a gun swept to leeward by the
impetuosity of the gale, which hurled it with violence against the door
and front windows of his cottage, for some moments causing them to
vibrate with the concussion.  Forster started up, dropping his book upon
the hearth, and jerking the table with his elbow, so as to dash out the
larger proportion of the contents of his tumbler.  The sooty coronal of
the wick also fell with the shock, and the candle, relieved from its
burden, poured forth a brighter gleam.

"Lord ha' mercy, Mr Forster; did you hear that noise?" cried the old
housekeeper (the only inhabitant of the cottage except himself), as she
bolted into the room, holding her apron in both hands.  "I did, indeed,
Mrs Beazeley," replied Forster; "it's the signal of a vessel in
distress, and she must be on a dead lee-shore.  Give me my hat!" and
draining off the remainder in his tumbler, while the old lady reached
his hat off a peg in the passage, he darted out from the door of his
tenement.

The door, which faced to seaward, flew open with violence, as Forster
disappeared in the darkness of the night.

The old housekeeper, on whom had devolved the task of securing it, found
it no easy matter; and the rain, blown in by the sweeping gale, proved
an effectual and unwelcome shower-bath to one who complained bitterly of
the rheumatics.  At last her object was accomplished, and she repaired
to the parlour to re-light the candle which had been extinguished, and
await the return of her master.  After sundry ejaculations and sundry
wonders, she took possession of his arm-chair, poked the fire, and
helped herself to a glass of whisky-toddy.  As soon as her clothes and
her tumbler were again dry, she announced by loud snores that she was in
a happy state of oblivion; in which we shall leave her, to follow the
motions of Edward Forster.

It was about seven o'clock in the evening, when Forster thus exposed
himself to the inclemency of the weather.  But a few weeks before how
beautiful were the evenings at this hour; the sun disappearing beyond
the distant wave, and leaving a portion of his glory behind him until
the stars, in obedience to the divine fiat, were lighted up to "shine by
night;" the sea rippling on the sand, or pouring into the crevices of
the rocks, changing its hue, as daylight slowly disappeared, to the more
sombre colours it reflected, from azure to each deeper tint of grey,
until darkness closed in, and its extent was scarcely to be defined by
the horizontal line.

Now all was changed, The roaring of the wind and the hoarse beating of
the waves upon the streaming rocks deafened the ears of Edward Forster.
The rain and spray were hurled in his face, as, with both hands, he
secured his hat upon his head; and the night was so intensely dark, that
but occasionally he could distinguish the broad belt of foam with which
the coast was lined.  Still Forster forced his way towards the beach,
which it is now requisite that we should more particularly describe.

As we before observed, the cottage was built upon a high land, which
terminated in a precipitous clift about two hundred yards distant, and
running in a direct line to the westward.  To the northward, the coast
for miles was one continual line of rocky clifts, affording no chance of
life to those who might be dashed upon them; but to the southward of the
clift which formed the promontory opposite to Forster's cottage, and
which terminated the range, there was a deep indent in the line of
coast, forming a sandy and nearly land-locked bay, small indeed, but so
sheltered that any vessel which could run in might remain there in
safety until the gale was spent.  Its only occupant was a fisherman,
who, with his family, lived in a small cottage on the beach.  He was an
ally of Forster, who had intrusted to his charge a skiff, in which,
during the summer months, he often whiled away his time.  It was to this
cottage that Forster bent his way, and loudly knocked when he arrived.

"Robertson--I say, Robertson," called Forster, at the full compass of
his voice.

"He is not here, Mr Forster," answered Jane, the wife of the fisherman;
"he is out, looking for the vessel."

"Which way did he go?"

Before an answer could be returned, Robertson himself appeared.  "I'm
here, Mr Forster," said he, taking off his fur cap, and squeezing out
with both hands the water with which it was loaded; "but I can't see the
vessel."

"Still, by the report of the gun, she must be close to the shore.--Get
some fagots out from the shed, and light as large a fire as you can;
don't spare them, my good fellow; I will pay you."

"That I'll do, sir, and without pay; I only hope that they'll understand
the signal, and lay her on shore in the cove.  There's another gun!"

This second report, so much louder than the former, indicated that the
vessel had rapidly neared the land; and the direction from which the
report came, proved that she must be close to the promontory of rocks.

"Be smart, my dear fellow; be smart," cried Forster.

"I will go up to the clift, and try if I can make her out;" and the
parties separated upon their mutual work of sympathy and good will.

It was not without danger, as well as difficulty, that Forster succeeded
in his attempt; and when he arrived at the summit, a violent gust of
wind would have thrown him off his legs, had he not sunk down upon his
knees and clung to the herbage, losing his hat, which was borne far away
to leeward.  In this position, drenched with the rain and shivering with
the cold, he remained some minutes, attempting in vain, with straining
eyes, to pierce through the gloom of the night, when a flash of
lightning, which darted from the zenith and continued its eccentric
career until it was lost behind the horizon, discovered to him the
object of his research.  But a few moments did he behold it, and then,
from the sudden contrast, a film appeared to swim over his aching eyes,
and all was more intensely, more horribly dark than before; but to the
eye of a seafaring man, this short view was sufficient.  He perceived
that it was a large ship, within a quarter of a mile of the land,
pressed gunnel under with her reefed courses, chopping through the heavy
seas--now pointing her bowsprit to the Heavens, as she rose over the
impeding swell; now plunging deep into the trough encircled by the foam
raised by her own exertions, like some huge monster of the deep,
struggling in her toils, and lashing the seas around in her violent
efforts to escape.

The fire burnt up fiercely in the cove, in defiance of the rain and
wind, which, after in vain attempting to destroy it in its birth, now
seemed to assist it with their violence.

"She may yet be saved," thought Forster, "if she will only carry on--Two
cables' lengths more, and she will be clear of the point."

Again and again was the vessel momentarily presented to his view, as the
forked lightning darted in every quarter of the firmament, while the
astounding claps of thunder bursting upon his ears before the lightning
had ceased to gleam, announced to him that he was kneeling in the very
centre of the war of the elements.  The vessel reared the clift in about
the same proportion that she forged ahead.  Forster was breathless with
anxiety, for the last flash of electricity revealed to him that two
moments more would decide her fate.

The gale now redoubled its fury, and Forster was obliged to cling for
his existence as he sank, from his kneeling posture, flat upon the wet
herbage.  Still he had approached so near to the edge of the clift that
his view below was not interrupted by his change of posture--Another
flash of lightning.--It was enough!  "God have mercy on their souls!"
cried he, dropping his face upon the ground as if to shut out the horrid
vision from his sight.

He had beheld the vessel within the surf, but a few yards distant from
the outer rocks, thrown on her beam-ends, with both foresail and
mainsail blown clear out of their bolt-ropes.  The cry for succour was
raised in vain; the wail of despair was not heard; the struggles for
life were not beheld, as the elements in their wrath roared and howled
over their victim.

As if satiated with its devastation, from that moment the storm
gradually abated, and Forster taking advantage of a lull, slowly
descended to the cove, where he found Robertson still heaping fuel on
the fire.

"Save your wood, my good fellow; it's all over with her; and those who
were on board are in eternity at this moment," said Forster, in a
melancholy tone.

"Is she gone then, sir?"

"Right on the outer ledge; there's not a living soul to see your
beacon."

"God's will be done!" replied the fisherman; "then their time was come--
but He who destroys, can save if He pleases; I'll not put out the fire,
while there's a fagot left, for you know, Mr Forster, that if any one
should by a miracle be thrown into the smooth water on this side of the
point, he might be saved; that is, if he swam well:"--and Robertson
threw on more fagots, which soon flared up with a brilliant light.  The
fisherman returned to the cottage to procure for Forster a red woollen
cap in lieu of the hat which he had lost; and they both sat down close
to the fire to warm themselves, and to dry their streaming clothes.

Robertson had once more replenished the fuel, and the vivid blaze glared
along the water in the cove, when the eye of Forster was attracted by
the appearance of something floating on the wave, and evidently nearing
to the shore.  He pointed it out to the fisherman, and they descended to
the water's edge, awaiting its approach with intense anxiety.

"It's not a man, sir, is it?" observed Robertson, after a minute's
pause.

"I cannot make it out," replied Forster; "but I rather think that it is
an animal--something living, most assuredly."

In another minute or two the point was decided; they distinguished a
large dog bearing something white in its mouth, and making for the shore
where they were standing.  Calling to the poor beast to cheer him, for
he evidently was much exhausted and approached but slowly, they soon had
the satisfaction of seeing him pass through the surf, which, even at
this time, was not heavy in the cove, and, with the water pouring from
his shaggy coat, stagger towards them, bearing in his mouth his burden,
which he laid down at Forster's feet, and then shook off the
accumulation of moisture from his skin.  Forster took up the object of
the animal's solicitude--it was the body of an infant, apparently a few
months old.

"Poor thing!" cried Forster, mournfully.

"It's quite dead, sir," observed the fisherman.

"I am afraid so," replied Forster, "but it cannot have been so long; the
dog evidently bore it up clear of the water until it came into the surf.
Who knows but we might restore it?"

"If any thing will restore it, sir, it will be the warmth of woman's
breast, to which it hitherto hath clung--Jane shall take it in her bed
between her and the little ones;" and the fisherman entered the hut with
the child, which was undressed, and received by his wife with all the
sympathy which maternal feelings create, even towards the offspring of
others.  To the delight of Forster, in a quarter of an hour Robertson
came out of the cottage with the intelligence that the child had moved
and cried a little, and that there was every chance of its recovery.

"It's a beautiful little girl, sir, Jane says; and if it lives, she will
halve her milk between it and our little Tommy."

Forster remained another half-hour, until he had ascertained that the
child had taken the breast and had fallen asleep.  Congratulating
himself at having been the means of saving even one little life out of
the many which, in all probability had been swallowed up, he called to
the dog, who had remained passive by the fire, and rose up to return
home; but the dog retreated to the door of the cottage into which he had
seen the infant carried, and all attempts to coax him away were
fruitless.

Forster summoned Robertson, to whom he gave some further directions, and
then returned to his home, where, on his arrival, his old housekeeper,
who had never been awakened from her sound nap until roused by his
knocking at the door, scolded him not a little for being out in such
tempestuous weather, and a great deal more for having obliged her to sit
up and _watch_ all night until his return.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER THREE.

  Creation smiles around; on every spray
  The warbling birds exalt their evening lay:
  Blithe skipping o'er you hill, the fleecy train
  Join the deep chorus of the lowing plain:
  The glassy ocean hush'd forgets to roar,
  But trembling murmurs on the sandy shore.
  FALCONER.

Forster was soon fast asleep after his night of exertion: his dreams
were confused and wild; but I seldom trouble people about dreams, which
are as nought.  When Reason descends from her throne, and seeks a
transitory respite from her labour, Fancy usurps the vacant seat, and in
pretended majesty, would fain exert her sister's various powers.  These
she enacts to the best of her ability, and with about the same success
as attends a monkey when he attempts the several operations connected
with the mystery of shaving:--and thus ends a very short and conclusive
dissertation upon dreams.

But, to use a nautical phrase, we must "heave to" in our narrative
awhile, as it is necessary that we should enter a little more into the
previous history of Edward Forster; which we can now do without
interruption, as the parties we have introduced to the reader are all
asleep.

The father of Edward Forster was a clergyman, who, notwithstanding he
could reckon up some twenty or thirty first, second, and third cousins
with high-sounding titles, officiated as curate in a district not far
from that part of the country where Forster at present was located.  He
was one of the bees of the church, who are constantly toiling, while the
drones are eating up the honey.  He preached three sermons, and read
three services, at three different stations every Sunday throughout the
year; while he christened, married, and buried a population extending
over some thousands of square acres, for the scanty stipend of one
hundred per annum.  Soon after he was in possession of his curacy he
married a young woman, who brought him beauty and modesty as her dower,
and subsequently pledges of mutual love _ad lib_.  But He that giveth,
taketh away; and out of nearly a score of these interesting but
expensive presents to her husband, only three, all of the masculine
gender, arrived at years of maturity.  John (or Jock, as he usually was
called), who was the eldest, was despatched to London, where he studied
the law under a relation; who, perceiving that Mrs Forster's annual
presentation _of_ the living was not followed up by any presentation
_to_ the living, kindly took charge of, and received him into his own
house.

Jock was a hard-headed fellow, studied with great diligence, and
retained what he read, although he did not read fast; but that which he
lost in speed he made up by perseverance, and had now, entirely by his
own exertions, risen to considerable eminence in his profession; but he
had been severed from his family in early days, and had never been able
to return to them.  He heard, indeed, of the birth of sundry brothers
and sisters; of their deaths; and lastly, of the demise of his parents,
the only communication which affected him; for he loved his father and
mother, and was anticipating the period when he might possess the means
of rendering them more comfortable.  But all this had long passed away.
He was now a bachelor past fifty, bearish and uncouth in his appearance,
and ungracious in his deportment.  Secluded in his chambers, poring over
the dry technicalities of his profession, he had divided the moral world
into two parts--honest and dishonest, lawful and unlawful.  All other
feelings and affections, if he had them, were buried, and had never been
raised to the surface.  At the time we speak of he continued his
laborious, yet lucrative, profession, toiling in his harness like a
horse in a mill, heaping up riches, knowing not who should gather them;
not from avarice, but from long habit, which rendered his profession not
only his pleasure, but essential to his very existence.  Edward Forster
had not seen him for nearly twenty years; the last time was when he
passed through London upon his retirement from the service.  Indeed, as
they never corresponded (for there was nothing common between them), it
is a matter of doubt whether Jock was exactly aware which of his
brothers remained alive; and had it been a subject of interest, he
would, in all probability, have referred to the former letters of his
father and mother, as legal documents, to ascertain who was remaining of
his kin.

The next surviving son was _yclept_ (there's something very _consonant_
in that word) Nicholas.  The Reverend Mr Forster, who had no
inheritance to bequeath to his family except a _good name_, which
although better than _riches_, will not always procure for a man one
penny loaf, naturally watched for any peculiar symptoms of genius in his
children which might designate one of the various paths to wealth and
fame, by which it would be most easy for the individual to ascend.  Now
it did occur that when Nicholas was yet in womanish attire, he showed a
great partiality to a burning-glass, with which he contrived to do much
mischief.  He would burn the dog's nose as he slept in the sun before
the door.  His mother's gown showed proofs of his genius by sundry
little round holes, which were considerably increased each time that it
returned from the wash.  Nay, heretical and damnable as is the fact, his
father's surplice was as a moth-eaten garment from the repeated and
insidious attacks of this young philosopher.  The burning-glass decided
his fate.  He was bound apprentice to an optical and mathematical
instrument maker; from which situation he was, if possible, to emerge
into the highest grade of the profession; but, somehow or another, a
want of ambition or of talent did not permit him to ascend the scale,
and he now kept a shop in the small seaport town of Overton, where he
repaired damaged articles of science--a watch one day, a quadrant or a
compass another; but his chief employment and his chief forte lay in
telescopes; and accordingly, a large board, with "Nicholas Forster,
Optician," surmounted the small shop window, at which he was invariably
to be seen at his employment.  He was an eccentric person, one of those
who had narrowly escaped being clever; but there was an obliquity in his
mind which would not admit of lucid order and arrangement.  In the small
town where he resided, he continued to pick up a decent sustenance; for
he had no competitor, and was looked upon as a man of considerable
ability.  He was the only one of three brothers who had ventured upon
wedlock.  But of this part of our history we shall at present say no
more than that he had an only child, and had married his wife, to use
his own expression, because she _suited his focus_.

Edward Forster the youngest, whom we have already introduced to the
reader, showed strong nautical propensities; he swam nut-shells in a
puddle, and sent pieces of lath with paper sails floating down the brook
which gurgled by the parsonage.  This was circumstantial evidence: he
was convicted, and ordered off to sea, to return a Nelson.  For his
conduct during the time he served her, Edward Forster certainly deserved
well of his country, and had he been enabled to continue in his
profession, would in all probability have risen by his merit to its
highest grades; but having served his time as midshipman, he received a
desperate wound in "cutting out," and shortly after obtained his
promotion to the rank of lieutenant for his gallant conduct.  His wound
was of that severe description that he was obliged to quit the service,
and, for a time, retire upon his half pay.  For many years, he looked
forward to the period when he could resume his career:--but in vain; the
wound broke out again and again; fresh splinters of the bone continually
worked out, and he was doomed to constant disappointment.  At last it
healed; but years of suffering had quenched the ardour of youth, and
when he did apply for employment, his services had been forgotten.  He
received a cool negative, almost consonant to his wishes: and returned,
without feeling mortified, to the cottage we have described, where he
lived a secluded yet not an unhappy life.  His wants were few, and his
half pay more than adequate to supply them.  A happy contemplative
indolence, arising from a well cultivated mind, feeding rather upon its
previous acquirements, than adding to its store--an equanimity of
disposition, and a habit of rigid self-command--were the characteristics
of Edward Forster; whom I shall now awaken, that we may proceed with our
narrative.

"Well, I do declare, Mr Forster, you have had a famous nap," cried Mrs
Beazeley, in a tone of voice so loud as to put an immediate end to his
slumber, as she entered his room with some hot water to assist him in
that masculine operation, the diurnal painful return of which has been
considered to be more than tantamount in suffering to the occasional
`pleasing punishment which women bear,' Although this cannot be proved
until ladies are endowed with beards, (which Heaven forfend!) or some
modern Tiresias shall appear to decide the point, the assertion appears
to be borne out, if we reason by analogy from human life; where we find
that it is not the heavy blow of sudden misfortune tripping the ladder
of our ambition and laying us prostrate, which constitutes life's
intermittent "fitful fever;" but the thousand petty vexations of hourly
occurrence.--We return to Mrs Beazeley, who continued--"Why, it's nine
o'clock, Mr Forster, and a nice fresh morning it is too, after last
night's tempest.  And pray what did you hear and see, sir?" continued
the old woman, opening the shutters, and admitting a blaze of sunshine,
as if determined that at all events he should now both _hear_ and _see_.

"I'll tell you all, Mrs Beazeley, when I am dressed.  Let me have my
breakfast as soon as you can, for I must be off again to the cove.  I
did not intend to have slept so late."

"Why, what's in the wind now, Mr Forster?" said the old lady, borrowing
one of his nautical phrases.

"If you wish to know, Mrs Beazeley, the sooner you allow me to get out
of bed, the sooner I shall be able to give you the information you
require."

"But what made you stay out so late, Mr Forster?" continued the
housekeeper, who seemed determined, if possible, to have a little
information _en attendant_, to stay her appetite until her curiosity
could obtain a more substantial repast.

"I am sorry to say, there was a vessel wrecked."

"O dear!  O dear!  Any lives lost?"

"All, I am afraid, except one, and even that is doubtful."

"O Lord!  O Lord!  Do, pray, Mr Forster, tell me all about it."

"As soon as I am dressed, Mrs Beazeley," replied Mr Forster, making a
movement indicative that he was about to "_turn out," whether or no_,
and which occasioned Mrs Beazeley to make a hasty retreat.

In a few minutes Forster made his appearance in the parlour, where he
found both the kettle and the housekeeper boiling with impatience.  He
commenced eating and narrating until the respective appetites of Mrs
Beazeley and himself were equally appeased, and then set off for the
abode of Robertson, to ascertain the fate of the infant.

How different was the scene from that of the night before!  The sea was
still in commotion, and as the bright sun shone upon its agitated
surface, gilding the summits of the waves, although there was majesty
and beauty in the appearance, there was nought to excite terror.  The
atmosphere, purified by the warfare of the elements, was fresh and
bracing.  The short verdure which covered the promontory and hills
adjacent, was of a more brilliant green, and seemed as if to bask in the
sun after the cleansing it had received from the heavy rain; while the
sheep (for the coast was one extended sheep-walk) studded the sides of
the hills, their white fleeces in strong, yet beautiful contrast, with
the deep verdure of nature.  The smooth water of the cove, in opposition
to the vexed billows of the unsheltered ocean; the murmuring of the
light waves, running in long and gently curved lines to their repose
upon the yellow sand; their surface occasionally rippled by the eddying
breeze as it swept along; his own little skiff safe at her moorings,
undulating with the swell; the sea-gulls, who but a few hours ago were
screaming with dismay as they buffeted against the fury of the gale, now
skimming on the waves, or balanced on the wing near to their
inaccessible retreats; the carolling of the smaller birds on every side
of him, produced a lightness of heart and quickened pulse, to which
Edward Forster had latterly been a stranger.

He soon arrived at the cottage, where the sound of his footsteps brought
out the fisherman and his wife, the latter bearing in her arms the
little object of his solicitude.

"See, Mr Forster," said Jane, holding out the infant, "it's quite well
and hearty, and does nothing but smile.  What a lovely babe it is!"

Forster looked at the child, who smiled, as if in gratitude; but his
attention was called away by the Newfoundland dog, who fawned upon him,
and after having received his caresses, squatted down upon the sand,
which he beat with his tail as he looked wistfully in Forster's face.

Forster took the child from the arms of its new mother.  "Thou hast had
a narrow escape, poor thing," said he, and his countenance assumed a
melancholy cast as the idea floated in his mind.  "Who knows how many
more perils may await thee?  Who can say whether thou art to be restored
to the arms of thy relatives, or be left an orphan to a sailor's care?
Whether it had not been better that the waves should have swallowed thee
in thy purity, than thou shouldest be exposed to a heartless world of
sorrow and of crime?  But He who willed thee to be saved knows best for
us who are in darkness;" and Forster kissed its brow, and returned it to
the arms of Jane.

Having made a few arrangements with Robertson and his wife, in whose
care he resolved at present to leave the child, Forster bent his steps
towards the promontory, that he might ascertain if any part of the
vessel remained.  Stretching over the summit of the cliff, he perceived
that several of the lower futtocks and timbers still hung together, and
showed themselves above water.  Anxious to obtain some clue to her
identity, he prepared to descend by a winding and hazardous path which
he had before surmounted.  In a quarter of an hour he had gained a
position close to the wreck; but, with the exception of the shattered
remnant which was firmly wedged between the rocks, there was nothing to
be seen; not a fragment of her masts and spars, or sails, not a relic of
what was once life remained.  The tide, which ran furiously round the
promontory, had swept them all away, or the _undertow_ of the deep water
had buried every detached particle, to be delivered up again, "far, far
at sea."  All that Forster could ascertain was, that the vessel was
foreign built, and of large tonnage; but who were its unfortunate
tenants, or what the cargo, of which she had been despoiled by the
devouring waves, was not even to be surmised.  The linen on the child
was marked J de F; and this was the only clue which remained for its
identity.  For more than an hour did Forster remain fixed as a statue
upon the rock, where he had taken his station with arms folded, while he
contemplated the hoarse waves, dashing against the bends, or dividing as
they poured themselves between the timbers of the vessel, and he sunk
into deep and melancholy thought.

And where is the object exciting more serious reflection than a _Wreck_?

The pride and ingenuity of man humbled and overcome; the elements of the
Lord occupying the fabric which had set them at defiance; tossing,
tumbling, and dancing, as if in mockery at their success!  The
structure, but a few hours past, as perfect as human intellect could
devise, towering with its proud canvass over space, and bearing man to
greet his fellow-man, over the _surface of death_!--dashing the billow
from her stem, as if in scorn, while she pursued her trackless way--
bearing tidings of peace and security, of war and devastation--tidings
of joy or grief, affecting whole kingdoms and empires, as if they were
but individuals!

Now, the waters delight in their revenge, and sparkle with joy, as the
sun shines upon their victory.  That keel, which, with the sharpness of
a scythe, has so often mowed its course through the reluctant wave, is
now buried;--buried deep in the sand, which the angry surge accumulates
each minute, as if determined that it never will be subject to its
weight again.

How many seasons had rolled away, how many millions had returned to the
dust from which they sprung, before the kernels had swelled into the
forest giants levelled for that structure;--what labour had been
undergone to complete the task;--how many of the existent race found
employment and subsistence as they slowly raised that monument of human
skill;--how often had the weary miner laid aside his tool to wipe his
sweating brow, before the metals required for the completion had been
brought from darkness;--what thousands had been employed before it was
prepared and ready for its destined use!  Yon copper bolt, twisted with
a force not human, and raised above the waters, as if in evidence of
their dreadful power, may contain a history in itself.

How many of her own structure must have been employed, bringing from the
north, the south, the east, and the west: her masts, her spars, her
"_hempen tackle_," and her canvass wings; her equipment in all its
variety; her stores for the support of life; her magazines of _quiescent
death_.  And they who so fearlessly trod her decks, conscious of their
own powers, and confident in their own skill; they who expanded her
thousands of yards of canvass to the pursuing breeze, or reduced them,
like magic, at the approaching storm--where are they now?  How many
sighs have been lavished at their absence! how many hearths would have
been gladdened by their return!  Where are the hopes, the fears, the
ambition, and the pride; the courage and the enterprise; the love and
the yearnings after their kin; the speculations of the present, and the
calculations of the future, which occupied their minds, or were
cherished in their bosoms?  All--all _wrecked_!

Days, weeks, and months rolled away; yet every step that could be taken
to find out the name of the vessel proved unavailing.  Although the
conjectures of Forster, that she was one of the many foreign West
Indiamen which had met with a similar fate during that tempestuous
winter, was probably correct; still no clue could be gathered by which
the parentage of the little girl could be ascertained, The linen was
indeed marked with initials; but this circumstance offered but a faint
prospect of discovery.  Either her relations, convinced of her loss made
no inquiries, or the name of the vessel in which she had been a
passenger was not known to them.  The child had been weaned, and removed
to the cottage, where it occupied much of the attention of the old
housekeeper and Forster, who, despairing of its ever being reclaimed,
determined to bring it up as his own.

Mrs Beazeley, the housekeeper, was a good-tempered woman, long passed
the grand climacteric, and strongly attached to Forster, with whom she
had resided many years.  But, like all women, whether married or single,
who have the responsibility of a household, she would have her own way;
and scolded her master with as little ceremony as if she had been united
to him by matrimonial bonds.

To this Forster quietly submitted: he had lived long enough to be aware
that people are not the happiest who are not under control, and was
philosopher sufficient to submit to the penal code of matrimony without
tasting its enjoyments, The arrival of the infant made him more than
ever feel as if he were a married man; for he had all the delights of
the nursery in addition to his previous discipline.  But, although bound
by no ties, he found himself happier.  He soon played with the infant,
and submitted to his housekeeper with all the docility of a well-trained
married man.

The Newfoundland dog, who, although (like some of his betters) he did
not change his name _for_ a fortune, did, in all probability, change it
_with_ his fortune, soon answered to the deserved epithet of Faithful,
and slept at the foot of the crib of his little mistress, who also was
to be rechristened.  "She is a treasure, which has been thrown up by the
ocean," said Forster, kissing the lovely infant.  "Let her name be
_Amber_."

But we must leave her to bud forth in her innocence and her purity,
while we direct the attention of the reader to other scenes, which are
contemporary with those we have described.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER FOUR.

  A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
  Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
  And while 'tis so, none so dry or thirsty
  Will deign to sip, or touch one drop of it.
  SHAKESPEARE.

A man may purchase an estate, a tenement, or a horse because they have
pleased his fancy, and eventually find out that he has not exactly
suited himself; and it sometimes will occur that a man is placed in a
similar situation relative to his choice of a wife: a more serious evil;
as, although the prime cost may be nothing, there is no chance of
getting rid of this latter speculation by re-vending, as you may the
former.  Now it happened that Nicholas Forster, of whom we have already
made slight mention, although he considered at the time of his marriage
that the person he had selected would _exactly suit his focus_, did
eventually discover that he was more short-sighted in his choice than an
optician ought to have been.

Whatever may have been the personal charms of Mrs Nicholas Forster at
the time of their union, she had, at the period of our narrative, but
few to boast of, being a thin, sharp-nosed, ferret-eyed, little woman,
teeming with suspicion, jealousy, and bad humours of every description:
her whole employment (we may say, her whole delight) was in finding
fault: her shrill voice was to be heard from the other side of the
street from morning until night.  The one servant which their finances
enabled them with difficulty to retain, and whom they engaged as the
maid of all work (and certainly she was not permitted by Mrs Forster to
be idle in her multifarious duty), seldom remained above her _month_;
and nothing but the prospect of immediate starvation could induce any
one to offer herself in that capacity.

Mr Nicholas Forster, fortunately for his own happiness, was of that
peculiar temperament, that nothing could completely rouse his anger; he
was _absent_ to an excess; and if any language or behaviour on the part
of his wife induced his choler to rise, other ideas would efface the
cause from his memory; and this hydra of the human bosom, missing the
object of its intended attack, again laid down to rest.

The violence and vituperation of his spouse were, therefore, lost upon
Nicholas Forster; and the impossibility of disturbing the equanimity of
his temper increased the irritability of her own.  Still Mr Nicholas
Forster, when he did reflect upon the subject, which was but during
momentary fits of recollection, could not help acknowledging that he
should be much more quiet and happy when it pleased Heaven to summon
Mrs Forster to a better world: and this idea ultimately took possession
of his imagination.  Her constant turbulence interfered so much with the
prosecution of his plans, that, finding it impossible to carry them into
execution, every thing that he considered of moment was mentally put off
until _Mrs Forster was dead_!

"Well, Mr Forster, how long is the dinner to wait before you think
proper to come?  Every thing will be cold as usual."--(n.b., the dinner
consisted of the remains of a cold shoulder of mutton.)--"Or do you mean
to have any dinner at all?  Betty, clear away the table; I have my work
to do, and won't wait any longer."

"I'm coming, my dear, I'm coming; only this balance spring is a job that
I cannot well leave," replied Nicholas, continuing his vocation in the
shop, with a magnifying glass attached to his eye.

"Coming! yes, and Christmas is coming Mr Forster.--Well, the dinner's
going, I can tell you."

Nicholas, who did not want appetite, and who was conscious that if the
mutton returned to the cupboard there would be some difficulty made in
reproducing it, laid down the watch and came into the back parlour.

"Well, my dear, here I am; sorry to have kept you waiting so long, but
business must be attended to.--Dear me, why the mutton is really quite
cold," continued Nicholas, thrusting a large piece into his mouth, quite
forgetting that he had already dined twice off the identical joint.
"That's a fine watch of Mr Tobin's; but I think that my improvement
upon the duplex when I have finished it--"

"When you have finished it, indeed!" retorted the lady; "why, when did
you ever finish any thing, Mr Forster!  Finish indeed!"

"Well, my dear," replied the husband, with an absent air--"I do mean to
finish it, when--_you are dead_!"

"When I am dead!" screamed the lady, in a rage--"when I am dead!"
continued she, placing her arms akimbo, as she started from the
chair:--"I can tell you, Mr Forster, that I'll live long enough to
plague you, it's not the first time that you've said so; but depend upon
it, I'll dance upon your grave yet, Mr Forster."

"I did not exactly mean to say that; not exactly that, my dear," replied
Nicholas, confused.  "The fact is that I was not exactly aware of what I
was saying--I had not precisely the--"

"Precisely the fiddle-stick, Mr Forster! you did mean it, and you do
mean it, and this is all the return that I am to expect for my kindness
and anxiety for your welfare--slaving and toiling all day as I do; but
you're incorrigible, Mr Forster: look at you, helping, yourself out of
your snuff-box instead of the salt-cellar.  What man in his senses would
eat a cold shoulder of mutton with tobacco?"

"Dear me, so I have," replied Forster, removing the snuff taken from the
box, which, as usual, lay open before him, not into the box again, but
into the salt-cellar.

"And who's to eat that salt now, you nasty beast?"

"I am not a beast, Mrs Forster," replied the husband, whose choler was
roused; "I made a mistake; I do perceive--now I recollect it, did you
send Betty with the `day and night glass' to Captain Simkins?"

"Yes, I did, Mr Forster: if I did not look after your business, I
should like to know what would become of us; and I can tell, you Mr
Forster, that if you do not contrive to get more business, there will
soon be nothing to eat; seventeen and sixpence is all that I have
received this last week; and how rent and fire, meat and drink, are to
be paid for with that, you must explain, for I can't."

"How can I help it, my dear?  I never refuse a job."

"Never refuse a job? no; but you must contrive to make more business."

"I can mend a watch, and make a telescope, but I can't make business, my
dear," replied Nicholas.

"Yes, you can, and you must, Mr Forster," continued the lady, sweeping
off the remains of the mutton, just as her husband had fixed his eye
upon the next cut, and locking it up in the cupboard--"if you do not,
you will have nothing to eat, Mr Forster."

"So it appears, my dear," replied the meek Nicholas, taking a pinch of
snuff; "but I really don't--"

"Why, Mr Forster, if you were not one of the greatest--"

"No, no, my dear," interrupted Nicholas, from extreme modesty, "I am not
one of the greatest opticians of the present day; although when I've
made my improve--"

"Greatest opticians!" interrupted the lady.  "One of the greatest
_fools_, I meant!"

"That's quite another thing, my dear; but--"

"No _buts_, Mr Forster; please to listen, and not interrupt me in that
bearish manner.  Why do you repair in the way you do?  Who ever brings
you a watch or a glass that you have handled a second time?"

"But why should they, my dear, when I have put them in good order?"

"Put them in order! but why do you put them in order?"

"Why do I put them in order, my dear?" replied Forster, with
astonishment.

"Yes; why don't you leave a screw loose, somewhere? then they must come
again.  That's the proper way to do business."

"The proper way to do my business, my dear, is to see that all the
screws are tight."

"And starve!" continued the lady.

"If it please God," replied the honest Nicholas.

But this matrimonial duet was interrupted by the appearance of their
son, whom we must introduce to the reader, as he will play a conspicuous
part in our narrative.

Newton Forster, for thus had he been christened by his father, out of
respect _for the great Sir Isaac_, who was now about seventeen years'
old--athletic and well proportioned in person, handsome in features, and
equally gifted in mind.  There was a frankness and sincerity in his open
brow, an honesty in his smile, which immediately won upon the beholder;
and his countenance was but an index to his mind.  His father had
bestowed all his own leisure, and some expense, which he could ill
afford, upon his education, trusting one day that he would rival the
genius after whom he had been christened; but Newton was not of a
disposition to _sit_ down either at a desk or a work-bench.  Whenever he
could escape from home or from school, he was to be found either on the
beach or at the pier, under the shelter of which the coasting vessels
discharged or received their cargoes; and he had for some years declared
his intention to follow the profession of a sailor.  To this his father
had reluctantly consented, with the proviso that he would first finish
his education; and the mutual compact had been strictly adhered to by
each party.

At the age of fifteen Newton had acquired all that could be imparted to
him by the pedagogue of the vicinity, and had then, until something
better should turn up, shipped himself on board of a coasting vessel, in
which, during the last two years he had made several trips, being
usually absent about six weeks, and remaining in port about the same
time, until another cargo could be procured.

Young as he was, the superiority of his education had obtained him the
situation of mate of the vessel; and his pay enabled him to assist his
father, whose business, as Mrs Forster declared, was not sufficient to
"make both ends meet."  Upon his return, his love of knowledge and
active habits induced him to glean as much as he could of his father's
profession, and he could repair most articles that were sent in.
Although Newton amused himself with the peculiarities and eccentricity
of his father, he still had high respect for him, as he knew him to be a
worthy, honest man.  For his mother he certainly had none: he was
indignant at her treatment of his father, and could find no redeeming
quality to make amends for her catalogue of imperfections.  Still he had
a peculiar tact, by which he avoided any serious altercation.  Never
losing his own temper, yet quietly and firmly resisting all control, he
assumed a dominion over her, from which her feelings towards him,
whatever they may have been in his early years, were now changed into
those of positive hatred.  His absence this morning had been occasioned
by his assistance being required in the fitting of a new main-stay for
the sloop to which he belonged.  "Please God, what, father?" said
Newton, as he came in, catching his father's last words.

"Why, your mother says that we must starve, or be dishonest."

"Then we'll starve, father, with a clear conscience; but I hope things
are not so had yet, for I am devilish hungry," continued Newton, looking
at the dinner-table, which offered to his view nothing but a
table-cloth, with the salt-cellar and the snuff-box.  "Why, mother, is
it dead low water, or have you stowed all away in the locker?"--and
Newton repaired to the cupboard, which was locked.

Now Mrs Forster was violent with others, but with Newton she was always
sulky.

"There's nothing in the cupboard," growled the lady.

"Then why lock up nothing?" rejoined Newton, who was aware that veracity
was not among Mrs Forster's catalogue of virtues.  "Come, mother, hand
me the key, and I'll ferret out something, I'll answer for it."  Mrs
Forster replied, that the cupboard was her own, and she was mistress of
the house.

"Just as you please, mother.  But, before I take the trouble, tell me,
father, is there any thing in the cupboard?"

"Why, yes, Newton, there's some mutton.  At least, if I recollect right,
I did not eat it all--did I, my dear?"

Mrs Forster did not condescend an answer.  Newton went into the shop,
and returned with a chisel and hammer.  Taking a chair to stand upon, he
very coolly began to force the lock.

"I am very sorry, mother, but I must have something to eat; and since
you won't give me the key, why--" observed Newton, giving the handle of
the chisel a smart blow with the hammer--

"Here's the key, sir," cried Mrs Forster with indignation, throwing it
on the table, and bouncing out of the room.

A smile was exchanged between the father and son, as she went backwards,
screaming, "Betty--I say, Betty, you idle slut, where are you?" as if
determined to vent her spleen upon somebody.

"Have you dined, father?" inquired Newton, who had now placed the
contents of the cupboard upon the table.

"Why, I really don't quite recollect; but I feel very hungry," replied
the optician, putting in his plate to receive two large slices; and
father and son sat down to a hearty meal, proving the truth of the wise
man's observation, that, "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
than the stalled ox and hatred therewith."



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER FIVE.

  Whate'er it be,
  'Tis wondrous heavy.  Wrench it open straight.
  If the sea's stomach be o'ercharged with gold,
  It is a good constraint of fortune, that
  It belches on us.
  SHAKESPEARE.

About three weeks after the events narrated in the preceding chapter,
Newton Forster sailed in his vessel with a cargo to be delivered at the
sea-port of Waterford.  The master of her was immoderately addicted to
liquor; and, during the time that he remained in port, seldom was to be
found in a state of perfect sobriety, even on a Sunday.  But, to do him
justice, when his vessel was declared ready for sea, he abstained from
his usual indulgence, that he might be enabled to take charge of the
property committed to his care, and find his way to his destined port.
It was a point on which his interest overcame, for a time, his darling
propensity: and his rigid adherence to sobriety, when afloat, was so
well ascertained, that his character as a trustworthy seaman was not
injured by his continual intemperance when in harbour.  Latterly,
however, since Newton had sailed with him, he had not acted up to his
important resolution.  He found that the vessel was as safe under the
charge of Forster as under his own; and having taken great pains to
instruct him in seamanship, and make him well acquainted with the
dangers of the coast, he thought that, as Newton was fully equal to the
charge of the vessel, he might as well indulge himself with an
occasional glass or two, to while away the tedium of embarkation.  A
stone pitcher of liquor was now his constant attendant when he pulled on
board to weigh his anchor; which said pitcher, for fear of accidents, he
carried down into the cabin himself.  As soon as sail was on the vessel,
and her course shaped, he followed his darling companion down into the
cabin, and until the contents were exhausted was never sufficiently
sober to make his appearance on deck; so that Newton Forster was, in
fact, the _responsible_ master of the vessel.

The wind, which had been favourable at the time of heaving up the
anchor, changed, and blew directly in their teeth, before they were well
out of sight of the port of Overton.  On the third day they were
stretching off the land, to meet the first of the tide, under a light
breeze and smooth water, when Newton perceived various objects floating
in the offing.  A small thing is a good prize to a coaster; even an
empty breaker is not to be despised; and Newton kept away a point or
two, that he might close and discover what the objects were.  He soon
distinguished one or two casks, swimming deeply, broken spars, and a
variety of other articles.  When the sloop was in the midst of them,
Newton hove to, tossed out the little skiff, and in the course of an
hour, unknown to his captain, who was in bed sleeping off the effect of
his last potations, brought alongside, and contrived to parbuckle in,
the casks, and as many others of the floating articles as he could
conveniently stow upon her decks.  The boat was again hoisted in, by the
united exertions of himself and his crew, consisting of _one_ man and
_one_ boy; and the sloop, wearing round, reached in for the land.

It was evident to Newton that some large vessel had lately been wrecked,
for the spars were fresh in the fracture, and clean--not like those long
in the water, covered with sea-weed, and encircled by a shoal of fish,
who, finding sustenance from the animalculae collected, follow the
floating pieces of wood up and down, as their adopted parent, wherever
they may be swept by the inconstant winds and tides.

Newton examined the heels of the spars, but they were not marked with
the name of the vessel to which they had belonged.  The two casks had
only initials branded upon the heads; but nothing could be found which
would designate the owners of the property.  A large trunk riveted his
attention; but he would not open it until the master of the vessel came
upon deck.  Having ascertained by spiling that the contents of the casks
were _real Jamaica_, he went down into the cabin to announce what he
knew would be most grateful intelligence.

It was some time before Newton could rouse his stupified senior.

"Spars--wrecked!"

"What spars?  Damn the wreck!" growled old Thompson (for such was his
name), as he turned his back in no very ceremonious manner, and
recommenced his snore.

"There's a trunk besides, sir--a large trunk; but I did not open it, as
you were not on deck.  A large trunk, and rather heavy."

"Trunk!--well, what then?  Trunk!--oh, damn the trunk!--let me go to
sleep," muttered the master.

"There's two large casks, too, sir; I've spiled them, and they prove to
be puncheons of rum," bawled Newton, who pertinaciously continued.

"Eh; what?--casks! what casks?"

"Two puncheons of rum."

"Rum!--did you say rum?" cried old Thompson, lifting his head off the
pillow, and staring stupidly at Newton; "where?"

"On deck.  Two casks: we picked them up as we were standing off the
land."

"Picked them up?--are they on board?" inquired the master, sitting
upright in his bed, and rubbing his eyes.

"Yes, they're safe on board.  Won't you come on deck?"

"To be sure, I will.  Two puncheons of rum, you said?"--and old Thompson
gained his feet, and reeled to the companion ladder, holding on by _all
fours_, as he climbed up without his shoes.

When the master of the sloop had satisfied himself as to the contents of
the casks, which he did by taking about half a tumbler of each, Newton
proposed that the trunk should be opened.  "Yes," replied Thompson, who
had drawn off a mug of the spirits, with which he was about to descend
to the cabin, "open it, if you like, my boy.  You have made a _bon
prize_ to-day, and your share shall be the trunk; so you may keep it,
and the things that are stowed away in it, for your trouble: but don't
forget to secure the casks till we can stow them away below.  We can't
break bulk now; but the sooner they are down the better; or we shall
have some quill-driving rascal on board, with his _flotsam_ and
_jetsam_, for the _Lord knows who_;" and Thompson, to use his own
expression, went down again "to lay his soul in soak."

Reader, do you know the meaning of _flotsam_ and _jetsam_?  None but a
lawyer can, for it is old law language.  Now, there is a slight
difference between language in general and law language.  The first was
invented to enable us to explain our own meaning, and comprehend the
ideas of others; whereas, the second was invented with the view that we
should not be able to understand a word about it.  In former times, when
all law, except _club_ law, was in its infancy, and practitioners not so
erudite, or so thriving as at present, it was thought advisable to
render it unintelligible by inventing a sort of _lingo_, compounded of
bad French, grafted upon worse Latin, forming a mongrel and
incomprehensible race of words, with French heads and Latin tails, which
answered the purpose intended--that of mystification.--Flotsam and
jetsam are of this breed.  Flot, derived from the French _flottant_,
floating; and jet, from the verb _jeter_, to _throw up_; both used in
seignoral rights, granted by kings to favourites, empowering them to
take possession of the property of any man who might happen to be
unfortunate, which was in those times tantamount to being guilty.  I
dare say, if one could see the deed thus empowering them to confiscate
the goods and chattels of others for their own use, according to the
wording of the learned clerks in those days, it would run thus:--"Omnium
quod flotsam et jetsam, et every thing else-um, quod findetes;" in plain
English, "every thing floating or thrown up, and every thing else you
may pick up."  Now the admiral of the coast had this piratical
privilege: and as, in former days, sextants and chronometers were
unknown, sea-faring men incurred more risk than they do at present, and
the wrecks which strewed the coast were of very great value.  I had a
proof the other day that this right is still exacted; that is as far as
regards property _unclaimed_.  I had arrived at Plymouth from the
Western Islands.  When we hove up our anchor at St. Michael's, we found
another anchor and cable hooked most lovingly to our own, to the great
joy of the first-lieutenant who proposed buying silk handkerchiefs for
every man in the ship, and expending the residue in paint.  But we had
not been at anchor in Plymouth Sound more than twenty four hours, and he
hardly had time to communicate with the gentlemen-dealers in marine
stores, when I received a notification from some lynx-eyed agent of the
present admiral of the coast (who is a lawyer, I believe), requesting
the immediate delivery of the anchor and cable,--upon the plea of his
seignoral rights of _flotsam_ and _jetsam_.  Now the idea was as
preposterous as the demand was impudent.  We had picked up the anchor in
the roadstead of a _foreign power_, about fifteen hundred miles distant
from the English coast.

We are all lawyers, _now_, on board ship; so I gave him one of my legal
answers, "that in the first place, _flotsam_ meant floating, and anchors
did not float; in the second place, that _jetsam_ meant thrown up, and
anchors never were thrown up; in the third and last place, _I'd see him
damned first_!"

My arguments were unanswerable.  Counsel for the plaintiff (I presume)
threw up his brief, for we heard no more of "_Mr Flotsam and Jetsam_."

But to proceed:--The man and boy, who, with Newton, composed the whole
crew, seemed perfectly to acquiesce in the distribution made by the
master of the sloop; taking it for granted that their silence, as to the
liquor being on board, would be purchased by a share of it, as long as
it lasted.

They repaired forward with a panikin from the cask, with which they
regaled themselves, while Newton stood at the helm.  In half an hour
Newton called the boy aft to steer the vessel, and lifted the trunk into
the cabin below, where he found that Thompson had finished the major
part of the contents of the mug, and was lying in a state of drunken
stupefaction.

The hasp of the lock was soon removed by a claw-hammer, and the contents
of the trunk exposed to Newton's view.  They consisted chiefly of female
wearing apparel and child's linen; but, with these articles there was a
large packet of letters, addressed to Madame Louise de Montmorenci, the
contents of which were a mystery to Newton, who did not understand
French.  There were also a red morocco case, containing a few diamond
ornaments, and three or four crosses of different orders of knighthood.
All the wearing apparel of the lady was marked with the initials LM,
while those appertaining to the infant were marked with the letters JF.

After a careful examination, Newton spread out the clothes to dry, over
the cabin lockers and table; and depositing the articles of value in a
safe place, he returned on deck.  Although Thompson had presented him
with the trunk and its contents, he felt that they could not be
considered as his property, and he determined to replace every thing,
and, upon his return, consult his father as, to the proper measures
which should be taken to discover who were the lawful owners.

The sloop, under the direction of Newton, had continued her course for
two days against the adverse, yet light breeze, when the weather
changed.  The wind still held to the same quarter: but the sky became
loaded with clouds, and the sun set with a dull red glare, which
prognosticated a gale from the North West; and before morning the vessel
was pitching through a short chopping sea.  By noon the gale was at its
height; and Newton, perceiving that the sloop did not "hold her own,"
went down to rouse the master, to inquire what steps should be taken, as
he considered it advisable to bear up; and the only port under their lee
for many miles was one, with the navigation of which he was himself
unacquainted.

The vessel was under close-reefed mainsail and storm foresail, almost
buried in the heavy sea, which washed over the deck from forward to the
companion hatch, when Newton went down to rouse the besotted Thompson,
who, having slept through the night without having had recourse to
additional stimulus, was more easy to awaken than before.

"Eh! what?--blows hard--whew!--so it does.  How's the wind?" said the
master, throwing his feet outside the standing bed-place, as he sat up.

"North West, veering to Nor'-Nor'-West in the squalls.--We have lost
good ten miles since yesterday evening, and are close to Dudden Sands,"
replied Newton.  "I think we must bear up, for the gale shows no signs
of breaking."

"Well, I'll be on deck in a moment, my boy," rejoined Thompson, who was
now quite himself again, and was busy putting on his shoes, the only
articles which had been removed when he turned in.  "Go you up, and see
that they keep her clean, full and bye--and those casks well secured.--
Dudden Sands--awkward place too--but I've not been forty years a-boxing
about this coast for nothing."

In a minute Thompson made his appearance on deck, and steadying himself
by the weather topmast backstay, fixed his leaden eyes upon the land on
the quarter.--"All right younker, that's the head, sure enough;" then
turning his face to the wind, which lifted up his grey curling locks,
and bore them out horizontally from his fur cap, "and it's a devil of a
gale, sure enough.--It may last a month of Sundays for all I know.--Up
with the helm, Tom.--Ease off the main sheet, handsomely, my lad--not
too much.--Now, take in the slack, afore she jibes;" and the master
ducked under the main boom and took his station on the other side of the
deck.  "Steady as you go now.--Newton, take the helm.--D'ye see that
bluff? keep her right for it.  Tom, you and the boy rouse the cable up--
get about ten fathoms on deck, and bend it.--You'll find a bit of
seizing and a marline-spike in the locker abaft."--The sloop scudded
before the gale, and in less than two hours was close to the headland
pointed out by the master.  "Now, Newton, we must hug the point or we
shall not fetch--clap on the main sheet here, all of us.--Luff; you may
handsomely.--That's all right; we are past the Sand-head, and shall be
in smooth water in a jiffy.  Steady, so-o.--Now for a drop of
_swizzle_," cried Thompson, who considered that he had kept sober quite
long enough, and proceeded to the cask of rum lashed to leeward.  As he
knelt down to pull out the spile, the sloop, which had been brought to
the wind, was struck on her broadside by a heavy sea which careened her
to her gunnel; the lashings of the weather cask gave way, and it flew
across the deck, jamming the unfortunate Thompson, who knelt against the
one to leeward, and then bounding overboard.  The old man gave a heavy
groan, and fell upon his back; the man and boy ran to his assistance,
and by the directions of Newton, who could not quit the helm, carried
him below, and placed him on his bed.  In a few minutes the sloop was
safe at anchor, in smooth water, and Newton ran down into the cabin.
Thompson's head had been crushed against the chime of the cask; for an
hour or two he breathed heavily; and then--he was no more!



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER SIX.

  The Indian weed, unknown to ancient times,
  Nature's choice gift, whose acrimonious fume
  Extracts superfluous juices, and refines
  The blood distemper'd from its noxious salts;
  Friend to the spirit, which with vapours bland
  It gently mitigates--companion fit
  Of a _good pot of porter_.
  PHILLIPS.

  There's a pot of good double beer, neighbour,
  Drink--
  SHAKESPEARE.

The next day the remains of old Thompson were carried on shore in the
long-boat, and buried in the churchyard of the small fishing town that
was within a mile of the port where the sloop had anchored.  Newton
shipped another man, and when the gale was over, continued his voyage;
which was accomplished without further adventure.

Finding no cargo ready for him, and anxious to deliver up the vessel to
the owner, who resided at Overton, he returned in ballast, and
communicated the intelligence of Thompson's death; which in so small a
town was long the theme of conversation, and the food of gossips.

Newton consulted with his father relative to the disposal of the trunk;
but Nicholas could assist him but little with his advice.  After many
_pros_ and _cons_, like all other difficult matters, it was
postponed.--"Really, Newton, I can't say.  The property certainly is not
yours, but still we are not likely to find out the lawful owner.  Bring
the trunk on shore, we'll nail it up, and perhaps we may hear something
about it by and bye.  We'll make some inquiries--by and bye--when your
mother--"

"I think," interrupted Newton, "it would not be advisable to acquaint my
mother with the circumstance; but how to satisfy her curiosity on that
point, I must leave to you."

"To me, boy! no; I think that you had better manage that, for you know
you are only _occasionally_ at home."

"Well, father, be it so," replied Newton, laughing: "but here comes Mr
Dragwell and Mr Hilton, to consult with us what ought to be done
relative to the effects of poor old Thompson.  He has neither kith nor
kin, to the ninety-ninth degree, that we can find out."

Mr Dragwell was the curate of the parish; a little fat man with
bow-legs, who always sat upon the edge of the chair, leaning against the
back, and twiddling his thumbs before him.  He was facetious and
good-tempered, but was very dilatory in every thing.  His greatest
peculiarity was, that although he had a hearty laugh for every joke, he
did not take the jokes of others at the time that they were made.  His
ideas seemed to have the slow and silent flow ascribed to the stream of
lava (without its fire): and the consequence was, that although he
eventually laughed at a good thing, it was never at the same time with
other people; but in about a quarter or half a minute afterwards
(according to the difficulty of the analysis), when the cause had been
dismissed for other topics, he would burst out in a hearty Ha, ha, ha!

Mr Hilton was the owner of the sloop: he was a tall, corpulent man, who
for many years had charge of a similar vessel, until by "doing a little
contraband," he had pocketed a sufficient sum to enable him to purchase
one for himself.  But the profits being more than sufficient for his
wants, he had for some time remained on shore, old Thompson having
charge of the vessel.  He was a good-tempered, jolly fellow, very fond
of his pipe and his pot, and much more fond of his sloop, by the
employment of which he was supplied with all his comforts.  He passed
most of the day sitting at the door of his house, which looked upon the
anchorage, exchanging a few words with every one that passed by, but
invariably upon one and the same topic--his sloop.  If she was at
anchor--"There she is," he would say, pointing to her with the stem of
his pipe.  If she was away, she had sailed on such a day;--he expected
her back at such a time.  It was a fair wind--it was a foul wind for his
sloop.  All his ideas were engrossed by this one darling object, and it
was no easy task to divert him from it.

I ought to have mentioned that Mr Dragwell, the curate, was invariably
accompanied by Mr Spinney, the clerk of the parish, a little spare man,
with a few white hairs straggling on each side of a bald pate.  He
always took his tune whether in or out of church from his superior,
ejecting a small treble "He, he, he!" in response to the loud Ha, ha,
ha! of the curate.

"Peace be unto this house!" observed the curate as he crossed the
threshold, for Mrs Forster's character was notorious; then laughing at
his own wit with a Ha, ha, ha!

"He, he, he!"

"Good morning, Mr Forster, how is your good lady?"

"She's safe moored at last," interrupted Mr Hilton.

"Who?" demanded the curate, with surprise.

"Why, the sloop, to be sure."

"Oh!  I thought you meant the lady--Ha, ha, ha!"

"He, he, he!"

"Won't you sit down, gentlemen?" said Nicholas, showing the way from the
shop into the parlour, where they found Mrs Forster, who had just come
in from the back premises.

"Hope you're well, Mr Curate," sharply observed the lady, who could not
be persuaded, even from respect for the cloth, to be commonly
civil--"take a chair; it's all covered with dust! but that Betsy is such
an idle slut!"

"Newton handles her, as well as any man going," observed Hilton.

"Newton!" screamed the lady, turning to her son, with an angry inquiring
look--"Newton handles Betsy!" continued she, turning round to Hilton.

"Betsy! no; the sloop I meant, ma'am."

Newton burst out into a laugh, in which he was joined by Hilton and his
father.

"Sad business--sad indeed!" said Hilton, after the merriment had
subsided, "such an awful death!"

"Ha, ha, ha!" roared the curate, who had but just then taken the joke
about Betsy.

"He, he, he!"

"Nothing to laugh at, that I can see," observed Mrs Forster,
snappishly.

"Capital joke, ma'am, I assure you!" rejoined the curate; "but, Mr
Forster, we had better proceed to business.  Spinney, where are the
papers?"  The clerk produced an inventory of the effects of the late Mr
Thompson, and laid them on the table.--"Melancholy thing, this, ma'am,"
continued the curate, "very melancholy indeed!  But we must all die."

"Yes, thank Heaven!" muttered Nicholas, in an absent manner.

"Thank Heaven, Mr Forster!" cried the lady,--"why, do you wish to die?"

"I was not exactly thinking about myself, my dear," replied
Nicholas--"I--"

"Depend upon it she'll last a long while yet," interrupted Mr Hilton.

"Do you think so?" replied Nicholas, mournfully.

"Oh! sure of it; I stripped her the other day, and examined her all
over; she's as sound as ever."

Nicholas started, and stared Hilton in the face; while Newton, who
perceived their separate train of thought, tittered with delight.

"What are you talking of?" at last observed Nicholas.

"Of the sloop, to be sure," replied Hilton.

"I rather imagine you were come to consult about Mr Thompson's
effects," observed Mrs Forster, angrily--"rather a solemn subject,
instead of--"

"Ha, ha, ha!" ejaculated the curate, who had just _taken_ the equivoque
which had occasioned Newton's mirth.

"He, he, he!"

This last merriment of Mr Dragwell appeared to the lady to be such a
pointed insult to her, that she bounded out of the room, exclaiming,
"that an alehouse would have been a more suitable _rendezvous_."

The curate twiddled his thumbs, as the eyes of all the party followed
the exit of Mrs Forster; and there were a few moments of silence.

"Don't you find her a pleasant little craft, Forster?" said Hilton,
addressing Newton.

Nicholas Forster, who was in a brown study about his wife, shook his
head without lifting up his eyes, while Newton nodded assent.

"Plenty of accommodation in her," continued Hilton.--Another negative
shake from Nicholas, and assentent nod from Newton.

"If I thought you could manage her, Forster," continued Hilton,--"tell
me, what do you think yourself?"

"Oh, quite impossible!" replied Nicholas.

"Quite impossible, Mr Forster! well, now, I've a better opinion of
Newton--I think he _can_."

"Why, yes," replied Nicholas, "certainly better than I can; but still
she's--"

"She's a beauty, Mr Forster."

"Mrs Forster a beauty," cried Nicholas, looking at Hilton with
astonishment.

Newton and Hilton burst into a laugh.  "No, no," said the latter, "I was
talking about the sloop; but we had better proceed to business.  Suppose
we have pipes, Mr Forster.  Mr Dragwell, what do you say?"

"Ha, ha, ha!" roared the curate, who had just taken the last joke.

"He, he, he!"

"Why, yes," continued the curate, "I think it is a most excellent
proposition; this melancholy affair requires a great deal of
consideration.  I never compose so well as I do with a pipe in my mouth:
Mrs Dragwell says that she knows all my best sermons by the smell of
them; d'ye take--Ha, ha, ha!"

"He, he, he!"

The pipes, with the addition of a couple of pots of porter, were soon
procured from the neighbouring alehouse; and while the parties are
filling them, and pushing the paper of tobacco from one to the other, I
shall digress, notwithstanding the contrary opinion of the other sex, in
praise of this most potent and delightful weed.

I love thee, whether thou appearest in the shape of a cigar, or diest
away in sweet perfume enshrined in the Mereshaum bowl; I love thee with
more than woman's love!  Thou art a companion to me in solitude.  I can
talk and reason with thee, avoiding loud and obstreperous argument.
Thou art a friend to me when in trouble, for thou advisest in silence,
and consolest with thy calm influence over the perturbed spirit.

I know not how thy power has been bestowed upon thee; yet, if to
harmonise the feelings, to allow the thoughts to spring without control,
rising like the white vapour from the cottage hearth, on a morning that
is sunny and serene;--if to impart that sober sadness over the spirit,
which inclines us to forgive our enemy, that calm philosophy which
reconciles us to the ingratitude and knavery of the world, that heavenly
contemplation whispering to us, as we look around, that "All is good;"--
if these be merits, they are thine, most potent weed.

What a quiet world would this be if every one would smoke!  I suspect
that the reason why the fairer sex decry thee is, that thou art the
cause of silence.  The ancients knew thee not, or the lips of
Harpocrates would have been closed with a cigar, and his fore-finger
removed from the mouth unto the temple.

Half an hour was passed without any observation from our party, as the
room gradually filled with the volumes of smoke which wreathed and
curled in graceful lines, as they ascended in obedience to the
unchangeable laws of nature.

Hilton's pipe was first exhausted; he shook the ashes on the table.  "A
very melancholy business, indeed!" observed he, as he refilled.  The
rest nodded a grand assent; the pipe was relighted; and all was silent
as before.

Another pipe is empty.--"Looking at this inventory," said the curate, "I
should imagine the articles to be of no great value.  One fur cap, one
round hat, one pair of plush breeches, one ---; they are not worth a
couple of pounds altogether," continued he, stuffing the tobacco into
his pipe, which he relighted, and no more was said.  Nicholas was the
third in, or rather out.  "It appears to me," observed he;--but what
appeared is lost, as some new idea flitted across his imagination, and
he commenced his second pipe, without further remark.

Some ten minutes after this, Mr Spinney handed the pot of porter to the
curate, and subsequently to the rest of the party.  They all took
largely, then puffed away as before.

How long this cabinet council might have continued it is impossible to
say; but Silence, who was in "the chair," was soon afterwards driven
from his post of honour by the most implacable of his enemies, "a
woman's tongue."

"Well, Mr Forster! well, gentlemen! do you mean to poison me?  Have you
made smell and dirt enough?  How long is this to last, I should like to
know?" cried Mrs Forster, entering the room.  "I tell you what, Mr
Forster, you had better hang up a sign at once, and keep an alehouse.
Let the sign be a Fool's Head, like your own.  I wonder you are not
ashamed of yourself, Mr Curate; you that ought to set an example to
your parishioners!"

But Mr Dragwell did not admire such remonstrance; so taking his pipe
out of his mouth, he retorted--"If your husband does put up a sign, I
recommend him to stick you up as the `Good Woman;' that would be without
your head--Ha, ha, ha!"

"He, he, he!"

"He, he, he! you pitiful 'natomy," cried Mrs Forster, in a rage,
turning to the clerk, as she dared not revenge herself upon the curate.
Take that for your He, he, he! and she swung round the empty pewter-pot
which she snatched from the table, upon the bald pericranium of Mr
Spinney, who tumbled off his chair, and rolled upon the sanded floor.

The remainder of the party were on their legs in an instant.  Newton
jerked the weapon out of his mother's hands, and threw it in a corner of
the room.  Nicholas was aghast: he surmised that his turn would come
next; and so it proved.--"An't you ashamed of yourself, Mr Forster, to
see me treated in this way--bringing a parcel of drunken men into the
house to insult me?  Will you order them out, or not, sir?--Are we to
have quiet or not?"

"Yes, my love," replied Nicholas, confused, "yes, my dear, by and bye,
as soon as you're--"

Mrs Forster darted towards her husband with the ferocity of a mad cat.
Hilton perceiving the danger of his host, put out his leg so as to trip
her up in her career, and she fell flat upon her face on the floor.  The
violence of the fall was so great, that she was stunned.  Newton raised
her up; and, with the assistance of his father (who approached with as
much reluctance as a horse spurred towards a dead tiger), carried her up
stairs, and laid her on her bed.

Poor Mr Spinney was now raised from the floor.  He still remained
stupified with the blow, although gradually recovering.  Betsy came in
to render assistance.  "O dear, Mr Curate, do you think that he'll
die?"

"No, no; bring some water, Betsy, and throw it in his face."

"Better take him home as he is," replied Betsy, "and say that he is
killed; when Missis hears it, she'll be frightened out of her life.  It
will keep her quiet for some time at least."

"An excellent idea, Betty; we will punish her for her conduct," replied
Hilton.  The curate was delighted at the plan.  Mr Spinney was placed
in an arm-chair, covered over with a table-cloth, and carried away to
the parsonage by two men, who were provided by Betsy before Nicholas or
Newton had quitted the room where Mrs Forster lay in a deplorable
condition: her sharp nose broken, and twisted on one side; her eyebrow
cut open to the bone, and a violent contusion on her forehead.  In less
than half an hour it was spread through the whole town that Spinney had
been murdered by Mrs Forster, and that his brains were bespattered all
over the shop windows!



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER SEVEN.

  That she is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true, 'tis pity;
  And pity 'tis, 'tis true: a foolish figure;
  But farewell it, for I will use no art.
  Mad let us grant her then; and now remains
  That we find out the cause of this effect,
  Or rather say, the cause of this defect.
  SHAKESPEARE.

Mr Dragwell has already made honourable mention of his wife; it will
therefore only be necessary to add, that he had one daughter, a handsome
lively girl, engaged to a Mr Ramsden, the new surgeon of the place, who
had stepped into the shoes and the good-will of one who had retired from
forty years' practice upon the good people of Overton.  Fanny Dragwell
had many good qualities, and many others which were rather doubtful.
One of the latter had procured her more enemies than at her age she had
any right to expect.  It was what the French term "malice," which bears
a very different signification from the same word in our own language.
She delighted in all practical jokes, and would carry them to an excess,
at the very idea of which others would be startled; but it must be
acknowledged that she generally selected as her victims those who from
their conduct towards others richly deserved retaliation.  The various
tricks which she had played upon certain cross old spinsters, tatlers,
scandalmongers, and backbiters, often were the theme of conversation and
of mirth: but this description of _espieglerie_ contains a most serious
objection; which is, that to carry on a successful and well arranged
plot, there must be a total disregard of truth.  Latterly, Miss Fanny
had had no one to practise upon except Mr Ramsden, during the period of
his courtship--a period at which women never appear to so much
advantage, nor men appear so silly.  But even for this, the time was
past, as latterly she had become so much attached to him that distress
on his part was a source of annoyance to herself.  When therefore her
father came home, narrating the circumstances which had occurred, and
the plan which had been meditated, Fanny entered gaily into the scheme.
Mrs Forster had long been her abhorrence; and an insult to Mr Ramsden,
who had latterly been designated by Mrs Forster as a "Pill-gilding
Puppy," was not to be forgotten.  Her active and inventive mind
immediately conceived a plan which would enable her to carry the joke
much farther than the original projectors had intended.  Ramsden, who
had been summoned to attend poor Mr Spinney, was her sole confidant,
and readily entered into a scheme which was pleasing to his mistress,
and promised revenge for the treatment he had received; and which, as
Miss Dragwell declared, would be nothing but retributive justice upon
Mrs Forster.

Late in the evening, a message was received from Newton Forster,
requesting that Mr Ramsden would attend his mother.  He had just
visited the old clerk, who was now sensible, and had nothing to complain
of except a deep cut on his temple from the rim of the pewter-pot.
After receiving a few parting injunctions from Miss Dragwell, Mr
Ramsden quitted the parsonage.

"I am afraid it's a very bad business, Mr Forster," replied the surgeon
to Newton, who had been interrogating him relative to the injury
received by Mr Spinney.  "Evident concussion of the brain: he may
live--or he may not; a few days will decide the point: he is a poor
feeble old man."

Newton sighed as he reflected upon the disaster and disgrace which might
ensue from his mother's violence of temper.

"Eh! what, Mr Ramsden?" said Nicholas, who had been for some time
contemplating the battered visage of his spouse.  "Did you say, she'll
die?"

"No, no, Mr Forster, there's no fear of Mrs Forster, she'll do well
enough.  She'll be up and about again in a day or two, as lively as
ever."

"God forbid!" muttered the absent Nicholas.

"Mr Forster, see if I don't pay you off for that, as soon as I'm up
again," muttered the recumbent lady, as well as the bandages passed
under her chin would permit her.

"Pray call early to-morrow, Mr Ramsden, and let us know how Mr Spinney
is going on," said Newton, extending his hand as the surgeon rose to
depart.  Mr Ramsden shook it warmly, and quitted the house: he had left
them about half an hour when Betsy made her appearance with some
fomentations, which had been prepared in the kitchen.  Out of revenge
for sundry blows daily received, and sundry epithets hourly bestowed
upon her by her mistress, the moment she entered she exclaimed, in a
half-crying tone, "O dear, Mr Newton! there's such shocking news just
come from the parsonage; Mr Spinney is just dead--and my Missis will be
hanged!"

Mrs Forster said not a word; she quailed under dread of the report
being correct.  Newton and his father looked at each other; their mute
anguish was expressed by covering up their faces with their hands.

When Hilton and the curate arranged their plans for the mortification of
Mrs Forster, it was considered advisable that Newton (who was not so
easily to be imposed upon) should be removed out of the way.  Hilton had
already stated his intention to give him in charge of the vessel, and he
now proposed sending him for a cargo of shingle, which was lying ready
for her, about fifty miles down the coast, and which was to be delivered
at Waterford.  At an early hour, on the ensuing morning, he called at
Forster's house.  Newton, who had not taken off his clothes, came out to
meet him.

"Well, Newton, how is your mother?" said Hilton.  "I hope you are not
angry with me: I certainly was the occasion of the accident, but I could
not bear to see your worthy father treated in that manner."

"I blush to acknowledge, Mr Hilton, that she deserved it all," replied
Newton; "but I am very much alarmed about the condition of Mr Spinney.
Have you heard this morning?"

"No; but between ourselves, Newton, doctors always make the worst of
their cases.  I never heard of a pewter pot killing a man; he'll do well
enough, never fear.  I came to tell you that I've a letter last night
from Repton, who says that the shingle must be delivered before the
tenth of next month, or the contract will be void.  He desires that I
will send the sloop directly, or he must employ another craft.  Now, I
think you had better start at once; there's a nice fair wind for you,
and you'll be down afore night."

"Why, really, Mr Hilton, I do not exactly like to leave home just now,"
replied Newton, thoughtfully.

"Well, as you please, Mr Forster," rejoined Hilton, with apparent
displeasure.  "I have offered you the command of the vessel, and now you
object to serve my interests on the very first occasion, merely because
there are a couple of broken heads!"

"I am wrong, most certainly," replied Newton; "I beg your pardon--I will
just speak a word or two to my father, and be on board in less than half
an hour."

"I will meet you there," said Hilton, "and bring your papers.  Be as
quick as you can, or you'll lose the first of the tide."

Newton returned to the house; his father made no objection to his
departure; and, in fulfilment of his promise, Newton was ready to start,
when he encountered Ramsden at the door.

"Mr Ramsden," said Newton, "I am requested by the owner of my vessel to
sail immediately; but if you think that the life of Mr Spinney is
seriously in danger, I will throw up the command of the vessel, rather
than leave my mother under such an accumulation of disasters.  I beg as
a favour that you will not disguise the truth."

"You may sail this minute, if you please, Mr Forster; I am happy to be
able to relieve your mind.  Mr Spinney is doing very well, and you'll
see him at his desk on the first Sunday of your return."

"Then I am off: good-bye, Mr Ramsden; many thanks."

With a lightened heart, Newton leapt into the skiff which was to carry
him on board of the sloop; and in less than half an hour was standing
away to the southward before a fine wind, to execute the orders which he
had received.

Ramsden remained a few minutes at the door, until he saw Newton ascend
the side of the vessel; then he entered, and was received by Betsy.

"Well, Betsy, you agreed to make Mrs Forster believe that Mr Spinney
was dead; but we little thought that such would really be the case."

"Lord love you, sir! why you don't say so?"

"I do, indeed, Betsy; but mind, we must keep it a secret for the
present, until we can get Mrs Forster out of the way.  How is she this
morning?"

"Oh, very stiff, and very cross, sir."

"I'll go up to her," replied Ramsden "but recollect, Betsy, that you do
not mention it to a soul;" and Ramsden ascended the stairs.

"Well, Mrs Forster, how do you feel this morning? do you think you
could get up?"

"Get up, Mr Ramsden! not to save my soul--I can't even turn on my
side."

"Very sorry to hear it, indeed," replied the surgeon; "I was in hopes
that you might have been able to bear a journey."

"Bear a journey, Mr Ramsden! why bear a journey?"

"I am sorry to inform you that Mr Spinney's gone--poor old man!  There
must be a coroner's inquest.  Now, it would be as well if you were not
to be found, for the verdict will be `Wilful Murder!'"

"O dear!  O dear!" exclaimed Mrs Forster, jumping out of her bed with
fright, and wringing her hands: "What can I do?--what can I do?"

"At present it is a secret, Mrs Forster, but it cannot be so long.
Miss Dragwell, who feels for you very much, begged me not to say a word
about it.  She will call and consult with you, if you would like to see
her.  Sad thing indeed, Mrs Forster, to be placed in such a situation
by a foolish husband."

"You may well say that, Mr Ramsden," replied the lady, with asperity;
"he is the greatest fool that ever God made!  Every one knows what a
sweet temper I was before I married; but flesh and blood cannot bear
what I am subjected to."

"Would you like to see Miss Dragwell?"

"Yes, very much; I always thought her a very nice girl;--a little wild--
a little forward indeed, and apt to be impertinent; but still, rather a
nice girl."

"Well, then, I will tell her to call, and the sooner the better, for
when it is known, the whole town will be in an uproar.  I should not be
surprised if they attacked the house--the people will be so indignant."

"I don't wonder at it," replied Mrs Forster; "nothing can excuse such
provocation as I receive from my husband, stupid wretch!"

"Good morning, Mrs Forster; do you think then that you could bear
moving?"

"O yes!  O yes!  But where am I to go?"

"That I really cannot form an idea--you had better consult with Miss
Dragwell.--Depend upon it, Mrs Forster, that I will be most happy to
render you all my assistance in this unfortunate dilemma."

"You're very good," snarled Mrs Forster: and Ramsden quitted the room.

I have one or two acquaintances, to whom, if I wish a report to be
circulated, I immediately impart the substance as a most profound
secret; and I find that by these means it obtains a much more extensive
circulation than if I sent it to the newspapers.

Ramsden was aware of Betsy's cackling propensities, and long before he
quitted Mrs Forster, it was generally believed throughout the good town
of Overton that Mr Spinney, although he had not been killed outright,
as reported in the first instance, had subsequently died of the injuries
received from this modern Xantippe.

Mrs Forster had half an hour to reflect upon her supposed awkward
situation; and to drive away thought, had sent for Nicholas, whom she
loaded with the bitterest invectives, when Miss Dragwell was announced.

"See, sir," continued Mrs Forster, "the condition to which you have
reduced a fond and faithful wife--one that has so studied your
interests; one--"

"Yes, indeed," added Miss Dragwell, who heard the attack as she ascended
the stairs, and took up the cause of Mrs Forster to obtain her
confidence--"yes, indeed, Mr Forster, see the consequences of your
folly, your smoking, and your drinking.--Pray leave the room, sir; I
wonder how Mrs Forster can bear the sight of you!"

Nicholas stared, and was about to throw in a detached word or two, by
way of vindication, when a furious "Begone!" from his wife occasioned a
precipitate retreat.

"We have all been consulting about this sad business, my dear Mrs
Forster," commenced Miss Dragwell; "and after much consideration have
hit upon the only plan by which you may escape the penalty of the law.
Yes, my dear ma'am," continued Miss Dragwell, in the most bland and
affectionate voice, "it is unwise to conceal the truth from you; the
depositions of my father and Mr Hilton, when they are called upon, will
be such that `Wilful Murder!' must be returned, and you--(the young lady
faltered, and put up her handkerchief)--you must inevitably be hanged!"

"Hanged!" screamed Mrs Forster.

"Yes, hanged--`hanged by the neck until you are dead! and the Lord have
mercy upon your soul!' that will be your sentence," replied the young
lady, sobbing;--"such an awful, such a disgraceful death for a woman
too!"

"O Lord, O Lord!" cried Mrs Forster, who was now really frightened.
"What will become of me?"

"You will go to another and a better world, as my papa says in his
sermons; I believe that the pain is not very great--but the disgrace--"

Mrs Forster burst into tears.  "Save me! save me, Miss Dragwell!--Oh!
Oh! that stupid Nicholas, Oh!  Oh!"

"My dear Mrs Forster, we have all agreed at the parsonage that there is
but one method."

"Name it, my dear Miss Dragwell, name it!" cried Mrs Forster,
imploringly.

"You must pretend to be mad, and then there will be a verdict of
insanity; but you must carry it through everything, or it will be
thought you are shamming.  Mr Ramsden is acquainted with Dr B---, who
has charge of the asylum at D---.  It is only nine miles off: he will
take you there, and when the coroner's inquest is over you can return.
It will be supposed then to have been only temporary derangement.  Do
you like the proposal?"

"Why, I have been mad for a long time," replied Mrs Forster; "the
conduct of my husband and my son has been too much for my nerves; but I
don't like the idea of actually going to a madhouse.--Could not--"

"O dear, marm!" cried Betsy, running into the room, "there's a whole
posse of people about the house; they want to take you to the town jail,
for murdering Mr Spinney.  What shall I say to them?  I'm feared
they'll break in."

"Go and tell them that Mrs Forster is too ill to be taken out of bed,
and that she is out of her senses--d'ye hear, Betsy, tell them all she
is _stark staring mad_!"

"Yes, I will, marm," replied Betsy, wiping her eyes as she left the
room.

Miss Dragwell walked to the window.  Although the report spread by Betsy
had collected a crowd opposite the house, still there was no attempt at
violence.

"I'm afraid that it's too late," said the young lady, turning from the
window.  "What a crowd! and how angry they seem to be! you must be
hanged now!"

"O no!  I'll be mad--I'll be anything, my dear Miss Dragwell."

"Well, then, we must be quick--don't put your gown on--petticoats are
better--I'll dress you up."  Miss Dragwell rummaged the drawers, and
collecting a variety of feathers and coloured ribbons, pinned them over
the bandages which encircled Mrs Forster's head; then pulling out a
long-tailed black coat of her husband's, which had been condemned,
forced her arms through it, and buttoned it in front.  "That will do for
the present," cried Miss Dragwell; "now here's the cat, take it in your
arms, go to the window and nurse it like a baby.  I'll throw it open--
you come forward and make them a curtsy; that will spread the report
through the town that you are mad, and the rest will then be easy."

"Oh!  I can't--I can't go to the window, I can't indeed."

"I'll open the window and speak to the people," said Miss Dragwell; and
she threw up the sash, informing the gaping multitude that Mrs Forster
was quite out of her senses, but perfectly harmless.

"Perfectly harmless, after killing a man!" observed one of the party
below.

"They won't believe me, Mrs Forster; come, you must, or you will
certainly be _hanged_."

Urged by her fears, Mrs Forster approached the window, and showed
herself to the astonished crowd.  "Curtsy to them," said Miss Dragwell;
holding her handkerchief before her mouth.

Mrs Forster curtsied.

"Smile upon them," continued the malicious young lady.

Mrs Forster grinned horribly.

"Now dance your cat."

Mrs Forster obeyed the injunction.

"Now give a loud shriek, and toss the cat out of window."

Mrs Forster uttered a hideous yell, and threw the animal at the heads
of the spectators, who retreated with alarm in every direction.

"Now burst into a fit of laughter, curtsy to them, and wave your hand,
and that will be sufficient."

Mrs Forster obeyed the last order, and Miss Dragwell shut the window.
In a few minutes the report spread that Mrs Forster had gone out of her
senses; and the murder of Mr Spinney, a topic which was nearly
exhausted, was dismissed for the time to dwell and comment upon the
second catastrophe.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER EIGHT.

  Mad as the sea and wind, when both contend which is the mightier.
  SHAKESPEARE.

"So far we have succeeded, my dear Mrs Forster," said Miss Dragwell; "I
will now return home, and come back as soon as I can with the
post-chaise.  Mr Ramsden's servant shall come with me to conduct you to
the asylum, and I trust in a quarter of an hour to see you clear of
these foolish people of Overton, who think that you are the party in
fault: you had better remain in your room, and not appear again at the
window; the crowd will disperse when they are tired of watching:
good-bye, my dear Mrs Forster, good-bye."

Mrs Forster was in too sulky a humour to vouchsafe an answer; and Miss
Dragwell quitted the house.  Betsy had taken advantage of the turmoil
and the supposed lunacy of her mistress, to gossip in the neighbourhood.
Nicholas Forster was in the shop, but took no notice of Miss Dragwell
as she passed through.  He appeared to have forgotten all that had
occurred, and was very busy filing at his bench.  There we must leave
him, and follow the motions of the mischief-loving Miss Dragwell.

Upon her return, the party collected at the parsonage considered that
they had proceeded far enough; but Miss Dragwell thought otherwise; she
had made up her mind that Mrs Forster should pass a day or two in the
Lunatic Asylum, and she felt assured that Mr Ramsden, through whose
assistance her intention must be accomplished, would not venture to
dispute her wishes.

Her father, with a loud Ha, ha, ha! proposed that Mr Spinney should
appear as a ghost by the bedside of Mrs Forster, wrapped up in a sheet,
with a He, he, he! and that thus the diversion should end; but this
project was overruled by Mr Spinney, who protested that nothing should
induce him again to trust himself, with a He, he, he! in the presence of
Mrs Forster.

Ramsden, although well acquainted with Doctor Beddington, who had charge
of the asylum, was not sure that he would be pleased with their freak,
and earnestly dissuaded his intended from proceeding any farther.

"It is useless to argue, my dear George, I am Quixote enough to revenge
the injuries of those who have been forced to submit to her temper; and
moreover I hope to effect a cure.  Desperate diseases, you must be aware
as a medical man, require desperate remedies.  I consider that a
termagant and a lunatic are during their paroxysms on a par, as rational
behaviour in either party may be considered as a lucid interval.  Let
her, if it be only for one hour, witness herself reflected in the
various distorted mirrors of perverted mind; and if she has any
conscience whatever, good will spring from evil.  I joined this plot
from a love of mischief; but I carry it on from a feeling that
favourable results will be produced."

"But my dear Fanny--"

"I will have it so, Ramsden, so don't attempt to dissuade me; we are not
married yet, and I must not be thwarted in my short supremacy.  Surely
you ought not to be displeased at my desire to `tame a shrew.'  I give a
fair promise not to fall into an error which I so ardently detest: now,
send for the chaise, write a letter to Doctor Beddington, and leave me
to arrange with Mrs Forster."

Ramsden, like many others when teased by a pretty woman, consented
against his will; he wrote a letter to Doctor Beddington, explaining
circumstances, and requesting his pardon for the liberty which he had
been persuaded to take.

Miss Dragwell, as soon as the letter was sealed, put on her bonnet, and
taking Mr Ramsden's servant with her, stepped into the chaise, and
drove to the house of Mr Nicholas Forster.  She found Mrs Forster
squatted on the bed in her ludicrous attire, awaiting her return with
impatience.

"Oh!  Mrs Forster, I have had such trouble, such difficulty; but Mr
Ramsden has been persuaded at last.  There is a letter to Dr
Beddington, and Mr Ramsden's servant is in the chaise at the door; the
sooner you are off the better; the people are so outrageous, and call
you such shocking names."

"Do they?" replied Mrs Forster, whose wrath kindled at the information.

"Yes, indeed; and that wretch Betsy declares that she'll put the rope
over your neck with her own hands."

"Does she?" cried Mrs Forster, her eyes twinkling with rage.

"Yes; and your husband, your foolish husband, says that he'll be able to
make his improvement in the duplex, now that you'll be hanged."

"He does, does he?" replied Mrs Forster, catching her breath, and
grinding her teeth as she jumped off the bed.

"Now, my dear Mrs Forster, it's no use minding what they say; all you
have to do is to escape as soon as possible; the magistrate's warrant
may arrive this minute, and then it will be too late; so come down at
once:--how lucky that you have escaped! it must be a dreadful thing to
be hanged!"

This last remark, always brought forward by Miss Dragwell, when she had
a point to carry, induced Mrs Forster to hasten down stairs to the
post-chaise, which she found already occupied by Mr Ramsden's servant.
As soon as she entered, it was driven off with speed in the direction
already communicated to the post-boy.

We shall leave the town of Overton to recover its quiet, for such a
bustle had not occurred for many years, and Miss Dragwell to exult in
the success of her plot, while we follow Mrs Forster to her new
quarters.

The chaise rattled on, Mr Ramsden's servant crouching in a corner, as
far as possible from Mrs Forster, evidently about as well pleased with
his company as one would be in a pitfall with a tiger.  At last it
stopped at the door of the Lunatic Asylum, and the post-boy dismounting
from his reeking horses, pulled violently at a large bell, which
answered with a most lugubrious tolling, and struck awe into the breast
of Mrs Forster.

When the door was opened Mr Ramsden's servant alighted, and went in to
deliver his letter to the doctor.  The doctor was not at home; he had
obtained his furlough of three weeks, and was very busy with his
fishing-rod some thirty miles distant; but the keepers were in
attendance, and, as Mr Ramsden's servant stated the insanity of Mrs
Forster, and that she had been sent there by his master, they raised no
objections to her reception.  In a few minutes the servant reappeared
with two keepers, who handed Mrs Forster out of the chaise, and
conducted her to a receiving-room, where Mrs Forster waited some
minutes in expectation of the appearance of Doctor Beddington.  In the
mean time, Mr Ramsden's servant, having no farther communication to
make, left the letter for Doctor Beddington, and returned in the chaise
to Overton.

After a quarter of an hour had elapsed, Mrs Forster inquired of one of
the keepers, who had, much to her annoyance, taken a chair close to her,
whether the doctor intended to come.

"He'll come by-and-bye, good woman.  How do you feel yourself now?"

"Very cold--very cold, indeed," replied Mrs Forster, shivering.

"That's what the poor brutes always complain of--ar'nt it, Jim?"
observed another keeper, who had just entered.  "Where be we to stow
her."

"I sent Tom to get Number 14 ready."

"Why, you don't think that I'm mad!" cried Mrs Forster, with terror.

"So, softly--so--so," said the keeper next to her, patting her, as he
would soothe a fractious child.

The violence of Mrs Forster, when she discovered that she was
considered as a lunatic, fully corroborated to the keepers the assertion
of Mr Ramsden's servant; but we must not dwell upon the scene which
followed.  After an ineffectual struggle, Mrs Forster found herself
locked up in Number 14, and left to her own reflections.  The previous
scenes which had occurred, added to the treatment which she received in
the asylum, caused such excitement, that, before the next morning, she
was seized with a brain fever, and raved as loudly in her delirium as
any of the other unfortunate inmates there incarcerated.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER NINE.

  Who by repentance is not satisfied,
  Is not of heaven or earth; for these are pleased;
  By penitence the Eternal's wrath's appeased.
  SHAKESPEARE.

Mr Ramsden's servant returned to Overton, stating that the doctor was
not at home, but that he had left Mrs Forster and the letter.  The time
that Doctor Beddington was to be absent had not been mentioned by the
keepers; and Mr Ramsden, imagining that the doctor had probably gone
out for the evening, made no further inquiries, as he intended, in a day
or two, to call and bring Mrs Forster back to her own house.  On the
third day of her removal he set off for the asylum; and when he
discovered the situation of Mrs Forster, he bitterly repented that he
had been persuaded to a step which threatened such serious results.  To
remove her was impossible; to assert to the keepers that she was in
sound mind, would have been to commit himself; he therefore withdrew his
letter to Doctor Beddington, who was not expected home for a fortnight,
and with a heavy heart returned to Overton.  Miss Dragwell was as much
shocked when she was informed of the unfortunate issue of her plot; and
made a resolution, to which she adhered, never to be guilty of another
practical joke.

In the mean time Newton Forster had made every despatch, and returned to
Overton with the cargo of shingle a few days after his mother's
incarceration.  He had not been ten minutes on shore before he was made
acquainted with the melancholy history of her (supposed) madness and
removal to the asylum.  He hastened home, where he found his father in a
profound melancholy: he received Newton with a flood of tears, and
appeared to be quite lost in his state of widowhood.  The next morning
Newton set off for the asylum, to ascertain the condition of his mother.
He was admitted; found her stretched on a bed, in a state of delirium,
raving in her fever, and unconscious of his presence.  The phrenzy of
his mother being substantiated by what he had witnessed, and by the
assurances of the keepers, to whom he made a present of half his small
finances, to induce them to treat her with kindness, Newton returned to
Overton, where he remained at home shut up with his father.  In a few
days notice was given by the town-crier, that the remaining stock of Mr
Nicholas Forster, optician, was to be disposed of by public auction.

The fact was, that Nicholas Forster, like many other husbands, although
his wife had been a source of constant annoyance, had become so
habituated to her, that he was miserable now that she was gone.  Habit
is more powerful than even love; and many a married couple continue to
live comfortably together long after love has departed, from this most
binding of all human sensations.  Nicholas determined to quit Overton;
and Newton, who perceived that his father's happiness was at stake,
immediately acquiesced in his wish.  When Nicholas Forster resolved to
leave the town where he had so long resided, he had no settled plans for
the future; the present idea to remove from the scene connected with
such painful associations, was all which occupied his thoughts.  Newton,
who presumed that his father had some arranged plan, did not attempt to
awaken him from his profound melancholy, to inquire into his intentions;
and Nicholas had never given the subject one moment of his thought.
When all was ready, Newton inquired of his father, in what manner he
intended they should travel?--"Why, outside the coach will be the
cheapest, Newton; and we have no money to spare.  You had better take
our places to-night."

"To what place, father?" inquired Newton.

"I'm sure I don't know, Newton," replied Nicholas, as if just awoke.

This answer produced a consultation; and after many _pros_ and _cons_,
it was resolved that Nicholas should proceed to Liverpool, and settle in
that town.  The sloop commanded by Newton was found defective in the
stern port; and as it would take some little while to repair her, Newton
had obtained leave for a few days to accompany his father on his
journey.  The trunk picked up at sea, being too cumbrous, was deposited
with the articles of least value, in the charge of Mr Dragwell; the
remainder was taken away by Newton, until he could find a more secure
place for their deposit.  On their arrival at Liverpool, with little
money and no friends, Nicholas rented a small shop; and Newton having
extended his leave of absence to the furthest, that he might contribute
to his father's comfort, returned to Overton, to resume the command of
the sloop.  The first object was to call at the asylum, where he was
informed that his mother was much less violent, but in so weak a state
that he could not be admitted.  Doctor Beddington had not returned; but
a medical gentleman, who had been called in during his absence, stated
to Newton, that he had no doubt if his mother should recover from her
present state of exhaustion, that her reason would be restored.  Newton
returned to Overton with a lightened heart, and the next day sailed in
the sloop for Bristol.  Contrary winds detained him more than a
fortnight on his passage.  On his arrival, his cargo was not ready, and
Newton amused himself by walking about the town and its environs.  At
last his cargo was on board; and Newton, who was most anxious to
ascertain the fate of his mother, made all haste to obtain his clearance
and other papers from the Custom-house.  It was late in the evening
before he had settled with the house to which the sloop had been
consigned; but, as the wind and tide served, and there was a bright
moon, he resolved to weigh that night.  With his papers carefully
buttoned in his coat, he was proceeding to the boat at the jetty, when
he was seized by two men, who rushed upon him from behind.  He hardly
had time to look round to ascertain the cause, when a blow on the head
stretched him senseless on the ground.

Now, my readers may probably feel some little distress at the misfortune
of Newton, and have some slight degree of curiosity to know the grounds
of this severe treatment.  I, on the contrary, am never more pleased
than when I find my principal character in a state of abeyance, and
leave him so with the greatest indifference, because it suits my
convenience.  I have now an opportunity of returning to Mrs Forster, or
any other of the parties who act a subordinate part in my narrative;
and, as Newton is down on the ground, and _hors de combat_, why there
let him lie--until I want him again.

Doctor Beddington returned home long before the recovery of Mrs Forster
from her severe attack.  As it may be presumed, he found her perfectly
rational; but still he had no doubt of the assertions of his keepers,
that she was insane at the time that she was sent to the asylum by Mr
Ramsden.  The latter gentleman kept aloof until the issue of Mrs
Forster's malady should be ascertained: if she recovered, it was his
intention to call upon Doctor Beddington and explain the circumstances;
if she died, he had determined to say nothing about it.  Mrs Forster's
recovery was tedious; her mind was loaded with anxiety, and, what was
infinitely more important, with deep remorse.  The supposed death of Mr
Spinney had been occasioned by her violence, and she looked forward with
alarm, as great as the regret with which she looked back upon her former
behaviour.  When she called to mind her unfeeling conduct towards her
husband--the many years of bitterness she had created for him, her
infraction of the marriage vow--the solemn promise before God to love,
honour, and obey, daily and hourly violated,--her unjust hatred of her
only son,--her want of charity towards others,--all her duties
neglected,--swayed only by selfish and malignant passions,--with bitter
tears of contrition and self-abasement, she acknowledged that her
punishment was just.  With streaming eyes, with supplicating hands and
bended knees, she implored mercy and forgiveness of Him, to whom appeal
is never made in vain.  Passion's infuriate reign was over--her heart
was changed!

To Doctor Beddington she made neither complaint nor explanation.  All
she wished was to quit the asylum as soon as she was restored to health,
and prove to her husband, by her future conduct, the sincerity of her
reformation.  When she became convalescent, by the advice of Doctor
Beddington, she walked in a garden appropriated for the exercise of the
more harmless inmates of the asylum.  The first day that he went out she
sat down upon a bench near to the keepers, who were watching those who
were permitted to take the air and exercise, and overheard their
discourse, which referred to herself.

"Why, what was it as made her mad--d'ye know, Tom?"

"They say she's been no better all her life," replied the other; "a rat
would not live in the house with her: at last, in one of her tantrums,
she nearly murdered old Spinney, the clerk at Overton.  The report went
out that he was dead; and conscience, I suppose, or summut of that kind,
run away with her senses."

"Oh, he warn't killed, then?"

"No, no: I seed him and heard him too, Sunday fore last, when I went to
call upon old father; I was obligated to go to church, the old gemman's
so remarkable particular."

"And what's become of her husband, and that handsome young chap, her
son?"

"I don't know, nor nobody else either.  The old man, who was as worthy
an old soul as ever breathed (more shame to the old faggot, for the life
she led him!) grew very unhappy and melancholy, and would not stay in
the place: they disposed of every thing, and both went away together;
but nobody knows where the old man is gone to."

"And the young un?"

"Oh, he came back and took command of the sloop.  He was here twice, to
see how his mother was.  Poor lad! it was quite pitiful to see how
unhappy he was about the old catamaran.  He give me and Bill a guinea
apiece, to be kind to her; but, about three days back, the sloop came
into the harbour without him: they suppose that he fell off the jetty at
Bristol and was drowned for he was seen coming down to the boat; and,
a'ter that, they never heard no more about him."

"Well, but Tom, the old woman's all right now?"

"Yes, she's right enough; but, where be her husband, and where be her
son? she'll never plague them any more, that's pretty sartain."

The feelings of Mrs Forster at the finale of this discourse are not
easy to be portrayed.  One heavy load was off her mind--Mr Spinney was
not dead; but how much had she also to lament?  She perceived that she
had been treacherously kidnapped by those who detested her conduct, but
had no right to inflict the punishment.  The kind and feeling conduct of
her husband and of her son,--the departure of the one, and supposed
death of the other, were blows which nearly overwhelmed her.  She
tottered back to her cell in a state of such extreme agitation, as to
occasion a return of fever, and for many days she was unable to quit her
bed.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER TEN.

  "When Britain first at Heaven's command
  Arose from out the azure main,
  This was the charter, the charter of the land,
  And guardian angels sung the strain--
  Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves,
  For Britons never shall be slaves."

We left Newton Forster senseless on the pavement leading to the quay at
Bristol, floored by a rap on the head from a certain person or persons
unknown: he did not however remain there long, being hoisted on the
shoulders of two stout fellows, dressed in blue jackets and trousers,
with heavy clubs in their hands, and a pistol lying perdu between their
waistcoats and shirts.  These nautical personages tumbled him into the
stern-sheets of a boat, as if not at all sorry to rid themselves of his
weight and, in a continued state of insensibility, Newton was hoisted up
the side of a cutter which lay at anchor about one hundred yards from
the shore.

When Newton recovered his senses, his swimming eyes could just enable
him to perceive that something flashed upon them, and in their weak
state created a painful sensation.  As he became more collected, he
discovered that a man was holding a small candle close to them, to
ascertain whether the vein which had been opened in his arm had produced
the desired effect of restoring him to animation.  Newton tried to
recollect where he was, and what had occurred; but the attempted
exercise of his mental powers was too much, and again threw him into a
state of stupor.  At last he awoke as if from a dream of death, and
looking round, found himself lying on the deck attended by a female, who
bathed his forehead.

"Where am I?" exclaimed Newton.

"Is it where you are, that you'd want for to know? a'nt ye on board of
the Lively cutter, sure? and a'nt you between decks in her, and I
looking a'ter ye, honey?"

"And who are you?"

"And who am I!  Then if I'm not somebody else, I'm Judy Malony, the wife
of the boatswain's mate, and a lawful married woman."

"How did I come here?" continued Newton, raising himself on his elbow.

"You didn't come at all, honey, you were brought."

"Who brought me?"

"Who brought ye! it was either the gig or the jolly boat; but I wasn't
on deck at the time, so I can't upon my oath say exactly which."

"Then pray can you tell me why I was brought here?" replied Newton.

"Sure I can guess, bating you don't know already.  It was to sarve your
king and your country, like a brave volunteer as you are."

"Then I'm impressed?"

"You may take your Bible oath of it, my jewel, and commit no perjury.
It's a hard rap that ye got, any how; just a hint that ye were wanted:
but plase God, if ye live and do well, 'twill be nothing at all to what
we'll have by-and-bye, all for the honour and glory of ould England."

Newton, who during these remarks was thinking of his father's situation,
and the distress he would suffer without his assistance, and then of the
state in which he had left his mother, again sank on the deck.

"Why he's off again!" muttered Judy Malony; "he's no countryman of mine,
that's clear as the mud in the Shannon, or he'd never fuss about a rap
with a shillelah;" and Judy, lifting up her petticoats first, gained her
feet, and walked away forward.

Newton remained in a state of uneasy slumber until daylight, when he was
awakened by the noise of boats coming alongside, and loud talking on
deck.  All that had passed did not immediately rush into his mind; but
his arm tied up with the bandage, and his hair matted, and his face
stiff with the coagulated blood, soon brought to his recollection the
communication of Judy Malony, that he had been impressed.  The 'tween
decks of the cutter appeared deserted, unless indeed there were people
in the hammocks slung over his head; and Newton, anxious to obtain
farther information, crawled under the hammocks to the ladder, and went
up on deck.

About twenty sailors, well armed, were busy handing out of the boats
several men whom they had brought on board, who were ordered aft by the
officer in command.  Newton perceived that most of them had not received
much better treatment than he had on the preceding evening; some were
shockingly disfigured, and were still bleeding profusely.

"How many have you altogether, Mr Vincent?" said the lieutenant to a
stout master's mate with a tremendous pair of whiskers, which his loose
handkerchief discovered to join together at his throat.

"Seventeen, sir."

"And how many had we before?--twenty-six, I think."

"Twenty-seven, sir, with the young chap I sent on board last night."

"Well, that will do; it's quite as many as we can stow away, or take
care of:--pass them all down below, forward; take up the ladder, and put
on the grating until we are out of the harbour.  As soon as the
jolly-boat comes on board we'll up anchor."

"She'll be off directly, sir; I ordered her to wait for Johnson and
Merton, who did not come down with us."

"Do you think they have given you the slip?"

"I should think not, sir.  Here is the jolly-boat coming off."

"Well, pass the men forward, and secure them," replied the lieutenant.
"Overhaul the boat's falls, and bring to with the windlass."

Newton thought this a good opportunity to state that he was the master
of a vessel, and, as such, protected from the impress; he therefore
walked over to the lieutenant, addressing him, "I beg your pardon,
sir--"

"Who are you?" interrupted the lieutenant, gruffly.

"I was impressed last night, sir;--may I speak to you?"

"No sir, you may not."

"It might save you some trouble, sir."

"It will save me more to send you down below.  Mr Vincent, shove this
man down forward; why is he at large?"

"He was under the doctor's hands, I believe, sir.  Come this way, my
hearty--stir your stumps."

Newton would have expostulated, but he was collared by two of the
press-gang, and very unceremoniously handed forward to the hatchway; the
grating was taken off, and he was lowered down to the deck below, where
he found himself cooped up with more than forty others, almost
suffocated for the want of air and space.  The conversation (if
conversation it could be called) was nothing but one continued string of
curses and execrations, and vows of deep revenge.

The jolly-boat returned, pulling only two oars; the remainder of her
crew, with Thompson and Merton, having taken this opportunity of
deserting from their forced servitude.  With some hearty execrations
upon the heads of the offending parties, and swearing that by God there
was no such thing as _gratitude_ in a sailor, the commander of the
cutter weighed his anchor, and proceeded to sea.

The orders received by the lieutenant of the cutter, although not
precisely specifying, still implying that he was to bring back his cargo
alive, as soon as his Majesty's cutter, Lively, was fairly out at sea,
the hatches were taken off, and the impressed men allowed to go on deck
in the proportion of about one half at a time, two sailors, with drawn
cutlasses, still remaining sentry at the coombings of the hatchway, in
case of any discontented fellow presuming to dispute such lawful
authority.

Newton Forster was happy to be once more on deck; so much had he
suffered during his few hours of confinement, that he really felt
grateful for the indulgence.  The sky was bright, and the cutter was
dashing along the coast with the wind, two points free, at the rate of
seven or eight miles an hour.  She was what sailors term rather _a wet
one_, and as she plunged through the short waves the sea broke
continually over her bows and chesstree, so that there was no occasion
to draw water for purification.  Newton washed his face and head, and
felt quite revived as he inhaled the fresh breeze, and watched the coast
as the vessel rapidly passed each head-land in her course.  All around
him were strangers, and no one appeared inclined to be communicative;
even the most indifferent, the most stoical, expressed their ideas in
disjointed sentences; they could not but feel that their project and
speculations had been overthrown by a captivity so anomalous with their
boasted birthright.

"Where are we going?" inquired Newton of a man who stood next him,
silently watching the passing foam created by the rapid course of the
vessel.

"To _hell_ I hope, with _those who brought us here_!" replied the man,
grinding his teeth with a scowl of deep revenge.

At this moment Judy Malony came pattering along the wet deck with a kid
of potato-peelings to throw over the bows.  Newton recognised her, and
thanked her for her kindness.

"It's a nice boy that you are, sure enough, now that you're swate and
clean," replied Judy.  "Bad luck to the rapparee who gave you the blow!
I axed my husband if it was he; but he swears upon his salvation that it
was no one if it wasn't Tim O'Connor, the baste!"

"Where are we going?" inquired Newton.

"A'nt we going to dinner in a minute or two?"

"I mean where is the cutter bound to?"

"Oh! the cutter you mane!  If she can only find her way it's to
Plymouth, sure;--they're waiting for ye."

"Who is waiting for us?"

"Why, three fine frigates as can't go to sea without hands.  You never
heard of a ship sailing without hands; the poor dumb craturs can't do
nothing by themselves."

"Do you know where the frigates are going?"

"Going to _say_, I lay my life on't," replied Judy, who then walked
forward, and broke up the conversation.

The next morning the cutter ran into Hamoaze, and boats were sent on
board to remove the impressed men to the guard-ship.  There, much to his
annoyance and mortification, Newton found, that with the others, he was
treated as a close prisoner.  The afternoon of the same day another
vessel arrived from the eastward with a collection of offenders, who for
a variety of crimes and misdemeanors had been sentenced to serve on
board of a man-of-war.  No distinction was made; all were huddled
together, and treated alike, until summoned on the quarterdeck, when
their names were called out for distribution to the several men-of-war.
Each ship having a quota of seamen and pickpockets allotted to her in
due proportion, the men were ordered down into the boats; and in less
than an hour Newton found himself on board of a fine frigate lying in
the Sound, with her fore-topsail losse, as a signal of her immediate
departure.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER ELEVEN.

  'Tis man's bold task the gen'rous strife to try,
  But in the hands of God is victory.
  ILIAD.

Newton, and the other men who had been selected for the frigate, on
board of which they had been despatched (victualled the day discharged),
were mustered on the quarter-deck by the first lieutenant, who asked
them the questions, whether they were bred to the sea, and could take
the helm and lead.  Having noted down their answers, he stationed them
accordingly, and they were dismissed.  Newton would again have appealed,
but on reflection thought it advisable to await the arrival of the
captain.  Beds and blankets were not supplied that evening: the boats
were hoisted up, sentries on the gang ways supplied with ball-cartridges
to prevent desertion, and permission granted to the impressed men to
"prick for the softest plank" which they could find for their night's
repose.

At daylight the hands were turned up, the capstern manned, the frigate
unmoored, and hove "short stay a-peak" on her anchor remaining down.
The gig was sent on shore with two midshipmen, one to watch the men and
prevent their desertion, while the other went up to the captain's
lodgings to report her arrival: the topsails were loosed, sheeted home,
and hoisted, the yards braced by, and Newton to his sorrow perceived
that the captain's arrival would be the signal for immediate departure.
The signalman, on the look-out with his glass, reported the gig coming
off with the captain; and in obedience to the orders he had received,
the first-lieutenant immediately hove up, and the anchor having been
"catted and fished," the frigate lay-to in the Sound.  As soon as the
boat came alongside, and the captain had been received with the
customary honours, he desired sail to be made on her as soon as the boat
was hoisted up, and then descended to his cabin.  In three minutes
Newton perceived that all chance of release for the present was over;
the courses and topgallant sails were set, and the frigate darted past
the Ram Head at the rate of ten miles per hour.

In about twenty minutes, after the messenger had been stowed away, the
cables coiled in the tiers, and the ropes flemished down on deck, the
captain made his appearance, and directed the first-lieutenant to send
aft the newly impressed men.  In few words he pointed out to them the
necessity of their servitude; and concluded by recommending them to
enter his majesty's service, and receive the bounty to which they would
become entitled; observing, that the men who did so would raise
themselves in his good opinion, and as far as he had the power, would
not be forgotten by him, provided that their general good conduct
merited his favour.  Some few accepted the terms, but the most of them
positively refused.  When Newton was addressed, he stated to the captain
that he was master of a vessel, and exempted by law from the impress.

"It is easy to assert that," observed the captain; "but where are your
proofs? your youth almost denies what you affirm."

"There are my papers, sir, my clearance from the Custom-house, and my
bill of lading, which I had in my pocket, intending to sail a few
minutes after the time that I was impressed."

"I observe," replied the captain, examining the papers, "they appear to
be all correct.  What is your name?"

"Newton Forster."

"Then this is your signature?"

"It is, sir."

Mr Pittson, desire the clerk to bring up a pen and ink.

The clerk made his appearance.--"Now, sign your name."--Newton obeyed,
and his signature was compared with that on the bill of lading, by the
captain and first-lieutenant.

"Why did you not mention this before?" continued the captain.

"I attempted several times, but was not permitted to speak."  Newton
then stated how he had been treated when impressed, and afterwards by
the officer commanding the cutter.

"You certainly were exempted from the impress, if what you state is
true; and I believe it so to be," replied the captain.--"It is a hard
case; but what can I do?  Here we are at sea, and likely to remain on a
cruise of several months.  You cannot expect to eat the bread of
idleness on board of a man-of-war.  You will do your duty wherever you
are stationed.  There is no disgrace in serving his majesty, in any
capacity.  I tell you candidly, that although I would not have impressed
you myself, I am very glad that I have you on board; I wish I had fifty
more of the same sort, instead of the sweepings of the gaols, which I am
obliged to mix up with prime seamen."

"Perhaps, sir, you will have the kindness to send me back by the first
homeward-bound vessel?"

"No, that I cannot do; you are on the ship's books, and the case must be
referred to the Admiralty on our return: that it will be my duty to
attend to, upon your application; but I hope before that you will have
entered into his majesty's service."

"And in the mean time my poor father may starve," said Newton, with a
sigh, not addressing those around him, but giving utterance to his
thoughts.

The captain turned away, and paced the quarter-deck with the
first-lieutenant.  At last he was overheard to say--"It's a very hard
case, certainly.  Forster, can you navigate?" continued the captain,
addressing Newton.

"Yes, sir, I can work up a dead reckoning, and take the sun's altitude."

"Very well, that will do.--Mr Pittson, you may dismiss them.  Are they
put into messes?"

"All, sir."

"It's twelve o'clock, sir," said the master, touching his hat, with his
quadrant in his hand.

"Make it so, and pipe to dinner."

Newton was stationed in the foretop.  In a few days the awkwardness
arising from the novelty of the scene and from the superior dimensions
of every variety of equipment on board of the frigate, compared to the
small craft to which he had been accustomed, passed away.  The order
which was exacted to preserve discipline, the precision with which the
time was regulated, the knowledge of the duty allotted to him, soon made
him feel that no more was exacted than what could easily be performed,
and that there was no hardship in serving on board of a man-of-war; the
only hardship was, the manner in which he had been brought there.
Although he often sighed as he thought of his father and mother, he did
his duty cheerfully, and was soon distinguished as a most promising
young sailor.

Captain Northfleet was a humane and good officer, and his
first-lieutenant followed in his steps, and equally deserved the
character.  Before the ship's company had been six weeks together, they
were in a tolerable state of discipline; and proved such to be the case,
by acknowledging that they were happy.  This, added to the constant
excitement of chasing and capturing the vessels of the enemy with the
anticipation of prize-money, soon made most of those who had been
impressed, forget what had occurred, or cease to lament it as a
hardship.  The continual exercise of the guns was invariably followed up
by a general wish that they might fall in with an enemy of equal force,
to ascertain whether such constant drilling had been thrown away upon
them.  The Terpsichore received supplies of provisions and water from
other ships, and for nine months continued a successful cruise.

Several prizes had already been captured, and sent home to England.  The
complement of the frigate was materially reduced by so many absentees,
although some of her men had been brought out to her by other vessels,
when a strange sail was discovered from the mast-head.  A few hours
sufficed to bring the swift Terpsichore alongside of the stranger, who
first hoisted, and then immediately hauled down the tricoloured flag in
token of submission.  She proved to be a French brig, bound to the Cape
of Good Hope, with ammunition and government stores.  The
third-lieutenant, and all the midshipmen who could navigate, were
already away; and this prize proving valuable, Captain Northfleet
resolved to send her in.  The difficulty relative to a prize-master was
removed by the first-lieutenant, who recommended Newton Forster.  To
this suggestion the Captain acceeded; and Newton, with five men, and two
French prisoners to assist, was put on board of the Estelle, with
written instructions to repair to Plymouth, and, upon his arrival there,
deliver up the prize to the agent, and report himself to the admiral.

Captain Northfleet also returned to Newton the papers of his sloop, and
gave him a letter to the admiral, stating the hardship of his case.  At
the same time that he informed him of the contents of his letter, he
recommended Newton to continue in the service, promising that, if he
took the vessel safe into port, he would put him on the quarterdeck, as
one of the mates of the frigate.  Newton thanked Captain Northfleet for
his good intentions; and, requesting permission to reflect upon his
proposal, took his leave, and in a few minutes was on board of the
Estelle.

There was a buoyancy of spirits in Newton when he once more found
himself clear of the frigate.  He acknowledged that he had been well
treated, and that he had not been unhappy; but still it was emancipation
from forced servitude.  It is hard to please where there are so many
masters; and petty tyranny will exist, and cause much discontent before
it is discovered, even where the best discipline prevails.  The
imperious behaviour of the young midshipmen, who assume the same
despotic sway which is exercised over themselves, as soon as their
superiors are out of sight and hearing, was often extremely galling to
Newton Forster, and it frequently required much forbearance not to
retort.  However in strict justice this might be warranted, discipline
would not permit it, and it would have been attended with severe
punishment.  It was therefore with a feeling of delight, that Newton
found himself his own master, and watched the hull and canvass of the
Terpsichore, as they gradually sunk below the horizon.

The Estelle was a fine vessel, and her cargo not being all composed of
heavy materials, was sufficiently light on the water to sail well.  At
the time of her capture, they were, by the reckoning of the frigate,
about fourteen hundred miles from the Lizard.  In a fortnight,
therefore, with the wind at all propitious, Newton hoped to set his foot
upon his native land.  He crowded all the sail which prudence would
allow; and, with the wind upon his quarter, steered his course for
England.

The men sent with him in the brig consisted of two able seamen, and
three of the gang which had been collected from the gaols and brought
round from the eastward.  Captain Northfleet spared the former, as it
was necessary that a part of the crew should be able to steer and
navigate the vessel; the latter, with the sincere hope of never seeing
them again, taking it for granted that they would run away as soon as
they arrived at Plymouth.  With the two prisoners, they were sufficient
to work the vessel.

During the first ten days the wind was generally in their favour, and
the brig was not far off from the chops of the Channel, when a low
raking vessel was perceived bearing down upon them from the North West.
Newton had no glass; but as she neared to within three miles, the vessel
wore the appearance of a privateer schooner; but whether an enemy or
not, it was impossible to decide.  The Estelle had two small brass guns
on her forecastle; and Newton, to ascertain the nation to which the
privateer belonged, hoisted the French ensign and fired a gun.  In a
minute the privateer hoisted English colours; but as she continued to
bear down upon them, Newton, not feeling secure, rove his studding sail
gear, and made all preparation for running before the wind, which he
knew to be the brig's best point of sailing.  The privateer had
approached to within two miles, when Roberts, one of the seamen, gave
his decided opinion that she was a French vessel, pointing out the
slight varieties in the rigging and build of the vessel, which would not
have been apparent to any one but a thorough-bred seaman.

"We'd better up helm, and get the sail upon her.  If she be French,
she'll soon show herself by firing at us."

Newton was of the same opinion.  The brig was put before the wind, and
gradually all her canvass was spread.  The privateer immediately shook
out all her reefs, set her lofty sails, hoisted French colours, and, in
a few minutes, a shot whizzed through the rigging of the Estelle, and
pitched into the water ahead of them.

"I thought so," cried Roberts.  "It's a Johnny Crapeau.  A starn chase
is a long chase, anyhow.  The brig sails well, and there ain't more than
two hours daylight; so Monsieur must be quick, or we'll give him the
slip yet."

The privateer was now within a mile of them; both vessels had "got their
way;" and their respective powers of sailing were to be ascertained.  In
half an hour the privateer had neared to three quarters of a mile.

"I think our little guns will soon reach her," observed Newton.
"Williams, give me the helm.  Go forward with Roberts and the men, and
rouse them aft.  Be smart, my lads, for she has the heels of us."

"Come along," said Roberts.  "You, Collins, why don't you stir?--do you
wish to see the inside of a French prison?"

"No," replied Collins, sauntering forward, "not particularly."

"Only by way of a change, I suppose," observed Thompson, another of the
convicts.  "You have been in every gaol in England, to my knowledge--
havn't you, Ben?"

"Mayhap I have," replied Collins; "but one gentleman should never
interfere with the consarns of another.  I warn't whipped at the
cart-tail, as you were, last Lancaster 'sizes."

"No; but you had a taste of it on board of the Terpsichore.  Ben, you
aren't forgot that?" retorted Hillson, the other of the three characters
who had been sent with Newton.

In a few minutes the guns were run aft, and the ammunition brought on
deck.  Newton then gave the helm to Williams, and served one gun; while
Roberts took charge of the other.  The privateer had continued to near
them, and was now within their range.  A smart fire was kept up on her,
which she returned with her superior metal.

After the firing had commenced, the approach of the privateer was in
some degree checked.  The guns fired from the stern of the Estelle
assisted her velocity through the water; while, on the contrary, the
privateer, being obliged to yaw from her course that her guns might
bear, and firing from the bow, her impetus was checked.  Still the
privateer had the advantage in sailing, and slowly neared the brig.

"There's no need of your coming aft so close upon us," said Roberts to
the two Frenchmen who had been sent on board; "go forward, and keep out
of the way.  That 'ere chap is after mischief; he had his eye upon the
_amminition_," continued the sailor to Newton.  "Go forward--d'ye hear?
or I'll split your damned French skull with the handspike."

"Don't touch him, Roberts," said Newton.

"No, I won't touch him, if he keeps out of my way.  Do you hear?--go
forward!" cried Roberts to the Frenchman, waving his hand.

The Frenchman answered with a sneer and a smile, and was turning to obey
the order, when a shot from the privateer cut him nearly in two.  The
other Frenchman, who was close to him, made a rapid descent into the
cabin.

"That was well meant, any how," observed Roberts, looking at the dead
body; "but it wasn't meant for him.  Shall I toss him overboard?"

"No, no--let him lie.  If they capture us, they will perceive it was
their own doing."

"Well, then, I'll only haul him into the lee-scuppers, out of the way."

Another shot from the privateer passed through the cabin windows, and
went forward into the hold.  The French prisoner ran on deck with as
much haste as before he had run below.

"Ay, it will be your turn next, my cock," cried Roberts, who had been
removing the body to the gunnel.  "Now, let me try my luck again," and
he hastened to his gun.  Newton fired before Roberts was ready.  The
topsail-sheet of the schooner was divided by the shot, and the sail flew
out before the yard.

"That's a good two cables' length in our favour," cried Roberts.  "Now
for me."  Roberts fired his gun, and was more fortunate; his shot struck
away the fore-top-gallant mast, while the royal and top-gallant-sail
fell before the topsail.

"Well done, my little piece of brass!" said Roberts, slapping the gun
familiarly on the breech; "only get us out of our scrape, and I'll
polish you as bright as silver!"

Whether the gun understood him or not, or, what is more probable, the
short distance between the brig and the privateer, made it more
effective, more mischief took place in the sails and rigging of the
schooner.  Her topsail-sheet was, however, soon re-bent, the sail reset,
and her other casualties made good.  She ceased firing her long gun, and
at dusk had crept up to within a quarter of a mile, and commenced a
heavy fire of musketry upon the brig.

"This is rather warm work," observed Williams at the helm, pointing to a
bullet-hole through his jacket.

"Rather too warm," observed Collins, the convict.  "I don't see why we
are to risk our lives for our paltry share of prize-money.  I vote for
hauling down the colours."

"Not yet," said Newton, "not yet, my lads.  Let us try a few shots
more."

"Try!--to be sure," rejoined Roberts, "didn't I say before, that a starn
chase was a long one."

"That only makes the matter worse," replied Collins; "for while we are
to be peppered this way, I think the shorter the chase the better.
However, you may do as you please, but I'm not so fond of it;--so here's
down below to the fore-peak!"

"Ben, you're a sensible chap, and gives good advice; we'll just follow
you," said Hillson.

"Birds of a feather always flock together; so, Ben, I'm of your party,"
added Thompson.

The convicts then descended forward out of the fire of the musketry,
while Newton and Roberts continued to load and fire, and Williams
steered the brig.  The Frenchman had already found his way below again,
before the convicts.

The schooner was within two cables' length, and the fire of the musketry
was most galling; each of the English seamen had received slight wounds,
when, just as it was dark, one of the shot from the brig proved more
effective.  The main-boom of the schooner was either cut in two, or so
much injured as to oblige them to lower her mainsail, The brig now
increased her distance fast, and in a few minutes they lost sight of the
schooner in the darkness of the night.

"Huzza!" cried Roberts, "didn't I tell you that a starn chase was a long
one?"

Not a star was to be seen; the darkness was intense, and Newton
consulted with Williams and Roberts, as to what was their best plan of
proceeding.  It was agreed to haul up for a quarter of an hour, then
furl all, and allow the privateer to pass them.  This was put in
execution; the convicts, now that there was no more firing, coming to
their assistance.  The next morning the weather proved hazy, and the
schooner, who had evidently crowded sail in pursuit of them, was nowhere
to be seen.

Newton and his crew congratulated themselves upon their escape, and
again shaped their course for the Channel.  The wind would not allow
them to keep clear of Ushant, and two days afterwards they made the
French coast, near to that island.  The next morning they had a slant of
wind, which enabled them to lay her head up for Plymouth, and
anticipated that in another twenty-four hours they would be in safety.
Such, however, was not their good fortune; about noon a schooner hove in
sight to leeward, and it was soon ascertained to be the same vessel from
which they had previously escaped.  Before dusk she was close to them;
and Newton, aware of the impossibility of resistance, hove-to, as a
signal of surrender.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER TWELVE.

  Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.
  SHAKESPEARE.

As the reader may have, before now, occasionally heard comments upon the
uncertainty of the moon and of the sea, and also, perhaps, of human
life, I shall not venture any farther remarks upon the subject; for were
they even new, I should never have the credit of them.  This is certain,
that instead of finding themselves, as they anticipated to be in the
next twenty-four hours, safely moored in the port of Plymouth, Newton
and his comrades found themselves before that time had elapsed safely
locked up in the prison of Morlaix.  But we must not proceed so fast.

Although the Estelle had squared her mainyard as a signal of submission,
the privateer's men, as they ranged their vessel alongside, thought it
advisable to pour in a volley of musketry: this might have proved
serious, had it not been that Newton and his crew were all down below,
hoping to secure a few changes of linen, which in a prison, might prove
very useful.  As it was, their volley only killed the remaining French
prisoner, who remained on deck, overjoyed at the recapture, and
anticipating an immediate return to his own country; by which it would
appear that the "_L'homme propose, mais Dieu dispose_" of France, is
quite as sure a proverb as the more homely "Many a slip between the cup
and lip" of our own country.

The boat of the privateer was sent on board; a dozen men, with their
cutlasses flourishing over their heads, leapt on the deck of the
Estelle, and found nobody to exercise their valour upon, except the body
of their departed comrade; upon which they shouted for the "Sacre's God
dams" to "monter."  Newton and the rest obeyed the summons, with their
bundles in their hands: the latter they were soon relieved of by their
conquerors, who, to prove that it was not out of "_politesse_" that they
carried their effects, at the same time saluted them with various blows
with their cutlasses upon their backs and shoulders.  Newton, who felt
that resistance would only be an excuse for farther aggression, bore
with philosophy what he could not prevent, and hastened into the boat.
The convicts also took their share with patience--they had been
accustomed to "many stripes."  Roberts and Williams, in spite of the
remonstrances of Newton, with all the reckless spirit of English
sailors, would not submit so quietly.  The first object which attracted
Roberts' attention, as he came up the ladder, was the body of the
remaining French prisoner.

"What!  Johnny, so you're gone!  Didn't I tell you that your turn would
come next?  I say, my hearties, you keep all your bullets for your
friends," continued Roberts, addressing the privateer's men.

A few "sacres" and "f---s" was the reply, as one of them attempted to
twitch his bundle out of his hand.--"Hold fast there, old chap, don't
take what you never paid for."

A scuffle now ensued; which ended in Roberts, who found that he could
not retain possession, shying his bundle at the foremost man, with such
force as to lay him on the deck.--"Well, if you will have it, take it,"
cried Roberts.

"The beggars have chopped my fingers," growled Williams.  "I say
Mounseer, don't make quite so free with that iron of yours; or I'll
smash your top-lights."

"I wish I had three on 'em on Point Beach, one up and one down.  I'd
sarve you out, you damned frog-eating sea-cooks!" said Roberts, squaring
at the privateers' men with clenched fists.

This obstreperous conduct produced a shower of blows with the backs of
the cutlasses.  Williams, in a rage, wrenched a cutlass from one of the
Frenchmen, and laid about him; while Roberts, with his fists, rushed
within their guards, and laid two of them at his feet.  At last they
were overpowered and thrown into the boat, bleeding profusely from
various cuts which they had received in the unequal scuffle.  The
privateers' people then shoved off; and rowed on board of the schooner.

As soon as Newton and the other Englishmen were up the side they were
pushed aft; their persons were then searched, and every part of their
apparel, which appeared to be of good materials or little worn, was
taken from them.  Collins, the convict, was a good prize; he had put on
shirt over shirt, stocking over stocking, and trousers over trousers,
that the Frenchmen began to wonder if ever they should arrive at the
"inner man."  At last, he was uncased, an old pair of trousers thrown to
him, and he was left without any other garment, shivering in the cold.
Newton, who still retained his waistcoat and shirt, took off the former
and gave it to the convict, who whispered as he thanked him, "I don't
care a fig, they have left me my old hat."  As soon as the recapture was
manned, the privateer bore up for the French coast, and before morning
anchored in the rocky harbour of Morlaix.  At daylight the prisoners,
who had received no refreshment, were handed into a boat, and on their
landing, conducted by a party of _gens d'armes_ to the prison.  During
their progress to their place of confinement Collins excited the
amusement of the bystanders, and the surprise of his fellow-prisoners,
by walking with his hands and arms raised in a certain position.  After
they had been locked up, he went to the barred window, and continued the
same gestures to the people who were crowded about the prison, most of
whom continued their mockery.  Newton, who came forward to the window to
request a little water for Roberts and Williams, who wished to quench
their thirst and wash their wounds, which had not been dressed, inquired
of Collins his reason for so doing.  "It is for your benefit as well as
mine," replied Collins: "at least I hope so.  There are freemasons in
all countries."

A few minutes afterwards, one of the people outside came forward, and
pointed out to the sentry that the prisoners were making signs for
water.  The _gendarme_, who had paid no attention to Newton, listened to
the appeal of his countryman, who, upon the grounds of common humanity,
persuaded him to allow them such a necessary boon.  The water was
brought, and as the man walked away a sign unperceived by all but
Collins, gave him to understand that his appeal had been understood.

"All's right," said Collins to Newton, as he quitted the grating.  "We
have friends without, and we have friends within."  In about an hour
some bread was brought in, and among those who brought it Collins
perceived the person who had answered his signal; but no farther
recognition took place.  At noon the door of the prison was again
unbarred, and a surgeon came to dress the wounded men.  He was
accompanied by two or three others, deputed by the governor of the town
to obtain intelligence, and the new acquaintance of Collins appeared as
interpreter.  While the surgeon dressed the wounds of Roberts and
Williams; which, although numerous, were none of any importance, many
questions were asked, and taken down when interpreted.  Each prisoner
was separately interrogated; Collins was one of the first examined.  The
questions put and answers given were carefully intermixed with more
important matter.  The person who acted as interpreter spoke English too
well for a Frenchman; apparently he was a Dane or Russian, who was
domiciliated there.  He commenced with:--

"No one understands English but me--but they are suspicious; be
careful.--What is your name?"

"John Collins."

"Comment?" said the French amanuensis, "John Co-lin.  C'est bien;
continuez."

"What is your rank--_and in your Lodge_?"

"Common seaman--master," answered Collins adroitly.

"Comment?" said the party with his pen.

"Matelot," replied the interpreter.

"Demandez-lui le nom du batiment."

"What is the name of your ship?--_how can we assist you_?"

"Terpsichore--_a boat, with provisions_."

"Comment?"

"Fregate croiseur Terpsichore."

"Does she sail well?--_at what time_?"

"_To-night, with a guide_."

"Que dit-il?"

"Elle marche bien avec le vent large."

"Demandez-lui la force."

"What number of guns?--_how can you get out_?"

"Thirty-six guns.--_I have the means_."

"Trente-six canons."

"Trente-six canons," repeated the Frenchman, writing, "c'est bien--
alors, l'equipage."

"How many men?--_I will be here at dark_."

"Two hundred and seventy men; but many away in prizes."

"Deux cents soixante-dix hommes d'equipage; mais il y a beaucoup dans
les batimens pris."

Newton and the others were also interrogated, the names taken down, and
the parties then quitted the prison.

"Now, if we make a push for it, I think we may get off," said Collins to
Newton and the rest, after the door had closed.  "I never saw the prison
in England which could hold me when I felt inclined to walk out of it;
and as for their bars, I reckon them at about an hour's work.  I never
travel without my little friends;"--and Collins, taking off his old hat,
removed the lining, and produced a variety of small saws made from
watch-springs, files, and other instruments.  "Then," continued he,
"with these and this piece of tallow stuck outside my hat, I will be
through those bars in no time.  French iron ar'nt worth a damn, and the
sentry shan't hear me if he lolls against them; although it may be just
as well if Thompson tips a stave, as then we may work the faster."

"I say, Bill," observed Hillson, "who is your friend?"

"I don't know--he may be the governor; but this I do know, for the
honour of freemasonry, we may trust him and all like him; so just mind
your own business, Tom."--"He said he would be here at dark," observed
Newton.  "Yes,--I must prepare--go to the grating some of you, that they
may not look in upon me."

This unexpected prospect of deliverance created an anxious joy in the
breasts of the prisoners; the day appeared interminable.  At last, the
shades of night set in, and a clouded sky with mizzling rain raised
their hopes.  The square in front of the prison was deserted, and the
sentinel crouched close against the door, which partially protected him
from the weather.  In a few minutes a person was heard in conversation
with the sentinel.  "He must be coming now," observed Collins in a low
tone: "that must be one of his assistants who is taking off the
attention of the _gens d'arme_."

"Make no noise," said a voice in a whisper, at the outside of the bars.

"I am here," replied Collins softly.

"How can you get out of the prison?"

"Get the sentry out of the way when we leave off singing; the bars will
then be removed."

"Every thing is prepared outside.  When you get out keep close under the
wall to the right.  I shall be at the corner, if I am not here."

The freemason then retired from the grating.

"Now, Thompson, not too loud, there's no occasion for it; two of us can
work."

Thompson commenced his song; Newton took a small saw from Collins, who
directed him how to use it.  The iron bars of the prison yielded like
wood to the fine-tempered instruments which Collins employed.  In an
hour and a half three of the bars were removed without noise, and the
aperture was wide enough for their escape.  The singing of Thompson,
whose voice was tolerably good and ear very correct, had not only the
effect of preventing their working being heard, but amused the sentinel,
who remained with his back to the wall listening to the melody.

Their work was so far accomplished.  Thompson ceased, and all was
silence and anxiety; in a few minutes the sentinel was again heard in
conversation, and the voices receded, as if he had removed to a greater
distance.

"Now, brother," said the low voice under the aperture.  In a minute the
whole of the prisoners were clear of the walls, and followed their guide
in silence, until they reached the landing-place.

"There is the boat, and provisions sufficient," said the freemason, in a
low tone; "you will have to pass the sentries on the rocks: but we can
do no more for you.  Farewell, brother; and may you and your companions
be fortunate!"  So saying, their friendly assistant disappeared.

The night was so dark, that although close to the boat it was with
difficulty that its outline could be discerned.  Newton, recommending
the strictest silence and care in entering, stepped into it, and was
followed by the rest.  Roberts, whose eyesight was a little affected
from the wounds in his head, stumbled over one of the oars.

"_Qui vive_?" cried out one of the sentries on the rock.

No answer was made; they all remained motionless in their seats.  The
sentry walked to the edge of the rock and looked down; but not
distinguishing any thing, and hearing no further noise, returned to his
post.

For some little while Newton would not allow them to move: the oars were
then carefully lifted over the gunnel, and their clothes laid in the
rollocks, to muffle the sound; the boat was pushed from the
landing-place into the middle of the narrow inlet.  The tide was ebbing,
and with their oars raised out of the water, ready to give way if
perceived, they allowed the boat to drift out of one of the narrow
channels which formed the entrance of the harbour.

The rain now beat down fast, and anxious to be well clear of the coast
before daylight, Newton thought they might venture to pull.  The oars
were taken by him and Collins; but before they had laid them three times
in the water one of the sentries, hearing the noise, discharged his
musket in the direction.

"Give way, now, as hard as we can," cried Newton; "it's our only
chance."

Another and another musket was fired.  They heard the guard turned out;
lights passing on the batteries close to them, and row-boats manning.
They double-banked their oars, and with the assistance of the ebb tide
and obscurity they were soon out of gunshot.  They then laid in their
oars, shipped their mast, and sailed away from the coast.

It was nine o'clock in the evening when they started, and at daylight
the French coast was not to be seen.  Overjoyed at their escape, they
commenced an attack upon the provisions and a small keg of wine; and
perhaps a more joyful breakfast never was made.  The sun rose in vapour,
the sky threatened, but they were free and happy.  The wind freshened,
and the boat flew before the gale; the running seas topping over her
stern, and forcing them continually to bale her out; but all was joy,
and freedom turned their "danger to delight."  They passed several
vessels at a distance, who did not observe them; and before sunset the
English coast was in sight.  At ten o'clock the double lights on the
Lizard were on their starboard bow.  They hauled up upon the larboard
tack with the ebb tide, and having passed the Lizard, kept away for
Mount's Bay, to avoid the chance of falling in with any of the king's
vessels, and being again impressed.  At daylight they ran in under St.
Michael's Mount and once more stepped upon English ground.

Here, as by previous agreement, they divided the provisions, and took
farewell of each other.

"Good bye, gentlemen," said Collins; "allow me to observe that, for
once, you may think yourselves fortunate in having been placed in my
very respectable company!"



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER THIRTEEN.

  Once more upon the waters.
  BYRON.

As Newton had lost his credentials from Captain Northfleet, as well as
the vessel confided to his charge, he did not consider it necessary to
pay his respects to the port admiral at Plymouth.  On the contrary, he
set off as fast as his legs could carry him to Liverpool, to ascertain
the condition of his father.  We shall pass over the difficulties he
experienced on his journey.  There is no country where travelling is
more easy or more rapid, than in England, provided that you have plenty
of money; but when you travel _in forma pauperis_, there is no country
in which you get on so badly.  Parish rates and poor laws have dried up
the sources of benevolence; and as Newton did not apply to the overseers
for his three-half-pence a mile, he got on how he could, which was badly
enough.  When at last he did arrive at Liverpool, he found himself a
stone or two the lighter, and would have been pronounced by Captain
Barclay to have been in excellent training.

Newton had written to his father, acquainting him with his impressment;
but was doubtful whether the letter had ever been received, as it had
been confided to the care of one of the women who left the frigate the
evening previous to her sailing.  When he arrived at the house he
perceived his father at his bench as usual, but doing nothing, and the
shop windows were bare.

Newton entered, and his father looked up.

"Why, Newton, my dear boy, is it you?" cried Nicholas; "what a long
while you have been away!  Well, how is Mr Hilton?--and how is your
poor mother?"

"My dear father," replied Newton, taking his hand, "did not you receive
my letter?"

"No, I received no letter.  What a time you have been away I declare it
must be two or three months, or more."

"It is nearly twelve months, my dear father: I was pressed at Bristol,
have been on board of a man-of-war; and have just escaped from a French
prison."

Newton then entered into a narrative of his adventures, to the
astonishment of Nicholas, who heard him with open mouth.

"Dear me! so you've been in a man-of-war, and in France; then you don't
know how your poor mother is?"

"Have you not inquired, my dear father?"

"No, I thought you would come home, and tell me all about it," replied
Nicholas with a sigh.

"How have you got on here?" said Newton, to change the conversation.

"Very bad indeed, Newton--very bad indeed; I have not had six jobs since
you left me."

"I am sorry to hear it, father; have you any thing to eat in the house,
for I am very hungry?"

"I am afraid not much," replied Nicholas, going to the cupboard, and
producing some bread and cheese.  "Can you eat bread and cheese, my dear
boy?"

"I could eat a horse, my dear father," replied Newton, who had walked
the last twelve hours without sustenance.

Newton attacked the provender, which soon disappeared.

"I have been obliged to sell most of the shop furniture," said Nicholas,
observing Newton to cast his eyes at the empty window.  "I could not
help it.  I believe nobody wears spectacles in Liverpool."

"It can't be helped, father; we must hope for better times."

"Yes, we must trust in God, Newton.  I sold my watch yesterday, and that
will feed us for some time.  A sailor came into the shop, and asked if I
had any watches to sell: I told him that I only repaired them at
present; but that when my improvement in the duplex--" Here Nicholas
forgot the thread of his narrative, and was commencing a calculation
upon his intended improvement, when Newton interrupted him.

"Well, sir, what did the sailor reply?"

"Oh!  I forgot; I told him that I had a watch of my own, that I would
part with it, which went very well; and that it would be cheaper to him
than a new one; that it cost fifteen pounds; but I was in want of money,
and would take five pounds for it.  He saw how sorry I was to part with
it--and so I was."  Here Nicholas thought of his watch, and forgot his
story.

"Well, my dear father," said Newton, "what did he give you for it?"

"Oh!--why, he was a kind good creature, and said that he was not the man
to take advantage of a poor devil in distress, and that I should have
the full value of it.  He put the watch in his fob and counted out
fifteen pounds on the counter.  I wanted to return part: but he walked
out of the shop, and before I could get round the counter he had got
round the corner of the street."

"'Twas a God-send, my dear father," replied Newton, "for I have not a
halfpenny.  Do you know what became of my chest, that I left on board of
the sloop?"

"Dear me! now I think of it, it came here by the waggon.  I put it up
stairs.  I wondered why you sent it."

Newton having appeased his hunger, went up stairs, and found all his
wearing apparel had been forwarded by Mr Hilton, who supposed him dead,
and that he was enabled to make a more respectable appearance than what
the privateer's people had hitherto permitted him.  In a few days he
felt quite recovered from his fatigue, and sallied forth in search of
employment.  On the day after his arrival at Liverpool he had written to
the asylum, to inquire the fate of his mother.  The answer which he
received was, that Mrs Forster had recovered, and remained many months
in the establishment as nurse; but that ten days back she had quitted
the asylum, and that her address was not known.

Newton, who had no means of prosecuting further inquiry, was obliged to
be satisfied with the intelligence that his mother was alive and well.
He communicated the information to Nicholas, who observed--

"Poor thing; she's looking for us, depend upon it, Newton, and will be
here very soon:" and this expectation was revived whenever Nicholas
thought of his wife; and he continued satisfied.

We must allow many months to pass away in one paragraph--months of
ineffectual struggle against poverty and want of employment, which
Newton made every exertion to obtain as mate of a merchant vessel.  The
way in which he had been impressed had caused a dread of the king's
service, which he could not overcome; and although he had but to choose
his ship as a sailor before the mast, he could not prevail upon himself
to accept a berth which was not protected from the impress.  Without
recommendation he could not obtain the situation of mate, and he
continued to work as a rigger in the docks, until his hand was
unfortunately severely jammed by the heel of a topmast, and he was laid
up for many weeks.  Each day their fare became scantier, and they were
reduced to their last shilling, when Newton was again able to go out and
seek employment.

It was a rough day, blowing hard from the South East, when Newton, who
had tried his fortune on board of every vessel (crowded as they were in
the docks) without success, walked in a melancholy and disappointed mood
along the splendid pier which lines the river-side.  Few people were
out, for the gusts of wind were accompanied by smart driving showers of
rain.  Here and there was to be seen a boat pulling up in shore to fetch
the shipping in the stream, who with a heavy strain on their cables were
riding to the South East gale, and a strong ebb tide.  Newton had made
up his mind to enter on board of one of these vessels about to, sail,
provided they would advance him a part of his wages for his father's
support; when, as a heavy squall cleared away, he perceived that a boat
had broken adrift from the outermost vessel (a large brig), with only
one man in it, who was carried away by the rapid current, assisted by
the gale blowing down the river, so as to place him in considerable
risk.  The man in the boat tossed out his oar, and pulling first on one
side, and then on the other, tried to make for the shore; but in vain.
He was swept away with a rapidity which threatened in less than an hour
to carry him out to sea, unless assistance were afforded him.

Another heavy squall again hid the boat from the sight of Newton, who
had been anxiously watching to ascertain if any relief was sent from the
shipping, and who was now convinced that the disaster had not been
perceived.  He therefore ran down the bank of the river, waiting until
the squall should blow over, and enable him to discover the boat.

In about ten minutes the squall passed over, and the boat was again
presented to his sight; she was still in the centre of the stream, about
three hundred yards from the shore.  The man who was in her, finding all
his attempts futile, had lain on his oar, and was kneeling in the stern
sheets, apparently in supplication.  Newton could not resist the appeal;
it appeared to point out to him that he was summoned to answer the call
made upon Providence.  The boat was now a quarter of a mile farther down
the river than where he stood, and about three miles from the town and
shipping, both of which were no longer discernible from the thickness of
the weather.  Newton threw off his coat, and plunging into the agitated
water, the cold of which nearly checked his respiration, swam off into
the stream in a direction so as to allow himself to fetch to windward of
the boat.  He was soon carried down to it by the rapidity of the tide,
and, as he approached, he shouted to announce his presence.  The man in
the boat started up at the sound of a human voice, and perceiving Newton
close to the bows, lent over and extended his hand towards, him.  Newton
seized hold of it, and then was whirled round by the tide fore and aft
with the side of the boat, with such violence as nearly to drag the
other man out, and half fill the boat with water.  It was with great
difficulty, although assisted by the occupant, that Newton contrived at
last to get in; when, exhausted with the efforts he had made, he
remained a few seconds without motion; the man, whom he had thus risked
his life to save, perceiving his condition, and not speaking to him.

"We have no time to lose," said Newton, at last: "take an oar, and let
us pull in for the shore.  If once we are swept down to the narrows
there will be little chance for us."

The other complied, without speaking; and, after a few minutes exertion
the boat was safely landed on the Liverpool side of the river.

"The Lord be praised!" ejaculated Newton's companion, as he laid on his
oar.  "I did not call upon _Him_ in vain; your accident has been the
means of my preservation."

"How do you mean?" inquired Newton.

"Why, did you not fall overboard?" replied the other.

Newton then explained to his companion what we have already related to
the reader, ending his narrative with the observation, that when he
perceived him praying for assistance in his peril, he could not resist
the appeal.

"God will reward you, young man," continued he: "and now I will explain
to you how it was that I was adrift, like a bear in a washing-tub.  My
first-mate was below.  I had just relieved the deck, for in this blowing
weather we must keep watch in harbour.  The men were all at their
dinner, when I heard the boat thumping under the main channels.  I got
into her to ease off a fathom or two of the painter; but as I hauled her
ahead to get at the bend, it appears that the monkey of a boy who made
her fast, and has been but a few months at sea, had made a `_slippery
hitch_;' so away it went, and I was adrift.  I hailed them on board; but
they did not hear me, although the first-mate might have, for he was in
the cabin, and the stern window was up; but hailing to windward is hard
work, such weather as this; the words are blown back again down your own
throat.  And now, let me know a little about you, my lad, and see
whether I cannot in return be of some use to you."

Newton's history was soon told; and, at the conclusion, he had the
satisfaction of finding that he had obtained the very situation which he
had been in search of.

"I have no second mate on board," observed the captain of the brig; "but
I intended to have shipped one to-morrow.  I was only divided between
which to take of two who have offered themselves, with equally good
recommendations.  Fortunately, I would promise neither; and, as I think
your own recommendation stronger than theirs, the berth is at your
service.  I only wish, for your sake, that it was that of first-mate.  I
am sure you would prove yourself fit for the situation; and I cannot say
that I am very partial to the one that I have at present; but he is a
relation of the owner's."

The arrangements were soon made.  Mr Berecroft, the master of the
vessel, advanced Newton a sum to fit himself out, and agreed with the
owner at Liverpool, that one half of Newton's wages should be allotted
monthly to his father.  The next morning (as the vessel had a pilot on
board, and the weather had moderated,) Newton took leave of his father,
and with a light heart accompanied his new acquaintance on board of the
vessel.

It was early in the morning when they embarked in a hired boat, the one
belonging to the brig still remaining down the river, where they had
landed.  The first-mate, as it appeared, was in the cabin shaving
himself, previous to his going on shore to the owner to report the
supposed loss of his superior.  The sailors were either busy or down
below, so that no notice was taken of the boat coming alongside; and
Newton, with the master, were both on the deck before the circumstance
was known to the first-mate.  It so happened, that at the very same
moment that they came on board, the first-mate was ascending the
companion hatch, to order a boat to be lowered down, and manned.  When
he perceived Mr Berecroft, he fell back with astonishment, and turned
pale.

"I thought you were gone," said he: "why, what could have saved you? did
you not drift out to sea?"

"It appears, then, Mr Jackson, that you knew that I was adrift,"
replied the master seriously, looking him steadfastly in the face.

"That is,"--replied the mate, confused--"I thought--of course, seeing
the boat was not alongside--that you had drifted away in her; how it
happened--of course, I know not."

"I should trust, for your conscience sake, Mr Jackson, that you did
not; however, here I am again, as you see, by the blessing of
Providence, and the exertions of this young man, whom I must introduce
to you as our second-mate."

Jackson cast an angry glance at Newton upon the conclusion of this
speech.  The master had truly observed that it was strange the
first-mate did not hear him when he had hailed the brig for assistance.
The fact was, that Jackson had both heard him and seen him; but he was a
wretch devoid of all feeling, who consulted nothing except his own
interest.  He had made sure that the master would be carried out to sea,
there to perish by a most miserable death, and that he would succeed in
command of the vessel.  He was then going on shore to report the
supposed "_falling overboard_" of the master: which as the brig was to
sail as the weather moderated, would have secured to him the command,
and, at the same time, have put an end to the search which (should he
have reported the truth) would immediately have taken place for the boat
in which the master had been adrift.  Foiled in his hopes, by the
courage of Newton, Jackson had already formed towards him a deadly
hatred and determination of revenge.

That evening the wind abated, and the vessel sailed.  The ensuing
morning she was clear of the sands, and a pilot vessel off Holyhead
having received the pilot, she steered down the Irish Channel to join a
convoy for the West Indies, collecting at Falmouth.

Mr Berecroft, the master of the vessel, who has not hitherto been
described, was a spare, light-built person, of about sixty years of age,
still active, and a thorough seaman.  He had crossed the ocean for
forty-five years, and his occasional narratives, as he walked the deck,
or sat over his evening glass of grog, proved that his life must have
been one of no ordinary variety and interest.  He was serious and
rationally devout.  He checked all swearing from the men under his
command, and rebuked it, although he could not prevent it, in the
first-mate; who, to annoy him, seldom made his appearance on deck
without making use of some execration or another.  It was Mr
Berecroft's custom to call down the seamen into his cabin every evening,
and read to them a short prayer; and, although this unusual ceremony
often caused a leer in some of the newly-entered men, and was not only
unattended but ridiculed by Jackson, still the whole conduct of
Berecroft was so completely in unison, that even the most idle and
thoughtless acknowledged that he was a good man, and quitted the ship
with regret.  Such was Mr Berecroft; and we have little further to add,
except that he was very superior to the generality of masters of
merchant vessels.  His family, it was reported, were strict quakers.

Jackson, the first-mate, was a bull-headed, sandy-haired Northumbrian;
as we before stated, a relation of the owner's, or he never would have
been permitted to remain in the ship.  The reader has already had some
insight into his diabolical character.  It will be sufficient to add,
that he was coarse and blustering in his manners; that he never forgot
and never forgave an injury; gratitude was not in his composition; and,
to gratify his revenge, he would stop at nothing.

On the third day, the brig, which was named the Eliza and Jane, after
the two daughters of the owner, arrived at Falmouth, where she anchored
in the outer roads, in company with thirty or forty more, who had
assembled at the appointed rendezvous.  On the second day after their
arrival, a fifty-gun ship, frigate, and two corvettes, made their
appearance off the mouth of the harbour; and after a due proportion of
guns, some shotted and some not, the whole convoy were under weigh, and
hove-to round their protectors.  The first step taken by the latter was
to disembarrass their _proteges_ of one-third of their crews, leaving
them as defenceless as possible, that they might not confide in their
own strength, but put their whole trust in the men-of-war, and keep as
close to them as possible.  Having taken out every unprotected man, they
distributed convoy signals in lieu, and half a dozen more guns announced
that they were to make sail--an order immediately complied with: the
merchant vessels, loaded with canvass below and aloft, while the
men-of-war, with their topsails on the caps, sailed round and round
them, firing shot at every unfortunate vessel which was not able to sail
as well as the rest.

The convoy left Falmouth, seventy-five in number; but in a few days
there were but forty in sight.  Those who remained behind either made
their voyage how they could, or were taken by the enemy's privateers,
who followed in the wake of the convoy.  Some few were carried into the
French ports; and the underwriters of the policy eat but little dinner
on the day which brought the intelligence of their capture.  Others were
retaken by the English blockading squadrons, who received then one
eighth for salvage.  At last the men-of-war were fairly running down the
traders, with about twenty-five of the best sailors in company; and the
commodore deemed it advisable to take particular care of the few which
remained, lest he should be "_hauled over the coals_" by the Admiralty.
Nothing worth comment occurred during the remainder of the passage.
They all arrived safe at Barbadoes, when the commodore brought in his
returns to the admiral, and complained bitterly of the obstinacy of the
masters of merchant vessels, who would part company with him, in
defiance of all his injunctions, and in spite of all the powder which he
fired away to enforce his signals.  There certainly was a fault
somewhere.

During the passage, which lasted seven weeks, Newton had ample
opportunity of ascertaining his situation.  The master invariably
treated him with kindness and consideration; and before the voyage was
completed, he treated him as if he were his own son.  Jackson lost no
opportunity of annoying or insulting him; but the support of his patron
indemnified Newton for the conduct of the first-mate, and he resolved to
take no notice of that which could not well be prevented.  On their
arrival at Barbadoes, Mr Berecroft went on shore to the house of the
consignee; and then it was that the malignity of Jackson broke out in
all its violence.

The brig had discharged her cargo, and was lying in Carlisle Bay,
waiting for the sugars which were to be shipped for Liverpool.  One
morning, when Newton, who for some time had submitted to the tyranny of
Jackson without complaint, was standing at the main hatchway, giving
directions to the men below, who were arranging the dunnage at the
bottom of the vessel, the first-mate came on deck, and, watching his
opportunity, staggered, with a rope in his hand, against Newton, as if
by accident, so as to throw him over the coombings.  Newton, who would
have immediately fallen to the bottom of the hold upon the ballast, at
the risk of his life suddenly seized hold of the first-mate, not in
sufficient time to recover his own balance, but so firmly as to drag
Jackson with him; and down they were both precipitated together.  The
first-mate, having hold of one of the ropes leading down the main-mast,
clung fast to save himself, and in so doing also broke the fall of
Newton; but the weight of their bodies dragged the rope through
Jackson's hands, which were lacerated to the bone.  Neither party were
much hurt by the fall; so that the treachery of Jackson recoiled upon
himself.

After this specimen of animosity, which was duly reported to Mr
Berecroft, on his return on board, by the seamen, who detested Jackson,
and any thing like foul play, his protector determined that Newton
should no longer be subjected to further violence.  At the request of
Mr Berecroft, Newton was invited to stay at the house of Mr Kingston,
the gentleman to whom the vessel had been consigned--an offer which was
gladly accepted.

Newton had not been many days on shore, when Mr Kingston, who had taken
a strong interest in him, proposed, in answer to his many questions
relative to the slave trade, that they should make a party to visit a
plantation, the proprietor of which had been a resident since his youth,
and judge for himself as to the truth of the reports so industriously
circulated by those who were so inimical to the employment of a slave
population.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER FOURTEEN.

  "_Aboan_.
  The innocent.
  _Oronoko_.
  These men are so, whom you would rise against.
  If we are slaves, they did not make us slaves,
  But bought us in the honest way of trade,
  As we have done before 'em, bought and sold
  Many a wretch, and never thought it wrong.
  They paid our price for us, and we are now
  Their property, a part of their estate,
  To manage as they please."

At an early hour the party, consisting of Mr Kingston, the master of
the brig, and Newton, set off upon mules for the habitation of the
planter.  The sun had illumined the sky, but had not yet made its
appearance, although the golden fringes upon the clouds which floated in
broad belts in the horizon, indicated his glorious yet withering
approach.  The dew moistened each leaf, or hung in glittering pendant
drops upon the thorn of the prickly pears which lined the roads.  The
web of the silver-banded spider was extended between the bushes, and,
saturated with moisture, reflected the beams of the rising orb, as the
animals danced in the centre, to dazzle their expected prey.  The mist
still hovered on the valleys, and concealed a part of the landscape from
their view; and the occasional sound of the fall of water was mingled
with the twittering and chirping of the birds, as they flew from spray
to spray.  The air was fresh, even to keenness, and any one suddenly
wafted to the scene would little have imagined that he was under the
torrid zone.

"How different this is from the ideas generally formed of the climate in
the West Indies!" observed Newton.  "In England, we couple it with
insufferable heat and the yellow fever."

"Your reports are from those who seldom leave the harbours or towns,
where such indeed prevail," replied Kingston.  "There is no island in
the Caribbean sea where the early riser may not enjoy this delightful
bracing atmosphere.  At Jamaica, in particular, where they collect as
much snow as they please in the mountains; yet, at the same time, there
is not a more fatal and unhealthy spot than Port Royal harbour, in the
same island."

"Is the plantation we are going to situated as high above the level of
the sea as we are now?"

"No; most plantations are in the ravines, between the hills.  The
sugar-cane requires heat.  As soon as we are on the summit of this next
hill we shall descend to it."

In half an hour they arrived at the end of their journey, when they
stopped at an extensive range of low buildings, situated at the head of
the valley, which descended to the sea, now for the first time presented
to their view since they had quitted Bridgetown.  The owner of the
estate was at the door to receive them.  He was a tall, spare man,
dressed in nankeen jacket and trousers, with a large-brimmed straw-hat
upon his head.  "Welcome, gentlemen, welcome.  Kingston, how are you?"
said he, as they stopped.  "Now dismount, gentlemen; the boys will take
the mules.  Boy Jack, where are you?  Where's Baby and where's Bulky?
Come here you lazy rascals and take the mules.  Now then, gentlemen,
I'll show you the way.  I ordered breakfast on the table, as I saw you
coming down the hill."

So saying, the old gentleman led the way through a portico.  At the
sight of strangers the windows underneath were crowded with faces of
various degrees of colour--eyes and mouths wide open, the latter
displaying rows of teeth so even and so brilliantly white, that they
might cause a sensation of envy to many an English belle.

The party were ushered into a spacious and cool apartment on the
ground-floor, where a table was covered with all the varieties of a
tropical breakfast, consisting of fried fish, curries, devilled poultry,
salt meats, and every thing which could tend to stimulate an enfeebled
appetite.

"Now, gentlemen, let me recommend you to take a white jacket; you'll be
more at your ease, and there is no ceremony here.  Boy Jack, where's the
sangoree?  This is a fine climate, Captain Berecroft; all you have to
attend to is--to be temperate, and not to check the perspiration."

Boy Jack, who, par parenthese, was a stout, well-looking negro, of about
forty years of age, now made his appearance with the sangoree.  This was
a beverage composed of half a bottle of brandy, and two bottles of
Madeira, to which were added a proportion of sugar, lime-juice, and
nutmeg, with water _ad lib_.  It was contained in a glass bowl, capable
of holding two gallons, standing upon a single stalk, and bearing the
appearance of a Brobdignag rummer.  Boy Jack brought it with both hands,
and placed it before his master.

"Now, sir, will you drink?" said the planter, addressing Mr Berecroft.

"Thank you," replied Mr Berecroft, "I never drink so early in the
morning."

"Drink! why this is nothing but _swizzle_.  Here's your health, sir,
I'll show you the way."

The large goblet was fixed to his lips for upwards of a minute: at last
they unwillingly separated, and the old planter recovered his
respiration with a deep sigh.  "Now then, gentlemen, do you take a
little, don't be afraid; there's nothing you mayn't do in this climate,
only be temperate and don't check the perspiration."  At this moment
Newton was startled, and looked under the table.

"I thought it was a dog, but it's a little black child."

"Oh! there's one out, is there?  Why, Boy Jack, did I not tell you to
shut them all in?"

"Yes, sar, so I did," said the black man, looking under the table.
"Eh!--it's that damned little nigger--two year old Sambo--no possible
keep him in, sar.--Come out, Sambo."

The child crawled out to his master, and climbed up by his knee: the old
planter patted his woolly head, and gave him a piece of grilled turkey,
with which he immediately dived again under the table.

"The fact is, captain, they are accustomed to come in at breakfast time;
they are only shut out to-day because I have company.  That door behind
me leads into the nursery yard."

"The nursery yard!"

"Yes, I'll show it you by-and-bye; there's plenty of them there."

"Oh, pray let us have them in--I wish to see them, and should be sorry
to be the cause of their being disappointed."

"Open the door, Boy Jack."  As soon as it was open, about twenty black
children from seven to three years old, most of them naked, with their
ivory skins like a polished table, and quite pot-bellied from good
living, tumbled into the room, to the great amusement of Newton and the
party.  They were followed by seven or eight more, who were not yet old
enough to walk; but they crawled upon all-fours almost as fast as the
others, who could walk erect after the image of their Maker.

The company amused themselves with distributing to the children the
contents of the dishes on the table--the elder ones nestling alongside
of the planter and his friends with the greatest familiarity, while the
youngest sat upright on the floor, laughing as they devoured their
respective portions.

"Of course, these are all slaves?" observed Mr Berecroft.

"Yes, bred them all myself," replied the planter "indeed, out of two
hundred and fifteen which I have on the estate, I think that there are
not more than twelve who were not born on this property, during my
father's time or mine.  Perhaps, as breakfast is over, you will like to
inspect my nursery."

The planter led the way into the yard from which the children had
entered.  It was a square, of about two roods of ground, three sides of
which were enclosed by rows of small houses, of two rooms each; and most
of them were occupied by female slaves, either nursing children at the
breast, or expecting very soon to have that duty to perform.  They
received their master with a smiling face, as he addressed a question to
each of them when he entered their abode.

"Now these are all my _breeding_ women; they do no work, only take care
of the children, who remain here until they are eight or nine years old.
We have a surgeon on the estate, who attends them as well as the other
slaves when they are sick.  Now, if you feel inclined, we will go round
the works."

The old planter, in a few minutes' walk, brought them to an extensive
row of detached cottages, each centred in a piece of garden-ground, well
stocked with yams, sweet potatoes, bananas, and other tropical
productions.  Poultry of all descriptions were scattered in profusion
about the place, and pigs appeared to be abundant.

"Now, captain, these are the cottages of the working slaves.  The
garden-ground is allowed to them; and whatever they can make by its
produce, or by their pigs and their poultry, is all their own."

"But how are they subsisted?"

"By rations, as regularly served out as yours are on board of your
vessel, and they have as much as they can consume."

"Are they all single men?"

"No, mostly married to slave girls on the estate: their wives live with
them, unless they breed, and then they are removed up to the nurseries."

"And what work do you exact from them?"

"Eight hours a day--except in cropt-time, and then we are very busy; so
that they have plenty of leisure to look after their own interests if
they choose."

"Do they ever lay up much money?"

"Very often enough to purchase their freedom, if they wished it."

"If they wished it!" replied Mr Berecroft, with surprise.

"Yes; without explanation, that may appear strange to you, and still
more strange, the fact, that freedom offered has often been refused.  A
man who is a clever workman as a carpenter, or any other trade, will
purchase his freedom if he can, because artisans can obtain very high
wages here; but a slave who, if I may use the term, is only a common
labourer, would hardly support himself, and lay by nothing for his old
age.  They are aware of it.  I have offered emancipation to one or two
who have grown old, and they have refused it, and now remain as
heirlooms on the estate, provided with every thing, and doing little or
no work, if they please.  You saw that old man sweeping under the
portico?  Well, he does that every day; and it is all he has done for
these five years.  Now, if you please, we will go through the
plantations, and visit the sugar-mills."

They passed the slaves, who were at work hoeing between the canes; and
certainly, if an estimate of their condition was to be taken by the
noise and laughter with which they beguiled their labour, they were far
from demanding pity.

"But, I must confess, that there is something in that cart-whip which I
do not like," observed Newton.

"I grant it; but custom is not easily broken through; nor do we know any
substitute.  It is the badge of authority, and the noise of it is
requisite to summon them to their labour.  With me it is seldom used,
for it is not required; and if you were captain of a man-of-war I should
answer you as I did Captain C---; to wit--I question much whether my
noisy whip is half so mischievous as your silent _cat_."

The sugar-mills, stables of mules, boilers, coolers, etcetera, were all
examined, and the party returned to the plantation house.

"Well, captain, now you have witnessed what is termed slavery, what is
your opinion?  Are your philanthropists justified in their invectives
against us?"

"First assure me that all other plantations are as well regulated as
your own," replied Mr Berecroft.

"If not, they soon will be: it is the interest of all the planters that
they should; and by that, like all the rest of the world, they will be
guided."

"But still there have been great acts of cruelty committed; quite enough
to prepossess us against you as a body."

"I grant that such has been the case, and may occasionally be so now;
but do not the newspapers of England teem with acts of barbarity?  Men
are the same every where.  But, sir, it is the misfortune of this world,
that we never know _when to stop_.  The abolition of the slave-trade was
an act of humanity, worthy of a country acting upon an extended scale
like England; but your philanthropists, not content with relieving the
blacks, look forward to the extermination of their own countrymen, the
whites--who, upon the faith and promise of the nation, were induced to
embark their capital in these islands."

"Doubtless they wish to abolish slavery altogether," replied Berecroft.

"They must be content with having abolished the horrors of it, sir,"
continued the planter.  "At a time when the mart was open, and you could
purchase another slave to replace the one that had died from ill
treatment, or disease, the life of a slave was not of such importance to
his proprietor as it is now.  Moreover, the slaves imported were adults
who had been once free; and torn as they were from their natural soil
and homes, where they slept in idleness throughout the day, they were
naturally morose and obstinate, sulky and unwilling to work.  This
occasioned severe punishment; and the hearts of their masters being
indurated by habit, it often led to acts of barbarity.  But slavery,
since the abolition, has assumed a milder form--it is a species of
_bond_ slavery.  There are few slaves in existence who have not been
born upon the estates, and we consider that they are more lawfully
ours."

"Will you explain what you mean by _more lawfully_?"

"I mean captain (for instance), that the father of that boy (pointing to
one of the negro lads who waited at breakfast), was my slave; that he
worked for me until he was an old man, and then I supported him for many
years, until he died.  I mean, that I took care of this boy's mother,
who, as she bore children, never did any work after her marriage, and
has since been only an expense to me, and probably will continue to be
so for some years.  I mean, that that boy was taken care of, and fed by
me until he was ten years old, without my receiving any return for the
expense which I incurred; and I therefore consider that he is indebted
to me as a bond, slave, and that I am entitled to his services; and he
in like manner, when he grows too old to work, will become a pensioner,
as his father was before him."

"I perceive the drift of your argument; you do not defend slavery
generally."

"No; I consider a man born free and made a slave, is justified in
resorting to any means to deliver himself; but a slave that I have
reared is lawfully a slave, and bound to remain so, unless he can repay
me the expense I have incurred.  But dinner is ready, captain; if you
wish to argue the matter further, it must be over a bottle of claret."

The dinner was well dressed, and the Madeira and claret (the only wines
produced), of the best quality.  Their host did the honours of his table
with true West Indian hospitality, circulating the bottle after dinner
with a rapidity which would soon have produced an effect upon less
prudent visitors; and when Mr Berecroft refused to take any more wine,
he ordered the ingredients for arrack punch.

"Now, Mr Forster, you must take a tumbler of this, and I think that
you'll pronounce it excellent."

"Indeed--!" replied Newton.

"Nay, I will take no denial; don't be afraid; you may do any thing you
please in this climate, only be temperate, and don't check the
perspiration."

"Well, but," observed Newton, who placed the tumbler of punch before
him, "you promised to renew your argument after dinner; and I should
like to hear what you have to urge in defence of a system which I never
have heard defended before."

"Well," replied his host, upon whom the wine and punch had begun to take
effect, "just let me fill my tumbler again to keep my lips moist, and
then I'll prove to you that slavery has existed from the earliest times,
and is not at variance with the religion we profess.  That it has
existed from the earliest times, you need only refer to the book of
Genesis; and that it is not at variance with our religion, I must refer
to the fourth commandment.  How can that part of the commandment be
construed, `and the stranger that is within thy gates?'  To whom can
this possibly apply but to the slave?  After directing, that the labour
of all the household, `man-servant and maid-servant,' should cease, it
then proceeds to the ox and the ass, and the stranger that is within thy
gates.  Now, gentlemen, this cannot be applied to the stranger in the
literal sense of the word, the hospitality of the age forbidding that
labour should be required of him.  At that time slaves were brought from
foreign lands, and were a source of traffic, as may be inferred by the
readiness with which the Ishmaelites purchased Joseph of his brethren,
and resold him in Egypt.

"Nay, that slavery was permitted by the _Almighty_ is fully proved by
the state of the Jewish nation, until _He_ thought proper to bring them
out of the house of bondage.

"If then the laws of God provided against the ill treatment of the
slave, slavery is virtually acknowledged, as not being contrary to his
divine will.  We have a further proof, _subsequent to the mission of our
Saviour_, that the Apostles considered slavery as lawful."

"I remember it: you refer to Paul sending back the runaway slave
Onesimus.  Well, I'll admit all this," replied Mr Berecroft, who had a
great dislike to points of Scripture being canvassed after dinner; "and
I wish to know what inference you would draw from it."

"That I was just coming to: I assert that my property in slaves is
therefore as legally mine as my property in land or money; and that any
attempt to deprive me of either is equally a _robbery_, whether it be
made by the nation, or by an individual.  But now, sir, allow me to ask
you a question; show me where liberty is?--Run over all the classes of
society, and point out one man who is free."

Mr Berecroft, who perceived the effect of the arrack punch, could not
refrain from laughing as he replied, "Well, your friend Mr Kingston, is
he not free?"

"Free! not half so free as that slave boy who stands behind your chair.
Why, he is a merchant, and whether he lives upon a scale of princely
expenditure, whether wholesale or retail, banker or proprietor of a
chandler's shop, he is a speculator.  Anxious days and sleepless nights
await upon speculation.  A man with his capital embarked, who may be a
beggar on the ensuing day, cannot lie down upon roses: he is the _slave_
of Mammon.  Who are greater _slaves_ than sailors?  So are soldiers, and
all who hold employ under government.  So are politicians; they are
_slaves_ to their tongues, for opinions once expressed, and parties once
joined, at an age when reason is borne down by enthusiasm, and they are
fixed for life against their conscience, and are unable to follow its
dictates without blasting their characters.  Courtiers are _slaves_ you
must acknowledge."

"I beg your pardon," interrupted Kingston, "but I perceive that you make
no distinction between those enthralled by their own consent, and
_against_ it."

"It is a distinction without a difference," replied the planter, "even
if it were so, which it is not, but in particular cases.  The fact is,
society enthralls us all.  We are forced to obey laws, to regard
customs, to follow the fashion of the day, to support the worthless by
poor-rates, to pay taxes, and the interest of a debt which others have
contracted, or we must go to prison."

"And the princes and rulers of the land--do you include them?" inquired
Newton.

"They are the greatest of all; for the meanest peasant has an advantage
over the prince in the point on which we most desire to be free--that of
the choice in his partner in life.  He _has none_, but must submit to
the wishes of his people, and trammelled by custom, must take to his bed
one whom he cannot take to his heart."

"Well, by your account there is nobody free, unless it be _Liberty_
herself."

"Why, sir," rejoined the planter, "to prove to you that I was correct
when I asserted that there was no such thing in this world as liberty,
paradoxical as it may appear, Liberty is but Liberty when in _bondage_.
Release her, and she ceases to exist; she has changed her nature and
character; for Liberty _unrestrained_ becomes _Licentiousness_."

"Well," said Mr Kingston, laughing with the rest at this curious
remark, "as you have now arrived at your climax, with your leave we will
go to bed."

"Have I convinced you?" demanded the planter, taking the tumbler from
his lips.

"At least you have silenced us.  Now, if you please, we will put on our
coats and retire to our apartments."

"Yes--do," replied the other, who was not very steady "do--or you may
check the perspiration.  Boy Jack, where are the lights?  Good night,
gentlemen."

The negro led the way to a large room with two beds in it, for Newton
and the master of the brig.  Having first pointed out to them that there
was a jug of sangoree, "suppose gentlemen thirsty," he wished them good
night, and left the room.

"Well, Newton," said Mr Berecroft as soon as they were alone, "what do
you think of the planter?"

"I think that, considering his constant advice to be temperate, he
swallowed a very large quantity of arrack punch."

"He did indeed; but what think you of his arguments?"

"I hardly can say, except that none of them were sufficiently convincing
to induce me to be a slave proprietor.  We may perhaps, as he asserts,
have contented ourselves with the shadow instead of the substance; but
even the shadow of liberty is to be venerated by an Englishman."

"I agree with you, my boy.  His discourse did however bring one idea
into my head; which is, that there is a remarkable connection between
religion and slavery.  It was in a state of bondage that the Jews were
prepared to receive the promised land, and whenever they fell off from
the true worship they were punished by captivity.  It was through the
means of slavery that the light of the true faith was first brought to
our island, where it has burnt with a purer flame than elsewhere; for,
if you recollect, the beauty of some English children exposed for sale
at Rome, assisted by a Latin pun, caused the introduction of
Christianity into Great Britain; and who knows but that this traffic, so
offensive to humanity, has been permitted by an All-wise Power with the
intent that some day it shall be the means of introducing Christianity
into the vast regions of African idolatry?"

"True," observed Newton, "and the time may not be far distant."

"That it is impossible to calculate upon.  _He_ worketh by his own
means, which are inscrutable.  It was not the cause of virtue, but a
desire that vice might be less trammelled, which introduced the
reformation in England.  The more we attempt to interfere with the
arrangements of the Almighty, the more we shall make evident our own
folly and blindness, and his unsearchable and immutable wisdom,--Good
night, my boy."

Newton Forster--by Captain Marryat



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER FIFTEEN.

  _Lucy_.
  Are all these wretches slaves?
  _Stanley_.
  All sold, they and their posterity, all slaves.
  _Lucy_.
  O! miserable fortune!
  _Bland_.
  Most of them know no better, but were
  Born so, and only change their masters.
  OROONOKO.

The party were up at an early hour on the ensuing morning, that they
might enjoy the delightful freshness of the air, which so soon
evaporates before the scorching rays of the tropical sun.  They were
joined at breakfast by the doctor who attended the estate, and who had
called in to announce the birth of a little negro boy in the early part
of the night.

"Who did you say, doctor?" answered the planter, "Mattee Sally?  Why, I
thought Jane Ascension was in advance of her."

"They were running it _neck and neck_, sir," replied the surgeon.

"How is she--quite hearty?"

"Quite, sir; but very anxious about the child's name, and requests to
speak with you as soon as you have breakfasted."

"We will go to her.  You have no idea," observed the planter to Mr
Berecroft and Newton, "what importance these people attach to the naming
of their children.  Nothing but a fine long name will satisfy them.  I
really believe, that if I refused her, or called the boy Tom, she would
eat dirt.  I believe we have all done; Boy Jack, bring the sangoree.
Doctor, I dare say that your clay wants moistening, so take the first
pull."

This important commencement and finale to the repast having been duly
administered, they proceeded to the range of buildings before mentioned,
in one of which they found the lady _in the straw_, sitting up, and
showing her white teeth at her master's approach, as if nothing very
particular had occurred.

"Well, Mattee, how are you?" said the planter.  "Where's the
piccaninny?"

"Ab um here, sar--keep im warm," replied the woman, pointing to a roll
of blanket, in which the little creature was enveloped.

"Let us see him, Mattee."

"No, sar, too cold yet--bye bye, massa, see um; make very fine sleep
now.--Suppose white piccaninny, suppose black piccaninny--all same,--
like plenty sleep.  Um know very well, hab plenty work to do bye and
bye--sleep all dey can, when lilly."

"But you'll smother him," observed Newton.

"Smoder him?--what dat--eh?--I know now massa mean, stop um breath.--No:
suppose him no smoder before, no smoder now, sar.  Massa," continued the
woman, turning to the planter, "no ab name for piccaninny?"

"Well, Mattee, we must find one; these gentlemen will give him a name.
Come, captain, what name do you propose?"

"Suppose we christen him _Snub_," replied Berecroft, winking at the
rest.

"Snob!  What sort a name you call dat, sar?" replied the woman, tossing
up her head.  "Snob! no, sar, you 'front me very much.  Snob not proper
name."

"Well, then Mr Forster," said the planter, "try if _you_ can be more
fortunate."

"What do you think of Chrononhotonthologus?" said Newton to the woman.

"Eh! what dat?--say dat again, sar," replied the woman.

"Chrononhotonthologus."

"Eh! dat real fine name for piccaninny," cried the woman, with delight
in her countenance.  "Many tanky, sar.  Chroton-polygarse."

"No, no," replied Newton, laughing; "Chrononho-tonthologus."

"Es, hab now--Hoten-tolyglass."

"No, that's only part.  Chronon-hoton-thologus."

"I see--very fine name--Proton-choton-polly-glass."

"Yes, that's nearer to it," replied Newton.

"Well, then, that point's settled," said the planter to the woman.  "Is
it all right, Mattee?"

"Es, massa; many tanks to gentleman--very fine name, do very well, sar."

"Doctor, put the name down opposite the register of the birth.  Now,
Mattee, all's right, good bye," said the planter, leaving the room, and
followed by the others.

"Do you really intend to call the child by that name?" inquired Mr
Berecroft.

"Why not? it pleases the woman, and is as good as any other; it is of no
consequence.  They almost all have names, certainly not quite so long as
the present; but, as they grow longer, their names grow shorter.  This
name will first be abbreviated to Chrony; if we find that too long, it
will be reduced again to Crow; which by the bye, is not bad name for a
negro," said the planter, laughing at the coincidence.

Reader, did you ever perchance, when in a farm-yard, observe hen or
other domestic fowl, who having pounced upon half a potato, or something
of the same description too large to be bolted down at once, tries to
escape with her prize, followed by all the rest, until she either drops
it or eludes their vigilance?  If so, you form some idea of a negro
woman, with a hard word in her mouth; which, although she does not know
the meaning of, she considers as an equal treasure.

Newton had turned round to the court-yard, in the centre of which
several women were sitting down at various employments; when one who had
been busied in some little offices for the woman whom they had just
visited, and had in consequence been present at the choice of the name,
took her seat with the party in question.  To several queries put to
her, she replied with extreme hauteur, as if she considered them as
impertinent, and frowned upon her companions most majestically.

After a short time she rose, and turning round, with the look of an
empress, said, "Now I shall go look after my Hoton-poton-polybass."

"Eh?" cried one, opening her eyes in wonder.

"What dat?" screamed another.

"How you call dat long ting?" demanded a third.

"Eh! you stupid black tings," replied the proud possessor of the new
word, with a look of ineffable scorn, "you no know what um call
Poton-hoton-poll-fuss.  Me _no tell_ you," continued she, as she walked
away, leaving the others almost _white_ with envy and astonishment.

Shortly after this Mr Kingston with his party took their leave of the
hospitable old planter, and commenced their return to Bridgetown.  They
had not proceeded further than a quarter of a mile when, ascending
little hill, Newton discovered that a negro was assisting his own ascent
by hanging on to the tail of his mule.

"How you do this morning, sar!" said the man, grinning, as Newton looked
round.

"I'm very well, sir, I thank you; but I'm afraid I shall not be able to
keep up with the rest, if my mule has to pull you up hill, as well as
carry me."

"Es, sar, mule go faster.  Massa not understand; mule very obstinate,
sar.  Suppose you want go one way, he go anoder--suppose you pull him
back by tail, he go on more."

"Well, if that's the case you may hold on.  Do you belong to the
plantation?"

"No, sar, me free man.  Me work there; carpenter, sar."

"A carpenter!  How did you learn your trade, and obtain your freedom?"

"Larn trade board man-of-war, sar--man-of-war make me free."

Mr Berecroft, who had been listening to the colloquy, took up the
discourse.

"Were you born in this country?"

"No, sar! me Ashantee man."

"Then how did you come here?"

"Why, sar, ab very fine battle in Ashantee country.  Take me and send me
down to coast; sell me for slave.  Go on board French schooner--English
frigate take schooner, send me to Sarra Leon."

"Well, what did you do there?"

"Bind 'prentice, sar, to Massa Cawly, for farteen years--all de same as
slave; work very hard; yam bad; plenty fever in that country--much
better here."

"Then how did you get away from Sierra Leon?"

"Go to sleep one day in de bush--tieves come steal me, take me down to
coast, sell me again."

"Well, where did you go then?"

"Bard schooner again, sar.  Another man-of-war take schooner in West
Indies; send her in prize.  Keep and some on board becase want hands;
keep me, becase speak little English."

"How did you like a man-of-war?" inquired Newton.

"Man-of-war very fine place; but all slaves there--captain steal men
every ship he come to.  But sailor no tink so; ebery night we all sing--
Britong nebber, nebber, nebber, will be slave.  Make me laugh, sar,"
continued the man, showing his teeth with a broad grin.

"What was the frigate's name?"

"Very fine name, sar, call her Daddy Wise," [_Dedaigneuse_, we suppose.]

"How long were you on board of her?"

"Far year, sar; larn carpenter trade--go to England--pay off--get plenty
money--come out here in marchant vessel--England very fine place, too
much cold," said the negro, shuddering the bare recollection.

"Now tell me," said Kingston, "of course you recollect being in your own
country?--Which do you like best--that or this?"

"Ashantee very good country--Barbadoes very good country.  Ashantee
nebber work, hab no money--here plenty work, plenty money."

"Well, but where would you rather be, here or there?"

"Don't know, sar.  Like to find country where no work, plenty money."

"Not singular in his opinion," observed Newton.

"Men do all work here, sar: women only talk," continued the negro.  "My
country, men nebber work at all--women do all work, and feed men."

"Then what does the man do?" inquired Berecroft.

"Man, sar," replied the negro proudly, "man go fight--go kill."

"Is that all?"

"Yes, sar, that all."

"So, you then mean to say, that if you could go back to Ashantee now,
you would remain there?"

"Yes, sar, stay there--do no work--sleep all day--make women feed me."

"How inveterate is early habit!" observed Mr Berecroft.  "This man,
although free in a civilised country, would return to his idleness and
resume his former ignorance."

"And so would every slave not born in the country.  It requires one or
two generations to destroy this savage nature," replied Kingston.  "I
believe idleness, like gout, to be an hereditary disease, either in
black or white; I have often observed it in the latter.  Now, until man
labours there is no chance of civilisation; and, improved as the race of
Africa have been in these islands, I still think that if manumitted,
they would all starve.  In their own country nature is so bountiful that
little or no labour is required for the support of life; but in these
islands the soil, although luxuriant, must be nurtured."

"You do then look forward to their ultimate freedom?" inquired Newton.

"Most assuredly.  Already much has been done, and if not persecuted, we
should be able and willing to do much more."

"The public mind in England is certainly much inflamed against you,"
said Berecroft.

"It is; or rather, I should say, the more numerous public composed of
those persons unable to think for themselves, and in consequence, led by
others, styling themselves philanthropists, but appearing to have very
jesuitical ideas with regard to truth.  This I have no hesitation in
asserting, that if philanthropy had not been found to have been so very
profitable, it never would have had so many votaries: true philanthropy,
like charity, begins at home.  Observe how the papers teem with the
misery of the lower classes in England, yet this affects not the West
India philanthropist.  You perceive not their voices raised in behalf of
their suffering countrymen.  They pass the beggar in the street; they
heed not the cry of starvation at home; but every where raise petitions
for emancipation; or, in fact, for the destruction of the property of
others.  That it is an invidious property, I grant, and I wish I could
dispose of mine; but that is not so easy.  My ancestors embarked their
capital in these islands upon the faith and promises of the country,
when opinions were very different from what they are now, and I cannot
help myself.  How the time will come when England will bitterly rue the
having listened to the suggestions and outcries of these interested
people."

"I do not understand you:--How do you mean?"

"I said before, that it was on the faith of the country that we embarked
our property in these islands.  You are not perhaps aware, that when in
the reign of Queen Anne the Assiento treaty was made, by which we
obtained the privilege of supplying all the islands with slaves, it was
considered as one of the most important acquisitions that could be
obtained.  Public opinion has now changed; but if a nation changes her
opinion, she must at the same time be just.  Let the country take our
estates and negroes at a fair valuation, and we shall be most happy to
surrender them.  If she frees the slaves without so doing, she is guilty
of robbery and injustice, and infringes on the constitution of the
country, which protects all property, and will of course allow us to
decide upon our own measures."

"May I inquire what those would be?"

"Throwing off the yoke, declaring ourselves independent, and putting
ourselves under the protection of America, who will gladly receive us,
aware that we shall be a source not only of wealth but of security."

"Would America risk a war to obtain these islands?"

"She would be foolish not to do so; and England would be more than
foolish to engage in one.  It is true, that if not immediately supported
by America, England might create a scene of confusion and bloodshed in
the colonies; but the world has too often had the severe lesson, that
colonies once detaching themselves are never to be regained.  England
would therefore be only entailing an useless expense, however gratifying
it might be to her feelings of revenge."

"But do you think that this is likely to occur?"

"I do, most certainly, if those who govern continue to listen to the
insidious advice of the party denominated `Saints;' and I afraid that it
will not be until these islands are separated from the mother-country,
that she will appreciate their value.  Our resolution once formed, white
slaves (for slaves we are) will not flinch; and the islands of the
Caribbean Sea will be enrolled as another star, and add another stripe
to the independent flag, which is their natural protector."

"I trust that will never come to pass."

"And so do I, Mr Berecroft, for I am an Englishman, and love my
country, and the loss of these colonies would be blow from which England
would never recover."

"You forget her extensive colonies in the East."

"I do not; but the West Indies add to her wealth and her commercial
prosperity, to her nursery of seamen and her exhausted revenue.  They,
on the contrary, add only to her grandeur, for they cost the country
three millions a year; and I doubt whether at that expense it is worth
while to retain any colony, however vast and extensive it may be.  I
consider, that if the East India ports were open to all the world, and
the territory governed by its former princes, England, with all the
competition which would take place, would yet be a gainer; and, on the
other hand, I know that by the loss of these islands, she would find a
decrease of millions in her revenue."

"Then the philanthropists must pay the national debt," observed Newton,
laughing.

"They be damned!" replied Kingston, who was warm with his argument;
"they would not pay a farthing."



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER SIXTEEN.

  The sea-breach'd vessel can no longer bear
  The floods that o'er her burst in dread career.
  The labouring hull already seems half fill'd
  With water, through an hundred leaks distill'd:
  Thus drench'd by every wave, her riven deck,
  Stript and defenceless, floats a naked wreck.
  FALCONER.

Newton remained at Bridgetown, under the roof of Mr Kingston, for more
than three weeks, by which time the brig was laden, and waiting for
convoy to proceed to England.

Mr Berecroft had made every preparation for his voyage, when an
unexpected circumstance occurred, which eventually proved the occasion
of great hardship and danger to Newton.  This was, the master of a large
ship, belonging to the same owners, and then lying in Carlisle Bay, to
proceed homeward by the same convoy, had so ingratiated himself with a
wealthy widow residing upon the island, that rather than he should again
trust himself to the fickle element, she had been induced to surrender
up to him her plantation, her negroes, and her fair self, all equally
bound to honour and obey through their future lives.

Mr Berecroft, in consequence of this resignation of his brother
captain, was appointed to the command of the larger vessel; and Jackson,
the first-mate, ordered to take the command of the Eliza and Jane.  This
was a sad blow to Newton, and one which he could not avoid, as Mr
Berecroft could not take him in his new ship, all the sub ordinate
situations being already filled up.

At first, he was inclined to quit the brig; but by the advice of Mr
Berecroft and Kingston, he was persuaded to go the passage home, as he
was now first-mate of the vessel, and would incur forfeiture of all
wages if he broke the articles which he had signed at Liverpool.
Unpleasant as the prospect was, he was further induced by Berecroft's
assurance, that now Jackson was provided for, he would arrange with the
owners that Newton should be appointed the first-mate of his own ship,
as soon as they arrived in England.

In a few days the men-of-war made their appearance.  Newton who had
remained on shore until the last moment, shook hands with his friendly
patron, and thanking Mr Kingston for his kindness, went on board of the
vessel with a sorrowful and foreboding heart.

Nor was he at all inclined to cheer up as he stepped on the deck of the
brig, and beheld Jackson with a handspike, still brandishing over his
head, standing across the body of one of the seamen, whom he had just
dashed to the deck with the implement in his hand.  At the sight of
Newton, the wrath of the new captain appeared to be increased.  He eyed
him malevolently, and then observed with a sneer, "that's what all
skulkers may expect on board of my vessel."

Newton made no answer, and Jackson went forward, where the remainder of
the crew were heaving up the anchor with the windlass.  Newton walked up
to the seaman, who appeared still insensible, and examined him.  The
iron plate at the end of the handspike had cut deep into the skull, and
there was every appearance of a contusion of the brain.

Calling the boy who attended the cabin, Newton, with his assistance,
carried the man below and laid him in his berth.  He then repaired on
deck, and took the helm, the anchor of the brig being a-trip.  In a
quarter of an hour the sail was on her, and she followed the course
steered by the men-of-war, who were about to run through the other
islands, and pick up several vessels, who were for their protection.

"If you expect an easy berth, as first-mate, you are mistaken, my
joker," said Jackson to Newton, as he steered the vessel; "you've
skulked long enough, and shall now work double tides, or take the
consequence.  If you don't, I'll be damned!"

"I shall do my duty, Mr Jackson," replied Newton, "and fear no
consequences."

"Indeed! you saw how I settled a skulk just now;--beware of his fate!"

"I neither anticipate it nor fear it, Mr Jackson.  If it comes to hand
spikes, two can play at that game.  I rather think that before many
hours are over you will be sorry for your violence, for I believe that
man to be in considerable danger.  Even now, I should recommend you to
demand surgical assistance from the frigate."

"Demand it, if you dare--I am captain of this ship, sir.  The rascal may
die and be damned!"

To this disgusting speech Newton made no reply.  He had made up his mind
to put up with every thing short of downright aggression, and for three
days more, he obeyed all orders, however arbitrary and however annoying.
During this period the man who had been injured became gradually worse;
his illness increased rapidly, and on the fifth day he became delirious
and in a state of high fever, when Newton again pointed out the
propriety of asking surgical aid from one of the men-of-war.  This
suggestion was answered by Jackson, who was now really alarmed, with a
volley of oaths and execrations, ending with a fiat refusal.  The crew
of the brig murmured, and collected together forward, looking
occasionally at the men-of-war as they spoke in whispers to each other;
but they were afraid of Jackson's violence, and none ventured to speak
out.  Jackson paced the deck in a state of irritation and excitement as
he listened to the ravings of his victim, which were loud enough to be
heard all over the vessel.  As the evening closed, the men, taking the
opportunity of Jackson's going below, went up to Newton, who was walking
aft, and stated their determination that the next morning, whether the
master consented to it or not, they would hail the frigate, and demand
surgical assistance for their shipmate.  In the midst of the colloquy
Jackson, who hearing the noise overhead of the people coming aft, had a
suspicion of the cause, and had been listening at the bottom of the
ladder to what was said, came up the hatchway, and accusing Newton of
attempting to raise a mutiny, ordered him immediately to his cabin,
stating his intention of sending him on board of the frigate the next
morning to be placed in confinement.

"I shall obey your order," replied Newton, "as you are in command of
this vessel.  I only hope that you will adhere to your resolution of
communicating with the frigate."  So saying, he descended the companion
hatch.

But Jackson, who, both from the information of the cabin-boy, and the
fact that the incoherent ravings of his victim became hourly more
feeble, thought himself in jeopardy, had no such intention.  As the
night closed in, he remained on deck gradually taking off first one sail
and then another, until the brig was left far astern of the rest of the
convoy, and the next morning there was no other vessel in sight; then,
on pretence of rejoining them, he made all sail, at the same time
changing his course, so as to pass between two of the islands.  Newton
was the only one on board who understood navigation besides Jackson, and
therefore the only one who could prove that he was escaping from the
convoy.  He was in confinement below; and the men, whatever may have
been their suspicions, could not prove that they were not steering as
they ought.

About twelve o'clock on that day the poor sailor breathed his last.
Jackson, who was prepared for the event, had already made up his mind
how to proceed.  The men murmured, and proposed securing Jackson as a
prisoner, and offering the command to Newton.  They went below and made
the proposal to him; but he refused, observing that until it was proved
by the laws of the land that Jackson had murdered their shipmate, he was
not guilty, and therefore they had no right to dispossess him of his
command; and until their evidence could be taken by some of the
authorities he must remain; further pointing out to them, that as he
could be seized immediately upon his arrival at an English port, or
falling in with a man-of-war during their passage, the ends of justice
would be equally answered, as if they committed themselves by taking the
law into their own hands.

The men, although not satisfied, acquiesced, and returned to their duty
on deck.  Jackson's conduct towards them was now quite altered; he not
only treated them with lenity, but supplied them with extra liquor and
other indulgences, which, as captain, he could command.  Newton,
however, he still detained under an arrest, watching him most carefully
each time that he was necessitated to come on deck.  The fact was,
Jackson, aware that his life would be forfeited to the laws of his
country, had resolved to wreck the brig, upon one of the reefs to the
northward, then take to his boats, and escape to one of the French
islands.  At this instigation, the body of the man had been thrown
overboard by some of the crew, when they were in a state of half
intoxication.

Newton, who had been below four days, had retired as usual to his
hammock, when a sudden shock, accompanied by the fall of the masts by
the board, woke him from a sound sleep to all the horrors of shipwreck.
The water pouring rapidly through the sides of the vessel, proved to him
that there was no chance of escape except by the boats.  The shriek, so
awful when raised in the gloom of night by seamen anticipating immediate
death, the hurried footsteps above him, the confusion of many voices,
with the heavy blows from the waves against the side of the vessel, told
him that danger was imminent, even if escape were possible.  He drew on
his trousers, and rushed to the door of his cabin.  Merciful Heaven!
what was his surprise, his horror, to find that it was fastened outside.
A moment's thought at the malignity of the wretch (for it was indeed
Jackson, who, during the night, had taken such steps for his
destruction) was followed by exertions to escape.  Placing his shoulders
against his sea-chest, and his feet against the door, his body in nearly
a horizontal position, he made a violent effort to break open the door.
The lock gave way, but the door did not open more than one or two
inches, for Jackson to make sure had coiled down against it a hawser
which lay a few yards further forward in the steerage, the weight of
which the strength of no five men could remove.  Maddened with the idea
of perishing by such treachery, Newton again exerted his frantic efforts
again and again without success.  Between each pause, the voices of the
seamen asking for the oars and other articles belonging to the long
boat, proved to him that every moment of delay was a _nail_ in his
coffin.  Again and again were his efforts repeated with almost
superhuman strength; but the door remained fixed as ever.  At last, it
occurred to him that the hawser, which he had previously ascertained by
passing his hand through the small aperture which he had made, might
only lay against the lower part of the door, and that the upper part
might be _free_.  He applied his strength above, and found the door to
yield: by repeated attempts he at last succeeded in kicking the upper
panels to pieces, and having forced his body through the aperture,
Newton rushed on deck with the little strength he had remaining.

The men--the boat--were not there: he hailed, but they heard him not; he
strained his eyes--but they had disappeared in the gloom of the night;
and Newton, overcome with exhaustion and disappointment, fell down
senseless on the deck.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER SEVENTEEN.

  _Paladore_.
  I have heard,
  Have read bold fables of enormity,
  Devised to make men wonder, and confirm
  The abhorrence of our nature; but this hardness
  Transcends all fiction.
  LAW OF LOMBARDY.

We must now relate what had occurred on deck during the struggle of
Newton to escape from his prison.  At one o'clock, Jackson had
calculated that in an hour, or less, the brig would strike on the reef.
He took the helm from the man who was steering, and told him that he
might go below.  Previous to this, he had been silently occupied in
coiling the hawser before the door of Newton's cabin, it being his
intention to desert the brig, with the seamen, in the long boat, and
leave Newton to perish.  When the brig dashed upon the reef, which she
did with great violence, and the crew hurried upon deck, Jackson, who
was calm, immediately proceeded to give the orders which he had already
arranged in his mind; and the coolness with which they were given
quieted the alarm of the seamen, and allowed them time to recall their
scattered senses.  This, however, proved unfortunate to Jackson.  Had
they all hurried in the boat at once, and shoved off; he would in all
probability have been permitted to go with them, and Newton in the hurry
of their self-preservation, would have been forgotten; but his cool
behaviour restored their confidence, and, unhappily for him, gave the
seamen time to reflect.  Every one was in the boat; for Jackson had
quietly prepared and put into her what he considered requisite, when one
of the men called out for Newton.

"Damn Newton now!--save your own lives, my lads.  Quick in the boat, all
of you."

"Not without Mr Newton!" cried the men, unanimously.  "Jump down, Tom
Williams, and see where he is; he must sleep devilish sound."

The sailor sprung down the companion hatch, where he found the hawser
coiled against the door, and heard Newton struggling inside.  It was
enough.  He hastened on deck, and told his companions; adding, that "it
would take half an hour to get the poor fellow out, and that's longer
than we dare stay, for in ten minutes the brig will be to pieces."

"It is you, you murdering rascal, who did it!" cried the man to Jackson.
"I tell you what, my lads, if poor Mr Newton is to die, let this
scoundrel keep him company."

A general shout proclaimed the acquiescence of the other seamen in this
act of retributive justice.  Jackson, with a loud oath, attempted to
spring into the boat, but was repelled by the seamen; again he made the
attempt, with dreadful imprecations.  He was on the plane-sheer of the
brig, and about to make a spring, when a blow from a handspike (the same
handspike with which he had murdered the unfortunate seaman) struck him
senseless, and he fell back into the lee-scuppers.  The boat then shoved
off, and had not gained more than two cables' lengths from the vessel,
when Newton effected his escape and ran on deck, as narrated in our last
chapter.

The brig had now beat up so high on the reef, that she remained firmly
fixed upon it; and the tide having ebbed considerably, she was less
exposed to the beating of the waves.  The sun was also about to make his
appearance, and it was broad daylight when Jackson first came to his
recollection.  His brain whirled, his ideas were confused, and he had
but a faint reminiscence of what had occurred.  He felt that the water
washed his feet, and with a sort of instinct he rose, and staggered up
to windward.  In so doing, without perceiving him, he stumbled over the
body of Newton, who also was roused up by the shock.  A few moments
passed before either could regain his scattered senses; and, at the same
time, both sitting up on the deck, at about a yard distant, they
discovered and recognised each other.

Newton was the more collected of the two, for Jackson's insensibility
had been occasioned by bodily--his, by mental concussion.  The effect of
the blow was still felt by Jackson; and although recovered from the
stupor, a dull, heavy sensation affected his eyesight and confused his
ideas.

The sight of Newton went far to recover Jackson, who started up as if to
grapple with the object of his hatred.  Newton was on his legs at the
same moment, and retreating, seized upon the handspike which lay on the
deck, close to where Jackson had been struck down, and placed himself in
an attitude of defence.  Not a word was exchanged between them.  They
remained a few minutes in this position, when Jackson, whose brain was
affected by the violence of his feelings, dropped down upon the deck in
a renewed state of insensibility.

Newton had now time to look about him, and the prospect was any thing
but cheering.  It was almost low water, and in every direction he
perceived reefs of coral rock, and large banks of sand, with deep
channels between them, through which the tide flowed rapidly.  The reef
upon which the brig had been grounded was of sharp coral; and, in the
deeper parts, the trees could be discerned, extending a submarine forest
of boughs; but it was evident that the reef upon which the vessel lay
was, as well as most of the others, covered at high water.  As a means
of escape, a small boat was still hanging over the stern, which Newton
was able to manage either with her sails or her oars, as might be
required.

As there was no time to be lost, and the only chance of escape remained
with the boat, Newton commenced his arrangements.  The mast and sails
were found, and the latter bent;--a keg was filled with water,--a
compass taken out of the binnacle,--a few pieces of beef, and some bread
collected in a bag, and thrown in.  He also procured some bottles of
wine and cider from the cabin: these he stowed away carefully in the
little locker, which was fitted under the stern-sheets of the boat.  In
an hour every thing was ready; and throwing into her some pieces of
spare rope, and a small grapnel to anchor with, there being still
sufficient water alongside to float her, Newton gradually lowered one
tackle and then another, until the boat was safe in the water.  He then
hauled her up alongside, made her fast by the painter, and stepped her
mast.

All was now ready--but to leave Jackson to be washed away by the
returning tide, when the brig would unquestionably go to pieces?--Newton
could not do it.  True, he had sought his life, and still displayed the
most inveterate rancour towards him; and Newton felt convinced that no
future opportunity would occur, that his enemy would not profit by, to
insure his destruction.  Yet to leave him--a murderer!--with all his
sins upon his soul, to be launched so unprepared into the presence of an
offended Creator!--it was impossible--it was contrary to his nature, and
to the religion which he professed.  How could he hope for the Divine
assistance in his perilous undertaking, when he embarked on it,
regardless of the precept to forgive his enemy?

Newton ascended to that part of the deck where Jackson laid, and roused
him.  Jackson awoke, as from a deep sleep, and then stared at Newton,
who, as a precaution held the handspike in his hand.

"Mr Jackson," said Newton, "I have roused you to let you know that the
boat is now ready, and that I am going to shove off."

Jackson, who recollected the scene of the previous night, and perceived
Newton standing over him with the handspike, appeared wholly unnerved.
In point of muscular power, Newton was his superior, independent of the
weapon in his possession.

"Not without me!--not without me!" cried Jackson, raising himself upon
his knees.  "For mercy's sake, Mr Newton, do not leave me to this
horrid death!"

"You would have left me to one even more dreadful," replied Newton.

"I beg your pardon!--Pardon me, Mr Newton, I was drunk at the time--
indeed I was.  I don't know what I do when I'm in liquor.--Don't leave
me!--I'll obey your orders, and do any thing you wish!--I'll wait upon
you as your servant!--I will indeed, Mr Newton!"

"I neither ask that you will obey my orders, nor wait upon me," replied
Newton.  "All I request is, that you will lay aside your wanton
animosity, and exert yourself to save your life.  For what you have
already attempted against me, may God forgive you, as I do!  For what
you may hereafter attempt, you will find me prepared.  Now follow into
the boat."

Without further exchange of words Newton, followed by Jackson, went into
the boat, and shoved off.  The weather was moderate and the wind light.
There were two islets which Newton had marked, which apparently were not
covered at high water, one about ten miles distant in the supposed
direction of the land, for Newton had shrewdly guessed the locality of
the reef; and the other about two miles from the first, further out,
with trees growing to the water's edge.  To this latter, Newton proposed
pulling, and waiting there until the next morning.  When they were both
in the boat, Newton finding that the wind was contrary, unshipped the
mast, and taking the foremost oar, that Jackson might not sit behind
him, desired him to take the other.  The tide, which was now flood, and
swept out to the southward, obliged them to pull at an angle to reach
their intended destination.  It was not until sunset that, with great
exertion, they fetched the island nearest to the land, not the one that
was covered with trees, as they had its tended.  As soon as the boat was
secured, exhausted with fatigue, they both threw themselves down on the
sand, where they remained for some time.  Having recovered a little,
Newton procured from the boat some of the supplies which they required,
and after satisfying their hunger in silence, they both lay down to
repose.  Newton, who was still afraid of Jackson's diabolical enmity,
which his silence implied to be again at work, closed his eyes, and
pretended for some time to be asleep.  As soon as it was dark, he rose,
and first listening to the breathing of his comrade, who appeared to be
in a sound slumber, he walked away from him about one hundred yards, so
that it would be difficult to find him; he placed the handspike under
his head for a pillow, and worn out with; mental and bodily fatigue, was
soon in a state of oblivion.

His sleep, although profound for three or four hours was subsequently
restless.  The mind, when agitated, watches for the body, and wakes it
at the time when it should be on the alert.  Newton woke up: it was not
yet daylight, and all was hushed.  He turned round, intending to get up
immediately; yet, yielding to the impulse of wearied nature, he again
slumbered.  Once he thought that he heard a footstep, roused himself,
and listened; but all was quiet and still, except the light wave
rippling on the sand.  Again he was roused by a sort of grating noise;
he listened, and all was quiet.  A third time he was roused by a sound
like the flapping of a sail: he listened--he was sure of it, and he
sprung upon his feet.  It was dawn of day, and as he turned his eyes
towards the beach, he perceived to his horror that the boat was indeed
under sail, Jackson, who was in it, then just hauling aft the mainsheet,
and steering away from the island.  Newton ran to the beach, plunged
into the sea, and attempted to regain the boat; but he was soon out of
his depth, and the boat running away fast through the water.  He shouted
to Jackson, as a last attempt.  The scoundrel waved his hand in ironical
adieu, and continued his course.

"Treacherous villain!" mentally exclaimed Newton, as his eyes followed
the boat.  "Was it for this that I preserved your life in return for
your attempts on mine?  Here then must I die of starvation!--God's will
be done!" exclaimed he aloud, as he sat down on the beach, and covered
his face with his hands.



VOLUME ONE, CHAPTER EIGHTEEN.

  For now I stand as one upon a rock,
  Environed with a wilderness of sea,
  Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,
  Expecting ever when some envious surge
  Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
  SHAKESPEARE.

The tide was on the ebb when Newton was left in this desolate situation.
After some minutes passed in bitterness of spirit, his natural courage
returned; and although the chance of preservation was next to hopeless,
Newton rose up, resolved that he would use his best efforts, and trust
to Providence for their success.  His first idea was to examine the
beach, and see if Jackson had left him any portion of the provisions
which he had put into the boat; but there was nothing.  He then walked
along the beach, following the receding tide, with the hope of
collecting any shell-fish which might be left upon the sands; but here
again he was disappointed.  It was evident, therefore, that to stay on
this islet was to starve; his only chance appeared to remain in his
capability of reaching the islet next to it, which, as we have before
mentioned, was covered with trees.  There, at least, he might find some
means of sustenance, and be able with the wood to make a raft, if
nothing better should turn up in his favour.

The tide swept down towards the islet, but it ran so strong that there
was no chance of his being carried past it; he therefore determined to
wait for an hour or two, until the strength of the current was
diminished, and then make the attempt.  This interval was passed in
strengthening his mind against the horror of the almost positive death
which stared him in the face.

It was about an hour before low water that Newton walked into the sea,
and commending himself to Providence, struck out for the islet, keeping
his course well to windward, to allow for the tide sweeping him down.
To use a nautical phrase, he "held his own" extremely well, until he
reached the centre of the channel, where the water ran with great
velocity, and bore him down rapidly with the stream.  Newton struggled
hard; for he was aware that the strength of the current once passed, his
labour would be comparatively easy; and so it proved: as he neared the
shore of the islet, he made good way; but he had been carried down so
far when in the centre of the stream, that it became a nice point, even
to the calculation of hope, whether he would fetch the extreme point of
the islet.  Newton redoubled his exertions, when, within thirty yards of
the shore an eddy assisted him, and he made sure of success; but when
within ten yards, a counter current again caught him, and swept him
down.  He was now abreast of the very extreme point of the islet; a bush
that hung over the water was his only hope; with three or four desperate
strokes he exhausted his remaining strength, at the same time that he
seized hold of a small bough, It was decayed--snapped asunder, and
Newton was whirled away by the current into the broad ocean.

How constantly do we find people running into real danger to avoid
imaginary evil!  A mother will not permit her child to go to sea, lest
it should be drowned, and a few days afterwards it is kicked to death by
a horse.  Had the child been permitted to go afloat, he might have lived
and run through the usual term of existence.  Wherever we are, or
wherever we may go, there is death awaiting us in some shape or another,
sooner or later; and there is as much danger in walking through the
streets of London as in ploughing the foaming ocean.  Every tile over
our heads contains a death within it, as certain if it were to fall upon
us, as that occasioned by the angry surge, which swallows us up in its
wrath.  I believe, after all, that as many sailors in proportion, run
out their allotted span as the rest of the world that are engaged in
other apparently less dangerous professions; although it must be
acknowledged that occasionally we do become food for fishes.  "There is
a tide in the affairs of men," says Shakespeare; but certainly, of all
the tides that ever interfered in a man's prospects, that which swept
away Newton Forster appeared to be the least likely to "lead to
fortune."  Such however was the case.  Had Newton gained the islet which
he coveted, he would have perished miserably; whereas it will soon
appear, that although his sufferings are not yet ended, his being
carried away was the most fortunate circumstance which could have
occurred, and proved the means of his ultimate preservation.

Newton had resigned himself to his fate.  He ceased from further
exertion, except such as was necessary to keep him above water a little
longer.  Throwing himself on his back, he appealed to Heaven for pardon,
as he floated away with the stream.  That Newton had as few errors and
follies to answer for as most people, is most certain; yet even the most
perfect soon run up a long account.  During our lives our sins are
forgotten, as is the time at which they were committed; but when death
is certain, or appears to be so, it is then that the memory becomes most
horribly perfect, and each item of our monstrous bill requires but a few
seconds to be read, and to be acknowledged as too correct.  This is the
horror of death; this it is which makes the body struggle to retain the
soul, already pluming herself and rustling her wings, impatient for her
flight.  This it is which constitutes the pang of separation, as the
enfeebled body gradually relaxes its hold, and--all is over, at least on
this side of the grave.

Newton's strength was exhausted; his eyes were fixed on the clear blue
sky, as if to bid it farewell; and, resigned to his fate, he was about
to give over the last few painful efforts, which he was aware could only
prolong, not save his life, when he received a blow on his shoulder
under the water.  Imagining that it proceeded from the tail of a shark,
or of some other of the ravenous monsters of the deep, which abound
among these islands, and that the next moment his body would be severed
in half, he uttered a faint cry at the accumulated horror of his death;
but the next moment his legs were swung round by the current, and he
perceived, to his astonishment, that he was aground upon one of the
sand-banks which abounded on the reef, and over which the tide was
running with the velocity of a sluice.  He floundered, then rose, and
found himself in about one foot of water.  The ebb-tide was nearly
finished, and this was one of the banks which never showed itself above
water, except during the full and change of the moon.  It was now about
nine o'clock in the morning, and the sun shone with great power.
Newton, faint from want of sustenance, hardly knew whether to consider
this temporary respite as an advantage.  He knew that the tide would
soon flow again, and felt that his strength was too much spent to enable
him to swim back to the islet which he had missed when he had attempted
to reach it, and which was more than two miles from the bank upon which
he then stood.  What chance had he then but to be swept away by the
return of the tide?  He almost regretted that it had not been a shark
instead of the sand-bank which had struck him; he would then have been
spared a few hours of protracted misery.

As Newton had foreseen, the ebb-tide was soon over; a short pause of
"slack water" ensued, and there was an evident and rapid increase of the
water around him; the wind too freshened, and the surface of the ocean
was in strong ripples.  As the water deepened, so did the waves increase
in size: every moment added to his despair.  He had now remained about
four hours on the bank! the water had risen to underneath his arms, the
waves nearly lifted him off his feet, and it was with difficulty that he
could retain his position.  Hope deserted him, and his senses became
confused.  He thought that he saw green fields, and cities, and
inhabitants.  His reason was departing: he saw his father coming down to
him with the tide, and called to him for help, when the actual sight of
something recalled him from his temporary aberration.  There was a dark
object upon the water, evidently approaching.  His respiration was
almost suspended as he watched its coming.  At last he distinguished
that it must either be a whale asleep, or a boat bottom up.  Fortunately
for Newton, it proved to be the latter.  At last it was brought down by
the tide to within a few yards of him, and appeared to be checked.
Newton dashed out towards the boat, and in a minute was safely astride
upon it.  As soon as he had recovered a little from his agitation, he
perceived that it was the very boat belonging to the brig, in which
Jackson had so treacherously deserted and left him on the island!

At three o'clock it was high water, and at five the water had again
retreated, so that Newton could quit his station on the bottom of the
boat, and walk round her.  He then righted, and discovered that the mast
had been carried away close to the step, but, with the sail, still
remained fast to the boat by the main sheet, which had jammed on the
belaying pin, so that it still was serviceable.  Every thing else had
been lost out of the boat, except the grapnel, which had been bent, and
which hanging down in the water, from the boat being capsized, had
brought it up when it was floated on the sand-bank.  Newton, who had
neither eaten nor drank since the night before, was again in despair,
tormented as he was by insufferable thirst, when he observed that the
locker under the stern-sheets was closed.  He hastened to pull it open,
and found that the bottles of wine and cider, which he had deposited
there, were remaining.  A bottle of the latter was soon poured down his
throat, and Newton felt as if restored to his former vigour.

At seven o'clock in the evening the boat was nearly high and dry.
Newton baled her out, and fixing the grapnel firmly in the sand, lay
down to sleep in the stern-sheets, covered over with the sail.  His
sleep was so sound, that he did not wake until six o'clock the next
morning, when the boat was again aground.  He refreshed himself with
some wine, and meditated upon his prospect.  Thanking Heaven for a
renewed chance of escape, and lamenting over the fate of the unprepared
Jackson, who had evidently been upset, from the main-sheet having been
jammed, Newton resolved to make for one of the English isles, which he
knew to be about two hundred miles distant.

The oars had been lost, but the rudder of the boat was fortunately made
fast by a pennant.  In the afternoon he drew up his grapnel, and made
sail in the direction, as well as he could judge from the position of
the sun, to the English isles.  As the night closed in, he watched the
stars, and steered his course by them.

The next day came, and, although the boat sailed well, and went fast
before a free wind, no land was in sight.  Newton had again recourse to
the cider and the wine.

The second night he could hardly keep his eyes open; yet, wearied as he
was, he still continued his course, and never quitted his helm.  The day
again dawned, and Newton's strength was gone, from constant watching;
still he bore up against it, until the sun had set.

No land was yet to be seen, and sleep overpowered him.  He took a hitch
of the main-sheet round his finger, that, should the breeze freshen he
might be roused, in case he should go to sleep; and having taken this
precaution, in a few minutes the boat _was steering herself_!

END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER ONE.

  But man, proud man,
  Dress'd in a little brief authority,
  Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
  His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
  Plays such fantastic tricks before high Heaven.
  SHAKESPEARE.

The reef upon which the brig had been wrecked was one of those extending
along the southward of the Virgin Isles.  Newton had intended to steer
well to the eastward, with the view of reaching one of the northernmost
English colonies; but not having a compass, he naturally was not very
equal in his course.  The fact was, that he steered well to the
southward of it, and after he fell asleep, the boat ran away still
farther off her course, for she was on the larboard tack, and having no
weight in her except Newton, who was aft in the stern-sheets, she did
not feel inclined to keep her wind.  Newton's sleep was so profound,
that neither the pulling of the main-sheet, which he held with a round
turn round his hand, nor the dancing of the boat, which during the night
had run fast before an increasing breeze, roused him from his lethargy.
On sailed the boat, left to the steerage of Providence; on slept Newton,
as if putting firm reliance on the same.  It was not until the break of
day that his repose was very abruptly broken by a shock, which threw him
from the stern-sheets of the boat, right over the aftermost thwart.
Newton recovered his legs and his senses, and found himself alongside of
a vessel.  He had run stem on to a small schooner, which was lying at
anchor.  As the boat was drifting fast by, Newton made a spring, and
gained the deck of the vessel.

"Ah! mon Dieu!--les Anglois--les Anglois nous sommes prisonniers!" cried
out the only man on deck, jumping on his feet, and making a precipitate
dive below.

The vessel, of which Newton had thus taken possession, was one employed
in carrying the sugars from the plantations round to Basseterre, the
port of Guadaloupe, there to be shipped for Europe (Newton's boat having
run away so far to the southward, as to make this island.)  She was
lying at anchor off the mouth of a small river, waiting for a cargo.

It happened that the crew of the schooner, who were all slaves, were
exactly in the same situation as Newton, when their vessels came in
contact; viz, fast asleep.  The shock had wakened them; but they were
all below, except the one who had kept such a remarkably good watch.

Exhausted as Newton was, he could not but smile at his uninterrupted
possession of the vessel's decks.  Anxious to have communication with
the people on board, he sat down, awaiting their coming up from below.
In a minute or two, a black head was seen to rise slowly and fearfully
out of the fore-scuttle, then it disappeared.  Another rose up, and went
down again as before; and thus it went on until Newton reckoned ten
different faces.  Having individually ascertained that there was but one
man, and that one not provided with any weapons, the negroes assumed a
degree of courage.  The first head that had made its appearance, the
woolly hair of which was of a grizzly grey from age, was again popped up
the fore-scuttle, with an interrogatory to Newton in French, who he was,
and what he wanted?  Newton, who did not understand a word of the
language, shook his head, and opening his hands and extending his arms,
to show that he had no means of defence, he beckoned to them to come up.
The man's head had again disappeared, and, after a little demur, nine
or ten negroes crawled up out of the fore-scuttle, one after another,
each with some weapon or another by way of security.  They remained on
the forecastle of the vessel until the last was up, and then at a nod
given by their grizzle-headed leader, they advanced aft, in a body,
towards Newton.  Newton rose and pointed to the boat, which had now
drifted about a quarter of a mile astern.  He then made signs, to give
them to understand that he had been wrecked.

"Apparemment c'est un pauvre miserable, qui a fait naufrage," observed
the old negro, who appeared to have the charge of the vessel; "Gustave
Adolphe, tu parles bien l'Anglois; demandez-lui les nouvelles,"
continued the old man, folding his arms across, and looking very _big_
indeed, as he reclined against the mainmast of the vessel.

Gustave Adolphe stood forward from the rest of the negroes.  He was a
short, fat, shiny-faced fellow, with his hair platted into about fifty
little tails.  He first bowed to his old commander, then placing his
arms akimbo, walked up to Newton, and looking him full in the face,
commenced his duty of interpreter; as follows:--

"I say--God dam--"

Newton smiled.

"Oui, monsieur, c'est un Anglois."

"Continuez, Gustave Adolphe," replied the old negro, with a majestic
air.

Gustave Adolphe, with another bow, resumed:

"I say--where com?"

"Barbadoes," replied Newton.

"Monsieur, il vient de Barbadoes."

"Continuez, Gustave Adolphe," replied his superior, with a wave of his
hand.

"I say--where go?"

"Where go?" replied Newton, "go to the bottom."

"Monsieur--il alloit au port de Bo---tom."

"Bo---tom," repeated the old negro.  "Ou diable est ca?"

Here a general consultation was held, by which it appeared that such a
port had never been heard of in the West Indies.

"Gustave Adolphe, demandez-lui si c'est un port Anglois."

"I say--Bo---tom--English port?"

"No," replied Newton, amused with the mistake; "I should rather call it
_neutral_."

"C'est un port neutral, monsieur."

"Gustave Adolphe, demandez-lui de quelle ile."

"I say, what isle--Bo---tom?"

Newton, who was faint with hunger and thirst, was not inclined at the
moment to continue the conversation, which otherwise would have been a
source of amusement.  He replied by making signs that he wished to eat
and drink.

"Monsieur," said Gustave Adolphe to the old negro, "le prisonnier refuse
de faire reponse, et demande a manger et a boire."

"Va l'en chercher, Gustave Adolphe," replied the old man.  "Allons,
messieurs," continued he, addressing the other negroes.  "Il faut lever
l'ancre de suite, et amener notre prisonnier aux autorites; Charles
Philippe, va chercher mon porte-voix."

The negro captain walked up and down the deck of the schooner, a vessel
about thirty feet long, until Charles Philippe made his appearance with
the speaking-trumpet.  He then proceeded to get the vessel under weigh,
with more noise and fuss than is to be heard when the proudest
three-decker in the English navy expands her lofty canvass to the gale.

Gustave Adolphe, in obedience to the commands he had received, brought
up to Newton a bunch of bananas, a large piece of salt fish, and a
calabash of water.  The latter was immediately applied to his lips, and
never removed while a drop remained, much to the astonishment of the
negro, who again sported his English.

"I say--very good--ab more?"

"If you please," replied Newton.

"Monsieur," said Gustave Adolphe to his commander, "le prisonnier a
soif, et demande encore de l'eau."

"Va l'en chercher donc," replied the old negro, with a wave of his
speaking-trumpet.  "Charles Philippe, attention a la barre, [Mind your
weather-helm] sans venir au vent, s'il vous plait.  Matelots du gaillard
d'avant," [Forecastle-men, haul aft the jib-sheet] continued he, roaring
through his speaking-trumpet; "bordez le grand foc."

In the space of two hours, the schooner was brought to an anchor, with
as much noise and importance as she had been got under weigh.  A boat,
capable of holding three people, one rower and two sitters, was shoved
off the vessel's deck, and the negro captain, having first descended to
his cabin for a few minutes, returned on deck dressed in the extremity
of _their_ fashion, and ordered the boat to be manned.

Gustave Adolphe accordingly manned the boat with his own person, and the
negro captain politely waved his hand for Newton to enter, and then,
following himself, Gustave Adolphe rowed to a landing-place, about
twenty yards from the schooner.

"Gustave Adolphe, suivez en arriere, et gardez bien que le prisonnier
n'echappe pas;" so saying, monsieur le capitaine led the way to a large
white house and buildings, about two hundred yards from the river's
banks.  On their arrival, Newton was surrounded by twenty or thirty
slaves of both sexes, who chattered and jabbered a thousand questions
concerning him to the negro captain and Gustave Adolphe, neither of whom
condescended to reply.

"Monsieur de Fontanges--ou est-il?" inquired the old negro.

"Monsieur dort," replied a little female voice.

The captain was taken aback at this unfortunate circumstance; for no one
dared to wake their master.

"Et madame?" inquired he.

"Madame est dans sa chambre."

There again he was floored--he could not venture there; so he conducted
Newton, who was not very sorry to escape from the burning rays of the
sun, to his own habitation, where an old negress, his wife, soon
obtained from the negro that information relative to the capture of
Newton, which the bevy of slaves in the yard had attempted in vain: but
wives have winning ways with them!



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER TWO.

  What elegance and grandeur wide expand,
  The pride of Turkey and of Persia land!
  Soft quilts on quilts, on carpets carpets spread,
  And couches stretch'd around in seemly band,
  And endless pillows rise to prop the head.
  ...
  Here languid Beauty kept her pale-faced court.
  THOMSON.

The female slaves, who could not obtain the history of Newton,
immediately repaired to the chamber of their mistress, knowing that if
they could succeed in raising her curiosity, they would at the same time
gratify their own.  Madame de Fontanges was, as they asserted, in her
chamber, or, what may now be more correctly styled, her boudoir.  It was
a room about fourteen feet square, the sides of which were covered with
a beautiful paper, representing portions of the history of Paul and
Virginia; the floor was covered with fine matting, with here and there a
small Persian carpet above it.  Small marble tables were decorated with
a variety of ornaments and French perfumes, or vases filled with the
splendid flowers of a tropical clime.  There was a large window at each
end of the room, cut down to the ground, in the French fashion, and
outside of both was a little balcony, the trellice-work covered with
passion-flower and clematis.  The doors and other compartments of the
room were not papered, but had French mirrors let into the panelling.
On a low ottoman, of elegant workmanship, covered with a damask French
silk, reposed Madame de Fontanges, attended by three or four young
female slaves, of different complexions, but none of pure African blood.
Others were seated upon the different Persian carpets about the room,
in listless idleness or strewing the petals of the orange-flower, to
perfume the apartment with its odour.  The only negro was a little boy,
about six years of age, dressed in a fantastic costume, who sat in a
corner, apparently in a very sulky humour.

Madame de Fontanges was a creole, that is, born in the West Indies, of
French parents.  She had been sent home to France for her education, and
had returned at the age of fourteen to Guadaloupe, where she soon after
married Monsieur de Fontanges, an officer of rank, and brother to the
governor of the island.  Her form was diminutive, but most perfect; her
hand and arm models for the statuary; while her feet were so small as
almost to excite risibility when you observed them.  Her features were
regular, and when raised from their usual listlessness, full of
expression.  Large hazel eyes, beautifully pencilled eyebrows, with long
fringed eyelashes, dark and luxuriant hair, Grecian nose, small mouth,
with thin coral lips, were set off by a complexion which even the
climate could not destroy, although it softened it into extreme
delicacy.

Such was the person of Madame de Fontanges, now about eighteen years
old, and one of the most beautiful specimens of the French creoles which
could be imagined.  Her perfect little figure needed no support; she was
simply attired in a muslin _robe de chambre_, as she reposed upon the
ottoman, waiting with all the impatience of her caste, for the setting
in of the sea-breeze, which would give some relief from the oppressive
heat of the climate.

"Eventez!  Nina, eventez!" cried she to one of her attendants, who was
standing at the head of the sofa, with a large feather fan.

"Oui, madame," replied the girl, stirring up the dormant atmosphere.

"Eventez!  Caroline, eventez mes mains, vite."

"Oui, madame," replied the second, working away with another fan.

"Eventez! eventez mes pieds, Mimi."

"Oui, madame," replied the third, fanning in the direction pointed out.

"Louise," said Madame de Fontanges, languidly, after a short pause,
"apporte-moi de l'eau sucree."

"Oui, madame," replied another, rising, in obedience to the order.

"Non, non!  Je n'en veux pas--mais j'ai soif horrible.  Manchette, va
chercher de l'eau cerise."

"Oui, madame," replied Manchette, rising from her seat.  But she had not
quitted the room before Madame de Fontanges had changed her mind.

"Attendez, Manchette.  Ce n'est pas ca.  Je voudrois de limonade.
Charlotte, va l'en chercher."

"Oui, madame," said Charlotte, leaving the room to execute the order.

"Ah! mon Dieu! qu'il fait une chaleur epouvantable."

"Mimi, que tu es paresseuse?  Eventez! vite, vite."

"Ou est Monsieur?"

"Monsieur dort."

"Ah! qu'il est heureux.  Et Cupidon--ou est-il?"

"Il est ici au coin, madame.  Il boude."

"Qu'est-ce qu'il a fait donc?"

"Ah, madame!  Il a vole le dindon roti, et l'a tout mange."

"Ah, le petit polisson!  Venez ici, Cupidon."

Cupidon, the little negro-boy, we have before mentioned, as sitting in
the corner of the room, walked up with a very deliberate pace to the
side of the ottoman, his two thick lips sticking out about six inches in
advance of the remainder of his person.

"Cupidon," said the lady, turning a little on one side to speak to him,
"tu as mange le dindon entier.  Tu as mal fait, mon ami.  Tu seras
malade.  Comprends-tu, Cupidon, c'est une sottise que tu as fait?"

Cupidon made no reply; his head was hung down a little lower, and his
lips extended a little farther out.

"Sache que tu es un petit voleur!" continued his mistress.

Cupidon did not condescend to answer.

"Allez, monsieur; ne m'approchez pas."

Cupidon turned short round without reply, and walked back to his corner
with the same deliberate pace as before, when he came out of it.

Charlotte now returned with the lemonade for which she had been
despatched, and informed her mistress as she presented it, that
Nicholas, who had charge of the schooner, had returned with an European
prisoner; but that neither he nor Gustave would give her any further
information, although she had requested it in the name of her mistress.
This was quite an event, and gave a fillip to the inertness of Madame de
Fontanges, whose curiosity was excited.

"A-t'-il bonne mine, Charlotte?"

"Oui, madame, c'est un bel homme."

"Et ou est-il?"

"Avec Nicholas."

"Et Monsieur?"

"Monsieur dort."

"Il faut l'eveiller.  Faites bien mes compliments au Monsieur de
Fontanges, et dites-lui que je me trouve fort malade, et que je voudrois
lui parler.  Entends-tu, Celeste; je parle a toi."

"Oui, madame," replied the girl, throwing some orange flowers off her
lap, and rising to deliver her message.

Monsieur de Fontanges, who, like most of the Europeans, slept through
the hottest portion of the day, rose in compliance with his wife's
message, and made his appearance in the boudoir, dressed in a white
cotton jacket and trousers.  A few polite inquiries after the health of
Madame de Fontanges, which, as he had conjectured from similar previous
occurrences, was not worse than usual, were followed by his receiving
from her the information of Newton's arrival, coupled with an
observation, that it would amuse her if the prisoner were interrogated
in her presence.

Newton was summoned to the boudoir, where Monsieur de Fontanges, who
spoke very good English, received from him the history of his disasters,
and translated them into French, to gratify the curiosity of his wife.

"C'est un beau garcon," observed Monsieur de Fontanges.  "Mais quoi
faire?  Il est prisonnier.  Il faut l'envoyer a mon frere, le
gouverneur."

"Il est joli garcon," replied Madame de Fontanges.  "Donnez-lui des
habits, Fontanges; et ne l'envoyez pas encore."

"Et pourquoi, mon amie?"

"Je voudrois lui apprendre le Francais."

"Cela ne se peut pas, ma chere; il est prisonnier."

"Cela se peut, Monsieur de Fontanges," replied the lady.

"Je n'ose pas," continued the husband.

"Moi j'ose," replied the lady, decidedly.

"Je ne voudrois pas," said the gentleman.

"Moi, je veux," interrupted the lady.

"Mais il faut etre raisonnable, madame."

"Il faut m'obeir, monsieur."

"Mais--"

"Pschut!" replied the lady, "c'est une affaire decidee.  Monsieur le
gouverneur ne parle pas l'Anglois.  C'est _absolument necessaire_ que le
jeune homme apprenne notre langue; et c'est mon plaisir de l'enseigner.
Au revoir, Monsieur de Fontanges.  Charlotte, va chercher des habits."



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER THREE.

  'Tis pleasing to be schooled in a strange tongue
  By female lips and eyes; that is, I mean
  When both the teacher and the taught are young,
  As was the case, at least, where I had been.
  They smile so when one's right, and when one's wrong
  They smile still more.
  BYRON.

Monsieur de Fontanges, aware of the impetuosity and caprice of his wife
(at the same time that he acknowledged her many redeeming good
qualities), did not further attempt to thwart her inclinations.  His
great objection to her plan was, the impropriety of retaining a
prisoner, whom he was bound to give up to the proper authorities.  He
made a virtue of necessity, and having acquainted Newton with the wish
of Madame de Fontanges, requested his parole of honour that he would not
attempt to escape, if he was not delivered up to the authorities, and
remain some time at Lieu Desire.  Newton, who had no wish to be
acquainted with a French _cachot_, sooner than it was absolutely
necessary, gave the promise required by Monsieur de Fontanges, assuring
him that ingratitude was not a part of his character.  Monsieur de
Fontanges then requested that Newton would accept of a portion of his
wardrobe, which he would direct to be sent to the room that would be
prepared for him.  This affair being arranged, Newton made his bow to
the lady, and in company with Monsieur de Fontanges, retired from the
boudoir.

It may be suspected by the reader, that Madame de Fontanges was one of
those ladies who cared a great deal about having their own way, and very
little for her husband.  As to the first part of the accusation, I can
only observe, that I never yet had the fortune to fall in with any lady
who did not try all she could to have her own way, nor do I conceive it
to be a crime.  As to the second, if the reader has formed that
supposition, he is much mistaken.  Madame de Fontanges was very much
attached to her husband, and the attachment as well as the confidence
was reciprocal.

It was not therefore from any feeling of jealousy that Monsieur de
Fontanges had combated her resolution; but, as we have before observed,
from a conviction that he was wanting in his duty, when he did not
report the arrival of Newton at the plantation.  The wish of Madame de
Fontanges to detain Newton was, as she declared, a caprice on her part,
which had entered her head, to amuse herself by teaching him French.  It
is true that had not Newton been remarkably prepossessing in his
appearance, the idea would in all probability have never been conceived;
but, observing that he was much above the common class, and wishing to
relieve the general monotony of her life by any thing which would create
amusement, she had formed the idea, which, when combated by her husband,
was immediately strengthened to a resolution.

Of this Newton received the benefit.  An excellent dinner or rather
supper with Monsieur de Fontanges, a comfortable bed in a room supplied
with all that convenience or luxury could demand, enabled him to pass a
very different night from those which we have latterly described.

About twelve o'clock the ensuing day, Newton was summoned by one of the
slave girls to the boudoir of Madame de Fontanges.  He found her on the
ottoman, as before.  Newton, who had been operated upon by a black
barber, and was dressed in the habiliments of Monsieur de Fontanges,
made a much more respectable appearance than upon his former
introduction.

"Bon jour, Monsieur," said the lady.

Newton bowed respectfully.

"Comment vous appelez-vous?"

Newton, not understanding, answered with another bow.

"Le jeun homme n'entends pas madame," observed Mimi.

"Que c'est ennuyant, monsieur," said Madame Fontanges, pointing to
herself; "Moi--Madame de Fontanges--vous,"--pointing to him.

"Newton Forster."

"Nu--tong Fasta--ah, c'est bon, cela commence," said the lady.  "Allons,
mes enfans repetez lui tous vous noms."

"Moi--Mimi," said the girl bearing that name, going up to Newton, and
pointing to herself.

"Mimi," repeated Newton, with a smile and nod of his head.

"Moi--Charlotte."

"Moi--Louise."

"Moi--Celeste."

"Moi--Nina."

"Moi--Caroline."

"Moi--Manchette."

"Et moi--Cupidon," finished the little black boy, running up, and then
retreating as fast back into his corner.

Newton repeated all the names, as the individuals respectively
introduced themselves to him.  Then there was a pause, during which, at
the desire of Monsieur de Fontanges, Newton was offered a chair, and sat
down.

"Allons--dites lui les noms de toute la garniture," said Madame de
Fontanges to her attendants.

"Oui, madame," said Mimi, going up to Newton, and pointing to the fan in
her hand,--"eventail."

"Eventail," repeated Newton, who began to be amused, and who now
repeated every French word after them.

"Flacon," said Charlotte, showing him the eau de Cologne bottle.

"Chaise," cried Louise, holding up a chair.

"Livre," said Nina, pointing to a book.

"Mouchoir," said Caroline, holding up an embroidered handkerchief.

"Montre" followed up Manchette, pointing to her mistress's watch.

"Canape," cried Celeste, pointing to the ottoman.

"Joli garcon," bawled out Cupidon, coming up to Newton, and pointing to
himself.

This created a laugh, and then the lesson was continued.  Every article
in the room was successively pointed out to Newton, and he was obliged
to repeat the name; and afterwards the articles of their dress were
resorted to, much to his amusement.  Then there was a dead stand:--the
fact is, that there is no talking with noun substantives only.

"Ah! mon Dieu! il faut envoyer pour Monsieur de Fontanges," cried the
lady; "va le chercher, Louise."

Monsieur de Fontanges soon made his appearance, when the lady explained
to him their dilemma, and requested his assistance.  Monsieur de
Fontanges laughed, and explained to Newton, and then, by means of his
interpretation, connected sentences were made, according to the fancy of
the lady, some of which were the cause of great merriment.  After an
hour, the gentlemen made their bows.

"I think," observed Monsieur de Fontanges, as they walked away, "that if
you really are as anxious to learn our language as madame is to teach
you, you had better come to me every morning for an hour.  I shall have
great pleasure in giving you any assistance in my power, and I trust
that in a very short time that, with a little study of the grammar and
dictionary, you will be able to hold a conversation with Madame de
Fontanges, or even with her dark-complexioned page."

Newton expressed his acknowledgments, and the next day he received his
first lesson; after which he was summoned to support the theory by
practice in the boudoir of Madame de Fontanges.  It is hardly necessary
to observe that each day increased the facility of communication.

For three months Newton was domiciled with Monsieur and Madame
Fontanges, both of whom had gradually formed such an attachment to him,
that the idea of parting never entered their head.  He was now a very
tolerable French scholar, and his narratives and adventures were to his
benefactors a source of amusement, which amply repaid them for the
trouble and kindness which they had shown to him.  Newton was, in fact,
a general favourite with every one on the plantation, from the highest
to the lowest; and his presence received the same smile of welcome at
the cottage of the slave, as at the boudoir of Madame de Fontanges.

Whatever may have been the result of Newton's observations relative to
slavery in the English colonies, his feelings of dislike insensibly wore
away during his residence at Lieu Desiree; there he was at least
convinced that a slave might be perfectly happy.  It must be
acknowledged that the French have invariably proved the kindest and most
considerate of masters, and the state of bondage is much mitigated in
the islands which appertain to that nation.  The reason is obvious: in
France, there is a _bonhommie_, a degree of equality established between
the different grades of society by universal politeness.  A French
servant is familiar with his master at the same time that he is
respectful: and the master, in return, condescends to his inferior
without forgetting their relative positions.  This runs through society
in general, and as no one can well be polite without some good-nature
(for politeness, frivolous as it may appear, is a strong check upon
those feelings of selfishness, too apt to be indulged in), it leads to a
general feeling of good will towards others.  This has naturally been
practised by Frenchmen wherever they may be; and the consequence is,
that the slaves are treated with more consideration, and, in return,
have warmer feelings of attachment towards their owners than are to be
found in colonies belonging to other nations.  Newton perceived and
acknowledged this, and, comparing the condition of the people at Lieu
Desiree with that of most of the peasantry of Europe, was unwillingly
obliged to confess that the former were in every respect the more
fortunate and the more happy of the two.

One morning, soon after Newton had breakfasted with Monsieur de
Fontanges, and had been summoned to the boudoir, a letter was brought
in.  It was from the governor to Monsieur de Fontanges, stating that he
had heard with great surprise that Monsieur de Fontanges concealed an
English prisoner in his house, and desiring that he might be immediately
sent up to head-quarters.  That there might be no delay or refusal, a
corporal, accompanied by two file of men, brought down the intimation to
the plantation.

Newton was in the very middle of a long story, Madame de Fontanges on
the ottoman, and her attendants collected round her, seated on the
floor--even Cupidon had advanced from his corner to within half
distance, his mouth and eyes wide open, when Monsieur de Fontanges
entered the boudoir, with anxiety and chagrin expressed in his
countenance.

"Qu'est ce qu'il y a, mon ami?" said Madame de Fontanges, rising hastily
and running up to her husband.

Monsieur de Fontanges answered by putting the governor's letter into his
wife's hands.

"Ah! les barbares!" cried Madame de Fontanges, "est il possible?  Pauvre
Monsieur Nutong! on l'amene au cachot."

"Au cachot!" cried all the coloured girls at a breath, and bursting into
tears--"oh ciel!"

Monsieur de Fontanges then explained to Newton the order which he had
received.  Newton replied that he had had no right to expect otherwise
on his first landing on the island; that he had incurred a heavy debt of
gratitude to them for having preserved him so long from a prison; and
that the remembrance of their kindness would tend to beguile the tedious
hours of captivity (from which it may appear that Newton, in point of
expressing himself, was half a Frenchman already).  He then kissed the
hand of Madame de Fontanges, tried to console the little slave girls,
who were all _au desespoir_, patted Cupidon on the head, by way of
farewell, and quitted the boudoir, in which he had passed so many happy
hours.  When he was outside, he again expressed his obligations to
Monsieur de Fontanges, who then stated his determination to call upon
his brother, the governor, and try to alleviate the hardships of his lot
as much as was possible.  In less than an hour Newton, in company with
his host, was on the road to Basse Terre, leaving the corporal and his
two file of men to walk back as fast as they could; the corporal having
sufficient _savoir vivre_ not to refuse the pledge of the governor's
brother for the safe delivery of the prisoner.

It was not until late in the evening that they arrived at Basse Terre,
when they immediately proceeded to the house of the governor, and were
admitted to his presence.

The governor, who had been much displeased at the circumstance of Newton
having remained so long on the island, was more pacified when Monsieur
de Fontanges explained to him the way in which he had been made
prisoner, and the hardships which he had previously endured.  Monsieur
de Fontanges accounted for his long detention at Lieu Desiree by stating
the real fact, _viz_, the pertinacity of Madame de Fontanges; which,
although it might have been considered a very poor argument in England,
had its due weight in a French colony.

The governor entered into conversation with Newton, who detailed to him
the horrors of the shipwreck which he had undergone.  The narrative
appeared to affect him much.  He told Newton that under such
circumstances he could hardly consider him as a prisoner, and would take
the first opportunity of releasing him, and would accept his parole for
not quitting the island.  Newton returned his thanks for so much
courtesy, and withdrew in company with Monsieur de Fontanges.

"Monsieur le Marquis has much sympathy for those who have been
shipwrecked," observed Monsieur de Fontanges, after they had quitted the
room.  "Poor man! he lost his wife, a beautiful young woman, and his
only child, a little girl, about seven years back, when they were
proceeding home in a vessel bound to Havre.  The vessel has never been
heard of since, and he has never recovered the loss."

"In what year was it?" inquired Newton.

"In the autumn of the year ---."

"There were many vessels wrecked on our coast during that dreadful
winter," replied Newton: "I myself, when in a coaster, picked up several
articles belonging to a French vessel.  I have them in my possession
now;--they are of some value."

"What did they consist of?" inquired Monsieur de Fontanges.

"A large trunk, containing the wearing apparel of a female and a child:
there were also several orders of knighthood, and some jewels; but I
hardly know what they were, as it is some time since I have looked at
them."

"How strange that you could find no clue to discover the names of the
parties!"

"There were French letters," replied Newton, "which I could not read;
they were only signed by initials, which did not correspond with the
marks on the linen belonging to the lady, although the surname might
have been the same as that of the child."

"Do you recollect the initials?"

"Perfectly well: the marks on the lady's apparel were LC, that on the
linen of the infant JF."

"Mon Dieu! mon Dieu!" cried Monsieur de Fontanges; "then it may indeed
have been the apparel of the Marquise de Fontanges.  The linen must have
been some marked with her maiden name, which was Louise de Colmar.  The
child was christened Julie de Fontanges, after her grandmother.  My poor
brother had intended to take his passage home in the same vessel, his
successor being hourly expected; but the frigate in which the new
governor had embarked was taken by an English squadron, and my brother
was forced to remain here."

"Then the property must undoubtedly belong to the marquis," replied
Newton: "I only wish I could have been able to assure him that his wife
and child were equally safe; but that I am afraid is impossible, as
there can be no doubt but that they were all lost.  Do you mean to
communicate what I have told you to the marquis?"

"By no means; it will only tear open a wound which has but partially
healed.  If you will send me all the particulars when you return I shall
feel much obliged, not that the effects are of any consequence.  The
marquise and her child are undoubtedly lost, and it could be no
consolation to my brother to ascertain that a trunk of their effects had
been saved."

Here the conversation dropped, and was never again renewed.

Newton was heartily welcomed again at Lieu Desiree, where he remained
three weeks, when a note from the governor informed him that a cartel
was about to sail.

It was with mutual pain that Newton and his kind friends took their
farewell of each other.  In this instance Monsieur de Fontanges did not
accompany him to Basse Terre; but bade him adieu at his own door.
Newton, soon after he was on the road, perceived that Monsieur de
Fontanges had acted from a motive of delicacy, that he might not receive
the thanks of Newton for two valises, well furnished, which overtook
Newton about a quarter of a mile from the plantation, slung on each side
of a horse, under the guidance of a little negro, perched on the middle.
Newton made his acknowledgments to the governor for his kind
consideration, then embarked on board of the Marie Therese schooner, and
in three days he once more found himself on shore in an English colony;
with which piece of information I conclude this chapter.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER FOUR.

  Mercy on us! a bairn, a very pretty bairn,
  A boy, a child.
  SHAKESPEARE.

When Newton was landed from the cartel at Jamaica, he found the
advantage of not being clad in the garb of a sailor, as all those who
were in such costume were immediately handed over to the admiral of the
station, to celebrate their restoration to liberty on board of a
man-of-war; but the clothes supplied to him by the generosity of
Monsieur de Fontanges had any thing but a maritime appearance, and
Newton was landed with his portmanteaus by one of the man-of-war's
boats, whose crew had little idea of his being a person so peculiarly
suited to their views, possessing as he did the necessary qualifications
of youth, activity, and a thorough knowledge of his profession.  Newton
was so anxious to return home, that after a few days' expensive sojourn
at an hotel, frequented chiefly by the officers of the man-of-war in
port, he resolved to apply to the captain of a frigate ordered home with
despatches, to permit him to take a passage.  He had formed a slight
intimacy with some of the officers, who assured him that he would
experience no difficulty in obtaining his request.  His application was
made in person, and after his statement that he had been released in the
last cartel which had come from Guadaloupe, his request was immediately
granted, without any farther questions being put relative to his
profession, or the manner in which he had been captured.  The captain
very civilly gave him to understand, that he might mess with the
gun-room officers, if he could arrange with them, and that he expected
to sail on the evening of the ensuing day.  Newton immediately repaired
on board of the frigate, to ascertain if the officers would receive him
as a messmate; and further, whether the amount of his mess-money would
be more than he could in prudence afford.  At the bottom of one of the
portmanteaus he had found a bag of two hundred dollars, supplied by his
generous host, and in the same bag there was also deposited a small note
from Madame de Fontanges, wishing him success, and enclosing (as a
_souvenir_) a ring, which he had often perceived on her finger; but,
adequate as was this supply to his own wants, Newton did not forget that
his father was, in all probability, in great distress, and would require
his assistance on his return.  He was therefore naturally anxious not to
expend more than was absolutely necessary in defraying his passage.  The
old first-lieutenant, to whom, upon his arrival on board, he was
introduced as commanding officer, received him with much urbanity; and
when Newton stated that he had obtained the captain's permission to make
the application immediately acceded to his wishes on the part of his
messmates as well as of himself.  When Newton followed up his
application, by requesting to know the expense which he would incur, as,
in case of its being greater than his finances could meet, he would
request permission to choose a less expensive mess.

"I am aware," replied the veteran, "that those who have been
shipwrecked, and in a French prison, are not likely to be very flush of
cash.  It is, however, a point on which I must consult my messmates.
Excuse me one moment, and I will bring you an answer: I have no doubt
but that it will be satisfactorily arranged; but there is nothing like
settling these points at once.  Mr Webster, see that the lighter shoves
off the moment that she is clear," continued the first-lieutenant to one
of the midshipmen as he descended the quarter-deck ladder, leaving
Newton to walk the quarter-deck.

In a few minutes the first-lieutenant reappeared, with one or two others
of the gun-room mess, who greeted him most cordially.

"I have seen all that are requisite," said he to Newton.  "Two I have
not spoken to, the master and the purser; they are both poor men, with
families.  If, therefore, you will not be too proud to accept it, I am
requested to offer you a free passage from the other officers of the
mess, as we feel convinced that your company will more than repay us.
The proportion of the expense of your passage to the other two will be
but one or two pounds;--a trifle, indeed, but still of consequence to
them; and that is the only expense which you will incur.  If you can
afford to pay that, any time after your arrival in England, we shall be
most happy to receive you, and make the passage as comfortable and
pleasant as circumstances will permit."

To this most liberal proposition Newton most gladly acceded.  The
officers who had come on deck with the first-lieutenant invited Newton
below, where he was introduced to the remainder of the mess, who were
most of them fine young men, as happy and careless as if youth was to
last for ever.  Having pledged each other in a glass of grog, Newton
returned on shore.  The next morning he made his arrangements, paid his
bill at the hotel, and before twelve o'clock was again on board of the
frigate, which lay with the Blue Peter hoisted, and her fore-topsail
loose, waiting for her captain, who was still detained on shore while
the admiral and governor made up their despatches.

When Newton had applied to the captain of the frigate for a passage
home, he could hardly believe it possible that the person to whom he was
introduced could be entrusted with the command of so fine a vessel.  He
was a slight-made, fair-complexioned lad of nineteen or twenty years at
the most, without an incipient mark of manhood on his chin.  He appeared
lively, active, and good-natured; but what were the other qualifications
he possessed, to discover such a mark of confidence, were to Newton an
enigma requiring solution.

It was, however, to be explained in very few words.  He was the son of
the admiral of the station, and (as at that period there was no
regulation with respect to age, to check the most rapid promotion),
after he had served his time as midshipman, in less than two months he
had been raised through the different ranks of lieutenant, commander,
and post-captain.  On receiving the latter step, he was at the same time
appointed to the frigate in question, one of the finest which belonged
to his majesty's service.  In order, however, that he should to a
certain degree be in leading-strings, a very old and efficient officer
had been selected by the admiral as his first-lieutenant.  Whether, in
common justice, the captain and his subordinate ought not to have
changed places, I leave the reader to guess; and it was the more unfair
towards the worthy old first-lieutenant, as, if the admiral had not
entertained such a high opinion of his abilities and judgment, as to
confide to him the charge of his son, he would long before have been
promoted himself to one of the many vacancies which so repeatedly
occurred.

Captain Carrington had all the faults, which, if not inherent, will
naturally be acquired by those who are too early intrusted with power.
He was self-sufficient, arbitrary, and passionate.  His good qualities
consisted in a generous disposition, a kindness of heart when not
irritated, a manly courage, and a frank acknowledgment of his errors.
Had he been allowed to serve a proper time in the various grades of his
profession,--had he been taught to _obey_ before he had been permitted
to _command_,--he had within him all the materials for a good officer:
as it was, he was neither officer, sailor, nor any thing else, except a
_spoiled boy_.  He would often attempt to carry on the duty as captain,
and as often failed from want of knowledge.  He would commence
manoeuvring the ship, but find himself unable to proceed.  At these
unfortunate _break downs_, he would be obliged to resign the
speaking-trumpet to the first-lieutenant; and if, as sometimes happened,
the latter (either from accident, or perhaps from a pardonable pique at
having the duty taken out of his hands), was not at his elbow to prompt
him when at fault--at these times the cant phrase of the officers, taken
from some farce, used to be, "_York, you're wanted_."

About an hour before sunset the juvenile captain made his appearance on
board, rather _fresh_ from taking leave of his companions and
acquaintances on shore.  The frigate was got under weigh by the
first-lieutenant, and before the sun had disappeared was bounding over
the foaming seas in the direction of the country which had nurtured to
maturity the gnarled oak selected for her beautiful frame.  Newton
joined his new messmates in drinking a prosperous passage to old
England; and, with a heart grateful for his improved prospects, retired
to the hammock which had been prepared for him.

When Newton rose in the morning, he found that the wind, had shifted
contrary during the night, and that the frigate was close hauled,
darting through the smooth water with her royals set.  At ten o'clock
the master proposed tacking the ship, and the first-lieutenant went down
to report his wish to the captain.

"Very well, Mr Nourse," replied the captain; "turn the hands up."

"Ay, ay, sir," replied the first-lieutenant, leaving the cabin.

"Call the boatswain, quarter-master--all hands 'bout ship."

"All hands 'bout ship," was now bellowed out by the boatswain, and
re-echoed by his mates at the several hatchways, with a due proportion
of whistling from their pipes.

"Tumble up, there--tumble up smartly, my lads."

In a minute every man was on deck, and at his station; many of them,
however, _tumbling down_ in their laudable hurry to _tumble up_.

"Silence there, fore and aft--every man to his station," cried the
first-lieutenant, through his speaking trumpet.  "All ready, sir,"
reported the first-lieutenant to the captain, who had followed him on
deck.  "Shall we put the helm down?"

"If you please, Mr Nourse."

"Down with the helm."

When the master reported it down, "The helm's a-lee," roared the
first-lieutenant.

But Captain Carrington, who thought light winds and smooth water a good
opportunity for practice, interrupted him as he was walking towards the
weather gangway: "Mr Nourse, Mr Nourse, if you please, I'll work the
ship."

"Very good, sir," replied the first-lieutenant, handing him the
speaking-trumpet.  "Rise tacks and sheets, if you please, sir,"
continued the first-lieutenant (_sotto voce_), "the sails are lifting."

"Tacks and sheets!" cried the captain.

"Gather in on the lee main-tack, my lads," said the first-lieutenant,
going to the lee gangway to see the duty performed.

Now Captain Carrington did know that "mainsail haul" was the next word
of command; but as this order requires a degree of precision as to the
exact time at which it is given, he looked over his shoulder for the
first-lieutenant, who usually prompted him in this exigence.  Not seeing
him there, he became disconcerted; and during the few seconds that he
cast his anxious eyes about the deck, to discover where the
first-lieutenant was, the ship had passed head to wind.

"Mainsail haul!" at last cried the captain; but it was too late; the
yards would not swing round; every thing went wrong; and the ship was
_in irons_.

"You hauled a little too late, sir," observed the first-lieutenant, who
had joined him.  "You must box her off, sir, if you please."

But Captain Carrington, although he could put the ship in irons, did not
know how to take her out.

"The ship is certainly most cursedly out of trim," observed he; "she'll
neither wear nor stay.  Try her yourself, Mr Nourse," continued the
captain, "I'm sick of her;"--and with a heightened colour he handed the
speaking-trumpet over to the first-lieutenant.

"York, you're wanted," observed the lieutenant abaft to the
marine-officer, dropping down the corners of his mouth.

"York, you're wanted," tittered the midshipmen, in whispers, as they
passed each other.

"Well, I've won your grog, Jim," cried one of the marines, who was
standing at the forebrace; "I knew he'd never do it."

"He's like me," observed another, in a low tone; "he left school too
arly, and lost his edication."

Such were the results of injudicious patronage.  A fine ship intrusted
to a boy, ignorant of his duty, laughed at, not only by the officers,
but even by the men; and the honour of the country at stake, and running
no small risk of being tarnished, if the frigate met with a vigorous
opponent.  [It is true that an officer must now serve a certain time in
the various grades before promotion, which time as supposed to be
sufficient for him to acquire a knowledge of his profession; but whether
that knowledge is obtained, depends, as before, upon the young officer's
prospects in life.  If from family interest he is _sure_ of promotion,
he is not quite so sure of being a seaman.] Thank God, this is now over!
Judicious regulations have put a stop to such selfish and short-sighted
patronage.  Selfish, because those who were guilty of it risked the
honour of the nation to advance the interests of their _proteges_;
short-sighted, because it is of little use making a young man a captain
if you cannot make him an officer.  I might here enter into a discussion
which might be of some use, but it would be out of place in a work
intended more for amusement than for instruction; nor would it in all
probability be read.  I always make it a rule myself, to skip over all
those parts introduced in a light work which are of denser materials
than the rest; and I cannot expect but that others will do the same.
There is a time and place for all things; and like the master of
Ravenscourt, "I bide my time."

The frigate dashed gallantly through the water, at one time careening to
an adverse wind, at another rolling, before a favouring gale: and, to
judge from her rapid motion, she was not in such very bad trim as
Captain Carrington had found out.  Each day rapidly brought her nearer
to their cherished home, as "she walked the waters like a thing of
life."  I can conceive no prouder situation in this world than being
captain of a fine frigate, with a well-disciplined crew; but damn your
_eight-and-twenties_!

"We had better take in the royals, if you please, sir," said the
first-lieutenant, as he came, with his hat in his hand, into the cabin,
where the captain was at dinner with several of the officers, the table
crowded with a variety of decanters and French green bottles.

"Pho! nonsense!  Mr Nourse, we'll carry them a little longer," replied
the captain, who had been _carrying too much sail_ another way.  "Sit
down and take a glass of wine with us.  You always cry out before you're
hurt, Nourse."

"I thank you, sir," replied the first-lieutenant, seriously; "you will
excuse me: it is time to beat to quarters."

"Well, then, do so; I had no idea it was so late.  Mr Forster, you
don't pass the bottle."

"I have taken enough, I thank you, sir."

The officers present also made the same statement.

"Well, then, if you won't, gentlemen--steward, let's have some coffee."

The coffee appeared and disappeared; and the officers made their bows
and quitted the cabin as the first-lieutenant entered it to report the
muster at quarters.

"All present and sober, sir.  I am afraid, sir," continued he, "the
masts will be over the side, if we do not clew up the royals."

"Stop a moment, if you please, Mr Nourse, until I go up and judge for
myself," replied the captain, who was inclined to be pertinacious.

Captain Carrington went on deck.  The men were still ranged round the
decks, at their quarters; more than one pair of eyes were raised aloft
to watch the masts, which were bending like coach-whips, and complaining
bitterly.

"Shall we beat a retreat, and pipe hands to shorten sail, sir?  We had
better take in the third reefs, sir? it looks, very squally to-night,"
observed the first-lieutenant.

"Really, Mr Nourse, I don't exactly perceive the necessity--"

But at that moment the fore and main-top-gallant-masts went over the
side; and the look-out man at the fore-top-gallant-mast-head, who had
been called down by the first-lieutenant, but did not hear the
injunction, was hurled into the sea to leeward.

"Helm down!" cried the master.

"Man overboard!--man overboard!" echoed round the decks; while some of
the officers and men jumped into the quarter boats, and off the gripes
and lashings.

Captain Carrington, who was immediately sobered by the catastrophe,
which he felt had been occasioned by his own wilfulness, ran aft to the
taffrail; and when he saw the poor sailor struggling in the waves,
impelled by his really fine nature, he darted overboard to save him; but
he was not by any means a powerful swimmer, and, encumbered with his
apparel, it was soon evident that he could do no more than keep himself
afloat.

Newton, who perceived how matters stood, with great presence of mind
caught up two of the oars from the boat hanging astern, and darted over
to the assistance of both.  One oar he first carried to the seaman, who
was exhausted and sinking.  Placing it under his arms, he then swam with
the other to Captain Carrington, who could not have remained above water
but a few seconds more without the timely relief.  He then quietly swam
by the side of Captain Carrington, without any attempt at extra
exertion.

The boat was soon lowered down, and in a few minutes they were all three
again on board, and in safety.  Captain Carrington thanked Newton for
his assistance, and acknowledged his error to the first-lieutenant.  The
officers and men looked upon Newton with respect and increased goodwill;
and the sailors declared that the captain was a prime little fellow,
although he hadn't had an "edication."

Nothing worthy of remark occurred during the remainder of the passage.
The ship arrived at Plymouth, and Newton took leave of his friendly
shipmates, Captain Carrington requesting that Newton would command any
interest that he had, if ever it should be required.  It was with a
throbbing heart that Newton descended from the outside of the coach
which conveyed him to Liverpool, and hastened towards the obscure street
in which he left his father residing.  It was about four o'clock in the
afternoon when Newton arrived at his father's door.  To his delight, he
perceived through the shop-window that his father was sitting at his
bench;--but his joy was checked when he perceived his haggard
countenance.  The old man appeared to be absorbed in deep thought, his
cheek resting upon his hand, and his eyes cast down upon the little
bench, to which the vice used to be fixed, but from which it was now
removed.

The door was ajar, and Newton entered with his portmanteau in his hand;
but whatever noise he might have made was not sufficient to rouse
Nicholas, who continued in the same position.

With one glance round the shop Newton perceived that it was bare of
every thing; even the glazed cases on the counter, which contained the
spectacles, etcetera, had disappeared.  All bespoke the same tale, as
did the appearance of his father--misery and starvation.

"My dearest father!" cried Newton, unable to contain himself any longer.

"How!--what?" cried Nicholas, starting at the voice, but not looking
round.  "Pho! nonsense! he's dead," continued the old man, communing
with himself, as he again settled into his former position.

"My dearest father, I'm not dead!--look round--'tis Newton! alive and
well."

"Newton!" replied the old man, rising from his stool, and tottering to
the counter, which was between them, on which he laid both his hands to
support himself, as he looked into his son's face.  "'Tis Newton, sure
enough!  My dear, dear boy!--then you an't dead?"

"No, indeed, father; I am alive and well, thank God!"

"Thank God too!" said Nicholas, dropping his face on the counter, and
bursting into tears.

Newton sprung over to the side where his father was, and embraced him.
For some time they were locked in each other's arms; when Nicholas, who
had recovered his composure, looked at Newton, and said, "Are you
hungry, my dear boy?"

"Yes, indeed I am," replied Newton, smiling, as the tears coursed down
his cheeks; "for I have had nothing since breakfast."

"And I have had nothing for these two days," replied Nicholas, leaning
back to the wall in evident exhaustion.

"Good God! you don't say so?" cried Newton, "where can I buy something
ready cooked?"

"At the shop round the corner; there's a nice piece of boiled beef
there; I saw it yesterday.  I offered my improvement on the duplex for a
slice; but he would not trust me, even for that."

Newton ran out, and in a few minutes re-appeared with the beef in
question, some bread, and a pot of porter, with two plates and knives
and forks, which the people had lent him, upon his putting down a
deposit.  He laid them on the counter before his father, who, without
saying a word, commenced his repast: the beef disappeared--the bread
vanished--the porter-pot was raised to his mouth, and in a moment it was
dry!

"Never made a better dinner, Newton," observed Nicholas; "but I wish
there had been a little more of it!"

Newton, who had only been a spectator, immediately went out for another
supply; and on his return assisted his father in its demolition.

"Newton," said Nicholas, who for a few moments had relinquished his
task, "I've been thinking--that--I should like another slice of that
beef! and Newton, as I said before--I'll trouble you for the porter!"



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER FIVE.

  _Orlando_.
  Then forbear your food a little while,
  While, like a doe, I go to find my fawn,
  And give it food.  There is a poor old roan
  Oppressed with two weak evils, age and hunger.
  SHAKESPEARE.

Reader, were you ever really hungry?  I do not mean the common hunger
arising from health and exercise, and which you have the means of
appeasing at the moment when it may be considered a source of pleasure
rather than of pain:--I refer to the gnawing of starvation; because if
you have not, you can form no conception of the agony of the suffering.
Fortunately, but very few of my readers can have any knowledge of it;
the general sympathy which it creates is from an ideal, not a practical
knowledge.  It has been my lot during the vicissitudes of a maritime
life to have suffered hunger to extremity; and although impossible to
express the corporeal agony, yet some notion of it may be conceived from
the effect it had upon my mind.  I felt that I hated the whole world,
kin or no kin; that theft was a virtue, murder excusable, and
cannibalism any thing but disgusting; from which the inference may be
safely drawn, viz, that I was devilish hungry.

I mention this, because Nicholas Forster, although he had been two days
without food, and had disposed of every article which was saleable, was
endued with so much strength of principle, as not to have thought (or if
he had thought of it, immediately to have dismissed the thought) of
vending the property found in the trunk by his son, and which had
remained so long in their possession.  That few would have been so
scrupulous, I will acknowledge: whether Nicholas was over-scrupulous, is
a question I leave to be debated by those who are fond of argument.  I
only state the fact.

Until the arrival of the ship brought home by Mr Berecroft, the
allotment of Newton's wages had been regularly paid to his father; but
when the owner discovered that the brig had parted company with the
convoy, and had not since been heard of, the chance of capture was
considered so great that the owner refused to advance any more on
Newton's account.  Nicholas was thus thrown upon his own resources,
which were as small as they well could be.  The crew of the brig, who
quitted her in the boat, were picked up by a homeward-bound vessel, and
brought what was considered the certain intelligence of Jackson and
Newton having perished on the wreck.  Nicholas, who had frequently
called at the owner's since his allowance had been stopped, to obtain
tidings of his son, was overwhelmed with the intelligence of his death.
He returned to his own house, and never called there again.  Mr
Berecroft, who wished to find him out and relieve him, could not
ascertain in what quarter of the town he resided, and shortly after was
obliged to proceed upon another voyage.  Thus was the poor optician left
to his fate; and it is probable that, but for the fortunate return of
Newton, it would soon have been miserably decided.

Newton was much pleased when he learnt from his father that he had not
disposed of the property which he had picked up at sea, for he now felt
assured that he had discovered the owner at Guadaloupe, and intended to
transmit it to Monsieur de Fontanges as soon as he could find a safe
conveyance; but this at present was not practicable.  As soon as his
father had been re-established in his several necessaries and comforts,
Newton, aware that his purse would not last for ever, applied to the
owner of the brig for employment; but he was decidedly refused.  The
loss of the vessel had soured his temper against any one who had
belonged to her.  He replied that he considered Newton to be an unlucky
person, and must decline his sailing in any of his vessels, even if a
vacancy should occur.

To every other application made elsewhere Newton met with the same ill
fortune.  Mr Berecroft was not there to recommend or to assist him, and
months passed away in anxious expectation of his patron's return, when
the intelligence was brought home that he had been carried off by the
yellow fever, which that year had been particularly malignant and fatal.
The loss of his only protector was a heavy blow to poor Newton; but he
bore up against his fortune, and redoubled his exertions.  As before, he
could always obtain employment before the mast; but this he refused,
knowing that if again impressed, however well he might be off himself,
and however fortunate in prize-money, his father would be left
destitute, and in all probability be starved before he could return.
The recollection of the situation in which he had found him on his
return from the West Indies made Newton resolve not to leave his father
without some surety of his being provided with the means of subsistence.
He was not without some employment, and earned sufficient for their
mutual maintenance by working as a rigger on board of the ships fitting
for sea; and he adhered to this means of livelihood until something
better should present itself.  Had Newton been alone in the world, or
his father able to support himself, he would have immediately applied to
Captain Carrington to receive him in some capacity on board of his
frigate, or have entered on board of some other man-of-war.  Newton's
heart was too generous, and his mind too truly English, not to bound
when he read or heard of the gallant encounters between the vessels of
the rival nations, and he longed to be one of the many thousands so
diligently employed in twining the wreath of laurel round their
country's brow.

Nearly one year of constant fatigue, constant expectation, and constant
disappointment was thus passed away; affairs grew daily worse,
employment scarce, money scarcer.  Newton, who had been put off from
receiving his wages until the ensuing day, which, as they had no credit,
was in fact putting off their dinner also to the morrow, went home, and
dropped on a chair in a despondent mood, at the table, where Nicholas
was already seated.

"Well, Newton, what's for dinner?" said Nicholas, drawing his chair
close to the table, in preparation.

"I have not been paid the money due to me," replied Newton, "and,
father, I'm afraid there's nothing."

Nicholas backed his chair from the table again, with an air of
resignation, as Newton continued--

"Indeed, father, I think we must try our fortune elsewhere.  What's the
use of staying where we cannot get employment?  Every thing is now gone,
except our wearing apparel.  We might raise some money upon mine, it is
true; but had we not better, before we spend it, try if fortune will be
more favourable to us in some other place?"

"Why, yes, Newton, I've been thinking that if we were to go to London,
my improvement on the duplex--"

"Is that our only chance there, sir?" replied Newton, half smiling.

"Why no; now I think of it, I've a brother there, John Forster, or Jack,
as we used to call him.  It's near thirty years since I heard of him;
but somebody told me when you were in the West Indies, that he had
become a great lawyer, and was making a large fortune.  I quite forgot
the circumstance till just now."

Newton had before heard his father mention that he had two brothers, but
whether dead or alive he could not tell.  The present intelligence
appeared to hold out some prospect of relief, for Newton could not for a
moment doubt that if his uncle was in such flourishing circumstances, he
would not refuse assistance to his brother.  He therefore resolved not
to wait until their means were totally exhausted: the next day he
disposed of all his clothes except one suit, and found himself richer
than he had imagined.  Having paid his landlord the trifle due for rent,
without any other incumbrance than the packet of articles picked up in
the trunk at sea, three pounds sterling in his pocket, and the ring of
Madame de Fontanges on his little finger, Newton with his father set off
on foot for the metropolis.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER SIX.

  I labour to diffuse the important good
  Till this great truth by all be understood,
  That all the pious duty which we owe
  Our parents, friends, our country, and our God,
  The seed of every virtue here below,
  From discipline and early culture grow.
  WEST.

The different chapters of a novel remind me of a convoy of vessels.  The
incidents and _dramatis personae_ are so many respective freights, all
under the charge of the inventor, who, like a man-of-war, must see them
all safely, and together, into port.  And as the commanding officer,
when towing one vessel which has lagged behind up to the rest, finds
that in the mean time another has dropped nearly out of sight, and is
obliged to cast off the one in tow, to perform the same necessary duty
towards the stern-most, so am I necessitated for the present to quit
Nicholas and Newton, while I run down to Edward Forster and his
_protegee_.

It must be recollected that during our narrative, "Time has rolled his
ceaseless course," and season has succeeded season, until the infant, in
its utter helplessness to lift its little hands for succour, has sprung
up into a fair blue-eyed little maiden of nearly eight years old, light
as a fairy in her proportions, bounding as a fawn in her gait; her eyes
beaming with joy, and her cheeks suffused with the blush of health, when
tripping over the sea-girt hills; meek and attentive when listening to
the precepts of her fond and adopted parent.

Faithful, the Newfoundland dog is no more, but his portrait hangs over
the mantle-piece in the little parlour.  Mrs Beazeley, the housekeeper,
has become inert and querulous from rheumatism and the burden of added
years.  A little girl, daughter of Robinson, the fisherman has been
called in to perform her duties, while she basks in the summer's sun or
hangs over the winter's fire.  Edward Forster's whole employment and
whole delight has long been centred in his darling child, whose beauty
of person, quickness of intellect, generous disposition, and
affectionate heart, amply repay him for his kind protection.

Of all chapters which can be ventured upon, one upon education is
perhaps the most tiresome.  Most willingly would I pass it over, not
only for the reader's sake, but for mine own; for his--because it cannot
well be otherwise than dry and uninteresting; for mine--because I do not
exactly know how to write it.

But this cannot be.  Amber was not brought up according to the
prescribed maxims of Mesdames Appleton and Hamilton; and as effects
cannot be satisfactorily comprehended without the causes are made known,
so it becomes necessary, not only that the chapter should be written,
but, what is still more vexatious, absolutely necessary that it should
be read.

Before I enter upon this most unpleasant theme--unpleasant to all
parties, for no one likes to teach and no one likes to learn, I cannot
help remarking how excessively _au fait_ we find most elderly maiden
ladies upon every point connected with the rearing of our unprofitable
species.  They are erudite upon every point _ab ovo_, and it would
appear that their peculiar knowledge of the _theory_ can but arise from
their attentions having never been diverted by the _practice_.

Let it be the teeming mother or the new-born babe--the teething infant
or the fractious child--the dirty, pin-before urchin or sampler-spoiling
girl--school-boy lout or sapling Miss--voice-broken, self-admiring
hobby-de-hoy, or expanding conscious and blushing maiden, the whole
arcana of nature and of art has been revealed to them alone.

Let it be the scarlet-fever or a fit of passion, the measles or a
shocking fib--whooping-cough or apple-stealing--learning too slow or
eating too fast--slapping a sister or clawing a brother--let the disease
be bodily or mental, they alone possess the panacea; and blooming
matrons, spreading out in their pride, like the anxious chuckling hen,
over their numerous encircling offspring, who have borne them with a
mother's throes, watched over them with a mother's anxious mind, and
reared them with a mother's ardent love, are considered to be wholly
incompetent, in the opinion of these desiccated and barren branches of
nature's stupendous, ever-bearing tree.

Mrs Beazeley, who had lost her husband soon after marriage, was not
fond of children, as they interfered with her habits of extreme
neatness.  As far as Amber's education was concerned, all we can say is,
that if the old housekeeper did her no good, she certainly did her no
harm.  As Amber increased in years and intelligence, so did her thirst
for knowledge on topics upon which Mrs Beazeley was unable to give her
any correct information.  Under these circumstances, when applied to,
Mrs Beazeley, who was too conscious to mislead the child, was
accustomed to place her hand upon her back, and complain of the
rheumatiz--"Such a stitch, my dear love, can't talk now--ask your pa'
when he comes home."

Edward Forster had maturely weighed the difficulties of the charge
imposed upon him, that of educating a female.  The peculiarity of her
situation, without a friend in the wide world except himself; and his
days, in all probability, numbered to that period at which she would
most require an adviser--that period, when the heart rebels against the
head, and too often overthrows the legitimate dynasty of reason,
determined him to give a masculine character to her education, as most
likely to prove the surest safeguard through a deceitful world.

Aware that more knowledge is to be imparted to a child by conversation
than by any other means (for by this system education is divested of its
drudgery), during the first six years of her life Amber knew little more
than the letters of the alphabet.  It was not until her desire of
information was excited to such a degree as to render her anxious to
obtain her own means of acquiring it that Amber was taught to read; and
then it was at her own request.  Edward Forster was aware that a child
of six years old, willing to learn, would soon pass by another who had
been drilled to it at an earlier age and against its will, and whose
mind had been checked in its expansive powers by the weight which
constantly oppressed its infant memory.  Until the above age the mind of
Amber had been permitted to run as unconfined through its own little
regions of fancy as her active body had been allowed to spring up the
adjacent hills--and both were equally beautified and strengthened by the
healthy exercise.

Religion was deeply impressed upon her grateful heart; but it was
simplified almost to unity, that it might be clearly understood.  It was
conveyed to her through the glorious channel of nature, and God was
loved and feared from the contemplation and admiration of his works.

Did Amber fix her eyes upon the distant ocean, or watch the rolling of
the surf; did they wander over the verdant hills, or settle on the
beetling clift; did she raise her cherub-face to the heavens, and wonder
at the studded firmament of stars, or the moon sailing in her cold
beauty, or the sun blinding her in his warmth and splendour; she knew
that it was God who made them all.  Did she ponder over the variety of
the leaf; did she admire the painting of the flower, or watch the
motions of the minute insect, which, but for her casual observation,
might have lived and died unseen;--she felt--she knew that all was made
for man's advantage or enjoyment, and that God was great and good.  Her
orisons were short, but they were sincere; unlike the child who, night
and morning, stammers through a "Belief" which it cannot comprehend, and
whose ideas of religion are, from injudicious treatment, too soon
connected with feelings of impatience and disgust.

Curiosity has been much abused.  From a habit we have contracted in this
world of not calling things by their right names, it has been decried as
a vice, whereas it ought to have been classed as a virtue.  Had Adam
first discovered the forbidden fruit, he would have tasted it, without,
like Eve, requiring the suggestions of the devil to urge him on to
disobedience.  But if by curiosity was occasioned the fall of man, it is
the same passion by which he is spurred to rise again, and reappear only
inferior to the Deity.  The curiosity of little minds may be
impertinent; but the curiosity of great minds is the thirst for
knowledge--the daring of our immortal powers--the enterprise of the
soul, to raise itself again to its original high estate.  It was
curiosity which stimulated the great Newton to search into the laws of
heaven, and enabled his master-mind to translate the vast mysterious
page of Nature, ever before our eyes since the creation of the world,
but never till he appeared, to be read by mortal man.  It is this
passion which must be nurtured in our childhood, for upon its healthy
growth and vigour depend the future expansion of the mind.

How little money need be expended to teach a child, and yet what a
quantity of books we have to pay for!  Amber had hardly ever looked into
a book, and yet she knew more, that is, had more general useful
knowledge than others who were twice her age.  How small was Edward
Forster's little parlour--how humble the furniture it contained!--a
carpet, a table, a few chairs, a small China vase, as an ornament, on
the mantle-piece.  How few were the objects brought to Amber's view in
their small secluded home!  The plates and knives for dinner, a silver
spoon or two, and their articles of wearing apparel.  Yet how endless,
how inexhaustible was the amusement and instruction derived from these
trifling sources!--for these were Forster's books.

The carpet--its hempen ground carried them to the north, from whence the
material came, the inhabitants of the frozen world, their manners and
their customs, the climate and their cities, their productions and their
sources of wealth.  Its woollen surface, with its various dyes--each dye
containing an episode of an island or a state, a point of natural
history, or of art and manufacture.

The mahogany table, like some magic vehicle, transported them in a
second to the torrid zone, where the various tropical flowers and fruit,
the towering cocoa-nut, the spreading palm, the broad-leaved banana, the
fragrant pine--all that was indigenous to the country, all that was
peculiar in the scenery and the clime, were pictured to the imagination
of the delighted Amber.

The little vase upon the mantle-piece swelled into a splendid atlas of
eastern geography, an inexhaustible folio, describing Indian customs,
the Asiatic splendour of costume, the gorgeous thrones of the
descendants of the Prophet, the history of the Prophet himself, the
superior instinct and stupendous body of the elephant; all that Edward
Forster had collected of nature or of art, through these extensive
regions, were successively displayed, until they returned to China, from
whence they had commenced their travels.  Thus did the little vase, like
the vessel taken up by the fisherman in the Arabian Nights, contain a
giant confined by the seal of Solomon--Knowledge.

The knife and spoon brought food unto the mind as well as to the body.
The mines were entered, the countries pointed out in which they were to
be found, the various metals, their value, and the uses to which they
were applied, The dress again led them abroad; the cotton hung in pods
upon the tree, the silkworm spun its yellow tomb, all the process of
manufacture was explained.  The loom again was worked by fancy, until
the article in comment was again produced.

Thus was Amber instructed and amused; and thus, with nature for his
hornbook, and art for his primer, did the little parlour of Edward
Forster expand into "the universe."



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER SEVEN.

  "They boast
  Their noble birth; conduct us to the tombs
  Of their forefathers, and from age to age
  Ascending, trumpet to their illustrious race."
  COWPER.

Devoted as he was to the instruction of his adopted child, Edward
Forster was nevertheless aware that more was required in the education
of a female than he was competent to fulfil.  Many and melancholy were
his reveries on the forlorn prospects of the little girl (considering
his own precarious life and the little chance that appeared of restoring
her to her friends and relations), still he resolved that all that could
should be done; the issue he left to Providence.  That she might not be
cast wholly unknown upon the world, in case of his death, he had often
taken Amber to a neighbouring mansion, with the owner of which, Lord
Aveleyn, he had long been on friendly terms; although, until latterly,
he had declined mixing with the society which was there collected.  Many
years before, the possessor had entered the naval service, and had,
during the few months that he had served in the capacity of midshipman,
been intrusted to the charge of Edward Forster.

It is a curious fact, although little commented upon, how much society
in general is affected by the entailment of property in aristocratical
families upon the male heir; we may add, how much it is demoralised.
The eldest son, accustomed from his earliest days to the flattery and
adulation of dependents, is impressed with but one single idea, namely,
that he is the fortunate person deputed by chance to spend so many
thousands per annum, and that his brothers and sisters, with equal
claims upon their parent, are to be almost dependent upon him for
support.  Of this the latter are but too soon made conscious, by the
difference of treatment which they experience from those around them;
and feelings of envy and ill-will towards their eldest brother are but
too often the result of such inequality.  Thus one of the greatest
charms of life, unity between brethren, is destroyed.

The possessor of the title and the estates is at last borne to his long
home, there to lie until summoned before that presence where he and
those who were kings, and those who were clowns, will stand trembling as
erring men, awaiting the fiat of eternal justice.  In his turn, the
young lord revels in his youth.

Then how much more trying is the situation of the younger brothers.
During their father's lifetime they had a home, and were brought up in
scenes and with ideas commensurate with the fortune which had been
entailed.  Now, they find themselves thrown upon the world, without the
means of support, even adequate to their wants.  Like the steward in the
parable, "they cannot dig, to beg they are ashamed;" and like him, they
too often resort to unworthy means to supply their exigences.

Should the young heir prove sickly, what speculations on his demise!
The worldly stake is so enormous, that the ties of nature are dissolved,
and a brother rejoices at a brother's death!  One generation is not
sufficient to remove these feelings; the barrenness of his marriage bed,
or the weakly state of his children, are successively speculated upon by
the presumptive heir.  Let it not be supposed that I would infer this
always to be the fact.  I have put the extreme case, to point out what
must ensue, according to the feelings of our nature, if care is not
taken to prevent its occurrence.  There is a cruelty, a more than
cruelty, in parents bringing up their children with ideas which seldom
can be realised, and rendering their future lives a pilgrimage of misery
and discontent, if not of depravity.

But the major part of our aristocracy are neither deficient in talent
nor in worth.  They set a bright example to the nobles of other
countries, and very frequently even to the less demoralised society of
our own.  Trammelled by the deeds of their forefathers, they employ
every means in their power to remedy the evil, and a large proportion of
their younger branches find useful and honourable employment in the
army, the navy, or the church.  But their numbers cannot all be provided
for by these channels, and it is the country at large which is taxed to
supply the means of sustenance to the younger scions of nobility; taxed
directly in the shape of place and sinecure, indirectly in various ways,
but in no way so heavily as by the monopoly of the East India Company,
which has so long been permitted to oppress the nation, that these
_detrimentals_ (as they have named themselves) may be provided for.  It
is a well-known fact, that there is hardly a peer in the upper House, or
many representatives of the people in the lower, who are not, or who
anticipate to be, under some obligation to this Company by their
relations or connections being provided for in those distant climes; and
it is this bribery (for bribery it is, in whatever guise it may appear)
that upholds one of the most glaring, the most oppressive of all
monopolies, in the face of common sense, common justice and common
decency.  Other taxes are principally felt by the higher and middling
classes; but this most odious, this most galling tax, is felt even in
the cottage of the labourer, who cannot return to refresh himself after
his day of toil with his favourite beverage without paying twice its
value out of his hard-earned pittance, to swell the dividend of the
Company, and support these _pruriencies_ of noble blood.

And yet, deprecating the evils arising from the system of entail, I must
acknowledge that there are no other means by which (in a monarchical
government) the desirable end of upholding rank is to be obtained.  I
remember once, when conversing with an American, I inquired after one or
two of his countrymen, who but a few years before were of great wealth
and influence.  To one of my remarks he answered, "In our country all
the wealth and power at the time attached to it does not prevent a name
from sinking into insignificance, or from being forgotten soon after its
possessor is dead, for we do not entail property.  The distribution
scatters the amassed heap, by which the world around him had been
attracted; and although the distribution tends to the general
fertilisation of the country, yet with the disappearance, the influence
of the possessor and even his name are soon forgotten."

These remarks, as will appear in the sequel, are apposite to the parties
which I am about to introduce to the reader.  As, however, they are
people of some consequence, it may appear to be a want of due respect on
my part, if I were to introduce them at the fag-end of a chapter.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER EIGHT.

  "'Twas his the vast and trackless deep to rove,
  Alternate change of climates has he known,
  And felt the fierce extremes of either zone,
  Where polar skies congeal th' eternal snow,
  Or equinoctial suns for ever glow;
  Smote by the freezing or the scorching blast,
  A ship-boy on the high and giddy mast."
  FALCONER.

The father of the present Lord Aveleyn had three sons, and, in
conformity with the usages commented upon in the preceding chapter, the
two youngest were condemned to the army and navy; the second, who had
priority of choice, being dismissed to gather laurels in a red coat,
while the third was recommended to do the same, if he could, in a suit
of blue.  Fairly embarked in their several professions, a sum of fifty
pounds per annum was placed in the hands of their respective agents, and
no more was thought about a pair of "detrimentals."

Lord Aveleyn's father, who had married late in life, was summoned away
when the eldest brother of the present Lord Aveleyn, the heir, was yet a
minor, about two years after he had embarked in the ship to which Edward
Forster belonged.  Now it was the will of Providence that, about six
months after the old nobleman's decease, the young lord and his second
brother, who had obtained a short furlough, should most unadvisedly
embark in a small sailing boat on the lake close to the mansion, and
that, owing to some mismanagement of the sail, the boat upset, and they
were both drowned.

As soon as the melancholy intelligence was made known to the trustees, a
letter was despatched to Captain L---, who commanded the ship in which
young Aveleyn was serving his time, acquainting him with the
catastrophe, and requesting the immediate discharge of the young
midshipman.  The captain repaired on board; when he arrived on the
quarter-deck, he desired the first-lieutenant to send down for young
Aveleyn.

"He is at the mast-head, sir," replied the first-lieutenant, "for
neglect of duty."

"Really, Mr W---," replied the captain, who had witnessed the boy's
_ascent_ at least a hundred times before with perfect indifference, and
had often sent him up himself, "you appear to be very sharp upon that
poor lad; you make no allowance for youth--boys will be boys."

"He's the most troublesome young monkey in the ship sir," replied the
first-lieutenant, surprised at this unusual interference.

"He has always appeared to me to be a well-disposed, intelligent lad,
Mr W---; and I wish you to understand that I do not approve of this
system of eternal mast-heading.  However, he will not trouble you any
more, as his discharge is to be immediately made out.  He is now,"
continued the captain, pausing to give more effect to his communication,
"Lord Aveleyn."

"Whew! now the murder's out," mentally exclaimed the first-lieutenant.

"Call him down immediately, Mr W---, if you please--and recollect that
I disapprove of the system."

"Certainly, sir; but really, Captain L---, I don't know what I shall do
if you restrict my power of punishing the young gentlemen; they are so
extremely unruly.  There's Mr Malcolm," continued the first-lieutenant,
pointing to a youngster who was walking on the other side of the deck,
with his hands in his pockets, "it was but yesterday that he chopped off
at least four inches from the tail of your dog `Ponto,' at the
beef-block, and pretends it was an accident."

"What! my setter's tail?"

"Yes, sir, he did, I can assure you."

"Mr Malcolm," cried the captain, in great wrath, "how came you to cut
off my dog's tail?"

Before I went to sea I had always considered a London cock-sparrow to be
the truest emblem of consummate impudence; but I have since discovered
that he is quite modest compared to a midshipman.

"Me, sir?" replied the youngster, demurely.  "I didn't cut off his tail,
sir; he _cut it off himself_!"

"What, sir!" roared the captain.

"If you please, sir, I was chopping a piece of beef, and the dog, who
was standing by, turned short round, and put his tail under the
chopper."

"Put his tail under the chopper, you little scamp!" replied Captain
L---, in a fury.  "Now just put your head above the maintop-gallant
cross-trees, and stay there until you are called down.  Mr W---, you'll
keep him up till sunset."

"Ay, ay, sir," replied the first-lieutenant, with a satisfactory smile
at the description of punishment inflicted.

When I was a midshipman, it was extremely difficult to avoid the
mast-head.  Out of six years served in that capacity, I once made a
calculation that two of them were passed away perched upon the
cross-trees, looking down, with calm philosophy, upon the microcosm
below.  Yet, although I _never_ deserved it, I derived much future
advantage from my repeated punishments.  The mast-head, for want of
something _worse_ to do, became my study; and during the time spent
there, I in a manner finished my education.  Volumes after volumes were
perused to while away the tedious hours; and I conscientiously believe
it is to this mode of punishment adopted by my rigid superiors that the
world is indebted for all the pretty books which I am writing.

I was generally exalted either for _thinking_ or _not thinking_; and as
I am not aware of any medium between the active and passive state of our
minds (except dreaming, which is still more unpardonable), the reader
may suppose that there is no exaggeration in my previous calculation of
one-third of my midshipman existence having been passed away upon "the
high and giddy mast."

"Mr M---," would the first-lieutenant cry out, "why did you stay so
long on shore with the jolly-boat?"

"I went to the post-office for the officers' letters, sir."

"And pray, sir, who ordered you?"

"No one, sir; but I _thought_--"

"You _thought_, sir!  How dare _you think_?--go up to the mast-head,
sir."

So much for _thinking_.

"Mr M---," would he say at another time, when I came on board, "did you
call at the admiral's office?"

"No, sir; I had no orders.  I didn't _think_--"

"Then why _didn't you think_, sir?  Up to the mast-head, and stay there
till I call you down."

So much for _not thinking_.  Like the fable of the wolf and the lamb, it
was all the same; bleat as I pleased, my defence was useless, and I
could not avert my barbarous doom.

To proceed: Captain L--- went over the side; the last pipe had been
given, and the boatswain had returned his call into his jacket-pocket,
and walked forward, when the first-lieutenant, in pursuance of his
orders, looked up aloft, intending to have hailed the new lord, and have
requested the pleasure of his company on deck; but the youngster,
feeling a slight degree of appetite, after enjoying the fresh air for
seven hours without any breakfast, had just ventured down the topmast
rigging, that he might obtain possession of a bottle of tea and some
biscuit, which one of his messmates had carried up for him, and stowed
away in the bunt of the maintopsail.  Young Aveleyn, who thought that
the departure of the captain would occupy the attention of the
first-lieutenant, had just descended to, and was placing his foot on,
the topsail yard, when Mr W--- looked up, and witnessed this act of
disobedience.  As this was a fresh offence committed, he thought himself
warranted in not complying with the captain's mandate, and the boy was
ordered up again, to remain till sunset.  "I would have called him
down," muttered Mr W---, whose temper had been soured from long
disappointment; "but since he's a lord, he shall have a good spell of it
before he quits the service; and then we shall not have his
recommendation to others in his own rank to come into it, and interfere
with our promotion."

Now, it happened that Mr W---, who had an eye like a hawk, when he cast
his eyes aloft, observed that the bunt of the maintopsail was not
exactly so well stowed as it ought to be on board of a man-of-war; which
is not to be wondered at, when it is recollected that the midshipmen had
been very busy enlarging it to make a pantry.  He therefore turned the
hands up, "mend sails," and took his station amidship on the booms, to
see that this, the most delinquent sail, was properly furled.

"Trice up--lay out--All ready forward?"--"All ready, sir."--"All ready
abaft?"--"All ready, sir."--"Let fall."--Down came the sails from the
yards, and down also came the bottle of tea and biscuit upon the face of
the first-lieutenant, who was looking up; the former knocking out three
of his front teeth, besides splitting open both his lips and chin.

Young Aveleyn, who witnessed the catastrophe, was delighted; the other
midshipmen on deck crowded round their superior, to offer their
condolements, winking and making faces at each other in by-play, until
the first-lieutenant descended to his cabin, when they no longer
restrained their mirth.

About an hour afterwards, Mr W--- reappeared, with his face bound up,
and summoned all the young gentlemen on deck, insisting upon being
informed who it was who had stowed away the bottle in the bunt of the
sail; but midshipmen have most treacherous memories, and not one of them
knew anything about it.  As a last resource, young Aveleyn was called
down from the mast-head.

"Now, sir," said Mr W---, "either inform me directly who it was who
stowed away the bottle aloft, or I pledge you my word you shall be
discharged from his Majesty's service tomorrow morning.  Don't pretend
to say that you don't know--for you must."

"I do know," replied the youngster, boldly; "but I never will tell."

"Then either you or I shall leave the service.  Man the first cutter;"
and when the boat was manned, the first-lieutenant sent some papers on
shore, which he had been desired to do by the captain.

When the boat returned, the clerk was sent for, and desired by Mr
W--- to make out Mr Aveleyn's discharge, as the officers and midshipmen
thought (for Mr W--- had kept his secret), for his disobedient conduct.
The poor boy, who thought all his prospects blighted, was sent on
shore, the tears running down his cheeks, as much from the applause and
kind farewells of his shipmates, as from the idea of the degradation
which he underwent.  Now, the real culprit was young Malcolm, who, to
oblige the captain, had taken his station at the foretop-gallant
mast-head, because the dog "Ponto" thought proper to cut off his own
tail.  The first-lieutenant, in his own woe, forgot that of others; and
it was not until nine o'clock at night, that Malcolm, who thought that
he had stayed up quite long enough, ventured below, when he was informed
of what had taken place.

The youngster immediately penned a letter to the captain acknowledging
that he was the offender, and requesting that Mr Aveleyn might not be
discharged from the service; he also ventured to add a postscript,
begging that the same lenity might be extended towards himself; which
letter was sent on shore by the captain's gig, when it left the ship the
next morning, and was received by Captain L--- at the very same time
that young Aveleyn, who had not been sent on shore till late in the
evening, called upon the captain to request a reprieve from his hard
sentence.

The boy sent up his name and was immediately admitted.

"I presume you know why you are discharged from the service?" said
Captain L---, smiling benignantly.

"Yes, sir," replied the boy, holding his head down submissively,
"because of that accident--I'm very sorry, sir."

"Of course you must, and ought to be.  Such heavy blows are not common,
and hard to bear.  I presume you go immediately to Buckhurst?"

"I suppose I must, sir; but I hope, Captain L---, that you'll look over
it."

"I shall have very great pleasure in so doing," replied Captain L---; "I
hear that it is--"

"Thanky, sir, thanky," replied the youngster, interrupting the captain.
"Then I may go on board again and tell the first-lieutenant?"

"Tell the first-lieutenant what?" cried Captain L---, perceiving some
mistake.  "Why, has not Mr W--- told you?"

"Yes, sir, he told me it was your orders that I should be dismissed his
Majesty's service."

"Discharged--not dismissed.  And I presume he told you why: because your
two elder brothers are dead, and you are now Lord Aveleyn."

"No, sir!" cried the youngster with astonishment; "because his three
front teeth are knocked out with a bottle of _scaldchops_ and I would
not peach who stowed it away in the bunt of the sail."

"This is excessively strange!" replied Captain L---.  "Do me the favour
to sit down, my lord; the letters from the ship will probably explain
the affair."

There was, however, no explanation, except from young Malcolm.  The
captain read his letter, and put it into the hands of Lord Aveleyn, who
entered into a detail of the whole.

Captain L--- produced the letter from the trustees, and, desiring his
lordship to command him as to any funds he might require, requested the
pleasure of his company to dinner.  The boy, whose head wheeled with the
sudden change in his prospects, was glad to retire, having first
obtained permission to return on board with young Malcolm's pardon,
which had been most graciously acceded to.  To the astonishment of
everybody on board, young Aveleyn came alongside in the captain's own
gig, when the scene in the midshipmen's berth and the discomfiture of
the first-lieutenant may be imagined.

"You don't belong to the service, Frank," said the old master's mate;
"and, as peer of the realm, coming on board to visit the ship, you are
entitled to a salute.  Send up and say you expect one, and then
W--- must have the guard up, and pay you proper respect.  I'll be hanged
if I don't take the message, if you consent to it."

But Lord Aveleyn had come on board to pay a debt of gratitude, not to
inflict mortification.  He soon quitted the ship, promising never to
forget Malcolm; and, unlike the promises of most great men, it was
fulfilled, and Malcolm rose to be a captain from his own merit, backed
by the exertions of his youthful patron.

For the next week the three mast-heads were so loaded with midshipmen,
that the boatswain proposed a preventer backstay, that the top-masts
might not go over the side; but shortly after, Captain L---, who was not
pleased at the falsehood which Mr W--- had circulated, and who had many
other reasons for parting with him, succeeded in having him appointed to
another ship; after which the midshipmen walked up and down the
quarter-deck with their hands in their pockets, as before.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER NINE.

  But Adeline determined Juan's wedding
  In her own mind, and that's enough for woman;
  But then with whom? there was the sage Miss Redding,
  Miss Raw, Miss Flaw, Miss Showman, and Miss Knowman,
  And the two fair co-heiresses Giltbedding.
  She deem'd his merits something more than common.
  All these were unobjectionable matches,
  And might go on, if well wound up, like watches.
  BYRON.

The young Lord Aveleyn returned to the hall of his ancestors, exchanging
the gloomy cockpit for the gay saloon, the ship's allowance for
sumptuous fare, the tyranny of his mess-mates and the harshness of his
superiors for adulation and respect.  Was he happier?  No.  In this
world, whether in boyhood or riper years, the happiest state of
existence is when under control.  Although contrary to received opinion,
this is a fact; but I cannot now stop to demonstrate the truth of the
assertion.

Life may be compared to a gamut of music: there are seven notes from our
birth to our marriage, and thus may we run up the first octave; milk,
sugar-plums, apples, cricket, cravat, gun, horse; then comes the wife, a
_da capo_ to a new existence, which is to continue until the whole
diapason is gone through.  Lord Aveleyn ran up his scale like others
before him.

"Why do you not marry, my dear Frank?" said the dowager Lady Aveleyn,
one day, when a thick fog debarred her son of his usual pastime.

"Why, mother, I have no objection to marry, and I suppose I must one of
these days, as a matter of duty; but I really am very difficult, and if
I were to make a bad choice, you know a wife is not like this gun, which
will go _off_ when I please."

"But still my dear Frank, there are many very eligible matches to be
made just now."

"I do not doubt it, madam; but pray who are they?"

"Why, Miss Riddlesworth."

"A very pretty girl, and I am told a large fortune.  But let me hear the
others first."

"Clara Beauchamp, well connected, and a very sweet girl."

"Granted also, for any thing I know to the contrary.  Have you more on
your list?"

"Certainly.  Emily Riddlesdale; not much fortune, but very highly
connected indeed.  Her brother, Lord Riddlesdale is a man of great
influence."

"Her want of money is no object, my dear mother, and the influence of
her brother no inducement.  I covet neither.  I grant you that she is a
very nice girl.  Proceed."

"Why, Frank, one would think that you were a sultan with his
handkerchief.  There is Lady Selina Armstrong."

"Well, she is a very fine girl, and talks well."

"There is Harriet Butler, who has just come out."

"I saw her at the last ball we were at--a very pretty creature."

"Lady Jemima Calthorpe."

"Not very good-looking, but clever and agreeable."

"There is Louisa Manners, who is very much admired."

"I admire her very much myself."

"Well, Frank, you have exhausted my catalogue.  There is not one I have
mentioned who is not unexceptionable, and whom I would gladly embrace as
a daughter-in-law.  You are now turned of forty, my dear son, and must
make up your mind to have heirs to the title and estates.  I am however
afraid that your admiration is so general, that you will be puzzled in
your choice."

"I will confess to you, my dearest mother, that I have many years
thought of the necessity of taking to myself a wife, but have never yet
had courage to decide.  I admit that if all the young women you have
mentioned were what they appear to be, a man need not long hesitate in
his choice; but the great difficulty is, that their real tempers and
dispositions are not to be ascertained till it is too late.  Allow that
I should attempt to discover the peculiar disposition of every one of
them, what would be the consequence?--that my attentions would be
perceived.  I do not exactly mean to accuse them of deceit; but a woman
is naturally flattered by perceiving herself an object of attraction;
and, when flattered, is pleased.  It is not likely, therefore, that the
infirmities of her temper (if she have any) should be discovered by a
man whose presence is a source of gratification.  If artful, she will
conceal her faults; if not so there will be no occasion to bring them to
light.  And even if, after a long courtship, something wrong should be
discovered, either you have proceeded too far in honour to retract, or
are so blinded by your own feelings as to extenuate it.  Now it is only
the parents and near relations of a young woman who can be witnesses to
her real character, unless it be indeed her own maid, whom one could not
condescend to interrogate."

"That is all very true, Frank; but recollect the same observations apply
to your sex as well as ours.  Lovers and husbands are very different
beings.  It is quite a lottery on both sides."

"I agree with you, my dear mother; and as marry I must, so shall it be a
lottery with me; I will leave it to chance, and not to myself: then, if
I am unfortunate, I will blame my stars and not have to accuse myself of
a want of proper discrimination."  Lord Aveleyn took up a sheet of
paper, and dividing it into small slips, wrote upon them the names of
the different young ladies proposed by his mother.  Folding them up, he
threw them on the table before her, and requested that she would select
any one of the papers.

The dowager took up one.

"I thank you, madam," said Lord Aveleyn, taking the paper from her hand,
and opening it--"`Louisa Manners.'  Well, then, Louisa Manners it shall
be; always provided that she does not refuse me.  I will make my first
advances this very afternoon; that is, if it does not clear up, and I
can take out the pointers."

"You surely are joking, Frank?"

"Never was more serious.  I have my mother's recommendation, backed by
fate.  Marry I must, but choose I will not.  I feel myself desperately
in love with the fair Louisa already.  I will report my progress to you,
my dear madam, in less than a fortnight."

Lord Aveleyn adhered to his singular resolution, courted, and was
accepted.  He never had reason to repent his choice; who proved to be as
amiable as her countenance would have indicated.  The fruits of his
marriage was one son, who was watched over with mingled pride and
anxiety, and who had now arrived at the age of fifteen years.

Such was the history of Lord Aveleyn, who continued to extend his
friendship to Edward Forster, and if he had required it, would gladly
have proffered his assistance, in return for the kindness which Forster
had shown towards him when he was a midshipman.  The circumstances
connected with the history of the little Amber were known to Lord
Aveleyn and his lady, and the wish of Forster, that his little charge
should derive the advantage of mixing in good female society, was gladly
acceded to, both on his account and on her own.  Amber would often
remain for days at the mansion, and was a general favourite, as well as
an object of sympathy.

But the growth of their son, too rapid for his years, and which brought
with it symptoms of pulmonary disease, alarmed Lord and Lady Aveleyn;
and by the advice of the physicians, they broke up their establishment,
and hastened with him to Madeira, to re-establish his health.  Their
departure was deeply felt both by Forster and his charge; and before
they could recover from the loss; another severe trial awaited them in
the death of Mrs Beazeley, who, full of years and rheumatism, was
gathered to her fathers.  Forster, habituated as he was to the old lady,
felt her loss severely; he was now with Amber, quite alone; and it so
happened that in the following winter his wound broke out, and confined
him to his bed until the spring.

As he lay in a precarious state, the thought naturally occurred to him,
"What will become of this poor child if I am called away?  There is not
the slightest provision for her: she has no friends; and I have not even
made it known to any of my own that there is such a person in
existence."  Edward Forster thought of his brother, the lawyer, whom he
knew still to be flourishing, although he had never corresponded with
him, and resolved that as soon as he was able to undertake the journey,
he would go to town, and secure his interest for the little Amber, in
case of any accident happening to himself.

The spring and summer passed away before he found himself strong enough
to undertake the journey.  It was late in the autumn that Edward Forster
and Amber took their places in a heavy coach for the metropolis, and
arrived without accident on the day or two subsequent to that on which
Nicholas and Newton had entered it on foot.

Newton Forster--Captain Marryat



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER TEN.

  Through coaches, drays, choked turnpikes, and a whirl
  Of wheels, and roar of voices, and confusion,
  Here taverns wooing to a pint of "purl,"
  There mails fast flying off; like a delusion.

  Through this, and much and more, is the approach
  Of travellers to mighty Babylon;
  Whether they come by horse, or chair, or coach,
  With slight exceptions, all the ways seem one.
  BYRON.

When Newton Forster and his father arrived at London, they put up at an
obscure inn in the Borough.  The next day Newton set off to discover the
residence of his uncle.  The people of the inn had recommended him to
apply to some stationer or bookseller, who would allow him to look over
a red-book; and in compliance with these instructions, Newton stopped at
a shop in Fleet-street, on the doors of which was written in large gilt
letters--"Law Bookseller."  The young men in the shop were very civil
and obliging, and, without referring to the Guide, immediately told him
the residence of a man so well known as his uncle; and Newton hastened
in the direction pointed out.

It was one of those melancholy days in which London wears the appearance
of a huge scavenger's cart.  A lurid fog and mizzling rain, which had
been incessant for the previous twenty-four hours; sloppy pavements, and
kennels down which the muddy torrents hastened to precipitate themselves
in the sewers below; armies of umbrellas, as far as the eye could reach,
now rising, now lowering, to avoid collision; hackney-coaches in active
sloth, their miserable cattle plodding along with their backs arched and
heads and tails drooping like barn-door fowls crouching under the
cataract of a gutter; clacking of pattens and pestering of sweepers; not
a smile upon the countenance of one individual of the multitude which
passed him;--all appeared anxiety, bustle, and selfishness.  Newton was
not sorry when he turned down the narrow court which had been indicated
to him, and, disengaged from the throng of men, commenced a more rapid
course.  In two minutes he was at the door of his uncle's chambers,
which, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, stood wide open,
as if there should be no obstacle in a man's way, or a single moment for
reflection allowed him, if he wished to entangle himself in the expenses
and difficulties of the law.  Newton furled his weeping umbrella, and
first looking with astonishment at the mud which had accumulated above
the calves of his legs, raised his eyes to the jambs on each side, where
in large letters, he read at the head of a long list of occupants, "Mr
Forster, Ground Floor."  A door with Mr Forster's name on it, within a
few feet of him, next caught his eye.  He knocked, and was admitted by
the clerk, who stated that his master was at a consultation, but was
expected back in half an hour, if he could wait so long.  Newton
assented, and was ushered into the parlour, where the clerk presented
the newspaper of the day to amuse him until the arrival of his uncle.

As soon as the door was closed Newton's curiosity as to the character of
his uncle induced him to scrutinise the apartment and its contents.  In
the centre of the room, which might have been about fourteen feet
square, stood a table, with a shadow lamp placed before the only part of
it which was left vacant for the use of the pen.  The remainder of the
space was loaded with parchment upon parchment, deed upon deed, paper
upon paper.  Some, especially those underneath, had become dark and
discoloured by time; the ink had changed to a dull red, and the imprint
of many a thumb inferred how many years they had been in existence, and
how long they had lain as sad mementos of the law's delay.  Others were
fresh and clean, the japanned ink in strong contrast with the glossy
parchment, new cases of litigation fresh as the hopes of those who had
been persuaded by flattering assurances to enter into a labyrinth of
vexation, from which, perhaps, not to be extricated until these
documents should assume the hue of the others, which silently indicated
the blighted hopes of protracted litigation.  Two massive iron chests
occupied the walls on each side of the fireplace; and round the whole
area of the room were piled one upon another large tin boxes, on which,
in legible Roman characters, were written the names of the parties whose
property was thus immured.  There they stood like so many sepulchres of
happiness, mausoleums raised over departed competence, while the names
of the parties inscribed appeared as so many registers of the folly and
contention of man.

But from all this Newton could draw no other conclusion than that his
uncle had plenty of business.  The fire in the grate was on so small a
scale, that although he shivered with wet and cold, Newton was afraid to
stir it, lest it should go out altogether.  From this circumstance he
drew a hasty and unsatisfactory conclusion that his uncle was not very
partial to spending his money.

But he hardly had time to draw these inferences and then take up the
newspaper, when the door opened, and another party was ushered into the
room by the clerk, who informed him, as he handed a chair, that Mr
Forster would return in a few minutes.

The personage thus introduced was a short young man, with a round face,
bushy eyebrows, and dogged countenance, implying wilfulness, without
ill-nature.  As soon as he entered he proceeded to divest his throat of
a large shawl, which he hung over the back of a chair; then doffing his
great-coat, which was placed in a similar position, he rubbed his hands,
and walked up to the fire, into which he insinuated the poker, and
immediately destroyed the small symptoms of combustion which remained,
reducing the whole to one chaos of smoke.

"Better have left it alone, I believe," observed he, re-inserting the
poker, and again stirring up the black mass, for the fire was now
virtually defunct.

"You're not cold, I hope, sir?" said the party, turning to Newton.

"No, sir, not very," replied Newton, good-humouredly.

"I thought so; clients never are; nothing like law for _keeping you
warm_, sir.  Always bring on your cause in the winter months.  I do, if
I can, for it's positive suffocation in the dog-days!"

"I really never was _at law_," replied Newton, laughing; "but if ever I
have the misfortune, I shall recollect your advice."

"Never was at law!  I was going to say, what the devil brings you here?
but that would have been an impertinent question.--Well, sir, do you
know there was a time at which I never knew what law was," continued the
young man, seating himself in a chair opposite to Newton.  "It was many
years ago, when I was a younger brother and had no property: no one took
the trouble to go to law with me; for if they gained their cause there
were no effects.  Within the last six years I have inherited a
considerable property, and am always in hot water.  I heard that the
lawyers say, `causes produce effects.'  I am sure I can say that
`effects have produced causes!'"

"I am sorry that your good fortune should be coupled with such a
drawback."

"Oh, it's nothing!  It's just to a man what a clog is to a horse in a
field, you know pretty well where to find him.  I'm so used to it--
indeed so much so, that I should feel rather uncomfortable if I had
nothing on my hands: just keeps me from being idle.  I've been into
every court in the metropolis, and have no fault to find with one of
them, except the Court of Rights."

"And pray, sir, what is that Court, and the objection you have to it?"

"Why, as to the Court, it's the most confounded rascal; but I must be
careful how I speak before strangers, you'll excuse me, sir (not that I
suspect you, but I know what may be considered as a libel).  I shall
therefore just state, that it is a court at which no gentleman can
appear; and if he does, it's of no use, for he'll never get a verdict in
his favour."

"What, then it is not a court of justice?"

"Court of justice! no, it's a court for the recovery of small debts: but
I'll just tell you, sir, exactly what took place with me in that court,
and then you will be able to judge for yourself.  I had a dog; sir, it
was just after I came into my property; his name was Caesar, and a very
good dog he was.  Well, sir, riding out one day about four miles from
town, a rabbit put his nose out of a cellar, where they retailed
potatoes.  Caesar pounced upon him, and the rabbit was dead in a moment.
The man who owned the rabbit and the potatoes, came up to me and asked
my name, which I told him; at the same time, I expressed my sorrow at
the accident, and advised him in future to keep his rabbits in hutches.
He said he would, and demanded three shillings and sixpence for the one
which the dog had killed.  Now, although he was welcome to advice, money
was quite another thing; so he went one way, muttering something about
law, and I another, with Caesar at my heels, taking no notice of his
threat.  Well, sir, in a few days my servant came up to say that
somebody wished to see me upon _particular_ business, and I ordered him
to be shown up.  It was a blackguard-looking fellow, who put a piece of
dirty paper in my hand; summoned me to appear at some dog-hole or
another, I forget where.  Not understanding the business, I enclosed it
to a legal friend, who returned an answer, that it was a summons to the
Court of Rights; that no gentleman could go there; and that I had better
let the thing take its course.  I had forgotten all about it, when, in a
few days, a piece of paper was brought to me, by which I found that the
Court adjudged me to pay 1 pound, 2 shillings, 6 pence, for damages and
costs.  I asked who brought it, and was told it was the son of the
potato-merchant, accompanied by a tipstaff.  I requested the pleasure of
their company, and asked the legal gentleman what it was for.

"`Eighteen shillings, for ten rabbits destroyed by your dog, and 4
shillings, 6 pence, for costs of court.'

"`Ten rabbits!' exclaimed I; `why he only killed one.'

"`Yes, sir,' squeaked out the young potato-merchant; `but it was a doe
rabbit, in the family way; we counted nine young ones, all killed too!'

"`Shameful!' replied I.  `Pray, sir, did your father tell the Court that
the rabbits were not born?'

"`No, sir; father only said that there was one doe rabbit and nine
little ones killed.  He asked 4 shillings, 6 pence, for the old one, but
only 1 shilling, 6 pence a-piece for the young ones.'

"`You should have been there yourself, sir,' observed the tipstaff.

"`I wish Caesar had left the rabbit alone.  So it appears,' replied I,
`he only asked 3 shillings, 6 pence, at first; but by this _Caesarean
operation_, I am nineteen shillings out of pocket.'--Now, sir, what do
you think of that?"

"I think that you should exclaim against the dishonesty of the
potato-merchant, rather than the judgment of the Court.  Had you
defended your own cause, you might have had justice."

"I don't know that.  A man makes a claim against another, and takes his
oath to it; you must then either disprove it, or pay the sum; your own
oath is of no avail against his.  I called upon my legal friend, and
told him how I had been treated, and he then narrated the following
circumstance, which will explain what I mean:--

"He told me that he never knew of but one instance in which a
respectable person had gained his cause, and in which, he was ashamed to
say, that he was a party implicated.  The means resorted to were as
follows:--A Jew upholsterer sent in a bill to a relation of his for a
chest of drawers, which had never been purchased or received.  Refusing
to pay, he was summoned to the Court of Rights.  Not knowing how to act,
he applied to my informant, who, being under some obligations to his
relative, did not like to refuse.

"`I am afraid that you'll have to pay,' said the attorney to his
relation, when he heard the story.

"`But I never had them, I can swear to it.'

"`That's of no consequence; he will bring men to swear to the delivery.
There are hundreds about the Court who are ready to take any oath, at
half-a-crown a head; and that will be sufficient.  But, to oblige you,
I'll see what I can do.'

"They parted, and in a day or two my legal acquaintance called upon his
relation, and told him that he had gained his cause.  `Rather at the
expense of my conscience, I must acknowledge,' continued he; `but one
must fight these scoundrels with their own weapons.'

"`Well, and how was it?' inquired the other.

"`Why, as I prophesied, he brought three men forward, who swore to the
delivery of the goods.  Aware that this would be the case, I had
provided three others, who swore to their having been witness to the
_payment of the bill_!  This he was not prepared for; and the verdict
was given in your favour.'"

"Is it possible," exclaimed Newton, "that such a court of Belial can
exist in England?"

"Even so; and, as there is no appeal, pray keep out of it.  For my--"

But here the conversation was interrupted by the entrance of Mr John
Forster, who had returned from his consultation.

We have already described Mr John Forster's character; we have now only
to introduce his person.  Mr John Forster was about the middle height,
rather inclined to corpulency, but with great show of muscular strength.
His black nether garments and silk stockings, fitted a leg which might
have been envied by a porter, and his breadth of shoulder was extreme.
He had a slouch, probably contracted by long pouring over the desk; and
his address was as abrupt as his appearance was unpolished.  His
forehead was large and bald, eye small and brilliant, and his cheeks had
dropped down so as to increase the width of his lower jaw.  Deep, yet
not harsh, lines were imprinted on the whole of his countenance, which
indicated inflexibility and self-possession.

"Good morning, gentlemen," said he, as he entered the room; "I hope you
have not been waiting long.  May I request the pleasure of knowing who
came first?  `First come, first served,' is an old motto."

"I _believe_ this gentleman came first," replied the young man.

"Don't you _know_, sir?  Is it only a _believe_?"

"I did arrive first, sir," replied Newton; "but as I am not here upon
legal business, I had rather wait until this gentleman has spoken to
you."

"Not upon legal business--humph!" replied Mr Forster, eyeing Newton.
"Well, then, if that is the case, do me the favour to sit down in the
office until I have communicated with this gentleman."

Newton, taking up his hat, walked out of the door, which was opened by
Mr Forster, and sat down in the next room until he should be summoned.
Although the door between them was closed, it was easy to hear the sound
of the voices within.  For some minutes they fell upon Newton's ears;
that of the young man like the loud yelping of a cur; that of his uncle
like the surly growl of some ferocious beast.  At last the door
opened:--

"But, sir," cried the young man, _in alto_.

"_Pay_, sir, _pay_!  I tell you _pay_!" answered the lawyer, in a
stentorian voice.

"But he has cheated me, sir!"

"Never mind--pay!"

"Charged twice their value, sir!"

"I tell you, pay!"

"But, sir, such imposition!"

"I have told you twenty times, sir, and now tell you again--and for the
last time--_pay_!"

"Won't you take up my cause, sir, then?"

"No, sir!  I have given you advice, and will not pick your pocket!--Good
morning, sir;" and Mr Forster, who had backed his client out of the
room, shut the door in his face, to prevent further discussion.

The young man looked a moment at the door after it was closed, and then
turned round to Newton.

"If yours is really law business, take my advice, don't stay to see him;
I'll take you to a man who _is_ a lawyer.  Here you'll get no law at
all."

"Thank-ye," replied Newton, laughing, "but mine really is not law
business."

The noise of the handle of the door indicated that Mr Forster was about
to reopen it, to summon Newton; and the young man, with a hasty good
morning, brushed by Newton, and hastened into the street.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER ELEVEN.

  _Hamlet_.
  Is not parchment made of sheepskin?
  _Horatio_.
  Ay, my lord, and of calves' skins too.
  _Hamlet_.
  They are sheep and calves which
  Seek out their assurance in that--
  SHAKESPEARE.

The door opened, as intimated at the end of our last chapter, and Newton
obeyed the injunction from the lawyer's eye to follow him into the room.

"Now, sir, your pleasure?" said Mr Forster.

"I must introduce myself," replied Newton: "I am your nephew, Newton
Forster."

"Humph! where's your documents in proof of your assertion?"

"I did not consider that any thing further than my word was necessary.
I am the son of your brother, Nicholas Forster, who resided many years
at Overton."

"I never heard of Overton: Nicholas I recollect to have been the name of
my third brother; but it is upwards of thirty years since I have seen or
heard of him.  I did not know whether he was alive or dead.  Well, for
the sake of argument, we'll allow that you are my nephew--what then?"

Newton coloured up at this peculiar reception.  "What then, uncle?--why
I did hope that you would have been glad to have seen me; but as you
appear to be otherwise, I will wish you good morning;"--and Newton moved
towards the door.

"Stop, young man; I presume that you did not come for nothing?  Before
you go, tell me what you came for."

"To tell you the truth," replied Newton, with emotion, "it was to ask
your assistance and your advice; but--"

"But jumping up in a huff is not the way to obtain either.  Sit down on
that chair, and tell me what you came for."

"To request you would interest yourself in behalf of my father and
myself; we are both out of employ, and require your assistance."

"Or probably I never should have seen you!"

"Most probably: we knew that you were in good circumstances, and
thriving in the world; and as long as we could support ourselves
honestly, should not have thrust ourselves upon you.  All we wish now is
that you will, by your interest and recommendation, put us in the way of
being again independent by our own exertions; which we did not consider
too much to ask from a brother, and an uncle."

"Humph!--so first you keep aloof from me, because you knew that I was
able to assist you, and now you come to me for the same reason!"

"Had we received the least intimation from you that our presence would
have been welcome, you would have seen us before."

"Perhaps so; but I did not know whether I had any relations alive."

"Had I been in your circumstances, uncle, I should have inquired."

"Humph!--Well, young man, as I find that I have relations, I should like
to hear a little about them;--so now tell me all about your father and
yourself."

Newton entered into a detail of the circumstances, with which the reader
is already acquainted.  When he had finished, his uncle, who had
listened with profound attention, his eye fixed upon that of Newton, as
if to read his inmost thoughts, said, "It appears, then, that your
father wishes to prosecute his business as optician.  I am afraid that I
cannot help him.  I wear spectacles certainly when I read; but this pair
has lasted me eleven years, and probably will as many more.  You wish me
to procure you a situation in an East Indiaman as third or fourth mate.
I know nothing about the sea; I never saw it in my life; nor am I aware
that I have a sailor in my acquaintance."

"Then, uncle, I will take my leave."

"Not so fast, young man; you said that you wanted my _assistance_ and my
_advice_.  My assistance I cannot promise you for the reasons I have
stated; but my advice is at your service.  Is it a legal point?"

"Not exactly, sir," replied Newton, who was mortified almost to tears;
"still I must acknowledge that I now more than ever wish that the
articles were in safe keeping, and out of my hands."  Newton then
entered into a detail of the trunk being picked up at sea; and stated
his having brought with him the most valuable of the property, that it
might be deposited in safe bands.

"Humph!" observed his uncle, when he had finished.  "You say that the
articles are of value."

"Those who are judges consider the diamonds and the other articles to be
worth nearly one hundred pounds; I cannot pretend to say what their real
value is."

"And you have had these things in your possession these seven years?"

"I have, sir."

"Did it never occur to you, since you have been in distress, that the
sale of these articles would have assisted you?"

"It often has occurred to me, when I have found that the little I could
earn was not sufficient for my father's support; but we had already
decided that the property was not _legally mine_, and I dismissed the
idea as soon as I could from my thoughts.  Since then I have ascertained
to whom the property belongs, and of course it has become more sacred."

"You said a minute ago that you now more than ever wished the property
in safe keeping.  Why so?"

"Because, disappointed in the hopes I had entertained of receiving your
assistance, I foresaw that we should have more difficulties than ever to
struggle against, and wished not to be in the way of temptation."

"You were right.  Well, then bring me those articles to-morrow, by one
o'clock precisely; I will take charge of them, and give you a receipt.
Good morning, nephew; very happy to have had the pleasure of making your
acquaintance.  Remember me kindly to my brother, and tell him I shall be
happy to see him at one, precisely."

"Good morning, sir," replied Newton, with a faltering voice, as he
hurried away to conceal his disappointment and indignation, which he
felt at this cool reception and dismissal.

"Not _legally_ mine--humph!  I like that boy," muttered the old lawyer
to himself, when Newton had disappeared.--"Scratton!"

"Yes, sir," replied the clerk, opening the door.

"Fill up a check for five hundred pounds, self or bearer, and bring it
to me to sign."

"Yes, sir."

"Is it this evening or to-morrow, that I attend the arbitration
meeting?"

"This evening, seven o'clock."

"What is the name of the party by whom I am employed?"

"Bosanquet, sir."

"East India director, is he not?"

"Yes, sir."

"Humph!--That will do."

The clerk brought in the draft, which was put into his pocket-book
without being signed; his coat was then buttoned up, and Mr John
Forster repaired to the chop-house, at which for twenty-five years he
had seldom failed to make his appearance at the hour of three or four at
the latest.

It was with a heavy heart that Newton returned to the inn in the
Borough, at which he left his father, whom he found looking out of
window, precisely in the same seat and position where he had left him.

"Well, Newton, my boy, did you see my brother?"

"Yes, sir; but I am sorry to say that I have little hopes of his being
of service to us."

Newton then entered into a narration of what had passed.

"Why really, Newton," said his father in his single-heartedness, "I do
not see such cause of despair.  If he did doubt your being his nephew,
how could he tell that you were? and if he had no interest with naval
people why it's not his fault.  As for my expecting him to break his
spectacles on purpose to buy new ones of me, that's too much, and it
would be foolish on his part.  He said that he was very happy to have
made your acquaintance, and that he should be glad to see me.  I really
don't know what more you could expect.  I will call upon him to-morrow,
since he wishes it.  At five o'clock precisely, don't you say?"

"No, sir, at one."

"Well, then, at one; those who have nothing to do must suit their hours
to those who are full of business.  Recollect now, two o'clock
precisely."

"One o'clock, sir."

"Ay, very true, one o'clock I meant; now let's go to dinner."

Nicholas Forster appeared in excellent spirits: and Newton, who did not
like to undeceive him, was glad to retire at an early hour, that he
might be left to his own reflections, and form some plan as to their
proceedings in consequence of this unexpected disappointment.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER TWELVE.

  "Now, by two-headed Janus,
  Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time;
  Some that will ever more peep through their eyes,
  And laugh like parrots at a bagpiper;
  And others of such vinegar aspect,
  That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
  Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable."
  SHAKESPEARE.

The next forenoon Nicholas and his son left the inn in good time to keep
their appointment.  The weather had changed, and the streets through
which they passed were crowded with people who had taken advantage of
the fine weather to prosecute business which had admitted of being
postponed.  Nicholas, who stared every way except the right, received
many shoves and pushes, at which he expostulated, without the parties
taking even the trouble to look behind them as they continued their
course.  This conduct produced a fit of reverie, out of which he was
soon roused by another blow on the shoulder, which would twist him half
round; and thus he continued in an alternate state of reverie and
excitement, until he was dragged by Newton to his brother's chambers.
The clerk, who had been ordered to admit them, opened the parlour-door,
where they found Mr John Forster, sitting at his table, with his
spectacles on, running through brief.

"Your servant, young man.--Nicholas Forster, I presume," said he, taking
his eyes off the brief, and looking at Forster without rising from his
chair--"How do ye do, brother?"

"Are you my brother John?" interrogated Nicholas.

"I am John Forster," replied the lawyer.

"Well, then, I am really very glad to see you, brother," said Nicholas,
extending his hand, which was taken with a `humph!'--(A minute's pause.)

"Young man, you're ten minutes fast your time," said John, turning to
Newton.  "I told you _one o'clock precisely_."

"I am afraid so," replied Newton; "but the streets were crowded, and my
father stopped several times."

"Why did he stop?"

"To expostulate with those who elbowed him: he is not used to it."

"He soon will be, if he stays here long.--Brother Nicholas," said
Forster, turning round, but perceiving that Nicholas had taken up his
watch, and was examining the interior, his intended remark was changed.
"Brother Nicholas, what are you doing with my watch?"

"It's very dirty," replied Nicholas, continuing his examination; "it
must be taken to pieces."

"Indeed it shall not," replied John.

"Don't be alarmed, I'll do it myself, and charge you nothing."

"Indeed you will not do it yourself, brother.  My watch goes very well,
when it's left alone.--Do me the favour to hand it to me."

Nicholas shut up the watch, and handed it to his brother over the table.
"It ought not to go well in that state, brother."

"But I tell you that _it does_, brother," replied John, putting the
watch into his fob.

"I have brought the things that I mentioned, sir," said Newton, taking
them out of his handkerchief.

"Very well, have you the inventory?"

"Yes, sir, here it is."

"Number 1.  A diamond ring."

"Number 2. ---."

"I should rather think that they were Number 3," observed Nicholas, who
had taken up his brother's spectacles.  "You're not very short-sighted,
brother."

"I am not, brother Nicholas;--will you oblige me by giving me my
spectacles?"

"Yes, I'll wipe them for you first," said Nicholas, commencing his
polish with an old cotton handkerchief.

"Thanky, thanky, brother, that will do," replied John, holding out his
hand for the spectacles, which he immediately put in the case and
conveyed into his pocket.  The lawyer then continued the inventory.

"It is all right, young man; and I will sign a receipt."

The receipt was signed, and the articles deposited in the iron chest.
"Now, brother Nicholas, I have no time to spare; have you any thing to
say to me?"

"No," replied Nicholas, starting up.

"Well, then, I have something to say to you.  In the first place, I
cannot help you in your profession (as I told my nephew yesterday).
Neither can I afford you any time, which is precious; so good bye,
brother.  Here is something for you to read, when you go home."  John
Forster took out his pocket-book, and gave him a sealed letter.

"Nephew, although I never saw the sea, or knew a sailor in my life, yet
the law pervades every where.  An East India Director, who is under
obligations to me, has promised a situation for you as third-mate on
board of the Bombay Castle.  Here is his address; call upon him, and all
will be arranged.  _You_ may come here again before you sail; and I
expect you will make proper arrangements for your father, who, if I can
judge from what I have already seen, will lose that paper I have given
him, which contains what is not to be picked up every day."  Nicholas
was in a deep reverie; the letter had dropped from his hand, and had
fallen, unnoticed by him, on the carpet.  Newton picked it up, and,
without Nicholas observing him, put it into his own pocket.  "Now, good
bye, nephew; take away my brother, pray.  It's a good thing, I can tell
you, sometimes to find out an uncle."

"I trust my conduct will prove me deserving of your kindness," replied
Newton, who was overjoyed at the unexpected issue of the meeting.

"I hope it will, young man.  Good morning.  Now, take away your father,
I'm busy;" and old Forster pulled out his spectacles, and recommenced
his brief.

Newton went up to his father, touched him on the shoulder, and said in a
low tone, and nodding his head towards the door--"Come, father."

Nicholas got upon his legs, retreated a few steps, then turned
round--"Brother, didn't you say something about a letter I was to put in
the post?"

"No, I didn't," replied John, shortly, not raising his eyes from the
brief.

"Well, I really thought I heard something--"

"Come, father; my uncle's busy."

"Well, then, good bye, brother."

"Good bye," replied John, without looking up; and Newton, with his
father, quitted the room.

No conversation passed during the walk to the inn, except an accidental
remark of Nicholas, that it appeared to him that his brother was very
busy.

When they arrived, Newton hastened to open the enclosure, and found it
to be a draft for 500 pounds, which his uncle had ordered to be filled
up the day before.  Nicholas was lost in astonishment; and Newton,
although he had already gained some insight into his uncle's character,
was not a little surprised at his extreme liberality.

"Now," cried Nicholas, rubbing his hands, "my improvement upon the
duplex;" and the subject brought up by himself, again led him away, and
he was in deep thought.

There was a little piece of advice upon the envelope--"When you cash the
draft take the number of your notes."  This was all; and it was
carefully attended to by Newton, who took but 20 pounds, and left the
remainder in the hands of the banker.  The next day Newton called upon
the East India Director, who gave him a letter to the captain of the
ship, lying at Gravesend, and expecting to sail in a few days.  To
Gravesend he immediately repaired, and, presenting his credentials, was
favourably received; with an intimation that his company was required as
soon as convenient.  Newton had now no other object to occupy him than
to secure an asylum for his father; and this he was fortunate enough to
meet with when he little expected.  He had disembarked at Greenwich,
intending to return to London by the coach, when having an hour to
spare, he sauntered into the hospital, to view a building which had so
much of interest to a sailor.  After a few minutes' survey, he sat down
on a bench, occupied by several pensioners, outside of the gate, wishing
to enter into conversation with them relative to their condition, when
one addressed the other--"Why, Stephen, since the old man's dead,
there's no one that'll suit us; and I expects that we must contrive to
do without blinkers at all.  Jim Nelson told me the other day, that the
fellow in town as has his shop full of polished brass, all the world
like the quarter-deck of the Le Amphitrite, when that sucking Honourable
(what was his name?) commanded her--Jim said to me, as how he charged
him one-and-sixpence for a new piece of flint for his starboard eye.
Now you know that old Wilkins never axed no more than threepence.  Now,
how we're to pay at that rate, comes to more than my knowledge.  Jim
hadn't the dirt, although he had brought his threepence; so his blinkers
are left there in limbo."

"We must find out another man: the shop's to let, and all handy.
Suppose we speak to the governor?"

"No use to speak to the governor; he don't use blinkers; and so won't
have no fellow feeling."

Newton entered into conversation, and found that an old man, who gained
his livelihood in a small shop close to the gate, by repairing the
spectacles of the pensioners, had lately died, and that his loss was
severely felt by them, as the opticians in town did not work at so
reasonable a rate.  Newton looked at the shop, which was small and
comfortable, commanding a pleasant view of the river, and he was
immediately convinced that it would suit his father.  On his return, he
proposed it to Nicholas, who was delighted at the idea; and the next day
they viewed the premises together, and took a short lease.  In a few
days Nicholas was settled in his new habitation, and busily employed in
enabling the old pensioners to read the newspapers and count their
points at cribbage.  He liked his customers, and they liked him.  His
gains were equal to his wants; and, unless on particular occasions--such
as a new coat, which, like his birth-day, occurred but once a year,--he
never applied to the banker's for assistance.  Newton, as soon as his
father was settled and his own affairs arranged, called upon his uncle
previous to his embarkation.  Old Forster gave a satisfactory "humph!"
to his communication: and Newton, who had tact enough to make his visit
short, received a cordial shake of the hand when he quitted the room.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER THIRTEEN.

  Poor short-lived things! what plane we lay!
  Ah! why forsake our native home,
  To distant climates speed away.
  For self sticks close, where'er we roam.

  Care follows hard, and soon o'ertakes
  The well-rigg'd ship; the warlike steed
  Her destin'd quarry ne'er forsakes:
  Nor the wind flees with half the speed.
  COWPER.

Newton, who had made every preparation, as soon as he had taken leave of
his uncle, hastened to join his ship, which still remained at Gravesend,
waiting for the despatches to be closed by the twenty-four leaden heads,
presiding at Leadenhall Street.  The passengers, with the exception of
two, a Scotch presbyterian divine and his wife, were still on shore,
divided amongst the inns of the town, unwilling until the last moment to
quit terra firma for so many months of sky and water, daily receiving a
visit from the captain of the ship, who paid his respects to them all
round, imparting any little intelligence he might have received as to
the probable time of his departure.

When Newton arrived on board, he was received by the first-mate, a
rough, good-humoured, and intelligent man, about forty years of age, to
whom he had already been introduced by the captain, on his previous
appearance with the letter from the director.

"Well, Mr Forster, you're in very good time.  As in all probability we
shall be shipmates for a voyage or two, I trust that we shall be good
friends.  Now for your _traps_:" then turning round, he addressed, in
the Hindostanee language, two or three Lascars (fine olive-coloured men,
with black curling bushy hair), who immediately proceeded to hoist in
the luggage.

The first-mate, with an "excuse me a moment" went forward to give some
directions to the English seamen, leaving Forster to look about him.
What he observed, we shall describe for the benefit of our readers.

The Indiaman was a twelve hundred ton ship, as large as one of the small
class seventy-four in the king's service, strongly built, with lofty
bulwarks, and pierced on the upper deck for eighteen guns, which were
mounted on the quarter-deck and forecastle.  Abaft, a poop, higher than
the bulwarks, extended forward, between thirty and forty feet, under
which was the cuddy or dining-room, and state-cabins, appropriated to
passengers.  The poop, upon which you ascended by ladders on each side,
was crowded with long ranges of coops, tenanted by every variety of
domestic fowl, awaiting in happy unconsciousness the day when they
should be required to supply the luxurious table provided by the
captain.  In some, turkeys stretched forth their long necks, and tapped
the decks as they picked up some ant who crossed it, in his industry.
In others, the crowing of cocks and calling of the hens were incessant:
or the geese, ranged up rank and file, waited but the signal from one of
the party to raise up a simultaneous clamour, which as suddenly was
remitted.  Coop answered coop, in variety of discord, while the
poulterer walked round and round to supply the wants of so many hundreds
committed to his charge.

The booms before the main-mast were occupied by the large boats, which
had been hoisted in preparatory to the voyage.  They also composed a
portion of the farm yard.  The launch contained about fifty sheep,
wedged together so close that it was with difficulty they could find
room to twist their jaws round, as they chewed the cud.  The
stern-sheets of the barge and yawl were filled with goats and two
calves, who were the first destined victims to the butcher's knife;
while the remainder of their space was occupied by hay and other
provender, pressed down by powerful machinery into the smallest compass.
The occasional baa-ing and bleating on the booms were answered by the
lowing of three milch-cows between the hatchways of the deck below;
where also were to be descried a few more coops, containing fowls and
rabbits.  The manger forward had been dedicated to the pigs; but, as the
cables were not yet unbent or bucklers shipped, they at present were
confined by gratings between the main-deck guns, where they grunted at
each passer-by, as if to ask for food.

The boats hoisted up on the quarters and the guys of the davits, to
which they were suspended, formed the kitchen gardens, from which the
passengers were to be supplied, and were loaded with bags containing
onions, potatoes, turnips, carrots, beets, and cabbages, the latter in
their full round proportions, hanging in a row upon the guys, like
strings of heads, which had been demanded in the wrath or the caprice of
some despot of Mahomed's creed.

Forster descended the ladder to the main-deck which he found equally
encumbered with cabins for the passengers, trunks and bedding belonging
to them, and many other articles which had not yet found their way into
the hold, the hatches of which were open, and in which lanterns in every
direction partially dispelled the gloom, and offered to his view a
confused outline of bales and packages.  Carpenters sawing deals,
sail-makers roping the foot of an old mainsail, servants passing to and
fro with dishes, Lascars jabbering in their own language, British seamen
damning their eyes, as usual, in plain English, gave an idea of
confusion and want of method to Newton Forster, which, in a short time,
he acknowledged himself to have been premature in having conceived.
Where you have to provide for such a number, to separate the luggage of
so many parties, from the heavy chest to the fragile bandbox, to take in
cargo, and prepare for sea, all at the same time, there must be
apparently confusion.  In a few days every thing finds its place; and,
what is of more consequence, is itself to be found as soon as it may be
required.

According to the regulations on board of East India ships, Forster
messed below with the junior mates, midshipmen, surgeon's assistant,
etcetera; the first and second mates only having the privilege of
constantly appearing at the captain's table; while the others receive
but an occasional invitation.  Forster soon became on intimate terms
with his shipmates.  As they will however appear upon the stage when
required to perform their parts, we shall at present confine ourselves
to a description of the captain and the passengers.

Captain Drawlock was a man of about fifty years of age.  Report said
that in his youth he had been wild, and some of his contemporary
commanders in the service were wont to plague him by narrating divers
freaks of former days, the recollection of which would create any thing
but a smile upon his face.  Whether report and the other captains were
correct or not in their assertions, Captain Drawlock was in appearance
quite a different character at the time we introduce him.  He was of
sedate aspect, seldom smiled, and appeared to be wrapt up in the
importance of the trust confided to him, particularly with respect to
the young women who were sent out under his protection.  He talked much
of his responsibility, and divided the whole of his time between his
chronometers and his young ladies; in both of which a trifling error was
a source of irritation.  Upon any deviation on the part of either, the
first were rated carefully, the latter were _rated soundly_; considering
the safety of the ship to be endangered on the one hand, and the
character of his ship to be equally at stake on the other.  It was
maliciously observed that the latter were by far the more erratic of the
two; and still more maliciously, that the austere behaviour on the part
of Captain Drawlock was all pretence; that he was as susceptible as the
youngest officer in the ship; and that the women found it out long
before the voyage was completed.

It has been previously mentioned that all the passengers were on shore,
except two, a Presbyterian divine and his wife, the expenses attending
whose passage out were provided for by a subscription which had been put
on foot by some of the serious people of Glasgow, who prayed fervently,
and enlivened their devotions with most excellent punch.  The worthy
clergyman (for worthy he was) thought of little else but his calling,
and was a sincere, enthusiastic man, who was not to be checked by any
consideration in what he considered to be his duty; but although he
rebuked, he rebuked mildly, and never lost his temper.  Stern in his
creed, which allowed no loophole by which the offender might escape,
still there was a kindness and even a humility in his expostulation,
which caused his zeal never to offend, and often to create serious
reflection.  His wife was a tall, handsome woman, who evidently had
usurped an ascendancy over her husband in all points unconnected with
his calling.  She too was devout; but hers was not the true religion,
for it had not charity for its basis.  She was clever and severe; spoke
seldom; but the few words which escaped from her lips were sarcastic in
their tendency.

The passengers who still remained on shore were numerous.  There was an
old colonel, returning from a three years' furlough, the major part of
which had been spent at Cheltenham.  He was an Adonis of sixty, with
yellow cheeks and white teeth; a man who had passed through life doing
nothing; had risen in his profession without having seen service, except
on one occasion, and of that circumstance he made the most.  With a good
constitution and happy temperament, constantly in society, and
constantly in requisition, he had grown old without being aware of it,
and considered himself as much an object of interest with the other sex
as he was formerly when a gay captain of five-and-twenty, with good
prospects.  Amusing and easily amused, he had turned over the pages of
the novel of life so uninterruptedly, that he had nearly arrived at the
last page without being conscious that the finis was at hand.

Then there were two cadets from the college, full of themselves and
their own consequence, fitted out with plenty of money and plenty of
advice, both of which were destined to be thrown away.  There was also a
young writer, who talked of his mother Lady Elizabeth, and other high
relations, who had despatched him to India, that he might be provided
for by a cholera morbus or a lucrative post; a matter of perfect
indifference to those who had sent him from England.  Then, let me see,
oh! there were two officers of a regiment at St. Helena, with tongues
much longer than their purses; who in the forepart of the day
condescended to talk nonsense to the fairer of the other sex, and in the
evening to win a few pounds from the weaker of their own.

But all these were nobodies in the eyes of Captain.  Drawlock; they were
a part of his cargo, for which he was not responsible.  The important
part of his consignment were four unmarried women; three of them were
young, good-looking, and poor; the other ill-favoured, old, but rich.

We must give precedence to wealth and age.  The lady last mentioned was
a Miss Tavistock, born and educated in the city, where her father had
long been at the head of the well-established firm of Tavistock,
Bottlecock, and Company, Dyers, Callenderers, and Scourers.  As we
before observed, she was the fortunate sole heiress to her father's
accumulation, which might amount to nearly thirty thousand pounds; but
had been little gifted by nature.  In fact, she was what you may style
most preposterously ugly; her figure was large and masculine; her hair
red; and her face very deeply indented with the small pox.  As a man,
she would have been considered the essence of vulgarity; as a woman she
was the quintessence: so much so, that she had arrived at the age of
thirty-six without having, notwithstanding her property, received any
attentions which could be construed into an offer.  As we always seek
most eagerly that which we find most difficult to obtain, she was
possessed with _une fureur de se marier_; and, as a last resource, had
resolved to go out to India, where she had been informed that "any thing
white" was acceptable.  This _passion_ for matrimony (for with her it
had so become, if not a disease) occupied her whole thoughts; but she
attempted to veil them by always pre tending to be extremely sensitive
and refined; to be shocked at any thing which had the slightest allusion
to the "increase and multiply;" and constantly lamented the extreme
fragility of her constitution; to which her athletic bony frame gave so
determined a lie, that her hearers were struck dumb with the barefaced
assertion.  Miss Tavistock had kept up a correspondence with an old
schoolmate, who had been taken away early to join her friends in India,
and had there married.  As her hopes of matrimony dwindled away, so did
her affection for her old friend appear, by her letters, to increase.
At last, in answer to a letter, in which she declared that she would
like to come out, and (as she had long made a resolution to continue
single) adopt one of her friend's children, and pass her days with them,
she received an answer, stating how happy they would be to receive her,
and personally renew the old friendship, if indeed she could be
persuaded to venture upon so long and venturous a passage.  Whether this
answer was sincere or not, Miss Tavistock took advantage of the
invitation; and writing to intimate her speedy arrival, took her passage
in the Bombay Castle.

The other three spinsters were sisters; Charlotte, Laura, and Isabel
Revel, daughters of the Honourable Mr Revel, a _roue_ of excellent
family, who had married for money, and had dissipated all his wife's
fortune except the marriage settlement of 600 pounds per annum.  Their
mother was a selfish, short-sighted, manoeuvring woman, whose great
anxiety was to form establishments for her daughters, or, in other
terms, remove the expense of their maintenance from her own to the
shoulders of other people, very indifferent whether the change might
contribute to their happiness or not.  Mr Revel may be said to have
long deserted his family; he lived nobody knew where, and seldom called,
unless it was to "raise the wind," upon his wife, who by intreaties and
threats was necessitated to purchase his absence by a sacrifice of more
than half her income.  Of his daughters he took little notice, when he
_did_ make his appearance; and if so, it was generally in terms more
calculated to raise the blush of indignant modesty than to stimulate the
natural feelings of affection of a daughter towards a parent.  Their
mother, whose income was not sufficient to meet the demands of a
worthless husband, in addition to the necessary expenses attendant on
three grown-up women, was unceasing in her attempts to get them off her
hands: but we will introduce a conversation which took place between her
and a sedate-looking, powdered old gentleman, who had long been
considered as a "friend of the family," as thereby more light will
perhaps be thrown upon her character.

"The fact is, my dear Mr Heaviside, that I hardly know what to do.  Mr
Revel, who is very intimate with the theatre people, proposed that they
should try their fortune on the stage.  He says (and indeed there is
some truth in it) that, now-a-days, the best plan for a man to make
himself popular, is to be sent to Newgate, and the best chance that a
girl has of a coronet, is to become an actress.  Well, I did not much
like the idea; but at last I consented.  Isabel, my youngest, is, you
know, very handsome in her person, and sings remarkably well, and we
arranged that she should go on first; and if she succeeded, that her
sister Charlotte should follow her; but Isabel is of a very obstinate
disposition, and when we proposed it to her, she peremptorily refused,
and declared that she would go out as governess, or any thing rather
than consent.  I tried what coaxing would do, and her father tried
threatening; but all was in vain.  This was about a year ago, and she is
now only seventeen; but she ever was a most decided, a most obstinate
character."

"Very undutiful, indeed, ma'am; she might have been a duchess before
this:--a very foolish girl, indeed, ma'am," observed the gentleman.

"Well, Mr Heaviside, we then thought that Charlotte, our eldest, had
the next best chance of success.  Although not by any means so
good-looking as her sister; indeed, to tell you the truth, Mr
Heaviside, which I would not do to every body,--but I know that you can
keep a secret, Charlotte is now nearly thirty years old, and her sister
Laura only one year younger."

"Is it possible, madam!" replied Mr Heaviside, looking at the lady with
well feigned astonishment.

"Yes, indeed," replied the lady, who had forgotten that in telling her
daughters' secrets, she had let out her own; "but I was married so
young, so very young, that I am almost ashamed to think of it.  Well,
Mr Heaviside, as I was saying, although not so good--looking as her
sister, Mr Revel, who is a good judge in these matters, declared that
by the theatre lights Charlotte would be reckoned a very fine woman.  We
proposed it to her, and, after a little pouting, she consented; the only
difficulty was, whether she should attempt tragedy or comedy.  Her
features were considered rather too sharp for comedy, and her figure not
quite tall enough for tragedy.  She herself preferred tragedy, which
decided the point; and Mr Revel, who knows all the actors, persuaded
Mr Y--- (you know whom I mean, the great tragic actor) to come here,
and give his opinion of her recitation.  Mr Y--- was excessively
polite; declared that she was a young lady of great talent; but that a
slight lisp, which she has, unfitted her most decidedly for tragedy.  Of
course it was abandoned for comedy, which she studied some time; and
when we considered her competent, Mr Revel had interest enough to
induce the great Mr M--- to come and give his opinion.  Charlotte
performed her part as I thought remarkably well, and when she had
finished she left the room, that Mr M--- might not be checked by her
presence from giving me his unbiassed opinion."

"Which was favourable, ma'am, I presume; for, if not fitted for the one,
she naturally must have been fit for the other."

"So I thought," replied the lady, to this polite _non sequitur_ of the
gentleman.  "But Mr M--- is a very odd man, and, if I must say it, not
very polite.  What do you think, Mr Heaviside, as soon as she left the
room he rose from his chair, and, twisting up the corner of his mouth,
as he looked me in the face, he said, `Madam, it is my opinion that your
daughter's comedy, whenever she makes her appearance on the boards,
will, to use a Yankee expression, _be most particularly damned_!  I wish
you a very good morning.'"

"Very rude indeed, madam; most excessively unpolite of Mr M---.  I
should not have thought it possible."

"Well, Mr Heaviside, as for Laura; poor thing! you are aware that she
is not quite so clever as she might be; she never had any memory: when a
child, she never could recollect the evening hymn if she missed it two
nights running; so that acting was out of the question with her.  So
that all my hopes of their forming a splendid establishment by that
channel have vanished.  Now, my dear Mr Heaviside, what would you
propose?"

"Why, really, ma'am, it is so difficult to advise in these times; but,
if anxious to dispose of your daughters, why not send them out to
India?"

"We have thought of it several times; for Mr Revel has an uncle there
unmarried, and they say very rich.  He is a colonel in the Bombay
marine, I believe."

"More probably in the Bengal army, ma'am."

"Well, I believe you are right; but I know it's in the Company's
service.  But the old gentleman hates my husband, and will not have any
thing to say to him.  I did write a very civil letter to him, in which I
just hinted how glad one or two of my daughters would be to take care of
his house; but he never condescended to give me an answer.  I am told
that he is a very unpleasant man."

"A difficult thing to advise, ma'am, very difficult indeed! but I can
tell you a circumstance which occurred about five years ago, when a
similar application to a relative in India was made by a friend of mine.
It was no more attended to than yours has been.  Nevertheless, as it
was supposed the answer had miscarried, the young lady was sent out to
her relative with a decent equipment, and a letter of introduction.  Her
relation was very much surprised: but what could he do? he could not
permit the young lady to remain without a roof over her head; so he
received her; and as he did not like to say how he had been treated, he
held his tongue.  The young lady in the course of three months, made a
very good match; and is, to my knowledge, constantly sending home India
shawls and other handsome presents to her mother."

"Indeed, Mr Heaviside, then do you advise--"

"It is difficult, extremely difficult to advise upon so nice a point.  I
only state the fact, my dear madam: I should think the colonel must feel
the want of female society; but, God bless me! it's nearly two
o'clock.--Good morning, my dear Mrs Revel--good morning."

"Good morning, my dear Mr Heaviside; it's very kind of you to call in
this sociable way, and chat an hour or two.--Good morning."

The result of the above conversation was a consultation between Mr
Revel and his wife upon their first meeting.  Mr Revel was delighted
with the plan, not so much caring at the disposal of his daughters as he
was pleased with the idea of annoying his uncle, from whom he, at one
time, had had great expectations: but, as it was necessary to be
circumspect, especially with Isabel, Mr Revel took the opportunity of a
subsequent visit to state that he had received a letter from his uncle
in India, wishing one of his daughters to go out and live with him.  In
a few months he read another letter (composed by himself, and copied in
another hand), earnestly desiring that they might all come out to him,
as it would be much to their advantage.  The reluctance of the two
eldest was removed by pointing out the magnificent establishments they
might secure: the consent of Isabel by a statement of difficulty and
debt on the part of her parents, which would end in beggary if not
relieved from the burden of their support.

By insuring her life, a sum of money sufficient for their outfit and
passage was raised on Mrs Revel's marriage settlement; and the three
Miss Revels were thus shipped off by their affectionate parents, as a
"venture," in the Bombay Castle.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER FOURTEEN.

  "Thus the rich vessel moves in trim array,
  Like some fair virgin on her bridal day:
  Thus like a swan, she cleaves the watery plain,
  The pride and wonder of the Aegean main.

  "The natives, while the ship departs the land,
  Ashore, with admiration gazing stand:
  Majestically slow before the breeze,
  In silent pomp, she marches on the seas."
  FALCONER.

Much to the satisfaction of Captain Drawlock, the chronometers and the
ladies were safe on board, and the Bombay Castle proceeded to the Downs,
where she was joined by the purser, charged with the despatches of the
august directors.  Once upon a time a director was a very great man, and
the India board a very great board.  There must have been a very great
many plums in the pudding, for in this world people do not take trouble
for nothing; and until latter years, how eagerly, how perseveringly was
this situation applied for--what supplicating advertisements--what
fawning and wheedling promises of attention to the interests of the
proprietors--your "voices, good people!"  But now nobody is so
particularly anxious to be a director, because another board "bigger
than he" has played the kittiwake, and forced it to disgorge for the
consumption of its superior,--I mean the Board of Control: the reader
has probably heard of it; the board which, not content with the European
residents in India being deprived of their proudest birthright, "the
liberty of the press," would even prevent them from having justice
awarded to them, by directing two tame elephants (thereby implying two
--- ---) to be placed on each side of a wild one (thereby implying an
honest and conscientious man).  Notwithstanding all which, for the
present, the tongue, the ears and the eyes are permitted to be made
discreet use of, although I believe that the new charter is to have a
clause introduced to the contrary.

The prevalent disease of the time we live in is ophthalmia of intellect,
affecting the higher classes.  Monarchs, stone-blind, have tumbled
headlong from their thrones, and princes have been conducted by their
subjects out of their principalities.  The aristocracy are purblind, and
cannot distinctly decipher the "signs of the times."  The hierarchy
cannot discover why people would have religion at a reduced price: in
fact, they are all blind, and will not perceive that an enormous mass,
in the shape of public opinion, hangs over their heads and threatens to
annihilate them.  Forgetting that kings, and princes, and lords,
spiritual or temporal, have all been raised to their various degrees of
exaltation by public opinion alone, they talk of legitimacy, of vested
rights, and Deuteronomy.--Well, if there is to be a general tumble,
thank God, I can't fall far!

We left the Bombay Castle in the Downs, where she remained until joined
by several other India vessels.  On the arrival of a large frigate, who
had orders to escort them as far as the Island of St. Helena, they all
weighed, and bore down the Channel before a strong South East gale.  The
first ten days of a voyage there is seldom much communication between
those belonging to the ship and the passengers; the former are too much
occupied in making things shipshape, and the latter with the miseries of
sea-sickness.  An adverse gale in the Bay of Biscay, with which they had
to contend, did not at all contribute to the recovery of the digestive
powers of the latter; and it was not until a day or two before the
arrival of the convoy at Madeira that the ribbon of a bonnet was to be
seen fluttering in the breeze which swept the decks of the Bombay
Castle.

The first which rose up from the quarter-deck hatchway was one that
encircled the head of Mrs Ferguson, the wife of the presbyterian
divine, who crawled up the ladder, supported on one side by her husband,
and on the other by the assiduous Captain Drawlock.

"Very well done, ma'am, indeed!" said the captain, with an encouraging
smile, as the lady seized hold of the copper stanchions which surrounded
the sky-lights, to support herself, when she had gained the deck.
"You're a capital sailor, and have by your conduct set an example to the
other ladies, as I have no doubt your husband does to the gentlemen.
Now allow me to offer you my arm."

"Will you take mine also, my dear," said Mr Ferguson.

"No, Mr Ferguson," replied the lady, tartly; "I think it is enough for
you to take care of yourself.  Recollect your Scripture proverb of `the
blind leading the blind.'  I have no inclination to tumble into one of
those pits," added she, pointing to the hatchway.

Captain Drawlock very civilly dragged the lady to the weather-side of
the quarter-deck, where, after in vain attempting to walk, she sat down
upon one of the carronade slides.

"The fresh air will soon revive you, ma'am; you'll be much better
directly," observed the attentive captain.  "I beg your pardon one
moment, but there is another lady coming out of the cuddy."

The cabins abaft the cuddy or dining-room were generally occupied by the
more distinguished and wealthy passengers (a proportionate sum being
charged extra for them).  The good people of Glasgow, with a due regard
to economy, had not run themselves into such unnecessary expenses for
the passage of Mr and Mrs Ferguson.  Mr Revel, aware of the effect
produced by an appearance of wealth, had taken one of them for his
daughters.  The other had been secured by Miss Tavistock, much to the
gratification of the captain, who thus had his unmarried ladies and his
chronometers both immediately under his own eye.

The personage who had thus called away the attention of the captain was
Isabel Revel, whom, although she has already been mentioned, it will be
necessary to describe more particularly to the reader.

Isabel Revel was now eighteen years old, endowed with a mind so
superior, that had not her talents been checked by a natural reserve,
she might have stepped from the crowd, and have been hailed as a genius.
She had been brought up by a foolish mother, and had in her earlier
years been checked by her two insipid sisters, who assumed over her an
authority which their age alone could warrant.  Seldom, if ever,
permitted to appear when there was company, that she might not "spoil
the market" of the eldest, she had in her solitude applied much to
reading, and thus had her mind been highly cultivated.

The conduct of her father entitled him to no respect; the heartlessness
of her mother to no esteem; the tyranny of her sisters, to no affection;
yet did she strive to render all.  Until the age of sixteen she had been
the Cinderella of the family, during which period of seclusion she had
learned to think and to act for herself.

Her figure was a little above the middle size, light and elegant; her
features beautiful, with an expression of seriousness, arising probably
from speaking little and reflecting much.  Yet she possessed a mind
ardent and enthusiastic, which often bore her away in animated
discourse, until the eye of admiration fixed upon her, would suddenly
close her lips, for her modesty and her genius were at perpetual
variance.

It is well known to most of my readers that woman is a problem; but it
may not be as well known that now-a-days, she is a _mathematical
problem_.  Yet so it is.  As in the latter you have certain known
quantities given by which you are to find a quantity unknown, so in a
lady you have the hand, the foot, the mouth, etcetera, apparent; and
'tis only by calculation, now that modern dresses are made so full, that
you can arrive at a just estimate of her approach to total perfection.
All good arithmeticians, as they scrutinised the outward and the visible
of Isabel Revel, were perfectly assured as to her quotient.  But if I
talked for hours, I could say no more than that she was one of those
ideal images created in the dream of youth and poetry, fairly embodied
in flesh and blood.  As her father had justly surmised, could she have
been persuaded to have tried her fortune on the stage, she had personal
attractions, depth of feeling, and vivacity of mind to have rendered her
one of the very first in a profession, to excel in which, perhaps, there
is more correct judgment and versatility of talent required than in any
other, and would have had a fair prospect of obtaining that coronet
which has occasionally been the reward of those fair dames who "stoop to
conquer."

Mr Revel, who had been made acquainted with the customs on board of
East India ships, had been introduced to Mrs Ferguson, and had
requested her to take upon herself the office of _chaperone_ to his
daughters, during the passage; a nominal charge indeed, yet considered
to be etiquette.  Mrs Ferguson, pleased with the gentleman--like
demeanour and personal appearance of Mr Revel, and perhaps at the same
time not sorry to have an authority to find fault, had most graciously
acquiesced, and the three Miss Revels were considered to be under her
protection.

As I said before, Miss Isabel Revel made her appearance not unattended,
for she was escorted by Doctor Plausible, the surgeon of the ship.  And
now I must again digress while I introduce that gentleman.  I never
shall get that poor girl from the cuddy-door.

Doctor Plausible had been summoned to prescribe for Miss Laura Revel,
who suffered extremely from the motion of the vessel, and the remedies
which she had applied to relieve her uneasiness.  Miss Laura Revel had
been told by somebody, previous to her embarkation, that the most
effectual remedy for sea-sickness was gingerbread.  In pursuance of the
advice received, she had provided herself with ten or twelve squares of
this commodity, about one foot by eighteen inches, which squares she had
commenced upon as soon as she came on board, and had never ceased to
swallow, notwithstanding various interruptions.  The more did her
stomach reject it, the more did she force it down, until, what, with
deglutition, _et vice versa_, she had been reduced to a state of extreme
weakness, attended with fever.

How many panaceas have been offered without success for two evils--
sea-sickness and hydrophobia! and between these two there appears to be
a link, for sea-sickness as surely ends in hydrophobia, as hydrophobia
does in death.  The sovereign remedy prescribed, when I first went to
sea, was a piece of fat pork, tied to a string to be swallowed, and then
pulled up again; the dose to be repeated until effective.  I should not
have mentioned this well-known remedy, as it has long been superseded by
other nostrums, were it not that this maritime prescription has been the
origin of two modern improvements in the medical catalogue--one is the
stomach pump, evidently borrowed from this simple engine; the other is
the very successful prescription now in vogue, to those who are weak in
the digestive organs, to eat fat bacon for breakfast, which I have no
doubt was suggested to Doctor Vance, from what he had been eye-witness
to on board of a man-of-war.

But here I am digressing again from Doctor Plausible to Dr Vance.
Reader, I never lose the opportunity of drawing a moral; and what an
important one is here!  Observe how difficult it is to regain the right
path when once you have quitted it.  Let my error be a warning to you in
your journey through life, and my digressions preserve you from
diverging from the beaten track, which, as the Americans would say,
leads _clean slick_ on to happiness and peace.

Doctor Plausible was a personable man, apparently about five-and-thirty
years old: he wore a little powder in his hair, black silk stockings,
and knee-breeches.  In this I consider Doctor Plausible was right; the
above look much more scientific than Wellington trousers; and much
depends upon the exterior.  He was quite a ladies' man; talked to them
about their extreme sensibility, their peculiar fineness of organic
structure, their delicacy of nerves; and soothed his patients more by
flattery than by physic.  Having discovered that Miss Laura was not
inclined to give up her gingerbread, he immediately acknowledged its
virtues, but recommended that it should be cut into extremely small
dice, and allowed, as it were, to melt, away upon the tongue; stating,
that her digestive organs were so refined and delicate, that they would
not permit them selves to be loaded with any large particles, even of
farinaceous compound.  Isabel Revel, who had been informed that Mrs
Ferguson was on deck, expressed a wish to escape from the confined
atmosphere of the cabin; and Doctor Plausible, as soon as he had
prescribed for Miss Laura, offered Miss Isabel his services; which, for
want of a better, perhaps, were accepted.

The ship at this time had a great deal of motion.  The gale was spent;
but the sea created by the violence of the wind had not yet subsided,
and the waves continued still to rise and fall again, like the panting
breasts of men who have just desisted from fierce contention.  Captain
Drawlock hastened over to receive his charge from the hands of the
medical attendant; and paying Isabel some compliments on her appearance,
was handing her over to the weather-side, where Mrs Ferguson was
seated, when a sea of larger dimensions than usual careened the ship to
what the sailors term a "heavy lurch."  The decks were wet and slippery.
Captain Drawlock lost his footing and was thrown to leeward.  Isabel
would have most certainly kept him company; and indeed was already under
weigh for the lee-scuppers, had not it been that Newton Forster, who
stood near, caught her round the waist, and prevented her from falling.

It certainly was a great presumption to take a young lady round the
waist previous to any introduction; but, at sea, we are not very
particular; and if we do perceive that a lady is in danger of a severe
fall, we do not stand upon etiquette.  What is more remarkable, we
generally find that the ladies excuse our unpolished manners, either
upon the score of our good intentions, or because there is nothing so
very impertinent in them after all.  Certain it is, that Isabel, as soon
as she had recovered from her alarm, thanked Newton Forster, with a
sweet smile, for his timely aid, as she again took the arm of Captain
Drawlock, who escorted her to the weather-side of the quarter-deck.

"I have brought you one of your _protegees_, Mrs Ferguson," said
Captain Drawlock.  "How do you feel, Miss Revel?"

"Like most young ladies, sir, a little giddy," replied Isabel.  "I hope
you were not hurt, Captain Drawlock; I'm afraid that you fell by paying
more attention to me than to yourself."

"My duty, Miss Revel.  Allow me to add, my pleasure," replied the
captain, bowing.

"That's very politely said, Captain Drawlock," replied Isabel.

"Almost too polite, I think," observed Mrs Ferguson (who was out of
humour at not being the first object of attention), "considering that
Captain Drawlock is a married man, with seven children."  The captain
looked glum, and Miss Revel observing it, turned the conversation, by
inquiring--"Who was that gentleman who saved me from falling?"

"Mr Newton Forster, one of the mates of the vessel.  Would you like to
walk Miss Revel or remain where you are?"

"Thank you, I will stay with Mrs Ferguson."

The gentlemen passengers had as yet but occasionally appeared on deck.
Men generally suffer more from the distressing sickness than women.  As
soon, however, as the news had been communicated below, that the ladies
were on deck, some of the gentlemen immediately repaired to their
trunks, to make themselves presentable, and then hastened on deck.  The
first on deck was the old colonel, who tottered up the hatchway, and by
dint of seizing rope after rope, at last succeeded in advancing his
lines to within hearing range of Mrs Ferguson, to whom he had been
formally introduced.  He commenced by lamenting his unfortunate
sufferings, which had prevented him from paying those attentions, ever
to him a source of enjoyment and gratification; but he was a martyr--
quite a martyr; never felt any sensation which could be compared to it,
except when he was struck in the breast with a spent ball, in the battle
of ---; that their appearance had made him feel revived already; that as
the world would be a dark prison without the sun, so would a ship be
without the society of ladies; commenced a description of Calcutta, and
then--made a hasty retreat to the lee-gangway.

The young writer next made his appearance, followed by two boys, who
were going out as cadets; the first, with a new pair of grey kid gloves,
the others in their uniforms.  The writer descanted long upon his own
miseries, without any inquiry or condolement for the sufferings of the
ladies.  The cadets said nothing; but stared so much at Isabel Revel,
that she dropped her veil.

The ladies had been about a quarter of an hour on deck, when the sun,
which had not shown itself for two days, gleamed through the clouds.
Newton, who was officer of the watch, and had been accustomed when with
Mr Berecroft, to work a chronometer, interrupted the captain, who was
leaning on the carronade, talking to Mrs Ferguson.

"The sun is out, and the horizon pretty clear, sir; you may have sights
for the chronometers."

"Yes, indeed," said the captain, looking up; "be quick, and fetch my
sextant.  You'll excuse me, ladies, but the chronometers must be
attended to."

"In preference to us, Captain Drawlock?--Fie for shame!" replied Mrs
Ferguson.

"Why, not exactly," replied the captain, "not exactly; but the fact is
that the sun may go in again."

"And we can stay out, I presume?" replied Isabel, laughing.  "I think,
Mrs Ferguson, we ought to go in too."

"But, my dear young lady, if the sun goes in, I shall not get a
_sight_!"

"And if we go in, you will not get a sight either," replied Mrs
Ferguson.

"Between the two, sir," observed Newton, handing Captain Drawlock his
sextant, "you stand a chance of losing both.  There's no time to spare;
I'm all ready."

Captain Drawlock walked to the break of the gangways, so far concealed
from the ladies that they could not perceive that he was looking through
his sextant, the use of which they did not comprehend, having never seen
one before.  Newton stood at the capstern, with his eyes fixed on the
watch.

"Captain Drawlock," said Mrs Ferguson, calling to him, "allow me to
observe--"

"_Stop_," cried Captain Drawlock, in a loud voice.  Newton, to whom this
was addressed, noted the time.

"Good heavens what can be the matter;" said Mrs Ferguson, with
astonishment, to those near her; "how excessively rude of Captain
Drawlock;--what can it be?" continued she, addressing the colonel, who
had rejoined them.

"Really, madam, I cannot tell; but it is my duty to inquire," replied
the colonel, who, going up to Captain Drawlock, commenced--"Have the
ladies already so fallen in your estimation--"

"Forty degrees!" cried Captain Drawlock, who was intent upon his
sextant.  "Excuse me, sir, just now."

"When will you be at leisure, sir?" resumed the colonel, haughtily.

"Twenty-six minutes," continued the captain, reading off his sextant.

"A little sooner, I should hope, sir," retorted the colonel.

"Forty-five seconds."

"This is really quite insufferable!  Miss Revel, we had better go in."

"Stop!" again cried Captain Drawlock, in a loud voice.

"Stop!" repeated Mrs Ferguson, angrily; "surely we are not slaves."

Newton, who heard what was passing, could not repress his laughter.

"Indeed, I am sure there must be some mistake, Mrs Ferguson," observed
Isabel.  "Wait a little."

"Forty-six minutes, thirty seconds," again read off the captain.
"Capital sights both! but the sun is behind that dark cloud, and we
shall have no more of his presence."

"Nor of ours, I assure you, sir," said Mrs Ferguson, rising, as Captain
Drawlock walked from the gangway to the capstern.

"Why, my dear madam, what is the matter?"

"We have not been accustomed to such peremptory language, sir.  It may
be the custom on board ship to holla `stop' to ladies when they address
you, or express a wish to leave the deck."

"My dearest madam, I do assure you, upon my honour, that you are under a
mistake.  I ordered Mr Forster to stop, not you."

"Mr Forster!" replied the lady; "why, he was standing still the whole
time!"

It was not until the whole system of taking sights for chronometers had
been satisfactorily explained that the lady recovered her good-humour.
While the captain was thus employed with Mrs Ferguson, Newton, although
it was not necessary, explained the mystery to Miss Revel, who, with
Mrs Ferguson, soon after quitted the deck.

The sights taken proved the ship to be to the eastward of her reckoning.
The other ships in company had made the same discovery, and the course
was altered one quarter of a point.  In two days they dropped their
anchor in Funchal Roads.

But I must for a little while recross the Bay of Biscay, and with my
reader look into the chambers of Mr John Forster.

  Look
  Upon this child I saved her, must not leave
  Her life to chance; but point me out some nook
  Of safety, where she less may shrink and grieve.
  ...
  This child, who parentless, is therefore mine.
  BYRON.

A few minutes after Newton had quitted the chambers of his uncle the
clerk made his appearance, announcing to Mr John Forster that a
gentleman requested to speak to him.

"I asked the gentleman's name, sir," observed the clerk, shutting to the
door, "but he did not choose to give it.  He has a little girl with
him."

"Very well, Scratton, the little girl cannot concern me," replied the
old lawyer; "ask him to walk in;"--and he again conned over the brief,
not choosing to lose the minute which might elapse before he was again
to be interrupted.  The door was reopened, and Edward Forster, with
Amber holding him by the hand, entered the room.

"Your servant, sir.  Scratton, a chair--two chairs, Scratton.  I beg
your pardon, young lady."

When the clerk had retired, Mr John Forster commenced as usual.  "Now,
sir, may I request the favour of asking your business with me?"

"You do not recollect me; nor am I surprised at it, as it is fifteen
years since we last met.  Time and suffering, which have worn me to a
skeleton, have also worn out the remembrance of a brother.  I am Edward
Forster."

"Edward Forster!--humph!  Well, I did not recollect you; but I'm very
glad to see you, brother.  Very strange never have heard of one of my
family for years, and now they all turn up at once!  No sooner get rid
of one than up starts another.  Nicholas came from the Lord knows where,
the other day."

Edward Forster, who was better acquainted with his brother's character
than Newton, took no notice of the abruptness of his remarks, but
replied:--

"Nicholas!  Is he then alive?  I shall be delighted to see him."

"Humph!" replied John, "I was delighted to get rid of him.  Take care of
your watch or spectacles when you meet him."

"Indeed, brother!  I trust he is not such a character."

"But he is a character, I can tell you; not what you suppose--he's
honest enough.  Let me see if my memory serves me, brother Edward, we
last met when you were passing through London on your way to ---, having
been invalided, and having obtained a pension of forty pounds per annum
for a severe wound received in action.  And pray, brother, where have
you been ever since?"

"At the same spot, from which I probably never should have been induced
to remove, had it not been for the sake of this little girl who is now
with me."

"And pray who may be that little girl? is she your daughter?"

"Only by adoption."

"Humph, brother! for a half-pay lieutenant that appears rather an
expensive whim!--bad enough to maintain children of our own begetting."

"You say true," replied Edward; "but if in this instance I have incurred
an expense and responsibility, it must be considered to be more my
misfortune than my fault."  Edward Forster then entered into the
particulars connected with Amber's rescue.  "You must acknowledge,
brother John," observed Edward, as he closed his narrative, "that I
could not well have acted otherwise; you would not have yourself."

"Humph!  I don't know that; but this I do know, that you had better have
stayed at home!"

"Perhaps so, considering the forlorn prospects of the child; but we must
not judge.  The same Providence which willed that she should be so
miraculously saved, also willed that I should be her protector;--why
otherwise did the dog lay her at my feet?"

"Because it had been taught to `fetch and carry,' I suppose: but,
however, brother Edward, I have no right to question your conduct.  If
the girl is as good as she is pretty, why all the better for her; but,
as I am rather busy, let me ask if you have any more to say to me?"

"I have, John; and the discourse we have had is preliminary.  I am here
with a child, forced upon me I may say, but still as dear to me as if
she were mine own.  You must be aware that I have nothing but my pension
and half-pay to subsist upon.  I can save nothing.  My health is
undermined and my life precarious.  Last winter I never expected to quit
my bed again and, as I lay in it, the thought naturally occurred of the
forlorn and helpless state in which this poor little girl would be in
case of my decease.  In a lonely cottage,--without money--without family
or friends to apply to--without any one near her being made acquainted
with her unfortunate history.  What would have become of her?  It was
this reflection which determined me, if my life was spared, as soon as
my health would permit, to come to you, the only relative I was certain
of still having in the world, that I might acquaint you with her
existence, and, with her history, confide to you the few articles of
dress which she wore when rescued, and which may eventually lead to her
recognition:--a case of extreme doubt and difficulty, I grant; but the
ways of Providence are mysterious, and her return to the arms of her
friends will not be more wonderful than her preservation on that
dreadful night.  Brother!  I never have applied to you in my own behalf,
although conscious how ample are your means--and I never will; but I do
now plead in favour of this dear child.  Worn out as I am, my pilgrimage
on earth can be but short; and if you would smooth the pillow of a dying
brother, promise him now that you will extend your bounty to this poor
orphan, when I'm no more!"

Edward Forster's voice was tremulous at the close of his appeal, and his
brother appeared to be affected.  There was a silence of a minute, when
the customary "humph!" was ejaculated, and John Forster then continued:
"A very foolish business, brother--very foolish indeed.  When Nicholas
and his son came here the other day and applied to me--why, it was all
very well there was relationship;--but really, to put another man's
child upon me!"

"Not while it pleases Heaven to spare _my_ life, brother."

"`May you live a thousand years!' then, as the Spanish say; but,
however, brother Edward, as you say, the poor thing must not starve; so,
if I am to take care of a child of another man's begetting, as soon as
you are dead, I can only say, it will very much increase my sorrow at
your loss.  Come here, little one: What's your name?"

"Amber."

"Amber! who the devil gave you that fool's name?"

"I did, brother," replied Edward, "I thought it appropriate."

"Humph! really can't see why.  Why did you not call her Sukey, or some
name fit for a Christian?  Amber!  Amber's a gum, is it not?  Stop,
let's see what Johnson says."

The lawyer went to a case of books which were in the next room, and
returned with a quarto.

"Now," said he, seating himself; "AG--AL--AM--Ambassador--Ambassadress--
Amber! humph! here it is, `A yellow transparent substance of a gummous
or bituminous consistence, but of a resinous taste, and a smell like oil
of turpentine; chiefly found in the Baltic sea or the coast of Prussia.'
Humph!  `Some have imagined it to consist of the tears of birds; others
the'--humph!--`of a beast; others the scum of the Lake Cephesis, near
the Atlantic; others a congelation in some fountains, where it is found
swimming like pitch.'  Really, brother," continued the lawyer, fixing
his eyes on the little girl, and shutting the book, "I can't see the
analogy."

"Be her godfather, my dear brother, and call her any name you please."

"Humph!"

"Pray, papa," said Amber, turning to Edward Forster, "what's the meaning
of humph?"

"Humph!" repeated the lawyer, looking hard at Amber.

"It implies yes or no, as it may be," replied Edward Forster, smiling.

"I never heard any one say it before, papa.  You're not angry with me,
sir?" continued Amber, turning round to John Forster.

"No, not angry, little girl; but I'm too busy to talk to you--or indeed
with you, brother Edward.  Have you any thing more to say?"

"Nothing, my dear brother, if I have your promise."

"Well, you have it; but what am I to do with her, God only knows!  I
wish you had kept better hours.  You mentioned some clothes which might
identify her to her relations; pray let me have them, for I shall have
the greatest pleasure in restoring her to them, as soon as possible,
after she is once in my hands."

"Here they are, brother," replied Edward, taking a small packet from his
coat-pocket: "you had better take charge of them now; and may God bless
you for having relieved my mind from so heavy a load!"

"Humph! by taking it on my own shoulders," muttered John, as he walked
to the iron safe, to deposit the packet of linen; then returning to the
table, "Have you any thing more to say, brother?"

"Only to ask you where I may find my brother Nicholas?"

"That I can't tell; my nephew told me somewhere down the river; but,
it's a long way from here to the Nore.  Nephew's a fine lad; I sent him
off to the East Indies."

"I am sorry then that I have no chance of seeing him:--but you are busy,
brother?"

"I have told you so three times, as plain as I could speak?"

"I will no longer trespass on your time.  We return home to-morrow
morning; and, as I cannot expect ever to see you again, God bless you,
my dear John! and farewell, I am afraid I may say, in this world at
least, farewell for ever!"

Edward held out his hand to his brother.  It was taken with considerable
emotion.  "Farewell, brother, farewell!--I'll not forget."

"Good-bye, sir," said Amber, going close up to John Forster.

"Good-bye, my little girl," replied he, looking earnestly in her face;
and then, as if thawing towards her, as he scanned her beautiful and
expressive features, removing his spectacles and kissing her,
"Good-bye."

"Oh! papa," cried Amber, as she went out of the room, "he kissed me!"

"Humph!" said John Forster, as the door closed upon them.

The spectacles were put on, and the reading of the brief immediately
continued.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER SIXTEEN.

  _Strickland_.
  "These doings in my house distract me.
  I met a fine gentleman, when I inquired who
  He was--why, he came to Clarinda.  I met
  A footman too, and he came to Clarinda.
  My wife had the character of a virtuous
  Woman--"
  _Suspicious Husband_.

  "Let us no more contend
  Each other, blamed enough elsewhere, but strive
  In offices of love, how we may lighten
  Each other's burden in our share of woe."
  MILTON.

I do not know a spot on the globe which astonishes and delights, upon
your first landing, as the island of Madeira.  The voyager embarks, and
is in all probability confined to his cabin, suffering under the
dreadful protraction of seasickness.  Perhaps he has left England in the
gloomy close of the autumn, or the frigid concentration of an English
winter.  In a week, or even in a shorter period, he again views that
terra firma which he had quitted with regret, and which in his
sufferings he would have given half that he possessed to regain.  When
he lands upon the island, what a change!  Winter has become summer, the
naked trees which be left are exchanged for the most luxuriant and
varied foliage, snow and frost for warmth and splendour; the scenery of
the temperate zone for the profusion and magnificence of the tropics;
fruit which he had never before seen, supplies for the table unknown to
him; a bright sky, a glowing sun, hills covered with vines, a deep-blue
sea, a picturesque and novel costume; all meet and delight the eye, just
at the precise moment, when to have been landed even upon a barren
island would have been considered as a luxury.  Add to all this, the
unbounded hospitality of the English residents, a sojourn too short to
permit satiety and then is it to be wondered that the island of Madeira
is a "green spot" in the memory of all those who land there, or that
they quit it with regret?

The Bombay Castle had not been two hours at anchor before the passengers
had availed themselves of an invitation from one of the English
residents, and were quartered in a splendid house, which hooked upon a
square and one of the principal churches in the city of Funchal.  While
the gentlemen amused themselves at the extensive range of windows with
the novelty of the scene, and the ladies retired to their apartments to
complete the hasty toilet of their disembarkation, Captain Drawlock was
very busy in the counting-house below, with the master of the house.
There were so many pipes of Madeira for the Honourable Company; so many
for the directors' private cellars, besides many other commissions for
friends, which Captain Drawlock had undertaken to execute; for at that
period Madeira wine had not been so calumniated as it latterly has been.

A word upon this subject.--I am a mortal enemy to every description of
humbug; and I believe there is as much in the medical world as in any
other.  Madeira wine had for a century been in high and deserved
reputation, when on a sudden some fashionable physician discovers that
it contained more acid than sherry.  Whether he was a sleeping partner
in some Spanish house, or whether he had received a present of a few
pipes of sherry, that he might turn the scale of public favour towards
that wine, I know not; but certain it is, that it became fashionable
with all medical gentlemen to prescribe sherry; and when once any thing
becomes fashionable, _c'est une affaire decide_.

I do not pretend to be much of a pathologist; but on reading Mr F---'s
analysis on the component parts of wine, I observed that in one hundred
parts there are perhaps twenty-two parts of acid in Madeira, and
nineteen in sherry; so that, in fact, if you reduce your glass of
Madeira wine, just _one sip_ in quantity, you will imbibe no more acid
than in a full glass of sherry; and when we consider the variety of
acids in sugar and other compounds, which abound in culinary
preparations, the fractional quantity upon which has been grounded the
abuse of Madeira wine, appears to be most ridiculous.

But if not a pathologist, I have a most decided knowledge of what is
good wine; and if the gout should some day honour me with a visit, I
shall at least have the consolation to know that I have by potation most
honestly _earned_ it.

But allowing that the medical gentlemen are correct, still their good
intentions are frustrated by the knavery of the world; and the result of
their prescriptions is, that people drink much more acid than they did
before.  I do every justice to good old sherry when it does make its
appearance at table; it is a noble wine when aged and unsophisticated
from its youth; but for once that you meet with it genuine, you are
twenty times disappointed.  When Madeira wine was in vogue, the island
could not produce the quantity required for consumption, and the vintage
from the north side of the island, or of Teneriffe, was substituted.
This adulteration no doubt was one cause of its losing its well
established reputation.  But Madeira wine has a quality which in itself
proves its superiority over all other wines--namely, that although no
other wine can be passed off as Madeira, yet with Madeira the
wine-merchants may imitate any other wine that is in demand.  What is
the consequence? that Madeira, not being any longer in request as
Madeira, now that sherry is the "correct thing," and there not being
sufficient of the latter to meet the increased demand, most of the wine
vended as sherry is made from the inferior Madeira wines.  Reader, if
you have ever been in Spain, you may have seen the Xerez or sherry wine
brought from the mountains to be put into the cask.  A raw goat-skin,
with the neck-part and the four legs sewed up, forms a leathern bag,
containing perhaps from fifteen to twenty gallons.  This is the load of
one man, who brings it down on his shoulder exposed to the burning rays
of the sun.  When it arrives, it is thrown down on the sand, to swelter
in the heat with the rest and remains there probably for days before it
is transferred into the cask.  It is this proceeding which gives to
sherry that peculiar leather twang which distinguishes it from other
wines--a twang easy to imitate by throwing into a cask of Cape wine a
pair of old boots, and allowing them to remain a proper time.  Although
the public refuse to drink Madeira, as Madeira, they are in fact
drinking it in every way disguised--as port, as sherry, etcetera; and it
is a well-known fact that the poorer wines from the north side of the
island are landed in the London Docks, and shipped off to the Continent,
from whence they reappear in bottles as "peculiarly fine flavoured
hock!"

Now, as it is only the indifferent wines which are thus turned into
sherry,--and the more inferior the wine, the more acid it contains,--I
think I have made out a clear case that people are drinking more acid
than they did before this wonderful discovery of the medical gentlemen,
who have for some years led the public by the nose.

There are, however, some elderly persons of my acquaintance who are not
to be dissuaded from drinking Madeira, but who continue to destroy
themselves by the use of this acid, which perfumes the room when the
cork is extracted.  I did represent to one of them, that it was a
species of suicide, after what the doctors had discovered; but he
replied, in a very gruff tone of voice, "May be, sir; but you can't
teach an old dog new tricks!"

I consider that the public ought to feel very much indebted to me for
this _expose_.  Madeira wine is very low, while sherry is high in price.
They have only to purchase a cask of Madeira and flavour it with
Wellington boots or ladies' shippers, as it may suit their palates.  The
former will produce the high-coloured, the latter the pale sherry.
Further, I consider that the merchants of Madeira are bound to send me a
letter of thanks, with a pipe of Bual, to prove its sincerity.  Now I
recollect Stoddart did promise me some wine when he was last in England;
but I suppose he has forgotten it.

But from the produce I must return to the island and my passengers.  The
first day of their arrival they eat their dinner, took their coffee, and
returned to bed early to enjoy a comfortable night after so many of
constant pitching and tossing.  The next morning the ladies were much
better, and received the visits of all the captains of the India ships,
and also of the captain of the frigate who escorted them.

The officers of the Bombay Castle had been invited to dinner; and the
first-mate not being inclined to leave the ship, Newton had for one
accepted the invitation.  On his arrival he discovered in the captain of
the frigate his former acquaintance, Captain Carrington, in whose ship
he had obtained a passage from the West Indies, and who on the former
being paid off had been appointed to the command of the Boadicea,
Captain Carrington was delighted to meet Newton; and the attention which
he paid to him, added to the encomiums bestowed when Newton was out of
bearing, raised him very high in the opinion, not only of Captain
Drawlock, but also in the estimation of the ladies.  At the request of
Captain Carrington Newton was allowed to remain on shore till their
departure from the island; and from this circumstance he became more
intimate with the ladies than he would in all probability have otherwise
been in the whole course of the voyage.  We must pass over the gallop up
to Nostra Senhora da Monte, an expedition opposed by Captain Drawlock on
the score of his responsibility; but he was over-ruled by Captain
Carrington, who declared that Newton and he were quite sufficient
convoy.  We must pass over the many compliments paid to Isabel Revel by
Captain Carrington, who appeared desperately in hove after an
acquaintance of four-and-twenty hours, and who discovered a defect in
the Boadicea which would occupy two or three days to make good, that he
might be longer in her company; but we will not pass over one
circumstance which occurred during their week's sojourn at this
delightful island.

A certain Portuguese lady of noble birth had been left a widow with two
daughters, and a fine estate to share between them.  The daughters were
handsome; but the estate was so much handsomer, that it set all the
mandolins of the Portuguese inamoratos strumming under the windows of
the lady's abode from sunset to the dawn of day.

Now it did so occur that a young English clerk in a mercantile house,
who had a fresh complexion and a clean shirt to boast of (qualifications
unknown to the Portuguese), won the heart of the eldest daughter; and
the old lady, who was not a very strict Catholic, gave her consent to
this heretical union.  The Catholic priests, who had long been trying to
persuade the old lady to shut up her daughters in a convent, and endow
the church with her property, expressed a holy indignation at the
intended marriage.  The Portuguese gentlemen, who could not brook the
idea of so many fair hills of vines going away to a stranger were
equally indignant: in short, the whole Portuguese population of the
island were in arms; but the old lady, who had always contrived to have
her way before her husband's death, was not inclined to be thwarted now
that she was her own mistress; and, notwithstanding threats and
expostulations from all quarters, she awaited but the arrival of an
English man-of-war that the ceremony might be performed, there being at
that time no Protestant clergyman on the island; for the reader must
know that a marriage on board of a king's ship, by the captain duly
entered in the log-book, is considered as valid as if the ceremony were
performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

I once married couple on board of a little ten-gun brig of which I
condescended to take the command, to oblige the first lord of the
Admiralty; offered, I believe to _provide_ for me, and rid the Board of
all future solicitations for employment or promotion.

It was one of my sailors, who had come to a determination to make an
honest woman of Poll and an ass of himself, at one and the same time.
The ceremony took place on the quarter-deck.  "Who gives this woman
away?" said I, with due emphasis, according to the ritual.  "I do,"
cried the boatswain in a gruff voice, taking the said lady by the arm
and shoving her towards me, as if he thought her not worth keeping.
Every thing went on seriously, nevertheless.  The happy pair were
kneeling down on the union-jack, which had been folded on the deck in
consideration of the lady's knees, and I was in the middle of the
blessing, when two pigs which we had procured at St. Jaco's, being them
off that island (creatures more like English pigs on stilts than any
thing else, unless you could imagine a cross between a pig and a
greyhound), in the lightness of their hearts and happy ignorance of
their doom, took a frisk, as you often see pigs do on shore, commenced a
run from forward right aft, and galloping to the spot where we were all
collected, rushed against the two just made one, destroying their centre
of gravity, and upsetting them; and, indeed, destroying the gravity and
upsetting the seriousness of myself and the whole of the ship's company.
The lady recovered her legs, damned the pigs, and, taking her husband's
arm, hastened down the hatchway; so that I lost the kiss to which I was
entitled for my services.  I consoled myself by the reflection that,
"please the pigs," I might be more fortunate the next time that I
officiated in my clerical capacity.  This is a digression I grant, but I
cannot help it; it is the nature of man to digress.  Who can say that he
has through life kept in the straight path?  This is a world of
digression; and I beg that critics will take no notice of mine, as I
have an idea that my digressions in this work are as agree able to my
readers, as my digressions in life have been agreeable to myself.

When Captain Carrington anchored with his convoy in Funchal roads,
immediate application was made by the parties for the ceremony to be
performed on board of his ship.  It is true that, as Mr Ferguson had
arrived, it might have taken place on shore; but it was considered
advisable, to avoid interruption and insult, that the parties should be
under the sanctuary of a British man-of-war.  On the fourth day after
the Boadicea's arrival the ceremony was performed on board of her by Mr
Ferguson; and the passengers of the Bombay, residing at the house of Mr
---, who was an intimate friend of the bridegroom, received and accepted
the invitation to the marriage-dinner.  The feast was splendid, and
after the Portuguese custom.  The first course was _boiled_: it
consisted of boiled beef, boiled mutton, boiled hams, boiled tongues,
boiled bacon, boiled fowls, boiled turkeys, boiled sausages, boiled
cabbages, boiled potatoes, and boiled carrots.  Duplicates of each were
ranged in opposition, until the table groaned with its superincumbent
weight.  All were cut up, placed in one dish, and handed round to the
guests.  When they drank wine, every glass was filled, and every body
who filled his glass was expected to drink the health of every guest
separately and by name before he emptied it.  The first course was
removed, and the second made its appearance all roasted.  Roast beef,
roast veal, roast mutton, roast lamb, roast joints of pork, roasted
turkeys, roasted fowls, roasted sausages, roasted every thing; the
centre dish being a side of a large hog, rolled up like an enormous
fillet of veal.  This too was done ample justice to by the Portuguese
part of the company, at least, and all was cleared away for the dessert,
consisting of oranges, melons, pine-apples, guavas, citrons, bananas,
peaches, strawberries, apples, pears, and indeed of almost every fruit
which can be found in the whole world, all of which appear to naturalise
themselves at Madeira.  It was now supposed by the uninitiated that the
dinner was over; but not so; the dessert was cleared away, and on came
an _husteron proteron_ medley of pies and puddings, in all their
varieties, smoking hot, boiled and baked, custards and sweetmeats,
cheese and olives, fruits of all kinds preserved, and a hundred other
things, from which the gods preserve us!  At last the feast was really
over; the Portuguese picked their teeth with their forks, and the wine
was circulated briskly.  On such an occasion as the marriage of her
daughter, the old lady had resolved to take a pipe of Madeira, which
was, at the very least, fifty years old, very fine in flavour, but, from
having been so long in the wood, little inferior in strength to genuine
Cogniac.  The consequence was, that many of the gentlemen became noisy
before the dinner was over; and their mirth was increased to positive
uproar upon a message being sent by the bishop, ordering upon pain of
excommunication, that the ceremony should proceed no further.  The
ladies retired to the withdrawing room; the gentlemen soon followed; but
the effects of the wine were so apparent upon most of them, that Captain
Drawlock summoned Newton to his assistance, and was in a state of
extreme anxiety until his "responsibilities" were safe at home.  Shortly
afterwards, Captain Carrington and those who were the least affected, by
persuasion or force, removed the others from the house; and the bridal
party were left to themselves, to deliberate whether they should or
should not obey the preposterous demands of the reverend bishop.

Captain Carrington was excessively fond of a joke, and never lost the
opportunity when it occurred; now it happened, that in the party invited
there was a merchant of the name of Sullivan, who, upon his last visit
to England, had returned with a very pretty, and at the same time, a
very coquettish young lady as his wife.  It happened, in the casualties
of a large dinner party, that the old colonel (Ellice was his name, if I
have not mentioned it before) was seated next to her, and, as usual, was
remarkably attentive.  Mr Sullivan, like many other gentlemen, was very
inattentive to his wife, and, unlike most Irishmen, was very jealous of
her.  The very marked attention of the colonel had not escaped his
notice; neither did his fidgeting upon this occasion escape the notice
of those about him, who were aware of his disposition.  The poor colonel
was one of those upon whose brain the wine had taken the most effect,
and it was not until after sundry falls, and being again placed upon his
legs, that he had been conveyed home, between Captain Carrington and Mr
---, the merchant at whose house the party from the Bombay Castle were
residing.  The ensuing morning he did not make his appearance at
breakfast; and the gentlemen residing on the island, commenting upon the
events of the evening before, declared in a joking way that they should
not be surprised at Mr Sullivan sending him a challenge in the course
of the morning; that was, if he was up so soon, as he had quitted the
house in a greater state of inebriety than even the colonel.  It was
upon this hint that Captain Carrington proposed to have some amusement;
and having arranged with one of the junior partners of the house, he
went into the room of the colonel, whom he found still in bed.

"Well, colonel, how do you find yourself?" said Captain Carrington, when
he had roused him.

"Oh! very bad indeed: my head is ready to split: never felt such a
sensation in my head before, except when I was struck with a spent ball
at the battle of--"

"I am very sorry for your headache, colonel, but more sorry that the
wine should have played you such a trick last night."

"Trick indeed!" replied the colonel; "I was completely overcome: I do
not recollect a word that passed after I had quitted the dinner table."

"Are you serious?  Do you not recollect the scene with Mrs Sullivan?"

"Mrs Sullivan!  My dear sir, what scene?  I certainly paid every
attention due to a very pretty woman; but I recollect no further."

"Not the scene in the drawing-room?"

"God bless me!--No--I do not even recollect ever going into the
drawing-room!  Pray tell me what I said or did: I hope nothing
improper."

"Why that depends very much whether a lady likes it or not: but in the
presence of so many people--"

"Merciful powers!  Captain Carrington, pray let me know at once what
folly it was that I committed."

"Why, really, I am almost ashamed to enter into particulars: suffice to
say, that you used most unwarrantable freedom towards her."

"Is it possible?" cried the colonel.--"Now, Captain Carrington, are you
not joking?"

"Ask this gentleman; he was present."

The assertion of the captain was immediately corroborated, and the
colonel was quite aghast.

"Excuse me, gentlemen, I will run immediately--that abominable wine; I
must go and make a most ample apology.  I am bound to do it, as a
gentleman, as an officer, and as a man of honour."

Captain Carrington and his confederate quitted the room, satisfied with
the success of their plot.  The colonel rose, and soon afterwards made
his appearance.  He swallowed a cup of coffee, and then proceeded on his
visit, to make the _amende honorable_.

When Mr Sullivan awoke from the lethargy produced from the stupefying
effects of the wine, he tried to recollect the circumstances of the
preceding evening; but he could trace no further than to the end of the
dinner, after which his senses had been overpowered.  All that he could
call to memory was, that somebody had paid great attention to his wife,
and that what had passed afterwards was unknown.  This occasioned him to
rise in a very jealous humour; and he had not been up more than an hour,
when the colonel sent up his card, requesting, as a particular favour
that the lady would admit him.

The card and messenger were taken by the servant to Mr Sullivan, whose
jealousy was again roused by the circumstance; and wishing to know if
the person who had now called was the same who had been so attentive to
his wife on the preceding evening, and the motives of the call, he
requested that the colonel might be shown in, without acquainting his
wife, whom he had not yet seen, with his arrival.  The colonel, who
intended to have made an apology to the lady without the presence of a
third person, least of all of her husband, ascended the stairs,
adjusting his hair and cravat, and prepared with all the penitent
assurance and complimentary excuses of a too ardent lover.  The fact
was, that, although the colonel had expressed to Captain Carrington his
regret and distress at the circumstance, yet, as an old Adonis, he was
rather proud of this instance of juvenile indiscretion.  When therefore
he entered the room, and perceived, instead of the lady.  Mr Sullivan
raised up to his utmost height, and looking any thing but good humoured,
he naturally started back, and stammered out something which was
unintelligible.  His behaviour did not allay the suspicions of Mr
Sullivan, who requested, in a haughty tone, to be informed of the reason
why he had been honoured with a visit.  The colonel became more
confused, and totally losing his presence of mind, replied:--

"I called, sir,--on Mrs Sullivan,--to offer an apology for my conduct
last night; but as I perceive that she is not visible, I will take a
more favourable opportunity."

"Any apology you may have to offer to my wife, sir," replied Mr
Sullivan, "may be confided to me.  May I inquire the circumstances which
have occurred to render an apology necessary?" and Mr Sullivan walked
to the door and closed it.

"Why, really, Mr Sullivan, you must be aware that circumstances may
occur," replied the colonel, more confused: "the fact is, that I
consider it my duty, as a gentleman and a man of honour, to express my
regrets to your fair lady."

"My fair lady! for what, sir, may I ask?"

"Why, sir," stammered the colonel, "to state the truth, for, as a
gentleman, and a man of honour, I ought not to be ashamed to acknowledge
my error--for--the very improper behaviour which I was guilty of last
night."

"Improper behaviour, sir!--damnation! with my wife?" roared Mr
Sullivan, in his rage.  "What behaviour, sir? and when, sir?"

"Really, sir, I was too much affected with the wine to know any thing
which passed.  I did hope to have addressed the lady in person on the
subject, and I came here with that intention."

"I dare say you did, sir?"

"But," continued the colonel, "as it appears I am not to have that
honour, I consider that I have done my duty in requesting that you will
convey my sentiments of regret for what has passed;--and, now, sir, I
wish you a good morning."

"Good morning," retorted the husband, with a sneer; "and observe, sir, I
will not trouble you to call again, William, show this gentleman outside
the door."

The colonel, who was descending the stairs, turned round to Mr Sullivan
at the latter part of his speech, and then, as if thinking better of it,
he resumed his descent, and the door was immediately closed upon him.

Mr Sullivan, as soon as he was satisfied that the colonel was shut out,
immediately repaired to his wife's dressing-room, where he found her
reading.

"Madam," said he, fixing his eyes sternly on her, "I have been informed
of what took place last night."

"I'm sure I do not know what that was," replied the lady, coolly,
"except that you were very tipsy."

"Granted, madam: you took advantage of it; and your conduct--"

"My conduct, Mr Sullivan!" replied his wife, kindling with anger.

"Yes, Mrs Sullivan, your conduct.  A married woman, madam, who allows
gentlemen--"

"Gentlemen, Mr Sullivan!  I allow no gentlemen but yourself.  Are you
sure that you are quite sober?"

"Yes, madam, I am; but this affected coolness will not avail you: deny,
if you can, that Colonel Ellice did not last night--"

"Well, then, I do deny it.  Neither Colonel Ellice nor any other man
ever did--"

"Did what, madam?" interrupted the husband, in a rage.

"I was going to observe, if you had not interrupted me, that no one was
wanting in proper respect towards me," replied the lady, who grew more
cool as her husband increased in choler.  "Pray, Mr Sullivan, may I
inquire who is the author of this slander?"

"The author, madam! look at me--to your confusion look at me!"

"Well, I'm looking."

"'Twas, madam--the colonel himself."

"The colonel himself!"

"Yes, madam, the colonel himself, who called this morning to see you,
and renew the intimacy, I presume; but, by mistake, was shown up to me,
and then made an apology for his conduct."

"It's excessively strange! first the colonel is rude, without my
knowledge, and then apologises to you!  Mr Sullivan, I'm afraid that
your head is not right this morning."

"Indeed, madam, I only wish that your heart was as sound," replied the
husband with a sneer; "but, madam, I am not quite blind.  An honest
woman--a virtuous woman, Mrs Sullivan, would have immediately
acquainted her husband with what had passed--not have concealed it;
still less have had the effrontery to deny it, when acknowledged by her
_paramour_."

"_Paramour_!" cried the lady, with an hysterical laugh; "Mr Sullivan!
when I select a _paramour_, it shall be a handsome young man--not an
old, yellow-faced--"

"Pshaw, madam! there's no accounting for taste; when once a woman
deviates from the right path--"

"Right path! if ever I deviated from the right path, as you call it, it
was when I married such a wretch as you!  Yes, sir! continued the lady,
bursting into tears, I tell it you now--my life has been a torment to me
ever since I married (sobbing)--always suspected for nothing (sob,
sob)--jealous, detestable temper (sob)--go to my friends (sob)--
hereafter may repent (sob)--then know what you've lost" (sob, sob, sob).

"And, madam," replied Mr Sullivan, "so may you also know what you have
lost, before a few hours have passed away; then, madam, the time may
come when the veil of folly will be rent from your eyes, and your
conduct appear in all its deformity.  Farewell, madam--perhaps for
ever!"

The lady made no reply; Mr Sullivan quitted the room, and, repairing to
his counting-house, wrote a challenge to the colonel, and confided the
delivery of it to one of his friends, who unwillingly accepted the
office of second.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER SEVENTEEN.

  He's truly valiant, that can wisely suffer
  The worst that man can breathe, and make his wrongs
  His outsides; to wear them, like his raiment, carelessly,
  And ne'er prefer his injuries to his heart,
  To bring it into danger.
  SHAKESPEARE.

The colonel, in the meantime, had returned to the house where he was
residing, when he was immediately accosted by Captain Carrington, and
the other gentlemen who had been let into the secret of the plot.
During his walk home the colonel had been ruminating on his dismissal,
and had not quite made up his mind whether he ought or ought not to
resent the conduct of Mr Sullivan.  Naturally more inclined for peace
than war, by the time that he arrived home he had resolved to pocket the
affront, when Captain Carrington called him on one side, and obtained
from him a recapitulation of what had passed; which probably never would
have been given if the colonel had not considered the communication as
confidential.  This, however, did not suit the intentions of Captain
Carrington, who felt inclined for more mischief; and when the colonel
had concluded his narrative, he replied, "Upon my word, colonel, as you
observe, this conduct on the part of Mr Sullivan, is not exactly what
can be permitted by us military men.  I hardly know bow to advise;
indeed I would not take the responsibility; however, I will consult with
Mr S--- and Mr G---, and if you will leave your honour in our hands,
depend upon it we will do you strict justice:" and Captain Carrington
quitted the colonel, who would have expostulated, and, walking up to the
other gentlemen, entered into a recapitulation of the circumstances.  A
wink of his eye, as his back was turned to the colonel, fully expressed
to the others the tenor of the advice which they were to offer.

"Well, gentlemen, what is your opinion?" said the captain, as he
concluded his narrative.

"I think," replied Mr S---, with a serious face, "there can be but
one--our gallant friend has been most grossly insulted.  I think,"
continued he, addressing the colonel, who had quitted the sofa, in his
anxiety to know the issue of their debate, "that I should most decidedly
ask him what he meant."

"Or rather demand an apology," observed Mr G---.

"Which Mr Sullivan as a man of honour is bound to offer, and the
colonel as a gentleman and an officer has a right to insist upon.  Do
you not think so, Captain Carrington?" said Mr S---.

"Why, I always have been more inclined to be a peacemaker than
otherwise, if I can," replied Captain Carrington.  "If our gallant
friend the colonel is not sure that Mr Sullivan did use the words, `I
won't trouble you to call again,'--are you positive as to the exact
words, colonel?"

"Why, to the best of my recollection," replied the colonel, "I rather
think those were the words.--I may be mistaken:--it was certainly--most
certainly--something to that effect."

"Were they, `requesting you to call again?'" said Captain Carrington.

"No, no,--that they certainly were not."

"Well, they could be but one or the other.--Then, gentlemen, the case is
clear--the words were uttered," said Mr S---, "Now, Captain Carrington,
what would you advise?"

"I really am vexed to say, that I do not see how our friend, Colonel
Ellice, can do otherwise than demand an apology, or a meeting."

"Could not I treat him with contempt, Captain Carrington?" demanded the
colonel.

"Why, not exactly," replied Mr S---.  "Sullivan is of good family; the
Sullivans of Bally cum Poop.  He was some time in the 48th regiment, and
was obliged to retire from it for challenging his colonel."

"Well, gentlemen," replied the colonel, "I suppose I must leave my
honour in your hands, although it does appear to me that our time is
very short for such arrangements.  We sail early to-morrow morning;
Captain Carrington; at daylight, I think you said, and it will be too
late to-night."

"My dear colonel, I will risk a rebuke from the Admiralty," replied the
captain, "rather than not allow you to heal your wounded honour.  I will
stay till the day after to-morrow, should it be requisite for the
arrangement of this business."

"Thank you: many thanks," replied the colonel, with an expression of
disappointment.  "Then I had better prepare the letter?"

"Carta por senhor commandante," interrupted a Portuguese, presenting a
letter to the colonel; "O senhor embaixo; queir risposta."

The colonel opened the letter, which contained Mr Sullivan's
challenge,--pistols--to-morrow morn, at daylight--one mile on the road
to Machico.

The colonel's countenance changed two or three shades less yellow as he
read the contents: recovering himself with a giggle, he handed the
letter to Captain Carrington.  "You see, captain, the gentleman has
saved me the trouble--He, he, he! these little affairs are common to
gentlemen of our profession--He, he! and since the gentleman wishes it,
why, I presume--He, he! that we must not disappoint him."

"Since you are both of one mind, I think there will be some business
done," observed Mr S---.  "I perceive that he is in earnest by the
place named for the meeting.  We generally settle our affairs of honour
in the Loo-fields; but I suppose he is afraid of interruption.--They
want an answer, colonel."

"Oh! he shall have one," replied the colonel, tittering with excitement;
"he shall have one.  What hour does he say?"

"Oh! we will arrange all that.  Come, colonel," said Captain Carrington,
taking him familiarly by the arm, and leading him away.

The answer was despatched, and they sat down to dinner.  Many were the
friendly and encouraging glasses of wine drank with the colonel, who
recovered his confidence, and was then most assiduous in his attentions
to the ladies to prove his perfect indifference.  He retired at an early
hour nevertheless.

In the mean time Mr Sullivan had received the answer, and had retired
to his counting-house, to arrange his affairs in case of accident.  He
had not seen his wife since the fracas.  And now we will leave them both
for awhile, and make a few remarks upon duelling.

Most people lament, many abuse the custom as barbarous; but barbarous it
is not, or it would not be necessary in a state of high civilisation.
It is true that by the practice we offend laws human and divine; but at
the same time, it must be acknowledged, that neither law nor religion
can keep society in such good order, or so restrain crime.  The man who
would defy the penalty of the law, and the commandments of his God
against seduction, will, however pause in his career when he finds that
there are brothers to avenge an injured sister.  And why so?--because in
this world we live as it were in a tavern, careless of what the bill is
which we run up, but dreading the day of reckoning, which the pistol of
our adversary may bring at once.  Thus duelling may be considered as a
necessary evil, arising out of our wickedness; a crime in itself rare in
occurrence, but which prevents others of equal magnitude from occurring
every day; and until the world is reformed, nothing can prevent it.  Men
will ever be governed by the estimation of the world: and until the
whole world decide against duelling--until it has become the usage to
offer the other cheek upon the first having been smitten, then, and not
till then, will the practice be discontinued.  When a man refuses to
fight a duel, he is stigmatised as a coward, his company is shunned;
and, unless he is a wretch without feeling, his life becomes a burden.
Men have refused from purely conscientious motives, and have
subsequently found themselves so miserable from the neglect and
contumely of the world, that they have _backslided_, and have fought to
recover their place in society.  There have been some few, very few,
who, having refused from conscientious motives, have adhered to these
resolutions, because they feared God and not man.  There was more
courage in their refusal than if they had run the gauntlet of a hundred
duels; a moral courage, which is most rare, preferring the contempt of
man to the wrath of God.  It is, however, the most trying situation on
this side of the grave.  To refuse to fight a duel, is in fact to obey
the stern injunction, "leave all, and follow me."

For my part, I never have and never will fight a duel, if I can help it.
I have a double motive for my refusal; in the first place, I am afraid
to offend the Deity; and in the next, I am afraid of being shot.  I have
therefore made up my mind never to meet a man except upon what I
consider fair terms; for when a man stakes his life, the gambling
becomes rather serious, and an equal value should be laid down by each
party.  If, then, a man is not so big--not of equal consequence in the
consideration of his fellow mites--not married, with five small
children, as I am--not having so much to lose--why it is clear that I
risk more than he does; the stake is not equal, and I therefore shall
not meet him.  If, on the contrary, he presents a broader target,--if he
is my superior in rank, more patriarchal at home, or has so many
hundreds per annum more, why then the disadvantages will be on his side;
and I trust I am too much of a gentleman, even if he offers to waive all
these considerations, to permit him to fight.  It would be _swindling_
the man out of his life.

The best advice I can offer to my friends under these unpleasant
circumstances is, first to try if they cannot persuade their adversaries
to make an apology: and if he will not, why then let them make one
themselves; for although the making an apology creates a very uneasy
sensation, and goes very much _against_ the stomach, yet, depend upon
it, a well-directed bullet creates a much more uneasy feeling, and, what
is worse, goes _directly into it_.

We left Mrs Sullivan sobbing in her anger, when her husband bounded out
of the room in his heroics.  At the time that he made the threat she was
in no humour to regard it; but as her anger gradually subsided, so did
her alarm increase.  Notwithstanding that she was a coquette, she was as
warmly attached to her husband as he was to her; if she trifled, it was
only for her amusement, and to attract that meed of admiration to which
she had been accustomed previous to her marriage, and which no woman can
renounce on her first entry into that state.  Men cannot easily pardon
jealousy in their wives; but women are more lenient towards their
husbands.  Love, hand-in-hand with confidence, is the more endearing;
yet, when confidence happens to be out of the way, Love will sometimes
associate with Jealousy; still, as this disagreeable companion proves
that Love is present, and as his presence is what a woman and all a
woman asks, she suffers Jealousy, nay, sometimes even becomes partial to
him for the sake of Love.

Now that Mrs Sullivan had been most unjustly accused, the reader must
know, and moreover, that she had great reason to feel irritated.  When
her tears had subsided, for some time she continued in her chair,
awaiting with predetermined dignity the appearance and apology of Mr
Sullivan.  After some time had elapsed, she wondered why he did not
come.  Dinner was announced, and she certainly expected to meet him
then, and she waited for some minutes to see if he would not take this
opportunity of coming up to her;--but no.  She then presumed that he was
still in the sulks, and had sat down to table without her, and
therefore, as he would not come--why, she went; but he was not at the
table.  Every minute she expected him:--Had he been told?--Where was
he?--He was in the counting-house, was the reply.  Mrs Sullivan
swallowed a few mouthfuls, and then returned up stairs.  Tea was made--
announced to Mr Sullivan, yet he came not.  It remained on the table;
the cup poured out for him was cold.  The urn had been sent down, with
strict injunctions to keep the water boiling, and all was cleared away.
Mrs Sullivan fidgeted and ruminated, and became uneasy.  He never had
been at variance for so many hours since their marriage, and all for
nothing!  At last the clock struck ten, and she rang the bell.--"Where
was Mr Sullivan?"--"In the counting-house."--"Tell him that I wish to
speak with him."  Mr Sullivan had not answered him, and the door was
locked inside.  This intelligence created a little irritation, and
checked the tide of affection.  "Before all the servants--so
inconsiderate--it was quite insulting!"  With a heavy heart, Mrs
Sullivan lighted the chamber candle, and went up stairs to bed.  Once
she turned down the stairs two or three steps, intending to go to the
counting-house door; but her pride restrained her, and she re-ascended.
In an hour Mrs Sullivan was in bed, expecting her husband every minute,
listening at the slightest sound for his footstep; but two o'clock came
and he was still away.  She could bear up against her suspense and
agitation no longer; she rose, threw on her _robe de nuit_, and
descended the stairs.  All the family had long retired, and every thing
was still: her light foot made no noise as she tripped along.  As she
neared the door, she perceived the light gleaming through the key-hole.
Whether to peep or to speak first--he might be fast asleep.  Curiosity
prevailed--she looked through the key-hole, and perceived her husband
very busy writing.  After he had finished his letter he threw down the
pen, pressed his forehead with both hands, and groaned deeply.  Mrs
Sullivan could refrain no longer.  "William!  William!" cried she, in a
soft imploring voice: but she was not answered.  Again and again did she
repeat his name, until an answer, evidently wrung from him by
impatience, was returned--"It is too late now."

"Too late, dear William!  Yes, it is very late, it's almost three
o'clock.  Let me in William,--pray do!"

"Leave me alone: it's the last favour I probably shall ever request of
you."

"The last favour!  Oh, William! you frighten me so:--dear William--do--
do let me in.  I'm so cold, I shall die:--only for one moment, and I'll
bless you.  Pray do, William!"

It was not until after repeated and repeated entreaties of this kind,
that Mr Sullivan, worn out by importunity, at last opened the door.

"Mary, I am very busy; I have opened the door to tell you so, and to
request that you will not interrupt me.  Now oblige me by going to bed."

But getting in was every thing; and a young and pretty wife, in
dishabille and in tears, imploring, entreating, conjuring, promising,
coaxing, and fondling, is not quite so easy to be detached when once she
has gained access.  In less than half an hour Mr Sullivan was obliged
to confess that her conduct had been the occasion of a meeting being
agreed for upon that morning, and that he was arranging his affairs in
case of a melancholy termination.

"You now, Mary, must see the consequences of your conduct.  By your
imprudence, your husband's life is risked, probably sacrificed; but this
is no time to be at variance.  I forgive you, Mary,--from my soul, I do,
as I hope for pardon myself."

Mrs Sullivan burst into a paroxysm of tears; and it was some time
before she could answer.  "William," cried she energetically, "as you
well say, this is no time to be at variance, neither is it a time for
falsehood.  What I stated to you this morning was true:--if not, may I
never hope for pardon! and may Heaven never be opened to me!  You have
been deceived, grossly deceived; for what purpose, I know not; but so it
is.  Do not therefore be rash.  Send for all who were present, and
examine them; and if I have told you a falsehood, put me away from you,
to the shame and seclusion I shall so well deserve."

"It is too late, Mary; I have challenged him, and he has accepted it.  I
fain would believe you; but he told me so himself."

"Then he told a lie! a base cowardly lie! which sinks him beneath the
notice of a gentleman.  Let me go with you and confront him.  Only let
him dare to say it to my face: 'tis all I ask, William, that I may clear
my fame with you.  Come to bed--nay, nay, don't refuse me;" and poor
Mrs Sullivan again burst into tears.

We must leave the couple to pass the remaining hours in misery, which,
however, reclaimed them both from faults.  Mrs Sullivan never coquetted
more, and her husband was, after this, never jealous but on trifles.

The colonel was just as busy on his side, in preparing for the chances
of the morrow: these chances however were never tried; for Captain
Carrington and his confederates had made their arrangements.  Mr
Sullivan was already dressed, his wife clinging to him in frantic
despair, when a letter was left at his door, the purport of which was
that Colonel Ellice had discovered that his companions had been joking
with him, when they had asserted that during his state of inebriety, he
had offered any rudeness to Mrs Sullivan.  As therefore no offence had
been committed, Colonel Ellice took it for granted that Mr Sullivan
would be satisfied with the explanation.

Mrs Sullivan, who devoured the writing over her husband's shoulder,
sunk down on her knees in gratitude, and was raised to her husband's
arms, who, as he embraced her, acknowledged his injustice.

The same party who wrote this epistle also framed another in imitation
of Mr Sullivan's hand-writing, in which Mr Sullivan acquainted the
Colonel, that having been informed by a mutual friend that he had been
in error relative to Colonel Ellice's behaviour of the night before, he
begged to withdraw the challenge, and apologise for having suspected the
colonel of incivility, etcetera.  That having been informed that Colonel
Ellice embarked at an early hour, he regretted that he would not be able
to pay his respects to him, and assure him, etcetera.

The receipt of this letter, just as the colonel had finished a cup of
coffee, preparatory to starting, made him, as a single man, quite as
happy as the married couple; he hastened to put the letter into the
hands of Captain Carrington, little thinking that he was handing it over
to the writer.

"You observe, Captain Carrington, he won't come to the scratch.  Perhaps
as well for him that he does not," said the colonel, chuckling in his
glee.

The breakfast was early; the colonel talked big, and explained the whole
affair to the ladies, quite unconscious that every one in the company
knew that the hoax had been played upon him.  Before noon, every one had
re-embarked on board of their respective ships, and their lofty sails
were expanded to a light and favouring breeze.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER EIGHTEEN.

  _Isabel_.  Any where to avoid matrimony: the thought of a husband is
  terrible to me.

  _Inis_.  But if you might choose for yourself, I fancy matrimony would
  be no such frightful thing to you.

  _The Wonder_.

The Boadicea, with the Indiamen, proceeded on to their destination,
Captain Carrington taking every opportunity which light winds and smooth
water afforded him, of paying his respects to the ladies on board of the
Bombay Castle, or of inviting them on board of the frigate.  The fact
was, that he had fallen most desperately in love with Isabel Revel, and
paid her the most marked attention; but, although a pleasant,
light-hearted companion, and a young man of good family and prospects,
Isabel Revel had not fallen in love with him: she liked his company, but
nothing more.

In a month the squadron had arrived at the island of St. Helena, to
which Captain Carrington had been ordered to convey them: his directions
were then to cruise in a certain latitude, and ultimately to proceed on
to the East Indies, if he did not fall in with the vessels he expected.
It was, therefore, but parting to meet again; but during the short time
that they refitted and completed their water at St. Helena, Captain
Carrington proposed, and was politely refused by Isabel Revel.
Impatient as a boy who has been denied his plaything, he ordered his
stores immediately on board, and the next day quitted the island.  It
may appear strange that a young lady, obviously sent out on speculation,
should have refused so advantageous an offer; for the speculation
commences with the voyage.  Some ladies are selected at Madeira.  Since
the Cape has been in our possession, several have been induced to stay
in that colony; and very often ships arrive with only the _refuse_ of
their cargo; for the intended market in the East.  But Isabel Revel had
consented to embark on the score of filial duty, not to obtain a husband
unless she liked the gentleman who proposed; and Captain Carrington did
not happen to come up to her fanciful ideas of the person to be chosen
for life.  Captain Carrington did not impart the intelligence of his ill
success to any one but Newton, who was employed to carry his farewell
message.  His secret was faithfully kept by both.  Isabel Revel was not
one of those young ladies who would make use of such an unworthy
advantage to heighten her consequence in the eyes of others.  But there
was another reason, not exactly known to Isabel herself at the time,
which prevented her from listening to the proposals of Captain
Carrington.  Had she questioned her own heart, she would have discovered
that she was prepossessed in favour of one, who as unconsciously had
become attached to her.  He knew his own feelings, but had checked them
in the bud, aware that he had nothing to offer but himself.  This person
was Newton Forster.  His intimacy with Captain Carrington, the attention
shown him by Captain Drawlock, (who trusted him to work the
chronometers!!) his own excellent character and handsome person, had
raised him to more importance than his situation as a junior officer
would have warranted; and his behaviour was such as to have secured him
the good-will of every one on board of the ship.  Newton's unassuming
frank manner, added to a large stock of general information, occasioned
his society to be courted, even by those who would otherwise have been
inclined to keep at a distance one in his subordinate rank.

When they arrived at St. Helena, the first-mate, for a wonder, no longer
made any difficulty of going on shore for an hour or two, if he knew
that Newton would be the commanding officer during his absence; nay, so
high did he stand in the opinion of his captain, that nut only was he
permitted to take charge of the chronometers, but, if called away for a
time below, Captain Drawlock would hand over to Newton's charge any one
of the unmarried _responsibilities_, who might happen to be leaning on
his arm.

The Indiamen being now left to protect themselves, the senior officer,
Commodore Bottlecock, issued most elaborate memoranda, as to the order
of sailing, exercise of the men at the great guns and small arms, and
every other point which could tend to their security by due preparation.
Nevertheless, the ladies continued to appear on deck.  Mrs Ferguson
sat in her majesty; the young ladies tittered, and were reprimanded; the
young gentlemen were facetious, and were rebuked; the old colonel talked
of his adventure at Madeira, and compared every thing to the spent ball
at the battle of ---.  Dr Plausible had become a most assiduous
attendant upon Miss Tavistock, ever since he had satisfactorily
ascertained that she had property of her own; every body had become
intimate; every one was becoming tired, when the bearings and distance
at noon placed them about two hundred miles from Point de Galle, the
southernmost extremity of Ceylon.  The wind was fresh and fair, and they
congratulated each other upon a speedy termination to their tedious
voyage.

Dinner was announced by the old tune of "Oh! the roast beef of old
England;" and during a long voyage the announcement of dinner is a very
great relief every way.  As had been the invariable rule throughout the
whole of the voyage, Miss Charlotte and Miss Laura Revel were placed on
the one side of Captain Drawlock, Miss Tavistock and Isabel Revel on the
other.  They were flanked on the other side by Mrs and Mr Ferguson,
who thus separated them from any undue collision with the gentlemen
passengers or officers of the ship.  The colonel was placed next to Mrs
Ferguson, the young writer next to her husband; then the two cadets,
supported by the doctor and purser, the remainder of the table being
filled up with the officers of the ship, with the first-mate at the
foot.  Such was the order of Captain Drawlock's dinner--sailing; as
strictly adhered to as the memoranda of Commodore Bottlecock: the only
communication permitted with the young ladies under his charge (unless
married men) being to "request the honour of drinking a glass of wine
with them."

All this may appear very absurd; but a little reflection will convince
the reader to the contrary.  There is a serious responsibility on a
captain of an Indiaman, who takes charge of perhaps a dozen young women,
who are to be cooped up for months in the same ship with as many young
men.  Love, powerful every where, has on the waters even more potent
sway, hereditary I presume, from his mother's nativity.  Idleness is the
friend of love; and passengers have little or nothing to do to while
away the tedium of a voyage.  In another point, he has great advantage,
from the limited number of the fair sex.  In a ball or in general
society, a man may see hundreds of women, admire many, yet fall in love
with none.  Numbers increase the difficulty of choice, and he remains
delighted, but not enslaved.  But on board of a ship, the continued
presence of one whom he admires by comparison out of the few,--one who,
perhaps, if on shore, would in a short time be eclipsed by another, but
who here shines without competition,--gives her an advantage which,
assisted by idleness and opportunity, magnifies her attractions, and
sharpens the arrow of all-conquering Love.  Captain Drawlock perhaps
knew this from experience; he knew also that the friends of one party,
if not of both, might be displeased by any contract formed when under
his surveillance, and that his character and the character of his ship
(for ships now-a-days have characters, and very much depend upon them
for their well doing) might suffer in consequence.  Strict as he might
therefore appear, he was only doing his duty.

Grace being requested from Mr Ferguson, he indulged the company with
one quite as long as usual; rather too long considering that the ship
was very unsteady, and the ladies had to cling to the table for support.
But Mr Ferguson was not a sailor, or he would have known that it is
the custom to reduce the grace in proportion with the canvass.  When the
royals are set, we submit to a homily; under double-reefed topsails, a
blessing; but under storm stay-sails, an ejaculation is considered as
orthodox.

"Mrs Ferguson, will you permit me to send you a little mulligatawney?
said Captain Drawlock.  If you prefer it, there is sheep's-head broth at
the other end of the table."

"Then I will take a little of the broth, if you please, Captain
Drawlock."

"Mr Mathews, Mrs Ferguson will take some broth.  I am sorry, Mrs
Ferguson, that our table is so ill-supplied; but a long voyage and bad
weather has been very fatal to our hen-coops."

"Indeed, Captain Drawlock, you need not apologise."  Nor was there any
occasion, for the table was loaded.

"Perhaps Miss Laura Revel will permit me to send her a slice of this
mutton?" said the obsequious colonel.

"No, I thank you; I have eaten nothing but mutton lately.  I think I
shall be a sheep myself soon," added the young lady, tittering.

"That would be very much against your inclination, I should think, Miss
Laura," observed Mrs Ferguson, tartly.

"La! why so? how do you know, Mrs Ferguson?"

"Because a sheep never changes its name until after it is dead.  I
shrewdly suspect you would like to change yours before."--(This was a
hard hit.)

"As you have yours, Mrs Ferguson," quietly answered Isabel, in support
of her sister.

"Very fair on both sides," said the colonel, bowing to the ladies, who
sat together.  "Pray Miss Laura, don't talk of being a sheep, we are all
ready to devour you as it is."

"La! you don't say so?" replied the young lady, much pleased.

"Colonel Ellice," interrupted Captain Drawlock, with a serious air,
"several of the company will thank you to carve that joint, when you
have finished paying your compliments.  Miss Tavistock, the honour of a
glass of wine.  We have not had the pleasure of your company on deck
to-day."

"No, Captain Drawlock.  I did intend to come, but my health is in such a
delicate state, that by the advice of Dr Plausible I remained below."

"Miss Tavistock will you allow me to send you some mutton?"

"If you please, colonel; a very small slice."

"Mr Forster, what have you in that dish before you?"

"A chicken, Captain Drawlock."

"Miss Isabel Revel, will you take some chicken?"

"No, I thank you, Captain Drawlock," replied Isabel.

"Did you say yes or no?" inquired Newton, who had caught her eye.

"I'll change my mind," said Isabel, smiling.

Now, I know it for a fact, although I shall not give up my authority,
that Isabel Revel never wanted any chicken until she perceiveth that
Newton was to help her.  So, if Love occasionally takes away the
appetite, let us do him justice--he sometimes creates one.

"Miss Tavistock, allow me to send you a little of this Turkey," said Dr
Plausible; "it is easy of digestion."

"If you please, doctor," replied Miss Tavistock, cramming the last
mouthful of mutton into her mouth, and sending away her plate to be
changed.

"Will you not take a little ham with it, Miss Tavistock?" said Captain
Drawlock.

"If you please, sir."

"The honour of a glass of wine, Miss Tavistock," said the colonel.

"With pleasure, sir."

"Miss Charlotte Revel, you have really eaten nothing," said Captain
Drawlock.

"That proves you have not paid me the least attention," replied the
young lady.  "Had you honoured me with a single glance during dinner,
you could not but have observed that I have been dining very heartily."

"I really am quite shocked, Miss Charlotte, and bow to your reproof.
Will you take a glass of wine with me in reconciliation?"

"I consider a glass of Madeira a very poor bribe, sir."

"Well, then, Miss Charlotte, it shall be champagne," replied Captain
Drawlock, in his gallantry.  "Steward, champagne."  A fortunate hit for
the company, as champagne was in general only produced upon what sailors
call `clean shirt days,' viz.  Sundays and Thursdays.

"We are highly indebted to Miss Revel," observed the colonel, bowing to
her; "and I think we ought to drink her health in a bumper."

Agreed to, _nem con_.

Champagne, thou darling of my heart!  To stupefy oneself with other
wines, is brutal; but to raise oneself to the seventh heaven with thee,
is quite ethereal.  The soul appears to spurn the body, and take a
transient flight without its dull associate--the--the--broke down, by
Jupiter!  All I meant to say was, that champagne is very pretty
_tipple_; and so thought the dinner party, who were proportionally
enlivened.

"Is this orthodox, Mr Ferguson?" inquired the colonel, holding up his
glass.

"So far orthodox, that it is very good; and what is orthodox is good,"
replied the divine, with good-humour.

"The Asia has made the signal for `a strange sail--suspicious,'" said
the second-mate to Captain Drawlock, putting his head into the cabin.

"Very well, Mr Jones, keep a glass upon the commodore."

"Mrs Ferguson, will you take some of this tart?  Damascene, I believe,"
said the first-mate.

"If you please, Mr Mathews.--Did not Mr Jones say suspicious?--What
does that imply?"

"Imply, madam; why that he don't like the cut of her jib!"

"And pray what does that mean?"

"Mean, madam; why, that for all he knows to the contrary, she may be a
French frigate."

"A French frigate! a French frigate!  O dear!  O dear!" cried two or
three ladies at a breath.

"Mr Mathews," said Captain Drawlock, "I am really surprised at your
indiscretion.  You have alarmed the ladies.  A suspicious sail, Mrs
Ferguson, merely implies--in fact, that they do not know what she is."

"Is that _all_ it means?" replied Mrs Ferguson, with an incredulous
look.

"Nothing more, madam; nothing more, I assure you."

"Commodore has made a signal that strange vessel is a man-of-war bearing
down," said the second-mate, again entering the cabin.

"Very well, Mr Jones," said Captain Drawlock, with assumed
indifference, but at the same time fidgeting on his chair.

The first-mate and Newton immediately quitted the cabin.

"Miss Tavistock, will you take a little of this pudding?"

"If you please, sir, a very little."

"A man-of-war!  I'll go and have a look at her," said the colonel; who
rose up, bowed to the ladies, and left the cuddy.

"Most probably one of our cruisers," observed Captain Drawlock.

"The commodore has made the signal to prepare for action, sir," said the
second-mate.

"Very well, Mr Jones," said Captain Drawlock, who could now restrain
himself no longer.  "You must excuse me, ladies, for a moment or two,
but our commodore is so _very_ prudent a man, and I am under his orders.
In a short time I hope to return to the pleasure of your society."

Captain Drawlock's departure was followed by that of all the male party,
with the exception of Doctor Plausible and Mr Ferguson, both of whom
however were anxious to go upon deck, and ascertain how matters stood.

"Mr Ferguson, where are you going?" said his wife, sharply.  "Pray,
sir, do us the favour to remain.  Your profession, if I mistake not, is
one of peace."

"Oh!  Doctor Plausible, I feel very unwell," cried Miss Tavistock.

"I will stay with you, my dear madam," replied the doctor.

A gun from the commodore's ship, which was close to windward of them,
burst upon their ears, rattling the cabin windows, and making every
wine-glass on the table to dance with the concussion.

"Oh! oh! oh!" screamed Miss Tavistock, throwing herself back in her
chair, and expanding her arms and fingers.

Doctor Plausible flew to the lady's assistance.

"The extreme fineness of her organic structure--a little water, if you
please, Miss Charlotte Revel."

A tumbler of water was poured out, and Doctor Plausible, dipping the tip
of his fore-finger into it, passed it lightly over the lady's brows.
"She will be better directly."

But the lady did not think proper to _come to_ so soon as the doctor
prophesied, and Mrs Ferguson, snatching up the tumbler, dashed the
contents with violence in Miss Tavistock's face; at which Miss Tavistock
not only revived, but jumped up from her chair, blowing and spluttering.

"Are you better now, Miss Tavistock?" said Mrs Ferguson, soothingly, at
the same time glancing her eyes at the other ladies, who could not
restrain their mirth.

"Oh!  Doctor Plausible, that shock has so affected my nerves, I feel
that I shall faint again, I do indeed--I'm going--"

"Lean upon me, Miss Tavistock, and permit me to conduct you to your
cabin," replied the doctor; "the extreme delicacy of your constitution,"
continued he whispering as they left the cuddy, "is not equal to the
boisterous remedies of Mrs Ferguson."

As they went out, Newton Forster came in.

"You must not be alarmed, ladies, when I state that I am commissioned by
Captain Drawlock to inform you that the stranger's manoeuvres are so
doubtful, that we think she is an enemy.  He has desired me to request
you will accept my convoy to the lower-deck, where you will be safe from
accident, in the event of our coming to an engagement.  Mr Ferguson,
the captain intrusts the ladies to your charge, and requests that you
will not leave them upon any consideration.  Now, Mrs Ferguson, will
you permit me to escort you to a place of security?"

At this intelligence Laura Revel stared, Charlotte burst into tears, and
Isabel turned pale.  Mrs Ferguson took the arm of Newton without saying
a word, when the other was offered and accepted by Isabel.  Mr
Ferguson, with the two other sisters, brought up the rear.  The ladies
had to pass the quarter-deck, and when they saw the preparations, the
guns cast loose, the shot lying on the deck, and all the various
apparatus for destruction, their fears increased.  When they had been
conducted to their place of safety, Newton was about to return on deck,
when he was seized by Miss Charlotte and Laura Revel, who entreated him
not to leave them.

"Do stay with us, Mr Forster; pray don't go," cried they both.

"I must indeed, ladies; you are perfectly safe here."

"For God's sake, don't you go away, Mr Forster!" cried Laura, falling
on her knees.  "I shall die of fright.--You shan't go!" screamed Laura,
as the two sisters clung on to the skirts of his jacket, and effectually
prevented his escape, unless, like the patriarch, he had left his
garment behind.

Newton cast an appealing glance at Isabel, who immediately
interfered,--"Charlotte, for shame! you are preventing Mr Forster from
going to his duty.  My dear Laura, do not be so foolish; Mr Forster can
be of no service to us: but he will be on deck.  Let go, Laura."

Newton was released.  "I am much obliged to you, Miss Isabel," said
Newton, with his foot on the ladder; "but I have no time now to express
my thanks--not to be on deck--"

"I know it, Mr Forster: go up, I beseech you, do not wait a moment;"
and Newton sprung up the ladder; but not before he had exchanged with
Isabel a glance, which, had he been deficient in courage, would have
nerved him for the approaching combat.  We must leave the ladies with
Mr Ferguson (who had no pleasant office), while we follow Newton on
deck.  The stranger had borne down with studding-sails, until within
three miles of the India-men, when she rounded to.  She then kept away a
little, to close nearer, evidently examining the force opposed to her.
The Indiamen had formed the line of battle in close order, the private
signal between English men-of-war and East India ships flying at their
mast-heads.

"Extremely strange, that she does not answer the private signal," said
the colonel to the second-mate.

"Not at all, if she don't know how."

"You are convinced, then, that she is a French frigate?"

"No, not positive; but I'll bet you ten to one she is:--bet off, if
either of us are killed, of course!"

"Thanky; I never bet," answered the colonel, turning away.

"What do you think of her, Mr Mathews?" said Captain Drawlock to the
first-mate, who had his eye on the ship.

"She is English built and English rigged, sir, that I'll swear; look at
her lower yard-arms, the squaring of her topsails.  She may be French
now, but the oak in her timbers grew in old England."

"I agree with you," said Newton: look at the rake of her stern; she's
English all over.

"Then why don't she answer the private signal?" said Captain Drawlock.

"She's right in the wind's eye of us, sir, and our flags are blowing end
on from her."

"There goes up her bunting, sir," cried the first-mate.

"English, as I said.  The commodore is answering, sir.  Up with the
ensign there abaft.  All's right, tell the ladies."

"I will; I'll go and inform them," said the colonel; who immediately
descended to impart the joyful intelligence.

The frigate bore down, and hove to.  The commodore of the India squadron
went on board, when he found that she was cruising for some large Dutch
store-ships and vessels armed _en flute_, which were supposed to have
sailed from Java.  In a quarter of an hour, she again made sail, and
parted company, leaving the Indiamen to secure their guns, and pursue
their course.

There are two parties, whose proceedings we had overlooked; we refer to
Miss Tavistock and Dr Plausible.  The latter handed the lady to her
cabin, eased her down upon her couch, and, taking her hand gently,
retained it in his own, while with his other he continued to watch her
pulse.

"Do not alarm yourself, my dear Miss Tavistock; your sensibility is
immense.  I will not leave you.  I cannot think what could have induced
you to trust yourself on such a voyage of danger and excitement."

"Oh!  Dr Plausible, where my affections are centred, there is nothing,
weak creature that I am, but my soul would carry me through:--indeed I
am all soul.--I have a dear friend in India."

"He is most happy," observed the doctor, with a sigh.

"He, Dr Plausible! you quite shock me!--Do you imagine for a moment
that I would go out to follow any gentleman?  No, indeed, I am not going
out on speculation, as some young ladies:--I have enough of my own,
thank God!  I keep my carriage and corresponding establishment, I assure
you."--(The very thing that Dr Plausible required.)

"Indeed! my dear Miss Tavistock, is it then really a female friend?"

"Yes! the friend of my childhood.  I have ventured this tedious,
dangerous voyage, once more to fold her in my arms."

"Disinterested affection! a heart like yours, Miss, were indeed a
treasure to be won.  What a happy man would your husband be!"

"Husband!  Oh, Dr Plausible don't mention it: I feel convinced,--
positively convinced, that my constitution is not strong enough to bear
matrimony."

The doctor's answer was too prolix for insertion; it was a curious
compound dissertation upon love and physic, united.  There was devoted
attention, extreme gentle treatment, study of pathology, advantage of
medical attendance always at hand, careful nursing, extreme solicitude,
fragility of constitution restored, propriety of enlarging the circle of
her innocent affections, ending at last in devoted love, and a
proposal--to share her carriage and establishment.

Miss Tavistock assumed another faint--the shock was so great; but the
doctor knelt by her, and kissed her hand, with well-affected rapture.
At last, she murmured out a low assent, and fell back, as if exhausted
with the effort.  The doctor removed his lips from her hand to her
mouth, to seal the contract; and, as she yielded to his wishes, almost
regretted that he had not adhered to his previous less assuming
gallantry.



VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER NINETEEN.

  'Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark,
  Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near home;
  'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark
  Our coming--and look brighter when we come.
  BYRON.

Edward Forster returned home with his little _protegee_, his mind
relieved from the weight which had oppressed it: he knew that the word
of his brother was his bond, and that under a rough exterior he
concealed a generous and sympathising heart.  It was in the early part
of the autumn that he again took possession of the cottage; and as he
once more seated himself in his old arm-chair, he mentally exclaimed,
"Here then am I again at anchor for a short time, until summoned to
another world."  His prophecy was correct; during the severe winter that
followed, his wound opened again, and his constitution, worn out, gave
way to repeated suffering.  He had not been confined to his bed more
than a fortnight when he felt that his end was approaching.  He had long
been prepared: nothing remained to be done but to write a letter to his
brother, which he confided to Robinson, the fisherman, with directions
that it should be put into the post-office immediately after his death;
and a strict charge to watch over the little girl, until she should be
sent for by his brother.

This last necessary act had been completed when Robinson, who was
standing by the side of the bed, with the letter in his hand, informed
him that the family at the Hall had returned from the Continent on the
evening before, with their only son, who was now restored to health.
This intelligence induced Forster to alter his plans; and trusting to
the former friendship of Lord Aveleyn, he despatched Robinson to the
Hall, stating his own condition, and requesting that his lordship would
come to the cottage.  Lord Aveleyn immediately obeyed the summons, and
perceiving at the first glance that Forster's situation debarred all
chance of recovery, took upon himself with willingness the charge of the
letter, and promised to receive Amber into his house until it was
convenient that she should be removed.  It was dark when Lord Aveleyn,
with melancholy foreboding, took his last farewell; for, ere the sun had
risen again, the spirit of Edward Forster had regained its liberty, and
soared to the empyrean, while the deserted Amber wept and prayed.

Edward Forster had not concealed from her the precarious tenure of his
existence, and since their return from London had made her fully
acquainted with all the particulars connected with her own history.  The
last few weeks, every interval of suffering had been devoted by him to
enforce those principles which he ever had inculcated, and to prepare
for the event which had now taken place.

Amber was kneeling by the side of the bed; she had been there so long,
that she was not aware that it was broad day.  Her face laid upon her
hands, was completely hid by her luxuriant hair, which had escaped from
the confinement of the comb, when the door of the chamber of death was
softly opened.  Amber, who either did not hear the noise, or thought it
was the daughter of Robinson, who lived as servant in the cottage,
raised not her head.  The steps continued to approach, then the sound
ceased, and Amber felt the arms of some one encircling her waist to
raise her from her kneeling posture.  She lifted up her head, and
dividing the hair from her forehead, that she might see who it was,
perceived that it was young Aveleyn who was hanging over her.

"My poor little girl!" said he in a tone of commiseration.

"Oh!  William Aveleyn," cried Amber, bursting into a paroxysm of tears,
as she was folded in his arms.

The sorrow of youth is sympathetic, and William Aveleyn, although
seventeen years old, and fast advancing to manhood, did not disdain to
mingle his tears with those of his former playmate.  It was some time
before he could persuade Amber, who clung to him in her grief, to any
degree of serenity.

"Amber, dear, you must come to us at the Hall; this is no place for you
now."

"And why not, William?  Why should I leave so soon?  I'm not afraid of
being here, or lying by his side alone: I've seen other people die.  I
saw Mrs Beazeley die--I saw poor Faithful die; and now, they _all_ are
dead," said Amber, bursting into tears, and burying her face in William
Aveleyn's bosom.  "I knew that he was to die," said she, raising her
head after a time--"he told me so; but, to think that I shall never hear
him speak again--that very soon I shall never see him more--I must cry,
William."

"But your father is happy, Amber."

"_He_ is happy, I know; but he was not my father, William.  I have no
father--no friend on earth I know of.  He told me all before he died;
Faithful brought me from the sea."

This intelligence roused the curiosity of William Aveleyn, who
interrogated Amber, and obtained from her the whole of the particulars
communicated by Edward Forster; and, as she answered to his many
questions, she grew more composed.

The narrative had scarcely been finished, when Lord Aveleyn, who had
been summoned by Robinson, drove to the door, accompanied by Lady
Aveleyn, who thought that her presence and persuasions would more
readily induce Amber to heave the cottage.  Convinced by her of the
propriety of the proposal, Amber was put into the carriage without
resistance, and conveyed to the Hall, where every thing that kindness
and sympathy could suggest was resorted to, to assuage her grief.  There
we must leave her, and repair to the metropolis.

"Scratton," said Mr John Forster to his clerk, who had answered the
bell, "recollect I cannot see any one to-day."

"You have several appointments, sir," replied the clerk.

"Then send, and put them all off."

"Yes, sir; and if any one calls, I am to say that you are not at home?"

"No, I am at home; why tell a lie? but I cannot see any body."

The clerk shut the door; John Forster put on his spectacles to reperuse
the letter which lay before him.  It was the one from Edward, inclosed
in a frank by Lord Aveleyn, with a few lines, announcing his brother's
death, and stating that Amber was at the Hall, where they should be glad
that she should remain until it was convenient to send for her.
Edward's letter repeated his thanks to his brother for his kind promise,
and took a last and affectionate farewell.  John Forster struggled for a
time with his feelings; but the more he attempted to repress them, the
more violent they became.  He was alone, and he gave them vent.  The
legal documents before him, arising from the bitterness of strife, were
thus unusually moistened with a tribute to a brother's memory.  But in a
few moments the old lawyer was himself again; all traces of emotion had
disappeared, and no one who had seen him then would ever have imagined
that John Forster could have been thus moved.  The next day he was not
as usual to be found at his chambers: the fact was, that he had set off
immediately after breakfast, upon what is generally termed "house
hunting."  The apartments which he occupied in his chambers were not
sufficient for the intended increase of his establishment; and when he
had given his promise to Edward, he was fully aware of the expense which
would be entailed by receiving Amber, and had made up his mind to incur
it.  He therefore fixed upon a convenient house in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields,
which would not detach him far from his chambers.  Having arranged for a
lease of twelve years, John Forster returned to his chambers.

"Scratton," said he, "look out for a man-servant, a cook, housemaid, and
a steady woman, as housekeeper--good characters, and undeniable
reference.  The housekeeper must be a somewhat superior person, as she
will have to take charge of a young miss, and I do not want her spoiled
by keeping company with the general description of servants.  Do you
understand?"

Scratton did; and in less than a month, as every thing is to be obtained
for money in the city of London, the house was furnished by a city
upholsterer in a plain way, and all the servants installed in their
respective situations.

Mr John Forster took possession of his new house, and tried for a week
if all worked well.  Ascertaining that the furniture was complete, the
under-servants well behaved, and the housekeeper a mild and very
intelligent personage, fit to be intrusted with the charge of a little
girl, he then wrote to Lord Aveleyn, reiterating the thanks conveyed in
his former letter, and requesting that Amber might be delivered into the
charge of the bearer.  With this letter Mr Scratton was despatched,
and, in due time, arrived at the Hall.  Amber wept bitterly at the idea
of parting with those who had been so kind to her, and passing into the
hands of one who was a stranger.  Having exacted a promise from William
Aveleyn that he would call as he passed through on his way to Cambridge,
she bade her kind friends farewell, entered the chaise in company with
Mr Scratton, and was hurried off to London.

Mr Scratton was one of those personages who never spoke except on
business; and, having no business to transact with a girl of twelve
years old, he never spoke at all except when necessity rendered it
imperative.  Amber was therefore left to her own reflections.  What they
all were I cannot tell; but one certainly was, that travelling in a
chaise for two days with Mr Scratton was not very agreeable.  Most
happy was she when they drove up to the door of Mr John Forster's new
habitation.  The old gentleman, who had calculated the hour of her
arrival after the receipt of a letter from her companion, was there to
receive her.  Amber, who had been prepossessed in his favour by Edward
Forster, who had told her that in his brother she would find a protector
and indulgent parent, ran up to him when she entered the room, and burst
into tears as the injunctions of Edward Forster returned to her memory.
John Forster took her in his arms, and kissed her.  "My little girl,"
said he, "what my brother was, such will I be to you.  Consider me as
your father; for his memory, and I hope soon, for your own sake, I shall
rejoice to be so."

After an hour, by which time Amber had recovered her serenity, and
become almost cheerful, she was consigned to the charge of Mrs Smith
the housekeeper, and John Forster hastened back to his chambers and his
clients, to make up for so much lost time.

It was not long before the old gentleman discovered that the trouble and
expense which he had incurred to please his brother was the occasion of
pleasure and gratification.  He no longer felt isolated in the world: in
short, he had a _home_, where a beaming eye met his return, and an
affectionate heart ministered to his wishes; where his well-known rap at
the door was a source of delight, and his departure one of regret.

In a few months Amber had entwined herself round the old man's heart;
the best masters were procured for her, and all the affection of a
doting parent upon an only child was bestowed by him who, when the
proposition was made, had declared that "it was bad enough to maintain
children of one's own begetting."

Bless my soul! how poor authors are obliged to gallop about.  Now I must
be off again to India, and get on board of the Bombay Castle.

END OF THE SECOND VOLUME.



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER ONE.

  A green and gilded snake had wreathed itself,
  Who, with her head, nimble in threats, approach'd
  The opening of his mouth.
  SHAKESPEARE.

The Bombay Castle arrived at Madras without further adventure.  A few
hours after she had anchored, all the passengers, receiving kind
messages from, or escorted on shore by their relatives or consignees,
had landed; all, with the exception of the three Miss Revels, whose
anxiety to land was increased by the departure of the others, and the
unpleasant situation in which they were placed, by remaining a clog upon
Captain Drawlock, who would not quit his ship until he had surrendered
up his charge.  By inquiry of the dubashes, Captain Drawlock found out
that an old Colonel Revel was residing at his Bungalo, about two miles
distant from the fort, and supposing him not to be aware of the arrival
of his grand-nieces, he despatched Newton Forster to acquaint him with
the circumstance.  It was late in the afternoon when Newton arrived at
the residence of the colonel, when he perceived immediately that every
thing was on the establishment of an old Indian nabob.  A double set of
palanquin-bearers were stretched under the verandas; syces were fanning
the horses with their chowries; tailors and various craftsmen were at
work in the shade, while a herd of consumers, butlers, and other Indian
domestics, were loitering about, or very busy doing nothing.

It will be necessary, before Newton is introduced to the colonel, that
the colonel should be introduced to the reader.  He was a man of nearly
sixty years of age, forty-five of which, with the exception of
occasional furlough, had been passed in the country.  Having held
several lucrative situations for many years, and, although not
parsimonious, being very prudent in money concerns, he had amassed a
very large fortune.  More than once he had returned to England on leave,
and with the full intention of remaining there, if he could be
comfortable; but a few months in his native country only made him more
anxious to return to India.  His habits, his tastes were all eastern;
the close hospitality, the cold winter of England, the loss of
consequence, naturally resulting when a man mixes in the crowd of
London, all disgusted him, and he invariably returned to India long
before his furlough had expired.  He was a bachelor from choice.  When
young he had been very cruelly treated by the object of his admiration,
who deserted him for a few lacks of rupees, which offered themselves
with an old man as their appendage.  This had raised his bile against
the sex in general, whom he considered as mercenary and treacherous.
His parties were numerous and expensive: but women were never to be seen
in his house; and his confirmed dislike to them was the occasion of his
seldom visiting, except with those who were like himself, in a state of
happy singleness.  In other points, he was a liberal, worthy man, and a
perfect gentleman, but extremely choleric in his disposition.

Newton addressed himself to one of the butlers, requesting to be
announced.  The man led the way to a spacious hall, coated and floored
with chunam, when Newton perceived the colonel, who presented rather a
singular spectacle.  "Burra Saib; Saib," said the Indian; and
immediately retired.

The colonel was a tall gaunt man, with high cheek-bones, bushy eyebrows,
and white hair.  He was seated on a solitary chair in the centre of the
hall; his dress consisting of a pair of white nankeen trousers and a
white shirt, the sleeves of the latter tucked up to his shoulders, and
exposing sinewey arms, covered with hair.  By his side lay a basket of
mangoes, and before his chair a large tub of water.  As Newton entered,
he had an opportunity of witnessing the most approved method of eating
this exquisite fruit.  The colonel had then one as large as a
cassowary's egg, held in both hands, and applied to his mouth, while he
held his head over the tub of water, to catch the superabundant juice
which flowed over his face, hands, and arms, and covered them with a
yellow stain.  The contents of the mango were soon exhausted; the stone
and pulp were dropped into the tub of water, and the colonel's hand was
extended to the basket for a repetition of his luxurious feast, when
Newton was announced.  Newton was sorry to interrupt him, and would have
made an apology, had he not observed that the colonel, whose back was
towards him, continued his pleasing avocation: the fact was, that the
colonel was so intent upon his occupation, that he had neither heard the
announcement, nor could he perceive Newton, who thus had an opportunity
of witnessing the demolition of at least two dozen more mangoes without
the colonel having turned his eyes in that direction, or being aware
that he was not alone.  But something at length attracted the attention
of Newton, and induced him to come forward, and put an end to the
colonel's repast.  The colonel had just taken another mango out of the
basket, when Newton perceived a small snake wind itself over the rim,
and curl up one of the feet of the colonel's chair, in such a position
that the very next time that the colonel reached out his hand, he must
have come in contact with the reptile.  Newton hardly knew how to act;
the slightest movement of the old gentleman might be fatal to him; he
therefore walked up softly, and was about to strike the animal on the
head with his stick, when the colonel, as he leant over the tub, half
rose from the chair.  In an instant, Newton snatched it from under him,
and jerked it, with the snake, to the corner of the hall.  The colonel,
whose centre of gravity had not been sufficiently forward to enable him
to keep his feet, fell backward, when Newton and he both rolled on the
floor together; and also both recovered their legs at the same time.

"You'll excuse me, sir," said Newton.

"I'll be damned if I do, sir!" interrupted the colonel, in a rage; "who
the devil are you?--and how dare you presume to play off such
impertinent jokes upon a stranger?--Where did you come from, sir?--How
did you get in, sir?"

"Is that a joke, sir?" replied Newton, calmly pointing to the snake,
which was still hissing in its wrath at the corner of the room where the
chair lay.  Newton then briefly explained the circumstances.

"Sir, I beg your pardon a thousand times, and am very much your debtor.
It is the most venomous snake that we have in the country.  I trust you
will accept my apology for a moment's irritation; and, at the same time,
my sincere thanks."  The colonel then summoned the servants, who
provided themselves with bamboos, and soon despatched the object which
had occasioned the misunderstanding.  The colonel then apologised to
Newton, while he repaired to the bath, and in a few minutes returned,
having undergone the necessary ablution after a mango feast.  His dress
was changed, and he offered the appearance of an upright gentlemanlike,
hard-featured man, who had apparently gone through a great deal of
service without his stamina having been much impaired.

"I beg your pardon, my dear sir, for detaining you.  May I request the
pleasure of your name, and the occasion of your providential visit."

"I have a letter for you, sir," replied Newton, who had been intrusted
with the one which Mr Revel had given to his daughters on their
embarkation.

"Oh! a letter of introduction.  It is now quite superfluous; you have
already introduced yourself."

"No sir, it is not a letter of recommendation in my behalf; but to
announce the arrival of your three grand-nieces--daughters of the
Honourable Mr Revel--in the Bombay Castle, the ship to which I belong."

"What?" roared the colonel, "my three grand-nieces! daughters of Mr
Revel!"

"So I have understood from them, sir."

The colonel tore open the letter, in which Mr Revel very coolly
informed him that not having received any answer to his former epistles
on the subject, he presumed that they had miscarried, and had therefore
been induced in consequence of the difficulties which he laboured under
to send his daughters out to his kind protection.  The colonel, as soon
as he had finished the perusal of the letter, tore it into pieces again
and again, every renewed action showing an increase of excitement.  He
then threw the fragments on the floor, stamping upon them in an ecstasy
of rage.

"The damned scoundrel!--the villain!--the rascal!--Do you know, sir,
that when I was last in England, this fellow swindled me out of a
thousand pounds?  Yes, sir, a thousand pounds, by God! promised to pay
me in three weeks; and when I was coming back, and asked for my money,
he laughed at me, and ordered his servant not to let me in.  And now he
has sent out his three daughters to me--pawned them off upon me,
laughing I suppose in his sleeve, as he did when he cheated me before.
I'll not receive them, by God! they may find their way back again how
they can;" and the colonel paced the room up and down, throwing his arms
about in his fury.

Newton waited some time before he ventured to make any observation;
indeed he was so astonished at such unheard-of proceeding, and so
shocked at the unfortunate situation of Isabel, that he hardly knew what
to say.

"Am I then to inform the young ladies that you will not receive them?"

"You don't know me, sir.--When did I ever receive a woman into my house?
They are all alike, sir.--Plotted with their father, I'll answer for,
with the hopes of getting husbands.  Tell them, sir, that I'll see them
damned first--swindling scoundrel!--first cheats me out of a thousand
pounds, and then tries to cheat me into providing for his family!"

Newton paused a little, to allow the colonel's wrath to subside, and
then observed--"I never was so much distressed as to be the bearer of
your message.  The young ladies are certainly no parties to their
father's dishonesty, and are in a situation much to be pitied.  In a
foreign country, thousands of miles from their friends, without means of
subsistence, or of paying their passage home.  What is to become of
them?"

"I don't care."

"That your indignation is just, Colonel Revel, I admit;--but allowing
that you will not receive them, how are they to return home?  Captain
Drawlock, I am sure, would give them a passage; but we proceed to China.
Poor girls!" continued Newton, with a sigh.  "I should like to make a
remark, Colonel Revel, if it were not considered too great a liberty in
a stranger."

"You have already taken a liberty, which in all probability has saved my
life.  I shall be happy to listen to any remark that you may wish to
offer."

"It was, sir, that reprehensible as their father's conduct may be,
common humanity, and a regard for your own character, will hardly
warrant their being left thus destitute.  They at least are your
relations, and have neither offended nor deceived you; on the contrary,
are, with you, joint victims of their father's deception."

"You appear to take a great interest in these young ladies," observed
the colonel, sharply.

"If I had never seen them, sir, their present unfortunate dilemma would
be sufficient.  Knowing them intimately as I do, I must say, that this
intelligence will be to one; at least, a death-blow.  I would to God
that I were able to assist and to protect her!"

"Very handsome then I presume?" replied the colonel, with a sneer.

"She certainly is, sir; but it was not admiration of her beauty which
occasioned the remark.  If you knew her, sir, you would be as sorry to
part with her, as you now appear to be to receive her."

The colonel continued to pace the room, but with less violence than
before.  Newton observed this, and therefore was silent, hoping that
reflection would induce him to alter his resolution.  In a few minutes,
apparently forgetting the presence of Newton, the colonel commenced
talking to himself aloud, muttering out the following detached phrases:

"Must take them in by God!  Couldn't show my face--nowhere--damned
scoundrel!  Keep them here till next ship--till they are as yellow as
gamboge, then send them home--revenge in that."

Thus did the old gentleman mutter loud enough for Newton to overhear.  A
few minutes more were spent in perambulation, when he threw himself into
the chair.

"I think, my young acquaintance, you appear to be interested for these
relations of mine; or at least for one of them."

"I certainly am, sir; and so is every one who is acquainted with her."

"Well, I am glad to hear that there is one good out of the three.  I
have been put in a passion--no wonder; and I have said more than should
be repeated.  Were it known that these girls had been sent out to me in
this way, the laugh would be raised against me, as it is known that I am
not very partial to women; and it would also be of serious injury to
them and their prospects.  I have determined upon receiving them, for
the best of all possible reasons--I can't help myself.  You will
therefore add to the obligations of this day, by saying nothing about
what has been made known to you."

"Most certainly, sir; I will pledge you my honour, if it is requested."

"When I say not mention it, I mean to other parties; but to the girls, I
must request you to state the facts.  I will not have them come here,
pawing and fondling, and wheedling me as an old bachelor, with a few
lacks of rupees to be coaxed out of.  It would make me sick; I detest
women and their ways.  Now if they are informed of the real state of the
case, that they are here only on sufferance; that I neither wished nor
want them; and that I have been imposed upon by their scoundrel of a
father, I may keep them at the other end of the bungalo, and not be
annoyed with their company; until, upon plea of bad health, or some
other excuse, I can pay their passage back again."

"Could you not state these facts yourself, sir?"

"No, I never meddle with women; besides, it is better that they should
know it before they come here.  If you will promise me what I now
request, why I will consent to give them house-room; if not, they may
stay where they are.  It will be but a few days laugh at me, or abuse of
me, I care little which."

"Well, sir, unpleasant as this intelligence must be, their present
suspense is still more so.  You will allow me to disclose it in as
delicate a manner as possible."

"You may be as refined as you please, provided that you tell the exact
truth, which I am convinced that you will, by your countenance."

"Then I will take my leave, sir," replied Newton.

"Fare you well, my dear sir; recollect that my house is your home; and
although not fond of the society of women, I shall be delighted with
yours.  The young ladies may be brought on shore to the hotel, and I
will send a carriage for them.  Good-bye.--What is your name?"

"Forster, sir."

"Good-bye then, Mr Forster, for the present;" and the colonel quitted
the room.



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER TWO.

  Then there were sighs, the deeper for suppression,
  And stolen glances, sweeter for the theft,
  And burning blushes, though for no transgression.
  Tremblings when met, and restlessness when left.
  All these are little preludes to possession,
  Of which young passion cannot be bereft,
  And merely tend to show how greatly love is
  Embarrassed, at first starting, with a novice.
  BYRON.

It was in no very happy frame of mind that Newton quitted the colonel's
house to execute his mission to the Miss Revels.  That the two eldest,
provided they were admitted, would not much take to heart, either the
conduct of their father, or the coolness of their relation, he was
pretty well assured; but he was too well acquainted with Isabel's
character, not to know that she would deeply feel the humiliating
situation in which she was placed, and that it would prey upon her
generous and sensitive mind.  As, however, there was no remedy, he
almost congratulated himself that, as the colonel's message was to be
delivered, the commission had been placed in his trust.

Captain Drawlock, tired of waiting, had escorted the young ladies on
shore to the hotel, anxiously expecting the arrival of Newton, who was
conducted there by a messenger despatched to intercept him.

"Well, Mr Forster, is it all right?" said Captain Drawlock, on his
appearance.

"The colonel's carriage will be here for the ladies in less than half an
hour," replied Newton, evasively.

"Then, Miss Revels, as I am extremely busy, I shall wish you good
morning, and will have the pleasure of paying my respects before I sail.
Allow me to offer you my best thanks for your company during our
voyage, and to assure you how much your presence has contributed to
enliven it.  Forster, you will of course remain with the Miss Revels,
and see them safe in the carriage;" and Captain Drawlock, who appeared
to consider his responsibility over with the voyage, shook hands with
them and quitted the hotel.

"Mr Forster," said Isabel, as soon as Captain Drawlock was out of
hearing, "I am sure by your countenance that there has been something
unpleasant.  Is it not so?"

"I am sorry to answer in the affirmative, and more sorry to be forced to
impart the cause."  Newton then entered into a detail of what had passed
at the colonel's house.  Isabel listened to it with attention, her
sisters with impatience.  Miss Charlotte, with an air of consternation,
inquired whether the colonel had refused to receive them: on being
informed to the contrary, she appeared to be satisfied.  Laura simpered,
and observed, "How very odd of papa!" and then seemed to think no more
about it.  Isabel made no observation; she remained on her chair,
apparently in deep and painful thought.

A few minutes after the communication the colonel's carriage made its
appearance, and Newton proposed that they should quit the hotel.
Charlotte and Laura were all ready and impatient, but Isabel remained
seated by the table.

"Come, Isabel," cried Charlotte.

"I cannot go, my dear Charlotte," replied Isabel; "but do not let me
prevent you or Laura from deciding for yourselves."

"Not go!" cried the two sisters at once.  Isabel was firm; and Newton,
who did not think himself authorised to interfere, was a silent witness
to the continued persuasions and expostulations of the two elder, and
the refusal of the younger sister.  Nearly half an hour thus passed away
when Charlotte and Laura decided that they would go, and send back the
carriage for Isabel, who by that time would have come to her senses.
The heartless, unthinking girls tripped gaily down to the carriage, and
drove off.  Newton, who had escorted them, retraced his steps, with a
beating heart, to the room where he had left Isabel.

She was in tears.

"Do I intrude, Miss Revel?" said Newton, who could not repress his
emotion at the sight.

"Oh, no!  I expected and wished that you would return, Mr Forster.  Do
you think that you could find Captain Drawlock?  I should feel much
obliged if you would take that trouble for me."

"I will immediately go in search of him, if you wish it.  Believe me,
Miss Revel, I feel most sincerely for your situation; and, if it were
not considered an impertinent question, I should ask you what may be
your present intentions?"

"Acquainted as you are with all the circumstances, Mr Forster, the
question is not impertinent, but kind.  God knows that I require an
adviser.  I would, if possible, conceal the facts from Captain Drawlock.
It is not for a daughter to publish a father's errors; but you know
all, and I can therefore have no scruple in consulting with you: I do
not see why I should.  My resolution is, at best a hasty one; but it is,
never to enter the house of my relation, under such humiliating
circumstances--that is decided: but how to act, or what to do, is where
I require advice.  I am in a cruel situation.  What a helpless creature
is a woman!  Were I a man, I could have worked my passage home; or have
honestly obtained my bread in this place; but a woman--a young and
unprotected woman--in a distant clime, and without a friend--"

"Do not say that you are without a friend; one who has at least the
will, if not the power to serve you," replied Newton.

"No--not without a friend; but what avails a friend whose assistance I
could not accept?  It is to Captain Drawlock, therefore, that I must
apply, and, painful as it may be, throw myself upon his generosity; for
that reason I wished to see him.  He may advise some means by which I
may obtain a passage home.  I will return in any capacity, as a nurse to
children, as an attendant--any thing that is creditable.  I would watch
over the couch of fever, pestilence, and plague, for months, rather than
appear to be a party to my father's duplicity.  Oh!  Mr Forster, what
must you think of the daughters, after what you have heard of the
parent's conduct?"--and Isabel burst into tears.

Newton could contain himself no longer.  "My dear Miss Revel, let me
persuade you to compose yourself," said he, taking her hand, which was
not withdrawn; "if you feel on this occasion, so do I most deeply;--most
deeply, because I can only lament, and dare not offer to assist you.
The means of returning to your own country, I can easily procure from
Captain Drawlock; but would you accept it from me?  I know--I cannot
expect that you would; and that, under such circumstances, it would be
insulting in me to offer it.  Think, then, what pain I must feel to
witness your distress, and yet dare not offer to assist one for whom--
oh! my God--" ended Newton, checking his feelings.

"I feel the kindness and the delicacy of your conduct, Mr Forster; and
I will candidly acknowledge, that, could I accept it, there is no one to
whom I would more cheerfully be under an obligation; but the world will
not permit it."

"What shall I do, Miss Revel?--shall I go for Captain Drawlock?"

"Stay a little while, I wish to reflect.  What would you advise? as a
friend, tell me candidly, Mr Forster."

"I am indeed proud that you allow me that title.  It is all that I ever
dare hope for;--but Isabel--I beg your pardon, Miss Revel, I should have
said--"

"Nay, nay, I am not displeased.  Why not Isabel?  We have known one
another long enough, and deserted as I feel a kind word now."--Isabel
covered her face with her hand.  Newton, who was standing by her, was
overcome by the intensity of his feelings; gradually they approached
nearer, until by, I suppose, the same principle which holds the universe
together, the attraction of cohesion, Newton's arm encircled the waist
of Isabel, and she sobbed upon his shoulder.  It was with difficulty
that Newton refrained from pouring out his soul, and expressing the
ardent love which he had so long felt for her; but it was taking
advantage of her situation.  He had nothing to offer but himself and
beggary.  He did refrain.  The words were not spoken; yet Isabel divined
his thoughts, appreciated his forbearance, and loved him more for his
resolution.

"Isabel," said Newton, at length, with a sigh, "I never valued or wished
for wealth till now.  Till this hour I never felt the misery of being
poor."

"I believe you, Mr Forster; and I am grateful, as I know that it is for
my sake that you feel it; but," continued she, recovering herself,
"crying will do no good.  I asked you for your advice, and you have only
given me your arm."

"I am afraid it is all I shall ever have to offer," replied Newton.
"But, Isabel, allow me to ask you one question:--are you resolved never
to enter your relation's house?"

"Not on the humiliating terms which he has proposed.  Let the colonel
come here for me and take me home with him, and then I will remain there
until I can return to England; if not, I will submit to any privation,
to any honest humiliation, rather than enter under his roof.  But
indeed, Mr Forster, it is necessary that Captain Drawlock should be
summoned.  We are here alone: it is not correct: you must feel that it
is not."

"I do feel that it is not; but, Isabel, I was this morning of some
trifling service to the colonel, and may have some little weight with
him.  Will you allow me to return to him and try what I can do?  It will
not be dark for these two hours, and I will soon be back."

Isabel assented.  Newton hastened to the colonel, who had already been
much surprised when he had been informed by his domestics (for he had
not seen them) that only two ladies had arrived.  The old gentleman was
now cool.  The explanation and strong persuasions of Newton, coupled
with the spirited, behaviour of Isabel, whose determination was made
known to him, and which was so different from the general estimate he
had formed of the sex, at last prevailed.  The colonel ordered his
carriage, and, in company with Newton, drove to the hotel, made a sort
of apology--a wonderful effort on his part, and requested his
grand-niece to accept of his hospitality.  In a few minutes Isabel and
the colonel were out of sight, and Newton was left to his own
reflections.

A few days afterwards Newton accepted the colonel's invitation to dine,
when he found that affairs were going on better than he expected.  The
old gentleman had been severely quizzed by those who were intimate with
him, at the addition to his establishment, and had winced not a little
under the lash; but, on the whole, he appeared more reconciled than
would have been expected.  Newton, however, observed that, when speaking
of the three sisters, he invariably designated them as "my grand-niece,
and the two other young women."



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER THREE.

  Rich in the gems of India's gaudy zone,
  And plunder piled from kingdoms not their own,
  Degenerate trade! thy minions could despise
  Thy heart-born anguish of a thousand cries:
  Could lock, with impious hands, their teeming store,
  While famish'd nations died along the shore;
  Could mock the groans of fellow men, and bear
  The curse of kingdoms, peopled with despair;
  Could stamp disgrace on man's polluted name,
  And barter with their gold eternal shame.
  CAMPBELL.

Gold!--gold! for thee, what will man not attempt? for thee, to what
degradation will he not submit?--for thee, what will he not risk in this
world, or prospectively in the next;--Industry is rewarded by thee;
enterprise is supported by thee; crime is cherished, and heaven itself
is bartered for thee, thou powerful auxiliary of the devil!  One tempter
was sufficient for the fall of man; but thou wert added, that he ne'er
might rise again.

Survey the empire of India; calculate the millions of acres, the
billions with which it is peopled, and then pause while you ask yourself
the question--how is it that a company of merchants claim it as their
own?  By what means did it come into their possession?

Honestly, they will reply.  Honestly! you went there as suppliants; you
were received with kindness and hospitality, and your request was
granted, by which you obtained a footing on the soil.  Now you are lords
of countless acres, masters of millions, who live or perish as you will;
receivers of enormous tribute.--Why, how is this?

Honestly, again you say; by treaty, by surrender, by taking from those
who would have destroyed us, the means of doing injury.  Honestly! say
it again, that heaven may register, and hell may chuckle at your
barefaced, impudent assertion.

No! by every breach of faith which could disgrace an infidel; by every
act of cruelty which could disgrace our nature; by extortion, by rapine,
by injustice, by mockery of all laws or human or divine.  The thirst for
gold, and a golden country, led you on; and in these scorching regions
you have raised the devil on his throne, and worshipped him in his proud
pre-eminence as Mammon.

Let us think.  Is not the thirst for gold a temptation to which our
natures are doomed to be subjected--part of the ordeal which we have to
pass? or why is it that there never is sufficient?

It appears to be ordained by Providence that this metal, obtained from
the earth to feed the avarice of man, should again return to it.  If all
the precious ore which for a series of ages has been raised from the
dark mine were now in tangible existence, how trifling would be its
value! how inadequate as a medium of exchange for the other productions
of nature, or of art!  If all the diamonds and other precious stones
which have been collected from the decomposed rocks (for hard as they
once were, like all sublunary matter, they too yield to Time), why, if
all were remaining on the earth, the frolic gambols of the May-day sweep
would shake about those gems, which now are to be found in profusion
only where rank and beauty pay homage to the thrones of kings.--Arts and
manufactures consume a large proportion of the treasures of the mine,
and as the objects fall into decay, so does the metal return to the
earth again.  But it is in eastern climes, where it is collected, that
it soonest disappears.  Where the despot reigns, and the knowledge of an
individual's wealth is sufficient warranty to seal his doom, it is to
the care of the silent earth alone that the possessor will commit his
treasures; he trusts not to relation or to friend, for gold is too
powerful for human ties.  It is but on his death-bed that he imparts the
secret of his deposit to those he leaves behind him; often called away
before he has time to make it known, reserving the fond secret till too
late; still clinging to life, and all that makes life dear to him.
Often does the communication, made from the couch of death, in
half-articulated words, prove so imperfect, that the knowledge of its
existence is of no avail unto his intended heirs; and thus it is, that
millions return again to the earth from which they have been gathered
with such toil.  What avarice has dug up, avarice buries again; perhaps
in future ages to be regained by labour, when, from the chemical powers
of eternal and mysterious Nature, they have again been filtered through
the indurated earth, and reassumed the form and the appearance of the
metal which has lain in darkness since the creation of the world.

Is not this part of the grand principle of the universe? the eternal
cycle of reproduction and decay, pervading all and every thing, blindly
contributed to by the folly and the wickedness of man?  "So far shalt
thou go, but no further," was the fiat; and, arrived at the prescribed
limit, we must commence again.  At this moment intellect has seized upon
the seven-league boots of the fable, which fitted every body who drew
them on, and strides over the universe.  How soon, as on the decay of
the Roman empire, may all the piles of learning which human endeavours
would rear as a tower of Babel to scale the heavens, disappear, leaving
but fragments to future generations, as proofs of pre-existent
knowledge!  Whether we refer to nature or to art, to knowledge or to
power, to accumulation or destruction, bounds have been prescribed which
man can never pass, guarded as they are by the same unerring and unseen
Power, which threw the planets from his hand, to roll in their appointed
orbits.  All appears confused below, but all is clear in heaven.

I have somewhere heard it said, that where heaven may be, those who
reach it will behold the mechanism of the universe in its perfection.
Those stars now studding the firmament in such apparent confusion, will
there appear in all their regularity, as worlds revolving in their
several orbits, round suns that gladden them with light and heat, all in
harmony, all in beauty, rejoicing as they roll their destined course in
obedience to the Almighty fiat; one vast, stupendous, and, to the limits
of our present senses, incomprehensible mechanism, perfect in all its
parts, most wonderful in the whole.  Nor do I doubt it: it is but
reasonable to suppose it.  He that hath made this world and all upon it,
can have no limits to His power.

I wonder whether I shall ever see it.

I said just now, let us think.  I had better have said, let us not
think; for thought is painful, even dangerous when carried to excess.
Happy is he who thinks but little, whose ideas are so confined as not to
cause the intellectual fever, wearing out the mind and body, and often
threatening both with dissolution.  There is a happy medium of
intellect, sufficient to convince us that all is good--sufficient to
enable us to comprehend that which is revealed, without a vain endeavour
to pry into the hidden; to understand the one, and lend our faith unto
the other; but when the mind would soar unto the heaven not opened to
it, or dive into sealed and dark futurity, how does it return from its
several expeditions? confused, alarmed, unhappy; willing to rest, yet
restless; willing to believe, yet doubting; willing to end its futile
travels, yet setting forth anew.  Yet, how is a superior understanding
envied! how coveted by all! a gift which always leads to danger, and
often to perdition.

Thank Heaven!  I have not been intrusted with one of those
thorough-bred, snorting, champing, foaming sort of intellects, which run
away with Common Sense, who is jerked from his saddle at the beginning
of its wild career.  Mine is a good, steady, useful hack, who trots
along the high-road of life, keeping on his own side, and only stumbling
a little now and then, when I happen to be careless,--ambitious only to
arrive safely at the end of his journey, not to pass by others.

Why am I no longer ambitious? once I was, but 'twas when I was young and
foolish.  Then methought "It were an easy leap to pluck bright honour
from the pale-faced moon;" but now I am old and fat, and there is
something in fat which chokes or destroys ambition.  It would appear
that it is requisite for the body to be active and springing as the
mind; and if it is not, it weighs the latter down to its own gravity.
Who ever heard of a fat man being ambitious?  Caesar was a spare man;
Bonaparte was thin, as long as he climbed the ladder; Nelson was a
shadow.  The Duke of Wellington has not sufficient fat in his
composition to grease his own Wellington-boots.  In short, I think my
hypothesis to be fairly borne out, that fat and ambition are
incompatible.

It is very melancholy to be forced to acknowledge this, for I am
convinced that it may be of serious injury to my works.  An author with
a genteel figure will always be more read than one who is corpulent.
All his etherealness departs.  Some young ladies may have fancied me an
elegant young man, like Lytton Bulwer, full of fun and humour,
concealing all my profound knowledge under the mask of levity, and have
therefore read my books with as much delight as has been afforded by
Pelham.  But the truth must be told.  I am a grave, heavy man, with my
finger continually laid along my temple, seldom speaking unless spoken
to--and when ladies talk, I never open my mouth; the consequence is,
that sometimes, when there is a succession of company, I do not speak
for a week.  Moreover, I am married, with five small children; and now
all I look forward to, and all I covet, is to live in peace, and die in
my bed.

I wonder why I did not commence authorship before!  How true it is that
a man never knows what he can do until he tries!  The fact is, I never
thought that I could make a novel; and I was thirty years old before I
stumbled on the fact.  What a pity!

Writing a book reminds me very much of making a passage across the
Atlantic.  At one moment, when the ideas flow, you have the wind aft,
and away you scud, with a flowing sheet, and a rapidity which delights
you: at other times, when your spirit flags, and you gnaw your pen (I
have lately used iron pens, for I'm a devil of a crib-biter), it is like
unto a foul wind, tack and tack, requiring a long time to get on a short
distance.  But still you do go, although but slowly; and in both cases
we must take the foul wind with the fair.  If a ship were to furl her
sails until the wind again was favourable, her voyage would be
protracted to an indefinite time; and, if an author were to wait until
he again felt in a humour, it would take a life to write a novel.

Whenever the wind is foul, which it now most certainly is, for I am
writing any thing but "Newton Forster," and which will account for this
rambling, stupid chapter, made up of odds and ends, strung together like
what we call "skewer pieces" on board of a man-of-war; when the wind is
foul, as I said before, I have, however, a way of going a-head, by
getting up the steam which I am now about to resort to--and the fuel is
brandy.  All on this side of the world are asleep, except gamblers,
house breakers, the new police, and authors.  My wife is in the arms of
Morpheus--an allegorical _crim con_, which we husbands are obliged to
wink at; and I am making love to the brandy bottle, that I may stimulate
my ideas, as unwilling to be roused from their dark cells of the brain
as the spirit summoned by Lochiel, who implored at each response, "Leave
me, oh! leave me to repose."

Now I'll invoke them, conjure them up, like little imps, to do my
bidding:--

  By this glass, which now I drain,
  By this spirit, which shall cheer you,
  As its fumes mount to my brain,
  From thy torpid slumbers rear you.

  By this head, so tired with thinking,
  By this hand, no longer trembling,
  By these lips, so fond of drinking,
  Let me feel that you're assembling.

  By the bottle placed before me,
  (Food for you, ere morrow's sun),
  By this second glass, I pour me,
  Come, you _little beggars_, route.



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER FOUR.

  "British sailors have a knack,
  Haul away, yo ho, boys,
  Of hauling down a Frenchman's jack
  'Gainst any odds, you know, boys."--Old Song.

There was, I flatter myself, some little skill in the introduction of
the foregoing chapter, which has played the part of chorus during the
time that the _Bombay Castle_ has proceeded on to Canton, has taken in
her cargo, and is on her passage home, in company with fifteen other
East Indiamen and several country ships, all laden with the riches of
the East, and hastening to pour their treasures into the lap of their
country.  Millions were floating on the waters, intrusted to the skill
of merchant-seamen to convey them home in safety, and to their courage
to defend them from the enemy, which had long been lying in wait to
intercept them.  By a very unusual chance or oversight, there had been
no men-of-war despatched to protect property of such enormous value.

The Indian fleet had just entered the Straits of Malacca, and were
sailing in open order, with a fresh breeze and smooth water.  The
hammocks had been stowed, the decks washed, and the awnings spread.
Shoals of albicore were darting across the bows of the different ships;
and the seamen perched upon the cat-heads and spritsail-yard, had
succeeded in piercing with their harpoons many, which were immediately
cut up, and in the frying-pans for breakfast.  But very soon they had
"other fish to fry:" for one of the Indiamen, the _Royal George_, made
the signal that there were four strange sail in the South West.

"A gun from the commodore, sir," reported Newton, who was officer of the
watch.  "The flags are up--they are not our pennants."

It was an order to four ships of the fleet to run down and examine the
strange vessels.

Half an hour elapsed, during which time the glasses were at every
mast-head.  Captain Drawlock himself, although not much given to
climbing, having probably had enough of it during his long career in the
service, was to be seen in the main-top.  Doubts, suspicions,
declarations, surmises, and positive assertions were bandied about,
until they were all dispelled by the reconnoitring ships telegraphing,
"a French squadron, consisting of one line-of-battle ship, three
frigates, and a brig."  It was, in fact, the well-known squadron of
Admiral Linois, who had scoured the Indian seas, ranging it up and down
with the velocity as well as the appetite of a shark.  His force
consisted of the _Marengo_, of eighty guns; the famed _Belle Poule_, a
forty-gun frigate, which outstripped the wind; the _Semillante_, of
thirty-six guns; the _Berceau_, ship corvette, of twenty-two, and a brig
of sixteen.  They had sailed from Batavia on purpose to intercept the
China fleet, having received intelligence that it was unprotected, and
anticipating an easy conquest, if not an immediate surrender to their
overpowering force.

"The recall is up on board of the commodore," said Mathews, the
first-mate, to Captain Drawlock.

"Very well, keep a good look-out; he intends to fight, I'll answer for
it.  We must not surrender up millions to these French scoundrels
without a tussle."

"I should hope not," replied Mathews; "but that big fellow will make a
general average among our tea canisters, I expect when we do come to the
scratch.  There go the flags, sir," continued Mathews, repeating the
number to Captain Drawlock, who had the signal-book in his hand.

"Form line of battle in close order, and prepare for action," read
Captain Drawlock from the signal-book.

A cheer resounded through the fleet when the signal was made known.  The
ships were already near enough to each other to hear the shouting, and
the confidence of others added to their own.

"If we only had _all_ English seamen on board, instead of these Lascars
and Chinamen, who look so blank," observed Newton to Mathews, "I think
we should show them some play."

"Yes," growled Mathews; "John Company will some day find out the truth
of the old proverb, `Penny wise and pound foolish!'"

The French squadron, which had continued on the wind to leeward until
they could fetch the India fleet, now tacked, and laid up directly for
them.  In the meantime, the English vessels were preparing for action:
the clearing of their lumbered decks was the occasion of many a coop of
fowls, or pig of the true China breed, exchanging their destiny for a
watery grave.  Fortunately, there were no passengers.  Homeward-bound
China ships are not encumbered in that way, unless to astonish the
metropolis with such monstrosities as the mermaid, or as the Siamese
twins, coupled by nature like two hounds (separated lately indeed by
Lytton Bulwer, who has satisfactorily proved that "unity between
brethren," so generally esteemed a blessing, on the contrary, is a
bore).  In a short time all was ready, and the India fleet continued
their course under easy sail, neither courting nor avoiding the
conflict.

At nightfall, the French squadron hauled to the wind; the conduct of the
China fleet rendered them cautious, and the French admiral considered it
advisable to ascertain, by broad daylight, whether a portion of the
English ships were not men-of-war; their cool and determined behaviour
certainly warranted the suspicion.  It was now to be decided whether the
Indiamen should take advantage of the darkness of the night to escape,
or wait the result of the ensuing day.  The force opposed to them was
formidable and concentrated; their own, on the contrary, was weak from
division, each ship not having more than sixty English seamen on board;
the country ships none at all, the few belonging to them having
volunteered on board the Indiamen.  In this decision, Commodore Dance
proved his judgment as well as his courage.  In an attempt to escape,
the fleet would separate; and, from the well-known superior sailing of
the French squadron, most of them would be overtaken, and, being
attacked single-handed, fall an easy prey to the enemy.

In this opinion the captains of the Indiamen, who had communicated
during the night, were unanimous, and equally so in the resolution
founded upon it, "to keep together and fight to the last."  The India
fleet lay to for the night, keeping their lights up and the men at their
quarters; most of the English seamen sound asleep, the Lascars and
Chinese sitting up in groups, expressing, in their own tongues, their
fear of the approaching combat, in which, whether risked for national
honour or individual property, they could have no interest.

The morning broke, and discovered the French squadron about three miles
to windward.  Admiral Linois had calculated that if the fleet consisted
only of merchant vessels they would have profited by the darkness to
have attempted to escape, and he had worked to windward during the
night, that he might be all ready to pounce down upon his quarry.  But
when he perceived that the English ships did not attempt to increase
their distance he was sadly puzzled.

The French tricolour hardly had time to blow clear from their taffrails,
when the English unions waved aloft in defiance; and that Admiral Linois
might be more perplexed by the arrangements of the night, three of the
most warlike Indiamen displayed the red ensign, while the remainder of
the ships hoisted up the blue.  This _ruse_ led the French admiral to
suppose that these three vessels were men-of-war, composing the escort
of the fleet.

At nine o'clock the commodore made the signal to fill; and the French
squadron not bearing down, the India fleet continued its course under
easy sail.  The French admiral then edged away with his squadron, with
the intention of cutting off the country ships, which had been stationed
to leeward; but which, since the British fleet had hauled their wind,
had been left in the rear.  It was now requisite for the British
commander to act decidedly and firmly.  Captain Timmins, an officer for
courage and conduct not surpassed by any in our naval service, who
commanded the _Royal George_, edged to within hail of the commodore, and
recommended that the order should be given to tack in succession, bear
down in a line a-head, and engage the enemy.  This spirited advice was
acted upon; the _Royal George_ leading into action, followed by the
other ships in such close order that their flying jib-booms were often
pointed over the taffrails of their predecessors.

In a quarter of an hour was to be witnessed the unusual spectacle of a
fleet of merchant ships exchanging broadsides with the best equipped and
highest disciplined squadron that ever sailed from France.  In less than
an hour was presented the more unusual sight of this squadron flying
from the merchant ships, and the signal for a general chase answered
with enthusiastic cheers.

That Admiral Linois might have supposed, previous to the engagement,
that some of the British ships were men-of-war, is probable; but that he
knew otherwise after they had commenced action, must also have been the
case.  The fact was, he was frightened at their determined courage and
their decided conduct; and he fled, not from the guns, but from the
_men_.

I do not know on record any greater instance of heroism on the part of
British seamen; and I am delighted that Newton Forster was in the
conflict, or of course I could not have introduced it in this work.

And now, those who read for amusement may, if they please, skip over the
next chapter.  There are points connected with the India service which I
intend to comment upon; and as all the wisdom of the age is confined to
novels, and nobody reads pamphlets, I introduce them here.

When one man is empowered to hold in check, and to insist upon the
obedience of a large proportion of his fellows, it can only be by
"opinion" that his authority can be supported.

By "opinion" I mean the knowledge that he is so empowered by the laws of
the country to which they all belong, and by which laws they will be
punished, if they act in opposition to his authority.  The fiat of the
individual commanding is in this case the fiat of the nation at large;
to contend with this fiat is not contending with the individual, but
with the nation, to whose laws they must submit, or to return to their
country no more.  A commander of a vessel, therefore, armed with martial
law, is, in fact, representing and executing, not his own will, but that
of the nation who have made the law; for he is amenable, as well as his
inferiors, if he acts contrary to, or misuses it.

In the merchant service martial law is not permitted; the bye-laws
relative to shipping, and the common law of the country, are supposed to
be sufficient; and certainly the present system is more advisable than
to vest such excessive power in the hands of men, who, generally
speaking, neither require nor are fit to be entrusted with it.  Where,
as in the greater number of merchant vessels, the master and his
subordinate officers compose one-third, if not one-half of the
complement on board, nothing but the most flagrant conduct is likely to
produce insubordination.

But in the East India service the case is different.  The vessels
themselves are of dimensions equal, if not superior, to our largest
class of frigates, and they carry from thirty to forty guns; the
property embarked in them is also of such an extent, that the loss
almost becomes national: their commanders are men of superior
attainments, as gentlemen and as officers; finally, the complement of
seamen under their command is larger than on board of many of the king's
ships.

The above considerations will at once establish that those bye-laws
which afford protection to the well-governing of the merchant service in
general, are not sufficient to maintain the necessary discipline on
board of the East India ships.  The greater the disproportion between
the unit who commands and the numbers who obey, the greater the chance
of mutiny.  Sedition is the progeny of assembly.  Even where grievances
may be real, if there is no contact and no discussion, there will be no
insubordination; but imaginary grievances, canvassed and discussed in
assembly, swell into disaffection and mutiny.  When, therefore, numbers
are collected together, as in the vessels of the East India service,
martial law becomes indispensable; and the proof of it is, that the
commanders of these vessels have been forced to exercise it upon their
own responsibility.  A letter of marque should be granted to all vessels
carrying a certain number of men, empowering the commanders, under
certain sureties and penalties, to exercise this power.  It would be a
boon to the East India ships, and ultimately a benefit to the navy.

To proceed.  The merchant ships of the Company are men-of-war; the
men-of-war of the Company are--what shall I call them?  By their right
names--they are all _Bombay Marine_: but let me at once assert, in
applying their own name to them as a reproach, that the officers
commanding them are not included in the stigma.  I have served with
them, and have pleasure in stating that, taking the average, the vessels
are as well officered as those in our own service; but let us describe
the vessels and their crews.  Most of the vessels are smaller in
scantling than the run down (and constantly _going down_) ten-gun brigs
in our own service, built for a light draft of water (as they were
originally intended to act against the pirates, which occasionally
infest the Indian seas), and unfit to contend with anything like a heavy
sea.  Many of them are pierced for, and actually carry fourteen or
sixteen guns; but, as effective fighting vessels, ought not to have been
pierced for more than eight I have no hesitation in asserting that an
English cutter is a match for any of them, and a French privateer has,
before now, proved that she was superior.  The crews are composed of a
small proportion of English seamen, a small proportion of Portuguese
sea-cunnies, a proportion of Lascars, and a proportion of Hindoo Bombay
marines.  It requires two or three languages to carry on the duty;
custom; religions, provisions, all different, and all living and messing
separate.  How is it possible that any officer can discipline a ship's
company of this incongruous description, so as to make them "pull
together?"  In short, the vessels and the crews are equally
contemptible, and the officers, in cases of difficulty, must be
sacrificed to the pride and meanness of the Company.  My reason for
taking notice of the "Bombay Marine" arises from an order lately
promulgated, in which the officers of this service were to take rank and
precedence with those of the navy.  Now, as far as the officers
themselves are concerned, so far from having any objection to it, I
wish, for their own merits and the good-will that I bear them, that they
were incorporated into our navy-list; but as long as they command
vessels of the above description, in the event of a war, I will put a
case, to prove the absurdity and danger which may result.  There is not
one vessel at this present time in their service which would not be sunk
by one well-directed broadside from a large frigate; yet, as many of
their officers are of long standing, it is very probable that a squadron
of English frigates may fall in with one of these vessels, the captain
of which would be authorised by his seniority to take the command of the
whole of them.  We will suppose that this squadron falls in with the
enemy, of equal or superior force; can the officer in command lead on
the attack?  If so, he will be sent down by the first broadside.  If he
does not, from whom are the orders to proceed during the action?  The
consequences would be as injurious as the arrangement is ridiculous.

The charter of the East India Company will soon expire; and if it is to
be renewed, the country ought to have some indemnification for the three
millions which this colony or conquest (which you please) annually draws
from it.  Now there is one point which deserves consideration: the
constitutional protection of all property is by the nation, and as a
naval force is required in India, that force should be supplied by the
armaments of the nation, at the expense of the Company.  I have already
proved that the Bombay Marine is a useless and incompetent service: let
it be abolished altogether, and men-of-war be sent out to supply their
place.  It is most important that our navy should be employed in time of
peace, and our officers gain that practical knowledge without which the
theoretical is useless.  Was this insisted upon, a considerable force
would be actively employed, at no expense to the country, and many
officers become valuable, who now are remaining inactive, and forgetting
what previous knowledge they may have acquired of their nautical duties.

At the same time, every East India ship should be compelled to take on
board her whole complement of English seamen, and not be half manned by
Lascars and Chinamen.

But I presume I must be careful how I attempt to legislate for that
country, or I shall have two tame elephants sent after me by the man
_what_ puts his hair in papers!



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER FIVE.

  "What singular emotions fill
  Their bosoms, who have been induced to roam,
  With flattering doubts, if all be well or ill,
  With love for many, and with fears for some!"
  BYRON.

The China fleet arrived without encountering any further danger; the
commodore and commanders of the several ships composing the fleet
received that praise from their countrymen to which their conduct had so
fully entitled them.  As soon as the _Bombay Castle_ had entered the
basin of the East India docks, Newton requested, and easily obtained,
permission to leave the ship.  He immediately directed his steps to
Greenwich, that he might ascertain if his father was in existence; for
he had received no letters since his departure, although he had taken
several opportunities to write.  It is true that he had not expected
any; he knew that his father was too absent ever to think about writing
to him, and his uncle much too busy to throw away any portion of his
time in unnecessary correspondence.

When we approach the dwelling containing, or supposed to contain, an
object of solicitude, of whose existence we are uncertain, what a thrill
of anxiety pervades the frame! how quickened is the throbbing of the
heart! how checked the respiration!  Thus it was with Newton Forster as
he raised his hand to the latch of the door.  He opened it, and the
first object which delighted his eyes was his father seated upon a high
stool smoking his pipe, in the company of two veterans of the hospital,
who had brought their old bones to an anchor upon a large trunk.  They
were in earnest conversation, and did not perceive the company of
Newton, who waited a little while, holding the door ajar, as he
contemplated the group.

One of the pensioners was speaking, and continued:--"May be, or may not
be, Mr Forster, that's _dubersome_; but if so be as how he is alive,
why you'll see him soon, that's sartain--take my word for it.  A good
son, as you say he was, as soon as he can get over the side of the ship,
always bears up for his parent's house.  With the help of your
barnacles, I worked my way clean through the whole yarn, and I seed the
report of killed and wounded; and I'll take my affidavy that there
warn't an officer in the fleet as lost the number of his mess in that
action, and a most clipping affair it was; only think of mounseer
turning tail to marchant vessels!  Damn my old buttons! what will our
jolly fellows do next?"

"Next, Bill! why there be nothing to do, 'less they shave off the beard
of the grand Turk to make a swab for the cabin of the king's yacht, and
sarve out his seven hundred wives amongst the fleet.  I say, I wonder
how he keeps so many of them craft in good order?"

"I knows," replied the other, "for I axed the very question when I was
up the Dardanelles.  There be a big black fellow, a _unique_ they calls
him, with a large sword and a bag of sawdust, as always stands sentry at
the door, and if so be a woman kirks up a bobbery, why plump her head
goes into the bag."

"Well, that's one way to make a good woman on her; but as I was saying,
Mr Forster, you mustn't be down in the mouth; a seaman as knows his
duty, never cares for leave till all the work be done.  I'd bet a yard
of pigtail that Mr Newton--"

"Is here, my good fellow!" interrupted Newton.  "My dear father!"

Nicholas sprang off his seat and embraced his son.

"My dear, dear boy! why did you not come to me before?  I was afraid
that you had been killed.  Well, I'm glad to see you, Newton.  How did
you like the West Indies?"

"The East Hinges, you mean, Mr Forster.--Newton," continued the old
pensioner, wiping both sides of his hand upon his blue breeches, and
then extending it--"Tip us your daddle, my lad; I like to touch the
flipper of one who has helped to shame the enemy, and it will be no
disgrace for you to grapple with an old seaman, who did his duty as long
as he had a pin to stand upon."

"With pleasure, my friend," replied Newton, taking the old man's hand,
while the other veteran seized the one unoccupied, and, surveying Newton
from top to toe, observed, "If your ship be manned with all such lads as
you--why, she be damned well manned, that's all."

Newton laughed and turned to his father.

"Well, father, how are you?--have you been quite well?  And how do you
like your berth here?"

"Why, Newton, I get on much better than I did at Bristol."

"It be Liverpool he mean, Mr Newton; but your good father be a little
damaged in his upper works; his memory-box is like a sieve.--Come, Bill,
we be two too many.  When father and son meet after a India voyage,
there be much to say as wants no listeners.--Good-bye, Mr Forster; may
you never want a son, and may he never want a ship!"

Newton smiled his thanks to the considerate old pensioners, as they
stumped out of the door, and left him alone with his father.  The
communications of Nicholas were as concise as usual.  He liked his
situation, liked his company, had as much work as he wished for, and had
enjoyed good health.  When Newton entered upon pecuniary matters, which
he was the sooner induced to do by observing that his father's coat and
smallclothes were in a most ruinous condition, he discovered, that
though the old gentleman had provided himself with money from the
bankers, during the first year, to purchase a new suit of clothes,
latterly he not only had quite forgotten that there were funds at his
disposal, but even that he had procured the clothes, which had remained
in the chest from the day they had been sent home without having been
tried on.

"Dear me! now I recollect, so I did; and I put them upstairs somewhere.
I was busy at the time with my improvement on the duplex."

"Have you seen much of my uncle, sir?" inquired Newton.

"Your uncle!--dear me, no!  I don't know where he lives; so I waited
until you came back.  We'll go to-morrow, Newton, or he may think me
unkind.  I'll see if his watch goes well; I recollect he said it did.
But, Newton, tell me all about your voyage, and the action with the
French ships."

Newton entered into a detail, during which he perceived by his father's
questions that his memory had become more impaired, and that he was more
absent than ever.  He arranged to call upon his uncle the ensuing day;
and then it was his intention, without communicating it to his father,
to make every inquiry and advertise to ascertain the fate of his mother.
This was a duty which he had long wished to repeat; but his necessities
and want of time had hitherto prevented the renewal of the task.

Early the next morning, Newton and his father went up to London by the
Greenwich coach; and a walk of a few minutes after they were put down,
brought them to the chambers of Mr John Forster.

"How do you do, Mr Scratton?  Is my uncle at home?" inquired Mr
Newton.

Mr Scratton immediately recognised him, and very graciously replied,
that his uncle was at home and would be very glad to see him, having
talked very often of him lately.

Newton and his father were ushered into the parlour, where he found his
uncle precisely in the same position as when he last saw him;--it would
almost have appeared that he had not quitted his seat during Newton's
tedious voyage.

"Nephew," said Mr John Forster, without rising from his chair, "I am
very glad to see you.--Brother Nicholas, I am very glad to see you
too.--Chairs, Scratton," continued the old lawyer, taking his watch off
the table, and placing it in his fob.  "Well, nephew, I am very glad to
hear such good accounts of you.  I saw Mr Bosanquet yesterday, and he
told me that you had for your good conduct been promoted to the rank of
second-mate."

"It is more than I am aware of," replied Newton, much pleased with the
information.  "I am much obliged to you for the intelligence, as I am
for your many other acts of kindness."

"Well, so you ought to be; it's no bad thing, as I told you before, to
find out an uncle.  By-the-bye, there has been some alteration in my
establishment since we parted, nephew.  I have a house in Lincoln's Inn
Fields, and a spare bed, if you will accept of it.  We dine at six;
brother Nicholas, I shall be very happy to see you, if you can stay.  It
will be too late to go home after dinner, but you can share my nephew's
bed."

"I shall be most happy to accept your kind offer for a few days, sir, if
it does not incommode you," replied Newton.

"No; you will not incommode me _there_, but you do very much _here_,
where I am always busy.  So good-bye, my boy; I shall be at home at six.
Brother Nicholas, you did not vouchsafe me an answer."

"About what, brother John?" replied Nicholas, who had been in the
clouds.

"Oh, I'll tell you all about it, father," said Newton, laughing.  "Come
away now--my uncle is busy."  And Nicholas rose up, with the
observation--

"Brother John, you appear to me to read a great deal."

"Yes, I do, brother."

"How much do you read a day?"

"I really cannot say; much depends upon whether I am interrupted or
not."

"It must be very bad for your eyes, brother John."

"It certainly does not improve them," replied the lawyer, impatiently.

"Come, father, my uncle is very busy," said Newton, touching Nicholas on
the arm.

"Well, good-bye, brother John.  I had something to say--oh!  I hope you
are not displeased at my not coming to see you before?"

"Humph! not in the least, I can assure you, brother Nicholas; so
good-bye.  Newton, you'll bring him with you at six," said Mr John
Forster; and he resumed his brief before they had quitted the room.

Newton was much surprised to hear that his uncle had taken a house, and
he surmised whether he had not also been induced to take a wife.  He
felt an inclination to put the question to Mr Scratton, as he passed
through the office; but checked the wish, lest it should appear like
prying into his uncle's affairs.  Being the month of February, it was
dark long before six o'clock, and Newton was puzzled what to do with his
father until that time.  He returned to the Salopian Coffee-house,
opposite to which they had been put down by the Greenwich coach; and
taking possession of a box, called for some biscuits and a pint of
sherry; and requesting his father to stay there until his return, went
out to purchase a sextant, and some other nautical luxuries, which his
pay enabled him to procure without trespassing upon the funds supplied
by the generosity of his uncle.  He then returned to his father, who had
finished the vine and biscuits, and had his eyes fixed upon the ceiling
of the room; and calling a hackney coach, drove to the direction which
his uncle had pointed out as his residence.

Mr John Forster had already come home, and they found him in the
dining-room, decanting the wine for dinner, with Amber by his side.
Newton was surprised at the appearance of a little girl; and, as he took
her proffered hand, inquired her name.

"Amber.  Papa says it's a very foolish name; don't you, papa?"

"Yes, my dear, I do; but now we are going to dinner, and you must go to
Mrs Smith: so good-night."

Amber kissed the old lawyer, as he stooped to her; and wishing the
company good-night, she left the room.

"Brother John," said Nicholas, "I really had no idea that you were a
married man."

"Humph!  I am not a married man, brother."

"Then pray, brother, how is it _possible_ for that little girl to be
your daughter?"

"I did not say she was my daughter: but now we will go upstairs into the
drawing-room, while they put the dinner on the table."

The dinner was soon announced; the cookery was plain, but good, the wine
excellent.  When the dessert was placed on the table, Mr John Forster
rose, and taking two bottles of port wine from the sideboard, placed
them on the table, and addressed Newton.

"Nephew, I have no time to _sip_ wine, although it is necessary that I
drink it.  Now, we must drink fast, as I have only ten minutes to spare;
not that I wish you to drink more than you like, but I must push the
bottle round, whether you fill or no, as I have an appointment, what we
call a consultation, at my chambers.  Pass the bottle, brother,"
continued the lawyer, helping himself, and shoving the decanter to
Nicholas.

Nicholas, who had been little accustomed to wine, obeyed mechanically,
swallowing down each glass _a gorge deployee_, as he was awoke from his
meditations by the return of the bottle, and then filling up his glass
again.  Newton, who could take his allowance as well as most people,
could not, however, venture to drink glass for glass with his uncle, and
the bottle was passed several times without his filling.  When the ten
minutes had elapsed, Mr John Forster took his watch from the table,
replaced it in his fob, and rose from his chair.  Locking up the
remainder of the wine, he quitted the house without apology, leaving his
guests to entertain themselves, and order tea when they felt inclined.

"My brother seems to be very busy, Newton," observed Nicholas.  "What
wine was that we have been drinking?  It was very strong; I declare my
head turns round;" and in a few moments more Nicholas dropped his head
upon the table, and was fast asleep.

Newton, who perceived that his father was affected by the wine which he
had been drinking, which was, in the sum total, a pint of sherry at the
coffee-house before dinner, and at least a bottle during and after his
meal, thought it better that he should be allowed to take his nap.  He
therefore put out the candles, and went up into the drawing-room, where
he amused himself with a book until the clock struck twelve.  According
to the regulations of the house, the servants had retired to bed,
leaving a light in the passage for their master on his return, which
sometimes was at a very late hour, or rather, it should be said, at a
very early one.  Newton lighted a chamber-candlestick, and went down
into the parlour to rouse his father; but all his attempts were in vain.
The wine had taken such an effect upon him, that he was in a state of
lethargy.  Newton observed that the servant had cleared the table, and
that the fire was out: and, as there was no help for it, he removed the
chairs to the end of the room, that his father might not tumble over
them if he awoke in the dark, and then retired to his own bed.



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER SIX.

  Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
  ...
  Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
  Thou com'st in such a questionable shape
  That I will speak to thee.
  SHAKESPEARE.

It was past two o'clock when Mr John Forster returned from his chambers
and let himself in with a pass-key.  Having secured the street door, the
old gentleman lighted his candle from the lamp, which he then blew out,
and had his foot upon the first step of the stairs, when he was startled
by a loud snore from Nicholas in the dining-room; he immediately
proceeded there, and found his brother, with his heed still lying on the
table.

"Humph!" ejaculated the lawyer.  "Why brother Nicholas! brother
Nicholas!"

Nicholas, who had nearly slept off the effects of the wine, answered
with an unintelligible sort of growling.

"Brother Nicholas, I say--brother Nicholas--will you get up, or lie here
all night?"

"They shall be cleaned and ready by to-morrow morning," replied
Nicholas, dreaming.

"Humph! that's more than you will be, apparently.--I say, brother
Nicholas."

"Yes brother," replied Nicholas, raising his head and staring at the
candle.  "Why, what's the matter?"

"The matter is, that I wish to go to bed, and wish to see you in bed
before I go myself."

"Yes, brother John, if you please, certainly.  Where's my bed?  I do
believe I have been asleep."

"Humph!  I have no doubt upon the subject," replied John Forster,
lighting another candle.  "Come this way, brother Nicholas," and they
both ascended the stairs.

When Mr John Forster arrived at the door of his own room, on the first
story, he stopped.  "Now, brother Nicholas, are you quite awake?  Do you
think that I may trust you with a candle?"

"I should hope so," replied Nicholas; "I see that it is silver, but I
hope I'm honest, brother John."

"Humph!  I mean, can I trust you to put it out?"

"Yes, I think that you may.  Pray which is my room?"

"The first door on the left, when you are at the top of the stairs."

"The first door."

"Yes, the first on the left; do you understand?"

"Yes, brother, I do; the first door on the left."

"Very well; then I wish you a good-night."

"Good-night, brother," replied Nicholas, ascending the stairs as John
Forster entered his room.

Nicholas arrived at the head of the stairs; but his brain was not very
clear.  He muttered to himself "I think I'm right--yes, I'm right--the
first door--to the right--yes--that's it," and instead of the room to
the left, where Newton was, he walked into the one to the right, which
appertained to the housekeeper, Mrs Smith.

The old lady was fast asleep.  Nicholas threw off his clothes, put out
his candle, and stepped into bed without waking the old lady, whom he
supposed to be his son, and in a few minutes they snored in concert.

The morning dawned.  The watchmen (London nightingales) ceased their
notes and retired to their beds.  The chimney-sweeps (larks of the
metropolis) raised their shrill cry as they paced along with chattering
teeth.  House-maids and kitchen-maids presented their back views to the
early passengers, as they washed off the accumulation of the previous
day from the steps of the front door.  "Milk below," (certainly much
below "proof"), was answered by the assent of the busy cooks, when a
knock at the door of Mrs Smith's room from the red knuckles of the
housemaid, awoke her to a sense of her equivocal situation.

At her first discovery that a man was in her bed, she uttered a scream
of horror, throwing herself upon her knees, and extending her hands
before her in her amazement.  The scream awoke Nicholas, who, astonished
at the sight, and his modesty equally outraged, also threw himself in
the same posture, facing her, and recoiling.  Each looked aghast at
each: each considered the other as the lawless invader; but before a
word of explanation could pass between them, their countenances changed
from horror to surprise, from surprise to anxiety and doubt.

"Why!" screamed the housekeeper, losing her breath with astonishment.

"It is!" cried Nicholas, retreating further.

"Yes--yes--it is--my _dear_ Nicholas!"

"No--it can't be," replied Nicholas, hearing the fond appellation.

"It is--oh yes--it is your poor unhappy wife, who begs your pardon,
Nicholas," cried the housekeeper, bursting into tears, and falling into
his arms.

"My dear--dear wife!" exclaimed Nicholas, as he threw his arms around
her, and each sobbed upon the other's shoulder.

In this position they remained a minute, when Mr John Forster, who
heard the scream and subsequent exclamations, and had taken it for
granted that his brother had been guilty of some _contre temps_, first
wiped the remaining lather from his half-shaved chin, and then ascended
to the housekeeper's room from whence the noise had proceeded.  When he
opened the door, he found them in the position we have described, both
kneeling in the centre of the bed embracing and sobbing.  They were so
wrapped in each other, that they did not perceive his entrance.  Mr
John Forster stared with amazement for a few seconds, and thus growled
out:--

"Why, what are you two old fools about?"

"It's my husband, sir,"--"It's my wife, brother John," cried they, both
at once, as the tears coursed down their cheeks.

"Humph!" ejaculated the lawyer, and he quitted the room.

We must let the reader imagine the various explanations which took place
between Nicholas and his truly reformed wife, Newton and his uncle,
Amber, and every body in the household, while we narrate the events
which had brought about this singular _denouement_.

The reader may recollect that we left Mrs Forster in the lunatic
asylum, slowly recovering from an attack of the brain-fever, which had
been attended with a relapse.  For many weeks she continued in a state
of great feebleness, and during that time, when, in the garden, in
company with other denizens of this melancholy abode (wishing to be
usefully employed), she greatly assisted the keepers in restraining
them, and, in a short time, established that superiority over them,
which is invariably the result of a pane intellect.  This was soon
perceived by Doctor Beddington, who (aware of her destitute condition)
offered her a situation as nurse in the establishment, until the
inspecting magistrates should make their appearance, with the promise
that she might continue in it afterwards, if she thought proper.  This
proposal was accepted by Mrs Forster, until she might resolve what
course to take, and she soon! became a most invaluable person in the
establishment, effecting more by lenient and kind treatment than the
keepers were able to do by their violence.  So completely changed was
Mrs Forster in disposition, that so far from feeling any resentment
against those who had been the means of her confinement, she
acknowledged to herself that her own conduct had been the occasion of
her misfortune, and that those who had contributed to open her eyes to
her former insanity, were her best friends.  She was humbled, and
unhappy; but she kissed the rod.  All that she now wished was to find
out her husband, and by her future conduct to make reparation for the
past.  One of the gaolers, at her request, made every inquiry as to the
part of England Nicholas had removed; but it was without success.  All
trace was lost, and Mrs Forster accepted the situation of nurse, until
she might be enabled to prosecute her search, or obtain the intelligence
which she desired.

For nine months Mrs Forster remained on the establishment, during which
time she had saved a sum of money sufficient for her support and
travelling expenses.  She then resolved to search after her husband,
whose pardon for her previous conduct seemed to be the _sine qua non_
for which she continued to exist.  She took leave of the doctor; and,
strange to say, it was with feelings of regret that she quitted an
abode, once the source of horror and disgust: but time reconciles us to
every thing, and she made a half promise to Dr Beddington, that if she
could not hear any tidings of her husband, or should discover that he
was no more, that she would return to the situation.

Mrs Forster directed her course to London; why, or wherefore, she
hardly knew; but she had imbibed the idea that the metropolis was the
most likely place to meet with him.  Her first inquiries were about any
families of the name of Forster; but the Directory gave such an enormous
list of Forsters, of all trades and callings, and in every situation in
life, that she closed it with despair.  She had a faint recollection
that her husband (who was not very communicative, and least of all to
her), had stated that he had a brother alive somewhere; but this was all
that she knew.  Nevertheless, she set about her task in good earnest,
and called upon every one of the name in the middling classes of life,
to ascertain if they were relations of her husband.  There were many in
high life whose names and addresses she had obtained from the Red-book;
but to them she dared not apply.  All she could do was to question the
servants; but every answer was unsatisfactory; and Mrs Forster, whose
money was nearly expended, had serious thoughts of returning to the
lunatic establishment, when the advertisement in the newspapers of Mr
Scratton, for a housekeeper, which Mr John Forster had desired him to
procure, met her, eye.  Unwilling to leave London, she applied for, and
obtained the situation, having received an excellent character from
Doctor Beddington, to whom she had written and explained her views.

Her heart leapt when she discovered that her master's name was Forster;
and when she first saw him she could not but persuade herself that there
was a family likeness.  The germs of hope were, however, soon withered,
when Amber, in answer to her inquiries, stated, that Mr Forster had a
brother lately dead, who had never been married, and that she never
heard of his having another.  Her fellow-servants were all as strange as
herself; and Mrs Forster (who had assumed the name of Smith) was
obliged to have recourse to that patience and resignation which had been
so severely inculcated.  The charge of Amber soon proved a source of
delight; the control which she had over the household a source of
gratification (not as before, for the pleasure of domineering, but for
the sake of exercising kindness and forbearance), and Mrs Forster was
happy and resigned.

It may be surmised as strange, that during the period which she remained
in this capacity, she had never heard mention made of her husband or her
son; but it must be remembered that Nicholas had never called upon his
brother, and that Newton was in the East Indies; and, moreover, that Mr
John Forster was just as little inclined to be communicative as her
husband.  Indeed, he never came in contact with his housekeeper, except
to pay the bills, which was regularly once a month, when he called her
down after dinner, and after the accounts were settled, offered her a
glass of wine, as a proof of his being satisfied with her conduct.  When
Newton and his father arrived at the chambers on the day before the
discovery, and were invited to dinner, his note of communication was as
laconic as usual.

"Mrs Smith--I have invited two gentlemen to dine with me to-day, six
precisely."

"John Forster."

"PS.  Let the spare bed be ready."

Mrs Forster prepared every thing as directed, and having done her
duties below, retired to her room, where she usually sat with Amber.
She did not therefore see the parties when they entered; and Amber, who
had run down to meet her protector, heard nothing during her short stay
in the room, to suppose that they were relatives of Mr John Forster.
All that she had to communicate was, that the parties were an elderly
gentleman and a very handsome young man.

Yet, even this simple communication caused the pulse of Mrs Forster to
accelerate.  They might be her husband and her son.  It was the first
time the spare bed had been ordered.  Reflection, however convinced her
that her hopes were strung upon too slight a thread; and, musing on the
improbability of not having ascertained during a year the fact of her
master having so near a relative--moreover, her son was not in
existence, she sighed, and dismissed the idea as ridiculous.  Before the
gentlemen had finished their wine, Amber was in bed, and Mrs Forster
invariably sat at the side of it until her own hour of repose had
arrived.  A certain indefinable curiosity still remained lurking; yet,
as she could not gratify it without intrusion (if the strangers were
still up), she retired to bed, with the reflection, that all her doubts
would be relieved in the morning; and, after lying awake for some hours
in a state of suspense, she at last fell into that sound sleep, which is
usually produced by previous excitement.  How she was awakened from it,
the reader has been already informed.

"It's rather awkward, Newton," said Mr John Forster, about ten days
afterwards.  "I cannot do without your mother, that's certain: but what
am I to do with your father?  Humph!  Well, she must take charge of him
as well as Amber.  She must teach him--"

"Teach him what, sir?" replied Newton, laughing.

"Teach him what?  Why to leave my watch and spectacles alone.  I dare
not lay them down for a moment."

"I think we may teach him that, sir, if it is all that you require."

"I ask no more: then he may go about the house like a tame rabbit.  When
will your ship be ready, boy?"

"In about a fortnight, sir.  I called upon Captain Oughton the day
before yesterday, but he was not at home.  His steward gave me the
information."

"What is the name of the ship?"

"The Windsor Castle, sir."

"Why all the India ships appear to be called Castles.  Your last ship
was the Bombay Castle I think?"

"Yes, sir: there are a great many of them so named:--they really are
floating castles."

"And full of ladies.  You `castle your queens,' as they do at chess.
Humph!"

A pun from Mr John Forster was a rarity: he never had been known to
make one before: and Newton asserts that he never heard him guilty of it
afterwards.  It deserves, therefore, bad as it was, to be recorded.



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER SEVEN.

  But to stick to my route
  'Twill be hard, if some novelty can't be struck out.
  Is there no Algerine, no Kamschatkan arrived?
  No plenipo-pacha, three tail'd and three wived?
  No Russian, whose dissonant, consonant name
  Almost rattles to fragments the trumpet of fame?
  POSTSCRIPT.

  By the bye, have you found any friend who can construe
  That Latin account, t'other day, of a monster?
  If we can't get a Russian--and that story in Latin
  Be not _too_ improper, I think I'll bring that in.
  MOORE.

A few mornings after this colloquy with his uncle, Newton was very busy
perambulating the streets of London, in search of various requisites for
his trip to India, when his hand was seized before he had time to call
to mind the features of the party who shook it with such apparent
warmth.

"My dear Mr Forster, I am so delighted to see you, so happy to hear of
your gallant adventure with the French squadron.  Mrs Plausible will be
quite pleased at meeting her old shipmate; she often talks about you.  I
must make sure of you," continued the doctor, drawing from his pocket a
large packet of cards, and inserting, at the top of one of them, Newton
Forster's name with his pencil.  "This is an invitation to our
_conversazione_ of to-morrow night, which you must do us the honour to
accept.  We shall have all the scientific men of the day, and a very
pretty sprinkling of nobility, if not something more.  However, you will
see.  Shall I tell Mrs Plausible that you will come, or will you
disappoint her?"

"Why," replied Newton, "if I possibly can I will.  I presume the hour is
not very precise?"

"O no, from nine until two or three; but if you wish to see great
people, about eleven is the exact time."

"Well, then," replied Newton, "the time which suits great people also
suits me.  I hope Mrs Plausible is quite well."

"Quite well, I thank you.  Good-bye;" and Dr Plausible hurried off so
quickly, that Newton was induced to look after him, to ascertain what
could induce such precipitation.  He perceived Dr Plausible shaking
hands warmly with another gentleman, and after a few seconds, the packet
of cards was again pulled out of his pocket, and the pencil in
requisition.  It will be necessary to go back a little, to acquaint the
reader with what had occurred since the acceptation of Dr Plausible by
Miss Tavistock, when they were on board of the Bombay Castle.  On their
arrival at Madras, Miss Tavistock's early and dearest friend, who
resided in the up-country, had commissioned an acquaintance to receive
Miss Tavistock until they could make arrangements for her journey to the
interior.  By this female acquaintance Miss Tavistock was kindly
welcomed, and received into her house; but Miss Tavistock's prospects
having altered, so had all her devoted attachments to the friend of her
early years.  She wrote, announcing her intended change of condition,
and regretting that Dr Plausible's affairs, requiring his immediate
presence in England, would prevent her having the delight of embracing
one, who was so entwined round her heart.  The letter was nevertheless
very cold, and Miss Tavistock was very much abused by her dearest
friend, who, disappointed in her expectations, did not even condescend
an answer.  In a week Miss Tavistock was united to Dr Plausible, and in
less than a fortnight afterwards they were on their passage home.  Dr
Plausible found that his wife's report of her circumstances was correct,
and that now he had the means of keeping his carriage and of seeing
company in moderation.  Shortly after their return Dr Plausible took
the lease of a house in a betwixt and between fashionable street, and
not wishing to remain idle, attempted to get into practice as an
accoucheur; for although the fortune brought by his wife was
considerable, still, to keep his carriage in London, he was obliged "to
sail nearer to the wind," in other points than he found agreeable:
moreover he was ambitious.  A night-bell, with "night-bell" in capital
letters over it, that people might be aware in the broad day that it was
a night-bell, which of course they could not read in the dark, was
attached to one side of the street door.  It was as loud as an
alarum-bell, and when rung, was to be heard from Number 12 to Number 44,
in the street where Dr Plausible resided.

There are little secrets in all trades; and one is, how to obtain
practice as a medical man, which whole mystery consists in making people
believe that you have a great deal.  When this is credited, practice
immediately follows; and Dr Plausible was aware of the fact.  At first
setting off the carriage drew up to the door occasionally, and stood
there for some time, when the doctor made his appearance, and stepped
in.  He then took a round of about three hours through every fashionable
part of the town, sitting well forward, that every body might see him,
apparently examining his visiting-book.  At times he would pull up at
some distinguished person's door, where were two or three carriages
before him, and getting out, would go in to the porter to ask some
frivolous question.  Another _ruse_ was, to hammer at some titled
mansion, and inquire for another titled person, by mistake.  This
occupied the morning; after which Doctor Plausible returned home.
During the first month the night-bell was rung two or three times a week
by the watchman, who was fee'd for his trouble; but after that period it
increased its duties, until it was in motion once, if not twice, every
night, and his disturbed neighbours wished Doctor Plausible and his
extensive practice at the devil.  The carriage also was now rattled to
the door in a hurry, and Doctor Plausible was seen to enter with his
case of instruments, and drive off with rapidity, sometimes twice a day.
In the mean time Mrs Plausible did her part, as she extended her
acquaintance with her neighbours.  She constantly railed against a
medical husband; declared that Doctor Plausible was never at home, and
it was impossible to say at what hour they might dine.  The tables also
were strewed with the cards of great and fashionable people, obtained by
Doctor Plausible from a celebrated engraver's shop, by a douceur to the
shopman, when the master was absent.  At last Doctor Plausible's
instruments were used in good earnest; and, although not known or even
heard of in the fashionable world, he was sent for by the would-be
fashionables, because they imagined that he was employed by their
betters.  Now it so happened that in the same street there lived another
medical man, almost a prototype of Doctor Plausible, only not quite so
well off in the world.  His name was Doctor Feasible.  His practice was
not extensive, and he was incumbered with a wife and large family.  He
also very naturally wished to extend his practice and his reputation;
and, after many fruitless attempts, he at last hit upon a scheme which
he thought promised to be successful.

"My dear," said he, one morning to his wife, "I am thinking of getting
up a _conversazione_."

"A _conversazione_, my love!--why, is not that a very expensive affair?"

"Why, not very.  But if it brings me practice, it will be money well
laid out."

"Yes, my love, if it does, and if we had the money to lay out."

"Something must be done.  I have hardly a patient left.  I have an idea
that it will succeed.  Go, my dear, and make up this prescription, and
let the boy take it to Mrs Bluestone's.  I wish I had a couple of dozen
of patients like her.--I write her prescriptions, take my fee, and then,
that I may be sure that it is properly made up, I volunteer to take it
to the chemist's myself."

"Pray, what is the complaint of Mrs Bluestone, my love?"

"Nothing; she over-eats herself--that's all.  Abernethy would cure her
in twenty-four hours."

"Well, but, my love, about this _conversazione_?"

"Go, and make up the prescription, my dear, and we'll talk the matter
over afterwards."

They did so.  A list of the people they were acquainted with was drawn
out, the expense calculated, and the affair settled.

The first point to be considered was the size of the cards.

"These, my love," said Mrs Feasible, who came in from a long walk with
her bonnet still on, "these are three shillings and sixpence a hundred;
and these, which are a size larger, are four-and-sixpence.  Which do you
think we ought to have?"

"Why, really, my dear, when one sends out so many, I do not see why we
should incur unnecessary expense.  The three-and-sixpenny ones are quite
large enough."

"And the engraving will be fourteen shillings."

"Well, that will only be a first expense.  _Conversazione_, in old
English, of course."

"And here, my love, are the ribbons for the maid's caps and sashes; I
bought them at Waterloo House, very cheap, and a very pretty
candle-light colour."

"Did you speak to them about their gowns?"

"Yes, my love; Sally and Peggy have each a white gown, Betty I can lend
one of my own."

The difference between a _conversazione_ and a rout is simply this:--in
the former you are expected to talk or listen; but to be too ethereal to
eat.  In the latter, to be squeezed in a crowd, and eat ices, etcetera,
to cool yourself.  A _conversazione_ has, therefore, a great advantage
over the latter, as far as the pocket is concerned, it being much
cheaper to procure food for the mind than food for the body.  It would
appear that tea has been as completely established the beverage of
modern scientific men, as nectar was formerly that of the gods.  The
Athenaeum gives tea; and I observed in a late newspaper, that Lord
G--- has promised tea to the Geographical Society.  Had his lordship
been aware that there was a beverage invented on board a ship much more
appropriate to the science over which he presides than tea, I feel
convinced he would have substituted it immediately; and I therefore take
this opportunity of informing him that sailors have long made use of a
compound which actually goes by the name of _geograffy_, which is only a
trifling corruption of the name of the science, arising from their
laying the accent on the penultimate.  I will now give his lordship the
receipt, which is most simple.

Take a tin-pot, go to the scuttle-butt (having obtained permission from
the quarter-deck), and draw off about half a pint of very offensive
smelling water.  To this add a gill of vinegar and a ship's biscuit
broke up into small pieces.  Stir it well up with the fore-finger; and
then with the fore-finger and thumb you may pull out the pieces of
biscuit, and eat them as fast as you please, drinking the liquor to wash
all down.

Now this would be the very composition to hand round to the Geographical
Society.  It is not christened geography without a reason; the vinegar
and water representing the green sea, and the pieces of biscuit floating
in it, the continents and islands which are washed by it.

Now, my lord, do not you thank me for my communication?

But we must return to the _conversazione_ of Doctor and Mrs Feasible.

The company arrived.  There was rap after rap.  The whole street was
astonished with the noise of the wheels and the rattling of the iron
steps of the hackney-coaches.  Doctor Feasible had procured some
portfolios of prints: some Indian idols from a shop in Wardour Street,
duly labelled and christened, and several other odds and ends, to create
matter of conversation.  The company consisted of several medical
gentlemen and their wives, the great Mr B---, and the facetious Mr
C---.  There were ten or twelve authors, or gentlemen suspected of
authorship, fourteen or fifteen chemists, all scientific of course, one
colonel, half-a-dozen captains, and, to crown all, a city knight and his
lady, besides their general acquaintance, unscientific and
unprofessional.  For a beginning this was very well; and the company
departed very hungry, but highly delighted with their evening's
entertainment.

"What can all that noise be about?" said Mrs Plausible to her husband,
who was sitting with her in the drawing-room, reading the Lancet, while
she knotted, or _did not_.

"I am sure I cannot tell, Mrs Plausible."

"There, again!  I'm sure if I have heard one, I have heard thirty raps
at a door within this quarter of an hour.  I'm determined I will know
what it is," continued Mrs Plausible, getting up and ringing the bell.

"Thomas, do you know what all that noise is about?" said Mrs Plausible,
when the servant answered the bell.

"No, ma'am, I doesn't."

"Well, then, go and see."

"Yes, ma'am."

The impatience of Mrs Plausible, during the absence of Thomas,
increased with the repetition of the knocks.

"Well, Thomas?" said she, as the footman entered.  "If you please,
ma'am, Mr Feasible has got a conwersation--that's all."

"Got a what?"

"A _conversazione_ he means, my dear.  It's very strange that Mr
Feasible should pretend to give such a thing!"

"I think so too," replied the lady.  "He keeps no carriage.  What can be
his inducement!"

"I perceive," replied Dr Plausible, "he wants to get practice.  Depend
upon it that's his plan.  A sprat to catch a mackerel!"

Husband and wife were again silent, and resumed their occupations; but
the Lancet was not read, and the knotting was all in knots, for they
were both in a brown study.  At last Mrs Plausible commenced--

"I really do not see, my dear, why we should not give a _conversazione_
as well as Dr Feasible?"

"I was just thinking that we could give them much better; our
acquaintance now is very numerous."

"And very respectable," replied the lady; "it will make us more known in
the world."

"And add to my practice.  I'll soon beat Doctor Feasible out of the
field!"

The result of this conversation was a _conversazione_, which certainly
was on a much better scale, and better attended than the one collected
by Doctor Feasible.  Doctor Plausible had pumped a mutual acquaintance
as to the merits of his rival, and had set to work with great diligence.

He ordered his carriage, and for two or three days previous to the one
fixed, went round to all his friends, who had curiosities, foreign,
indigenous, or continental, admired them, talked learnedly, expressed a
wish to exhibit them to several gentlemen of talent at his next
conversazione, pulled out a card for the party, and succeeded in
returning home with his carriage stuffed with curiosities and
monstrosities.

Negus and cherry-water were added to tea in the refreshment-room; and
the conversazione of Doctor Plausible was pronounced by those who had
been invited to both, infinitely superior to that of Doctor Feasible.  A
good-natured friend called upon Doctor and Mrs Feasible with the news.
They pretended indifference, as they bit their lips to conceal their
vexation.  As soon as he took his leave--

"Well, my dear," said Mrs Feasible, "what do you think of this?  Very
unhandsome on the part of Doctor Plausible!  I was told this morning
that several of our acquaintances have expressed a wish to be introduced
to him."

"We must not give up the point, my love.  Doctor Plausible may make a
splash once; but I suspect that his horses eat him out of house and
home, and interfere very much with the butcher's bills.  If so, we who
keep no carriage can afford it better.  But it's very annoying, as there
will be an increase of expense."

"Very annoying, indeed!" replied the lady.  "Look at his card, my dear,
it is nearly twice as large as ours.  I begged it of Mr Tomkins, on
purpose to compare it."

"Well then, my dear, we must order others, and mind that they measure an
inch more than his.  It shall cost him something before we have done,
I'm determined."

"You heard what Mr Smithson said?  They gave negus and cherry-water."

"We must do the same.  I've a great mind to give ices."

"Oh! my love, remember the expense."

"Very true; but we can ice our negus and cherry-water.  Rough ice is
only two-pence a pound, I believe."

"Well, that will be an improvement."

"And there shall be more, or I'll be in the Bench," replied the Doctor
in his wrath.

The next _conversazione_, for which cards were issued by Doctor
Feasible, was on a superior scale.  There was a considerable increase of
company.  He had persuaded a country baronet; secured the patronage of
two ladies of rank (with a slight blot on their escutcheons), and
collected, amongst others, a French count (or adventurer), a baron with
mustachios, two German students in their costumes and long hair, and an
actress of some reputation.  He had also procured the head of a New
Zealand chief; some red snow, or rather red water (for it was melted),
brought home by Captain Ross; a piece of granite from the Croker
mountains; a kitten in spirits, with two heads and twelve legs, and
half-a-dozen abortions of the feathered or creeping tribes.  Every thing
went off well.  The two last fees he had received were sacrificed to
have the party announced in the Morning Post, and Doctor Feasible's
triumph was complete.

But it was not to last long.  In ten days Dr Plausible's cards were
again issued, larger than Doctor Feasible's, and with a handsome
embossed border of lilies and roses.  Male attendants, tea and coffee,
ices and liqueurs were prepared; and Dr Feasible's heart failed him,
when he witnessed the ingress and egress of the pastrycooks, with their
boxes on their heads.  Among his company he had already mustered up five
celebrated blues; four ladies of quality, of better reputation than Dr
Feasible's; seven or eight baronets and knights; a bishop of Fernando
Po; three or four general officers; and a dozen French and German
visitors to the country, who had not only titles, but wore orders at
their button-holes.  Thus far had he advanced when he met Newton
Forster, and added him to the list of the invited.  In about two hours
afterwards Dr Plausible returned home to his wife, radiant with smiles.

"My dear, who _do_ you think has promised to come to-morrow night?"

"Who, my love?"

"Prince Fizzybelli!"

"You don't say so?" screamed the lady with her delight.

"Yes, most faithfully promised."

"What _will_ the Feasibles say?" cried the lady;--"but--is he a real
prince?"

"A real prince!  O yes, indeed is he! well known in Tartary."

"Well, Dr Plausible, I have good news for you.  Here is a note from Mr
H---, in answer to yours, in which he promises you the loan of the wax
figure from Germany, of a female in the first stage of par--partu--I
can't make out the word."

"Excellent! most excellent!" cried the doctor, rubbing his hands; "now
we _shall_ do."

Newton, who had some curiosity to see a _conversazione_, which to him
was a _terra incognita_, did not fail to go at the appointed hour.  He
was ushered up stairs into the drawing-room, at the door of which he was
received by Mrs Plausible, in blue and silver.  The rooms not being
very large, were extremely crowded, and Newton at one moment found
himself jammed against some curiosity, and at another treading on the
toes or heels of people who accepted his apologies, looking daggers; and
with a snarling, "don't mention it."

But a thundering knock at the door was followed by the announcement of
his Highness Prince Fizzybelli--Prince Fizzybelli at the door--Prince
Fizzybelli coming up--Prince Fizzybelli (enters).

Had it been permitted, Dr Plausible would have received his guest with
a flourish of trumpets, as great men are upon the stage, without which
it is impossible now-a-days to know a great man from a little one.
However, the hired attendants did their duty, and the name of Fizzybelli
was fizzed about the room in every direction.  Dr Plausible trod on the
corns of old Lady G---, upset Miss Periwinkle, and nearly knocked down a
French _savant_, in his struggle to obtain the door to receive his
honoured guest, who made a bow, looked at the crowd--looked at the
chandelier--looked at his watch, and looked very tired in the course of
five minutes, when Prince Fizzybelli ordered his carriage, and was off.

Newton, who had examined several very strange things, which occupied the
tables about the room, at last made his way to the ante-room, where the
crowd was much more dense than elsewhere.  Taking it for granted that
there was something interesting to be seen, he persevered until he had
forced his way to the centre, when what was his astonishment when he
beheld under a long glass-case a figure of a woman modelled in wax, of
exact and certainly of beautiful proportion!  It was as large as life,
and in a state of perfect nudity.  The face lifted up, and discovered
the muscles beneath: in fact, every part of the image could be removed,
and presented to the curious, every part of the human frame, modelled
exact, and coloured.  Newton was indeed astonished: he had witnessed
several articles in the other room, which he had considered more fitted
for the museum of an institution than a drawing-room; but this was
indeed a novelty; and when, to crown all, he witnessed certain little
_demireps_ of science, who fancied that not to be ashamed was now as
much a proof of knowledge, as in our first parents it was of innocence,
and who eyed the figure without turning away from it or blushing, he
quitted the room with disgust, and returned home quite satisfied with
one _conversazione_.

I am not partial to blues: generally speaking, ladies do not take up
science until they find that the men will not take up them; and a
remarkably clever woman by reputation is too often a remarkably
unpleasant, or a remarkably ugly one.  But there are exceptions;
exceptions that a nation may be proud of--women who can fulfil their
duties to their husbands and their children, to their God and to their
neighbour, although endowed with minds more powerful than allotted to
one man in tens of thousands.  These are heavenly blues; and, among the
few, no one shines more pre-eminent than my dear Mrs S---e.

However, whether Newton was satisfied or not, this _conversazione_ was a
finisher to Dr Feasible, who resigned the contest.  Dr Plausible not
only carried away the palm--but, what was still worse, he carried off
the "practice!"



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER EIGHT.

  Their only labour is to kill the time;
  And labour dire it is, and weary woe.
  They sit--they lounge--turn o'er some idle rhyme;
  Then rising sudden--to the glass they go,
  Or saunter forth with loitering step and slow.
  _Castle of Indolence_.

Captain Oughton who commanded the Windsor Castle was an original.  His
figure was short and thickset, his face broad, and deeply pitted with
the small-pox, his nose an apology for a nose, being a small tubercle
arising mid-way between his eyes and mouth, the former of which were
small, the latter wide, and displaying a magnificent row of white teeth.
On the whole, it was impossible to look in his face without being
immediately struck with his likeness to a bull-dog.  His temperament and
his pursuits were also analogous; he was a great pugilist, knew the
merits of every man in the ring, and the precise date and circumstances
attending every battle which had been fought for the previous thirty
years.  His conversation was at all times interlarded with the slang
terms appropriated to the science, to which he was so devoted.  In other
points he was a brave and trust-worthy officer, although he valued the
practical above the theoretical branches of his profession, and was
better pleased when superintending the mousing of a stay or the
strapping of a block, than when "flooring" the sun, as he termed it, to
ascertain the latitude, or "breaking his noddle against the old
woman's," in taking a lunar observation.  Newton had been strongly
recommended to him, and Captain Oughton extended his hand as to an old
acquaintance, when they met on the quarterdeck.  Before they had taken a
dozen turns up and down, Captain Oughton inquired if Newton could handle
the mauleys; and on being answered in the negative, volunteered his
instruction during their passage out.

"You heard the end of it, I suppose?" said Captain Oughton, in
continuance.

"The end of what, sir?"

"What! why, the fight.  Spring beat.  I've cleared three hundred by
him."

"Then, sir, I am very glad that Spring beat," replied Newton.

"I'll back him against a stone heavier any day in the week.  I've got
the newspaper in the cabin, with the fight--forty-seven rounds; but we
can't read it now; we must see after these soldiers and their traps.
Look at them," continued Captain Oughton, turning to a party of the
troops ordered for the passage, who were standing on the gangway and
booms; "every man Jack, with his tin pot in his hand, and his great-coat
on.  Twig the drum-boy, he has turned his coat--do you see, with the
lining outwards to keep it clean.  By Jove, that's a _wrinkle_!"

"How many officers do you expect, Captain Oughton."

"I hardly know, they make such alterations in their arrangements; five
or six, I believe.  The boat went on shore for them at nine o'clock.
They have sent her back, with their compliments, seven times already,
full of luggage.  There's one lieutenant, I forget his name, whose
chests alone would fill up the main-deck.  There's six under the
half-deck," said Captain Oughton, pointing to them.

"Lieutenant Winterbottom," observed Newton, reading the name.

"I wish to Heaven that he had remained the winter, or that his chests
were all to the bottom!  I don't know where the devil we are to stow
them.  O! here they come!  Boatswain's mate, 'tend the side there."

In a minute or thereabouts, the military gentlemen made their appearance
one by one on the quarter-deck, scrutinising their gloves as they bade
adieu to the side-ropes, to ascertain if they had in any degree been
defiled by the adhesive properties of the pitch and tar.

Captain Oughton advanced to receive them.  "Welcome, gentlemen," said
he, "welcome on board.  We trip our anchor in half an hour.  I am afraid
that I have not the pleasure of knowing your names, and must request the
honour of being introduced."

"Major Clavering, sir," said the major, a tall handsome man, gracefully
taking off his hat; "the officers who accompany are (waving his hand
towards them in succession) Lieutenant Winterbottom."

Lieutenant Winterbottom bowed.

"I've had the pleasure of reading Lieutenant Winterbottom's name several
times this forenoon," observed Captain Oughton, as he returned the
salute.

"You refer to my luggage, I'm afraid, Captain Oughton?"

"Why, if I must say it, I certainly think you have enough for a
general."

"I can only reply, that I wish my rank were equal to my luggage: but it
is a _general_ complaint every time I have the misfortune to embark.  I
trust, Captain Oughton, it will be the only one you will have to make of
me during the passage."

Major Clavering, who had waited during this dialogue, continued--

"Captain Majoribanks, whom I ought to apologise to for not having
introduced first."

"Not at all, major: you just heard the brevet rank which Winterbottom's
baggage has procured him."

"Not the first time a man has obtained rank through his `baggage,'"
observed one of the officers, _sotto voce_.

"Mr Ansell, Mr Petres, Mr Irving."

The necessary bows were exchanged, and Mr Williams, the first-mate,
desired to show the officers to their respective accommodations, when he
would be able to ascertain what part of their luggage was required, and
be enabled to strike the remainder down into the after-hold.

As the officers followed the first-mate down the companion-ladder,
Captain Oughton looked at Mr Ansell, and observed to Newton, "That
fellow would _peel_ well."

The Windsor Castle sailed, and in a few days was clear of the channel.
Newton, whose thoughts were of Isabel Revel, felt not that regret at
quitting the country, usually attached to those who leave all dear to
them behind.  He knew that it was by following up his profession alone
that he ever could have a chance of obtaining her; and this
recollection, with the hopes of again beholding the object of his
affections, lightened his heart to joy, as the ship scudded across the
Bay of Biscay, before a North East gale.  That he had little chance at
present of possessing her, he knew; but hope leads us on, and no one
more than the youth who is in love.

The table of Captain Oughton was liberally supplied, and the officers
embarked proved (as they almost invariably do) to be pleasant
gentlemanlike companions.  The boxing-gloves were soon produced by
Captain Oughton, who soon ascertained that in the officer who "would
_peel_ so well," he had found his match.  The mornings were passed away
in sparring, fencing, reading, walking the deck, or lolling on the
hen-coops upon the poop.  The announcement of the dinner-hour was a
signal for rejoicing; and they remained late at the table, doing ample
justice to the captain's excellent claret.  The evening was finished
with cards, cigars, and brandy _pawnee_.  Thus passed the time away for
the first three weeks of the passage, during which period all parties
had become upon intimate terms.

But the voyage is in itself most tedious, and more tedious to those who
not only have no duty to perform, but have few resources.  As soon as
the younger officers thought they might take a liberty, they examined
the hen-coops, and selecting the most promising looking cocks, trimmed
them for fighting; chose between themselves as their own property those
which they most approved of, and for some days fed and sparred them to
get them into wind, and ascertain the proper way in which they should be
spurred.  In the mean time, two pair of spurs were by their directions
clandestinely made by the armourer of the ship, and when ready, they
took advantage of the time when Captain Oughton was every day employed
with the ship's reckoning, and the poulterer was at his dinner (viz,
from twelve to one), to fight a main.  The cocks which were killed in
these combats were returned to the hen-coops, and supposed by the
poulterer, who very often had a glass of grog, to have quarrelled within
the bars.

"Steward," said Captain Oughton, "why the devil do you give us so many
fowls for dinner? the stock will never last out the voyage: two roast
fowls, two boiled fowls, curried fowl, and chicken pie!  What can you be
thinking of?"

"I spoke to the poulterer on the subject, sir: he constantly brings me
down fowls, and he tells me that they kill each other fighting."

"Fighting! never heard of fowls fighting in a coop before.  They must be
all game fowls."

"That they are, most of them," said Mr Petres; "I have often seen them
fighting when I have been on the poop."

"So have I," continued Ansell?  "I have seen worse cocks in the pit."

"Well it's very odd; I never lost a cock this way in all my voyages.
Send the poulterer here; I must inquire about it."

"Yes, sir," replied the steward; and he quitted the cabin.

With the exception of the major, who knew nothing of the circumstances,
the officers thought it advisable to de-camp, that they might not be
present when the _denouement_ took place.  The poulterer made his
appearance, was interrogated, and obliged in his own defence to
criminate the parties, corroborating his assertions by producing a pair
of spurs found upon a cock, which had been killed, and thrown behind the
coop in a hurry at the appearance of Captain Oughton on deck.

"I am sorry that my officers should have taken such a liberty," observed
the major, gravely.

"O never mind, major, only allow me to be even with them; I shouldn't
have minded if I had seen the fighting.  I think you said that you would
like to exercise your men a little this afternoon?"

"I did; that is, if not inconvenient."

"Not in the least, major; the quarter-deck is at your service.  I
presume you do not superintend yourself?"

"Yes, I generally do."

"Well, don't this time, but let all the officers; and then I shall be
able to play them a little trick that will make us all square."

Major Clavering consented.  The officers were ordered up to drill their
men.  Captain Majoribanks and Mr Irving had one party at the platoon
exercise.

"Third man, your hand a little higher on the barrel of your musket.  As
you were; support--the word support is only a caution--arms,--too--too."

"Two and two make four," observed one of the seamen.

Lieutenant Winterbottom had another party on the lee-side of the
quarter-deck.  "Ram down--cartridge.--Number 12, slope your musket a
little more--_too--too_--only two taps at the bottom of the barrel.
Return--ramrods.  Number 4, why don't you draw up the heel of your right
leg level with the other?  Recollect now, when you shoulder arms, to
throw your muskets up smartly.--Shoulder--as you were--the word shoulder
is only a caution; shoulder--arms.  Dress up a little Number 8, and
don't stick your stomach out in that way."

Mr Ansell and Mr Petres had two fatigue parties on the poop, without
muskets.  "To the right--face--to the right face.  To the right--face--
to the right--face."

"It's a dead calm with them soldiers--head round the compass," said one
of the seamen to another.

"To the left--face--quick march, to the left--turn--to the right--turn--
close files--mark time--right--left--right--left--forward."

"Them ere chaps legs all going together put one in mind of a centipee--
don't they, Tom?"

"Yes, but they don't get on quite so fast.  Holloh, what pipe's
that?--`All hands, air bedding.'"

The ship was hauled close to the wind, which was light.  At the pipe,
the sailors below ran up the hatchway, and those on deck threw down
their work.  In a minute every hammock was out of the netting, and every
seaman busy at unlashing.

"Now, major, we had better go into the cabin," said Captain Oughton,
laughing.  "I shall, I can assure you."

Beds and blankets which are not aired or shook more than once a month,
are apt to be very full of what is termed _fluff_ and blanket _hairs_,
and they have a close smell, by no means agreeable.  The sailors, who
had an idea that the order had been given inconsiderately, were quite
delighted, and commenced shaking their blankets on the forecastle and
weather gangway, raising a cloud, which the wind carried aft upon the
parties exercising upon the quarterdeck.

"What the devil is all this?" cried Captain Majoribanks, looking forward
with dismay.  "Order--arms."

Lieutenant Winterbottom and half of his party were now seized with a fit
of coughing.  "Confound it!--shut--pans--handle--upon my soul I'm
choked."

"This is most excessively disagreeable," observed Mr Petres; "I made up
my mind to be _tarred_ when I came on board, but I had no idea that we
should be _feathered_."

"Support--damn it, there's no supporting this!" cried Captain
Majoribanks.  "Where's Major Clavering?  I'll ask to dismiss the men."

"They are dismissing a great many little men, forward, I suspect," said
the first-mate, laughing.  "I cannot imagine what induced Captain
Oughton to give the order: we never shake bedding except when the ship's
before the wind."

This last very consoling remark made it worse than all; the officers
were in an agony.  There was not one of them who would not have stood
the chance of a volley from a French regiment rather than what they
considered that they were exposed to.  But without Major Clavering's
permission they could not dismiss their men.  Captain Majoribanks
hastened to the cabin, to explain their very un-pleasant situation, and
received the major's permission to defer the exercise.

"Well, gentlemen," said Captain Oughton, "what is the matter?"

"The matter!" replied Ansell.  "Why, my flesh creeps all over me.  Of
all the thoughtless acts, Captain Oughton, it really beats--"

"Cock-fighting," interrupted the captain, with a loud laugh.  "Now we
are quits."

The officers hastened below to wash and change their dress after this
very annoying retaliation on the part of Captain Oughton.  When they
felt themselves again clean and comfortable, their good-humour returned,
although they voted their captain not to be very refined in his ideas,
and agreed with him that his practical joke beat "cock-fighting."

I believe there are no classes of people who embark with more regret, or
quit a ship with more pleasure, than military men.  Nor is it to be
wondered at, if we consider the antithesis which is presented to their
usual mode of life.  Few military men are studious, or inclined to
reading, which is almost the only resource which is to be found against
the tedium of long confinement and daily monotony.  I do not say this
reproachfully, as I consider it arises from the peculiarity of their
profession, and must be considered to be more their misfortune than
their fault.  They enter upon a military life just after they have left
school, the very period at which, from previous and forced application,
they have been surfeited with books _usque ad nauseam_.  The parade,
dress, the attention paid to them, which demands civilities in return;
society, and the preference shown by the fair sex; their happy and
well-conducted mess; the collecting together of so many young men, with
all their varied plans of amusement, into which the others are easily
persuaded to enter, with just sufficient duty on guard, or otherwise,
not to make the duty irksome; all delight too much at first, and,
eventually from habit, too much occupy their minds, to afford time for
study.

In making this observation, I must be considered to speak generally.
There are many studious, many well-stored minds, many men of brilliant
talents, who have improved the gift of nature by constant study and
reflection, and whose conduct must be considered as the more
meritorious, from having resisted or overcome the strong temptation to
do otherwise, which is offered by their profession.

"I wish," said Irving, who was stretched out his full length on one of
the coops abaft, with the front of his cap drawn over his eyes--"I wish
this cursed voyage was at an end.  Every day the same thing; no
variety--no amusement--curry for breakfast--brandy pawnee as a finish.
I really begin to detest the sight of a cigar or a pack of cards."

"Very true," replied Ansell, who was stretched upon an adjacent coop in
all the listlessness of idleness personified--"very true, Irving; I
begin to think it worse than being quartered in a country town inhabited
by nobodies, where one has nothing to do but to loll and spit over the
bridge all day, till the bugle sounds for dinner."

"Oh! that was infinitely better; at least, you could walk away when you
were tired, or exchange a word or two with a girl as she passed over it,
on her way to market."

"Why don't you take a book, Irving?" observed the major, laying down the
one with which he had been occupied to join the conversation.

"A book, major?  Oh, I've read until I am tired."

"What have you read since you embarked?" inquired his senior.

"Let me see--Ansell, what have I read?"

"Read!--nothing at all--you know that."

"Well, perhaps so; we have no mess-newspapers here: the fact is, major,
I am not very partial to reading--I am not in the habit of it.  When on
shore I have too much to do; but I mean to read by-and-bye."

"And pray, when may that by-and-bye be supposed to arrive?"

"Oh! some day when I'm wounded or taken prisoner, and cannot do any
thing else; then I shall read a good deal.  Here's Captain Oughton--
Captain Oughton, do you read much?"

"Yes, Mr Irving, I read a great deal."

"Pray, may I take the liberty to ask you what you read?"

"What I read!  Why, I read Horsburgh's Directory:--and I read--I read
all the fights."

"I think," observed Ansell, "that if a man gets through the newspaper
and the novels of the day, he does a great deal."

"He reads a great deal, I grant you," replied the major; "but of what
value is that description of reading?"

"There, major," replied Ansell, "we are at issue.  I consider a
knowledge of the passing events of the day, and a recollection of the
facts which have occurred during the last twenty years, to be more
valuable than all the ancient records in existence.  Who talks of Caesar
or Xenophon now-a-days, except some Cambridge or Oxford prig? and of
what value is that knowledge in society?  The escape of a modern
pickpocket will afford more matter of conversation than the famous
retreat of the ten thousand."

"To be sure," replied Captain Oughton; "and a fair stand-up fight
between Humphreys and Mendoza create more interest than the famous
battles of ---, I'm sure I forget."

"Of Marathon and Thermopylae; they will do," added Ansell.

"I grant," replied the major, "that it is not only un-necessary, but
conceited in those who would show their reading; but this does not
disprove the advantages which are obtained.  The mind well fed becomes
enlarged: and if I may use a simile, in the same way as your horse
proves his good condition by his appearance, without ascertaining the
precise quantity of oats which has been given him; so the mind shows by
its general vigour and power of demonstration, that it has been well
supplied with `hard food.'"

"Very _hard food_ indeed," replied Captain Oughton; "nuts that I never
could crack when I was at school, and don't mean to break my teeth with
now.  I agree with Mr Ansell, `that sufficient for the day is the
knowledge thereof.'"

"Well as the tree of knowledge was the tree of evil, perhaps that is the
correct reading," replied Ansell, laughing; "Captain Oughton, you are a
very sensible man; I hope we shall see you often at our mess, when we're
again on shore."

"You may say so now," replied Captain Oughton, bluntly, "and so have
many more said the same thing to me; but you soldiers have cursed short
memories in that way after you have landed."

"I trust, Captain Oughton," replied Major Clavering, "that you will not
have to make that accusation general."

"Oh! never mind, major, I never am affronted; the offer is made in
kindness, and at the time sincere; but when people get on shore, and are
so occupied with their own amusements, it is not to be wondered if they
are thoughtless and forget.  At one time, it did annoy me, I confess;
for when I say I should be happy to see a man, I mean it; and if I did
not mean it, I never would ask him.  I thought that other people did the
same; but I have lived long enough to discover that a `general
invitation,' means, `don't come at all.'"

"Then I most certainly shall not say one word on the subject at
present," replied the major.  "How many bells was that?"

"Six; dinner will be on the table in a few minutes."

"Then, gentlemen, we had better go down and prepare.  Why, Mr Irving,
you have not shaved this morning."

"No, major, I mean to do it after dinner."

"I should rather think that you intended to say before," replied Major
Clavering.

This gentlemanlike hint was taken by the young ensign, who was aware
that Major Clavering, although invariably polite even in reproof, was
not a commanding officer to be trifled with; and Mr Irving made his
appearance at the dinner table with his "chin new reaped," and smooth as
if appertaining to one of the fairer sex.



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER NINE.

  Come o'er the sea,
  Maiden, with me,
  Mine through sunshine, storm and snows;
  Seasons may roll,
  But the true soul
  Burns the same where'er it goes.
  Let fate frown on, so we love and part not,
  'Tis life where thou art, 'tis death where thou'rt not.
  MOORE.

The voyage was at last accomplished without adventure or interest, the
Windsor Castle not having fallen in with more than two or three vessels
during her passage.  Happy were the military officers to hear the order
given for the anchor to be let go upon their arrival in Madras Roads;
more happy were they to find themselves again on shore; and most happy
were Captain Oughton and his officers to witness the debarkation of the
troops, who had so long crowded their decks and impeded their motions.
Parting was indeed sweet sorrow, as it always will be when there is
short allowance of room and still shorter allowance of water.

Newton Forster was in a state of anxiety during the quarter of an hour
in which he was obliged to attend to his duty, furling the sails and
squaring the yards; and the time appeared most insupportably long, until
he could venture aft to make some inquiries from the dubashes, who were
crowding alongside, as to the fate of Isabel Revel.  Time and absence
had but matured his passion, and it was seldom that Isabel was away from
his thoughts.  He had a faint idea formed by hope that she was partial
to him; but this was almost smothered by the fears which opposed it,
when he reflected upon what might be produced by absence, importunity,
and her independent spirit, which might, if not well treated by her
relation, reconcile her to a marriage, which, although not in every way
eligible, secured her a prospect of contentment and of peace.

At last the yards were squared to the satisfaction of the boatswain, the
ropes were hauled taut, and coiled down, and the men sent below to their
dinners.  Newton walked aft, and the first person he met was the dubash
who had attended the Bombay Castle.  The cheeks of Newton flushed, and
his heart throbbed quick, and his lips quivered, as he asked
intelligence of the colonel and his family.

"Colonel Saib quite well, sir.  Two ladies marry officer."

"Which two?" demanded Newton, eagerly.

"Not know how call Bibi Saib's names.  But one not marry--she very
handsome--more handsome than all."

The heart of Newton bounded at this intelligence, as he knew that it
must be Isabel who was still a spinster.  This was shortly after
corroborated by an English gentleman who came on board.  Their stay at
Madras was intended to be short, and Newton resolved to ask immediate
leave on shore.  Apologising to Captain Oughton for making such an
unusual request, which he was induced to do from intelligence he had
just received relative to his friends, he expressed his anxious wish.
Captain Oughton, who had reason to be highly satisfied with Newton, gave
his consent in the kindest manner; "and, Forster, if you wish to remain,
you have my permission.  We will manage without you: only recollect, we
sail on Thursday night."  Newton was soon ready, and quitted the ship
with Major Clavering; to whose credit it ought here to be observed, that
a _daily_ note was despatched to Captain Oughton, requesting the
pleasure of his company at the mess, until he was satisfied that, in
this instance, the general invitation was sincere.

As soon as he was clear of the surf, and out of the masulah boat, Newton
hired a conveyance, and drove out to the bungalo of the old colonel.  He
trembled as he announced his name to the butler, who ushered him half
way to the receiving room; and, like most of the natives, finding some
difficulty in pronouncing English, contented himself with calling out
"burrah saib," and then walked off.  Newton found himself in the
presence of the old veteran and Isabel.  The latter had been reading a
new publication, which she laid down at the voice of the butler
announcing a visitor.  But "burrah saib" may be any body; it implies a
gentleman.  What then was the surprise of Isabel, who had no intimation
of his arrival, when Newton Forster made his appearance?  Her
exclamation of delight, as she ran to him and extended her hand, made
Newton Forster but too happy; and, as for a few seconds he held the hand
not withdrawn, and looked in her beaming eyes, he quite forgot the
presence of the colonel.  A glance from the eye of Isabel in the
direction where the old gentleman was seated, brought Newton to his
recollection.  He walked up to the colonel, who shook hands, and
declared that he was most glad to see him.

"You take up your quarters here, of course, Mr Forster?"

"I shall have great pleasure in availing myself of your kind offer for a
day or two," replied Newton.  "I trust that you have been in good health
since we parted."

"Not very; that is, latterly.  I am thinking of a change of climate.  I
intend to go home in October.  I suppose you have been informed that the
two young women have married?"

"I was told so by some one who came on board."

"Yes.  Isabel, my dear, order a chamber for Mr Forster."  Isabel left
the room.  "Yes, both married--thought of nothing else--regularly came
out on spec.  In less than a month they knew the exact rank of every
gentleman in the presidency; ascertained their prospects, and the value
of their appointments; turned the rupees into pounds sterling; broke off
a conversation with an ensign at the sight of a lieutenant; cut the
lieutenant for a captain; were all smiles for a major; and actually made
love themselves to any body who was above that rank, and a bachelor.
They made their decision at last; indeed pretty quick.  They were only
four months on my hands.  Both up the country now."

"I trust they have married well, sir?"

"That depends upon circumstances.  They have married young men not used
to the climate.  May be widows in half a year.  If their husbands
weather it, of course they will come in for their share of the good
things; but I'll warrant they will never be able to leave the country."

"Not leave the country, sir!  May I ask why?"

"Because they have married foolish, extravagant wives, who will run them
in debt; and when once in debt, it is no easy matter in this country to
get out of it.  They must insure their lives for the money which they
borrow; and as the house of agency will be gainers by their demise, of
course they will not be permitted to leave the country and their chance
of the _cholera morbus_.  Don't you think that my niece looks remarkably
well?"

"I do; the climate does not appear to have affected her."

"Rather improved her," replied the colonel; "she is not so thin as when
she came on shore.  God bless her!  I'm sure, Mr Forster, I am under
great obligations to you for having persuaded me to go for the dear girl
when she arrived.  She has been a treasure to me!  If she has had one,
she has had twenty offers since you left; many unexceptionable; but she
has refused them all.  In some instances I have persuaded her--I thought
it was my duty.  But no; she has but one answer, and that is a decided
one.  She will not leave me.  She has watched and attended me in my
sickness as my own daughter.  I say again, God bless her!"

It was with delight that Newton heard these encomiums upon Isabel, and,
her resolution not to marry.  Whether it was wholly on account of not
wishing to leave the colonel or not, still every delay gave him more
chance of ultimate success.  Isabel, who had stayed away that the
colonel might have time to make any communications to Newton, now
returned, and the conversation became general.  Newton entered into a
narrative of what had occurred during his passage home, and amused them
with his anecdotes and conversation.

In about an hour the colonel rose from his chair that he might prepare
for dinner; and then it was that Newton perceived the great change which
had taken place.  He was no longer upright but bowed down; his step was
no longer firm, it was almost tottering; and, as he left the room,
Newton's eyes met those of Isabel.

"You think him ill?" said Isabel, inquiringly.

"Yes, I do, Miss Revel.  He is very much changed; his stamina appears to
have been exhausted by the climate.  I trust he will go home, as he
proposes."

"He has been ill--very ill indeed.  He talks constantly of going home;
he has done so for months; but when the time comes he puts it off.  I
wish you would persuade him."

"I will do all I can; but if you cannot prevail, I'm afraid that my
persuasion will be of little use."

"Indeed, I think otherwise; you have power over him, Mr Forster.  I
have not forgot how kindly you exercised it in my behalf.  We--that is,"
continued Isabel, colouring up, "the colonel has often talked of you
since you quitted us."

"I feel highly flattered by his remembrance," replied Newton; "but you
are in mourning, Miss Revel.  If not a liberty from one who feels an
interest in all concerning you, may I inquire for whom?"

"It is for my father," replied Isabel, with emotion, sitting down and
passing her hand across her eyes.

"I never heard of his death, and must apologise for having been so
indiscreet as to renew your sorrow.  How long is it since? and what was
his complaint?"

"He had no complaint--would to God that he had had!  He was shot in a
duel," replied Isabel, as the tears coursed down her cheeks.  "Oh!  Mr
Forster, I trust I am resigned to the dispensations of Providence, but--
that he should be summoned away at the moment when he was seeking the
life of his fellow-creature, with all the worst passions in excitement--
unprepared--for he was killed on the spot.  These reflections will make
his death a source of bitter regret, which can terminate but with
existence."

"Your mother is still alive?" inquired Newton, to change the painful
subject.

"Yes, but very ill; the last accounts were very distressing; they say
that her complaint is incurable."

Newton regretted having brought up so painful a subject.  A few words of
condolence and sympathy were offered, and they separated to prepare for
dinner.

Newton remained four days under the roof of the colonel, during which
time he was constantly in the society of Isabel; and when the period of
his departure arrived, he had just grounds to imagine that were all
obstacles in other points removed, Isabel Revel would not, on her part,
have raised any against the accomplishment of his wishes; but their
mutual dependent situations chased away all ideas of the kind for the
present, and although they parted with unconcealed emotion, not a word
which could be construed into a declaration of attachment was permitted
to escape his lips.

The Windsor Castle sailed for Calcutta, and in a few days anchored at
Kedgeree to wait for a pilot to come down the river.  During their short
stay at this anchorage, Mr Williams, the first-mate, who was an old
Indian voyager, went on shore every evening to follow up his darling
amusement of shooting jackals, a description of game by no means scarce
in that quarter of the world.  Often remonstrated with for his
imprudence in exposing himself to the heavy night-dew he would listen to
no advice.  "It was very true," he acknowledged, "that his brother had
died of a jungle fever in pursuing the same amusement, and what was
more, the fowling-piece in his hand belonged to his brother, who had
bequeathed it to him; but as he had never heard of two brothers dying
from a jungle fever taken by shooting jackals, he considered that the
odds were strongly in his favour."  This argument, however specious, did
not prove good.  The third morning he returned on board, complaining of
a head-ache and shivering.  He was bled and put into his bed, which he
never left again.

Before the Windsor Castle was ready to sail, the remains of Mr Williams
were consigned to the burying-ground at Diamond Harbour, and Newton
Forster was promoted to the rank of first-mate of the Windsor Castle.
This, as will hereafter be proved, was a most fortunate occurrence to
Newton Forster.  The Windsor Castle sailed with leave to call at Madras
for letters or passengers, and in a few days was again at anchor in the
roadstead.  The first intelligence which they received upon their
arrival was, that the cholera morbus had been very fatal, and that among
others, the old colonel had fallen a victim to the disease.  Newton
again obtained permission to go on shore to Isabel.  He found her in
distress at the house of a Mrs Enderby, a lady who had lost her husband
by the same ravaging epidemic, and who had long been the intimate friend
of the colonel and of Isabel.  Mrs Enderby was about to return to
England by the first vessel, and had advised Isabel to take so
favourable an opportunity of a chaperone.  Isabel, who had many reasons
for wishing to leave the country, particularly the declining state of
her mother's health, had consented; and it was with great pleasure that
she received from Newton the information of the best cabins of the
Windsor Castle not having been hitherto engaged.

The colonel's will had been opened.  He had bequeathed his property, the
whole of which, with the exception of his establishment in India, was
invested in the English funds, to his grand-niece Isabel Revel.  It
amounted to nearly seventy thousand pounds.  It would be difficult to
say whether Newton Forster felt glad or sorry at this intelligence.  For
Isabel's sake, he undoubtedly was glad, but he could not but feel that
it increased the distance between them, and on that account, and on that
alone, his reflections were painful.  "Had it," thought he, "been five
thousand, or even ten thousand pounds, it would have been different.  In
the course of a few years I might have been able to produce an
equivalent to it, and--but this fortune has raised her above my hopes;
even if she had a prepossession in my favour, it would be dishonest to
take advantage of it."

Isabel Revel had very different feelings on the subject;--she was her
own mistress, and her manner to Newton was more cordial, more
confidential than before.  She had not forgotten that Newton had shown
the same regard and partiality for her when she was going out to India;
and afterwards, when in distress, he had been her friend and admirer
when in adversity.  She knew his feelings towards her, and she had
appreciated his delicacy and forbearance.  Lately she had seriously
analysed her own, and her analysis was wound up by a mental
acknowledgment, that her wealth would be valueless, if she could not
share it with Newton Forster.

At the request of Mrs Enderby, the poop cabins were engaged for Isabel
and herself.  Their time for preparation was short; but one day more
having been obtained from Captain Oughton, through the influence of
Newton, Mrs Enderby and Isabel embarked, and the Windsor Castle spread
her canvas, sailing away from pestilence and death.

Newton Forster--by Captain Marryat



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER TEN.

  "Britannia needs no bulwark,
  No towers along the steep,
  Her march is o'er the mountain waves,
  Her home is on the deep."
  CAMPBELL.

The _Windsor Castle_ ploughed through the vast ocean of waters before a
propitious gale, laden with treasure, in the safe arrival of which so
many were interested.  But what were all the valuables stowed away in
her frame, in the opinion of Newton Forster, in comparison with the
lovely being who had intrusted them with her safe conduct to her native
country!  The extreme precautions adopted or suggested by Newton for
security during the night--his nervous anxiety during the day--became a
source of laughter and ridicule to Captain Oughton; who once observed to
him,--"Newton, my boy, I see how the land lies, but depend upon it the
old ship won't tumble overboard a bit sooner than before; so one reef in
the top-sails will be quite sufficient."

Indeed, although they "never mentioned it," it was impossible for either
of them to disguise their feelings.  Their very attempts at concealment
only rendered them more palpable to everyone on board.  Captain Oughton,
who was very partial to Newton, rejoiced in his good fortune.  He had no
objection to young people falling or being in love on board of his ship,
although he would not have sanctioned or permitted a marriage to take
place during the period that a young lady was under his protection.
Once landed on Deal beach, as he observed, they might "buckle to" as
soon as they pleased.

The _Windsor Castle_ was within two hundred miles of the Mauritius, when
a strange vessel was discovered on the weather beam, bearing down to
them with all the canvas she could spread.  Her appearance was warlike;
but what her force might be, it was impossible to ascertain at the
distance she was off, and the position which she then offered, being
then nearly "end on."

"Can you make out her hull, Mr Forster?" cried Captain Oughton, hailing
Newton, who was at the mast-head with a glass.

"No, sir; her fore-yard is but now clear of the water, but she rises
very fast."

"What do you think of her spars, Forster?" said Captain Oughton to
Newton, who had just descended to the last rattling of the main-rigging.

"She is very taut, sir, and her canvas appears to be foreign."

"I'll bet you what you please it's that damned fellow Surcoeuf.  This is
just his cruising-ground, if the report of that neutral vessel was
correct."

"Another hour will decide the point, sir," replied Newton; "but I must
say I think your surmise likely to prove correct.  We may as well be
ready for him: a cruiser she certainly is."

"The sooner the better, Mr Forster.  He's but a `rum customer,' and `a
hard hitter' by all accounts.  Clear up the decks, and beat to
quarters."

The strange vessel came down with such rapidity that, by the time the
captain's orders were obeyed, she was not more than two miles distant.

"There's `in studding-sails,'--and in devilish good style too!" observed
Captain Oughton.  "Now we shall see what he's made of."

The vessel rounded to the wind as soon as she had reduced her sails, on
the same tack as the _Windsor Castle_, displaying her broadside, as the
French would say, _herisee des canons_.

"A corvette, sir," said Newton, reconnoitring through his glass;
"two-and-twenty guns besides her bridle ports.  She is French rigged;--
the rake of her stern is French;--in fact, she is French all over."

"All Lombard Street to a China orange, 'tis Surcoeuf," replied Captain
Oughton, who, with the rest of his officers, had his glass upon the
vessel.  "There goes the tricoloured flag to prove I've won my bet.
Answer the challenge.  Toss my hat up.--Pshaw!  I mean hoist the colours
there abaft.  Mr Thomas," continued Captain Oughton, addressing the
boatswain, "send the ship's company aft.--Forster, you had better see
the ladies down below."

At the summons of the boatswain, the men came aft, and stood in a body
on the leeside of the quarterdeck, with their hats off, and impatience
in their looks.

"Now, my lads," said Captain Oughton, "if I am not mistaken, that vessel
is commanded by the very best seaman that ever left a French port, and
to do him justice, he's a damnation fine fellow!--a severe punisher, and
can take a mauling as well as give one."

"Yes, sir, so can we," replied several of the men together.

"I know you can, my lads; and give and take is fair play.  All I say is,
let it be a fair stand up fight, and `may the best man win.'  So now, my
lads, if you're ready to come to the scratch, why, the sooner we peel
the better--that's all."

"Hurrah!" cried the seamen, as they separated to their quarters; and, in
compliance with the injunctions of the captain, threw off their jackets,
and many of them their shirts, to prepare for the conflict.

The corvette, after she had rounded to, and exchanged colours, reduced
her sails to precisely the same canvas as that carried by the _Windsor
Castle_.  This was to try her rate of sailing.  In a quarter of an hour,
her superiority was manifest.  She then hauled up her courses, and
dropped to her former position on the _Windsor Castle's_ weather-beam.

"The fellow has the heels of us, at all events," observed Captain
Oughton; "but, Forster, the ladies are not yet below.  Mrs Enderby, I
am sorry to be obliged to put you in confinement for a short time.  Miss
Revel, you must do me the favour to accept of Mr Forster's convoy below
the water-line."

Newton offered his arm to Isabel, and followed Captain Oughton, who
escorted Mrs Enderby.  His heart was swelling with such variety of
feeling that he could not at first trust himself to speak.  When they
had descended the ladder, and were picking their way, stepping over the
rammers, sponges, and tackles, stretched across the main-deck, Newton
observed--"This is not the first time I have been commissioned to place
you in security.  I trust I shall again have the pleasure of relieving
you from your bondage."

Isabel's lips quivered as she replied, "I trust in God that you may, Mr
Forster!--but--I feel more anxious now than I did on the former
occasion.  I--"

"I have a foreboding," interrupted Newton, "that this day's work is to
make or mar me!  Why, I cannot tell, but I feel more confident than the
chances would warrant; but farewell, Isabel--God bless you!"--and
Newton, pressing her hand, sprang up the ladder to his station on the
quarter-deck.

I have before observed that a man's courage much depends upon his
worldly means or prospects.  A man who has much to lose, whatever the
property may consist of, will be less inclined to fight than another
whose whole capital consists of a "light heart and a thin pair of
breeches."  Upon the same reasoning, a man in love will not be inclined
to fight as another.  Death then cuts off the sweetest prospects in
existence.  Lord St. Vincent used to say that a married man was damned
for the service.  Now (bating the honeymoon), I do not agree with his
lordship.  A man in love may be inclined to play the Mark Antony; but a
married man, "come what will, he has been blessed."  Once fairly into
action, it then is of little consequence whether a man is a bachelor, or
married, or in love; the all-absorbing occupation of killing your
fellow-creatures makes you for the time forget whether you are a beggar
or a prince.

When Newton returned on deck, he found that the corvette had gradually
edged down until nearly within point-blank range.

"Shall we lay the main-topsail to the mast?" observed Newton.  "We shall
see his manoeuvres."

"Why, he hardly would be fool enough to bear down to us," replied
Captain Oughton; "he is a determined fellow, I know; but I believe not a
rash one.  However, we can but try.  Square the main-yard."

As soon as the _Windsor Castle_ was hove-to, the courses of the enemy
were seen to flutter a few moments in the breeze, and then the canvas
was expanded.  When the vessel had gathered sufficient way, she hove in
stays, and crossed the _Windsor Castle_ on the opposite tack.

"I thought so," observed Captain Oughton.  "The fellow knows what he is
about.  He'll not `put his head in chancery,' that's clear.  How
cautious the rascal is!  It's very like the first round of a fight--much
manoeuvring and wary sparring before they begin to make play."

The corvette stood on the opposite tack until well abaft the beam.  She
then wore round, and ranged up on the weather quarter of the Indiaman.
When within two cables' length of the _Windsor Castle_, who had, a
little before, filled her main-topsail to be in command, the Frenchman
hauled up his foresail, and discovered his lower rigging manned by the
ship's company, who gave a loud but hasty cheer, and then disappeared.

One cock crowing is a challenge, sure to be answered, if the antagonist
is game.  The English seamen sprang up to return the compliment, when
Captain Oughton roared out, "To your guns, you fools!  Hard down with
the helm--fly the jib-sheet--check headbraces--look out now, my lads."

The corvette had already put her helm up and paid off to pass under the
stern of the _Windsor Castle_, with the intention, of raking her.  The
promptitude of Captain Oughton foiled the manoeuvre of the Frenchman;
which would have been more fatal had the English seamen been in the
rigging to have been swept off by his grape-shot.  As the _Windsor
Castle_ was thrown upon the wind, an exchange of broadsides took place,
which, according to the usual custom of all well regulated broadsides in
close conflict, cut away a certain proportion of the spars and rigging,
and cut up a proportion of the ships' companies.  The _Windsor castle_,
worked by Newton, bracing round on the other tack, and the corvette
rounding to on the same, the two vessels separated for a few minutes.

"Devilish well stopped, Newton, wasn't it?" said Captain Oughton,
showing his white teeth.  "Look out again--here she comes."

The corvette again attempted to rake as she ranged up after tacking, by
throwing herself up in the wind; but Captain Oughton, watching the
slightest variation of his adversary's career, gradually edging away,
and then putting his helm up, manoeuvred that the broadsides should
again be exchanged.  This second exchange was more effectual than the
first.

"A stomacher, and both down!" cried Captain Oughton, as he surveyed the
deck.  "Be quick, Newton, hand the men below.  Don't bring her to the
wind yet, he has lost his way by luffing up, and cannot make play again
for a few minutes."

After the second broadside, the vessels were much further apart, from
the _Windsor Castle_ running off the wind, while the corvette was too
much crippled to work with her usual rapidity.  This was convenient to
both parties, as the last broadside had been very mischievous.  The
Frenchman, low in the water, had suffered less in her hull and ship's
company, but more in her spars and rigging.  The foremast was nearly cut
in half by the carronade shot of her antagonist; her mainyard was badly
wounded, and her wheel knocked to atoms, which obliged them to steer on
the lower deck.  The _Windsor Castle_ had received five shots in her
hull, three men killed, and six wounded; three of her main shrouds cut
in two, and her mizzenmast badly wounded.

It was a quarter of an hour before the Frenchman returned to the attack.
Captain Oughton had again hauled his wind, as if not wishing to decline
the combat; which, indeed, the superior sailing of his antagonist
prevented.  The corvette appeared to have given up manoeuvring; whether
from the crippled state of her spars and sails, or from perceiving that
he had hitherto gained nothing by his attempts.  He now ranged up to
within two cables' lengths of the _Windsor Castle_, and recommenced the
action, broadside to broadside.

The breeze was lulled by the concussion of the air; and both vessels
continued in the same position, and at the same distance for upwards of
an hour, pouring in their broadsides, every shot of which was effectual.

"Now, this is what I call a reg'lar set-to.  Fire away, my lads," cried
Captain Oughton, rubbing his hands.  "A proper rally this.  Damn it, but
he's game!"

The wounded mizzen-mast of the _Windsor Castle_ received another shot in
the heart of it, which threw it over the side.  Every part of her hull
proved the severe and well directed fire of the enemy; her sails were as
ragged as Jeremy Didler's pocket-handkerchief; her remaining masts
pitted with shot; the bulwarks torn away in several places; the boats on
the booms in shivers; rigging cut away fore and aft, and the ends
swinging to and fro with the motion of the vessel; her decks in
confusion; and some of her guns, from necessity, deserted.  Captain
Oughton, Newton, and the rest of the officers, continued to encourage
the men, giving them assistance in working the guns; and the ship's
company appeared to have fully imbibed the bull-dog spirit of their
commander.

The fire of the _Windsor Castle_ had been equally destructive.  The
vessels had gradually neared each other in the calm; and the height of
the _Windsor Castle_ out of the water, in comparison with the corvette,
had given her the advantage in sweeping the decks of the enemy.  The
contending vessels were in this situation, when, for a minute or two, a
cessation of firing took place, in consequence of the accumulation of
smoke, which had so completely enshrouded them both that they knew not
where to direct their guns; and they waited until it should clear away,
that the firing might recommence.  A light air gradually swept the veil
to leeward, and discovered both vessels to each other, at the distance
of half a cable's length.  Captain Oughton was with Newton on the poop,
and the commander of the French corvette was standing on the hammock
nettings of his own vessel.  The latter took off his hat, and
courteously saluted his adversary.  Captain Oughton answered the
salutation; and then waving his hat, pointed to the English colours,
which had been hoisted at the main; as much as to say, "They never shall
come down!"  The Frenchman (it was Surcoeuf) did the same to the
tricolour, and the action recommenced.

"Well done, my lads!" cried Captain Oughton; "well done! that broadside
was a staggerer--right into his ribs.  Hurrah now, my hearts of oak!
this fellow's worth fighting.  Aim at his foremast--another broadside
will floor it.  It's on the reel.  Newton, jump forward, and--"

But the order was stopped by a grape-shot, which struck Captain Oughton
in the breast.  He staggered and fell from the poop to the quarter-deck.
Newton leapt down, and went to him.  The torrents of blood from his
breast at once told the tale: and Newton called to some of the men, that
his commander might be taken below.

"Wait a moment, my dear lad," said Captain Oughton, faintly, and
catching his breath at every word; "it's a finisher--can't come to
time--I die game."  His head fell on his breast, and the blood poured
out of his mouth.

Newton directed the body to be taken into the cuddy, that the men might
not be dispirited by the sight.  He then hastened to the poop, that he
might reconnoitre the enemy.  He perceived that the corvette had hauled
on board his tattered courses, and was standing ahead of them.

"He's off, sir," cried one of the quarter-masters.

"I suspect not," replied Newton, who had his glass to his eye, looking
upon the decks of the French vessel.  "They are preparing to board, and
will be round again in five minutes.  Cutlasses and pikes ready--
forward, my lads, all of us!  We must beat them off!"

"And will, too," cried the seamen, as in obedience to their orders, they
collected on the forecastle.  But they mustered thin; nearly half of the
ship's company were either lying dead or under the hands of the surgeon;
and, as Newton surveyed his little force, fatigued as they were with
their exertions, black with powder, stained with blood, and reeking with
perspiration, he could not but acknowledge how heavy were the odds
against the attack of a vessel so well manned as the corvette appeared
to be.  Newton said but a few words; but they were to the point; and he
had the satisfaction to perceive, as they grasped their cutlasses, that
if their numbers were few and their frames exhausted, their spirit was
as unsubdued as ever.

The corvette had in the meantime run ahead on a wind, about a mile, when
she wore round, and was now standing right on to the _Windsor Castle_,
and had neared to within three cables' lengths.  A few minutes were to
decide the point.  Her courses were again hauled up, and discovered her
lee fore-rigging, bowsprit, cat-heads, and forecastle, crowded with men
ready for the dash on board, as soon as the vessels should come in
contact Newton stood on one of the forecastle guns surrounded by his
men; not a word was spoken on board of the _Windsor Castle_, as they
watched their advancing enemy.  They were within a cable's length of
each other, and Newton could plainly distinguish the features of the
gallant Surcoeuf, who was in advance on the knight-heads, when a puff of
wind, which at any other time would not have occasioned the starting of
a royal sheet, took the sails of the corvette; and her wounded foremast,
laden with men in the lee-rigging, unable to bear the pressure, fell
over the side, carrying with it the maintop-mast, and most of the crew,
who had been standing in the rigging, and leaving the corvette an
encumbered wreck.  A loud shout from the forecastle of the _Windsor
Castle_ announced that the English seamen were but too well aware of
their desperate situation, and that they hailed the misfortune of the
Frenchmen as their deliverance.

"Now, my lads, be smart," cried Newton, as he sprang aft to the wheel,
and put up the helm; "man the flying jib-halyards (the jib was under the
forefoot); let go the main-top bowling; square the main-yard.  That will
do; she's paying off.  Man your guns; half a dozen broadsides, and it's
all our own."

The sun had disappeared below the horizon, and the shades of evening had
set in, before this manoeuvre had been accomplished.  Several broadsides
were poured into the corvette, which had the desired effect of crippling
her still more, and her encumbered condition prevented any return.  At
last the night hid both vessels from each other; and the breeze
freshening fast, it was necessary that the remaining masts of the
_Windsor Castle_ should be properly secured.  The guns were therefore
abandoned; and during the time the seamen were employed in knotting the
rigging and bending the spare sails, Newton consulted with his brother
officers, who were unanimous in agreeing that all had been done that
could be expected, and that to wait till the ensuing day, when the
corvette would have repaired her damages, would be attended with a risk
of capture, which the valuable property entrusted to their charge would
never authorise.  It was not until past midnight that the _Windsor
Castle_ was in a condition to make sail; but long before this, Newton
had contrived to leave the deck for a few minutes to communicate with
Isabel.  With most of the particulars, and with the death of Captain
Oughton, she had already been made acquainted; and if there could be any
reward to Newton, for his gallantry and his prudence, more coveted than
another, it was the affectionate greeting with which he was welcomed and
congratulated by Isabel, her eyes beaming with tears of delight as they
glanced from his face, and were shrouded on the deck.

Love and murder make a pretty mixture, although as antithetical as the
sweet and acid in punch,--a composition which meets the approbation of
all sensible, discriminating people.  But I shall leave the reader to
imagine all he pleases, and finish the chapter by informing him that,
when the sun again made his appearance, the corvette was not to be
discovered from the mast-head.  The guns were therefore properly
secured; the decks washed; a jury mizzen-mast stuck up abaft; Captain
Oughton, and the gallant fellows who had fallen in the combat, committed
to the deep with the usual ceremonies; the wounded made as comfortable
as possible in their hammocks; the carpenters busied with the necessary
repairs; and the _Windsor Castle_, commanded by Newton Forster, running
before a spanking breeze, at the rate of eight knots per hour.



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER ELEVEN.

  Ships are but boards, sailors but men;
  There be land rats, and water rats, water thieves,
  And land thieves; I mean pirates.
  SHAKESPEARE.

Most prophetical was the remark made by Newton Forster to Isabel
previous to the action; to wit, that it would make or mar him.  The
death of Captain Oughton, and the spirited defence of the Windsor
Castle, were the _making_ of Newton Forster.  As a subordinate officer
he might have been obliged to toil many years before he could have
ascended to the summit of the ladder of promotion; and during the time
which he remained in that situation, what chance had he of making an
independence, and proposing for the hand of Isabel Revel?  But now, that
by a chain of circumstances peculiarly fortuitous, he was in command of
an East Indiaman, returning home after having beat off a vessel of equal
if not superior force, and preserved a cargo of immense value, he felt
confident that he not only would be confirmed to his rank which he was
now called upon to assume, but that he had every prospect of being
employed.  As a captain of an Indiaman, he was aware that reception into
society, wealth, and consideration awaited him; and, what made his heart
to swell with gratitude and exultation, was the feeling that soon he
would be enabled to aspire to the hand of one to whom he had so long
been ardently attached.

As the Windsor Castle plunged through the roaring and complaining seas,
with all the impetus of weight in motion, Newton's eyes were radiant
with hope, although his demeanour towards Isabel was, from the peculiar
circumstances attending their situation, more delicately reserved than
before.

When the Windsor Castle touched at St. Helena, Newton had the good
fortune to obtain a supply of able seamen, more than sufficient for the
remanning of his ship.  They had been sent there in an empty brig by a
French privateer, who had captured many vessels, and had been
embarrassed with the number of her prisoners.  Having obtained the
stores which were required, Newton lost no time in prosecuting his
voyage to England.

It was about a fortnight after they had quitted St. Helena that a
strange sail was reported on the starboard bow; and, as they neared her,
it was evident that her foremast was gone, and that she was otherwise in
a disabled state.--When the Indiaman was within a mile, the stranger
threw out neutral colours, and hoisted a whiff, half-mast down, as a
signal that she was in distress.  Newton ordered the ship to be kept
away, and when alongside of the vessel, lowered down a boat, and sent
the third mate to ascertain what assistance could be afforded.  With
sailors, thank God! distress, is sufficient to obtain assistance, and
the nation or country are at once merged in that feeling of sympathy for
those misfortunes, which may perhaps but the next hour befall ourselves.
The boat returned, and the officer informed Newton that the vessel was
from the Island of Bourbon, bound to Hamburgh;--that she had been
dismasted and severely injured in a gale off the Cape of Good Hope; and
that when her mast went over the side, one half of her crew, who were up
at the time on the fore-yard had been cast overboard and drowned: that
from the want of men and material, they had been unable to rig an
effective jury-mast, and had in consequence been so long on their
passage, that their provisions and water were nearly expended.  The
officer concluded by stating, that there were a French lady and two
gentlemen, with their attendants, who had taken their passage home in
the vessel.  Newton immediately went down the side, and pulled on board
of the vessel to ascertain what assistance could be afforded.  When he
arrived on board, he was met by the Flemish captain, who commenced a
statement of his misfortunes and his difficulties, when the French lady,
who, unobserved by Newton, had come up the companion-ladder, screamed
out as she ran into his arms--

"Ah! mon Dieu!--c'est Monsieur Nu-tong!"

Newton looked at the lady, who had burst into tears, as her face laid
upon his shoulder, and immediately recognised his former kind and
affectionate friend, Madame de Fontanges: close to him, with his hand
extended, was her generous husband.  The meeting was joyful, and Newton
was delighted that circumstances had enabled him to render assistance to
those who had been so kind to him in his former distress.

"Oh!  Monsieur Nu-tong, nous avons tant soufferts!  Ah! mon Dieu!--point
de l'eau--rien a manger," cried Madame de Fontanges; then smiling
through her tears, "mais ce rencontre est charmant;--n'est ce pas mon
ami?" continued the lady, appealing to her husband.

"You do not remember Monsieur le Marquis?" said Monsieur de Fontanges to
Newton, Newton turned his head, and recognised the governor of
Guadaloupe, who had expressed such sympathy at his shipwreck, and had
sent him away in the cartel instead of detaining him as a prisoner.

The vessel was indeed in a deplorable condition, and had she not
received the timely assistance now afforded, would in all probability
have soon been a scene of horror and of suffering.  They had not more
than three days' water remaining on board, and provisions barely
sufficing for three days.  Newton hastened to send back the boat with
orders for an immediate and ample supply of these necessaries, in case
of bad weather coming on, and preventing further communication.
Satisfied that their immediate wants were relieved, Newton took leave of
his friends for the present, and returned on board of his own ship,
despatching his carpenters and part of his crew to the immediate refit
of the vessel, and then selecting a part of every thing that the Windsor
Castle contained in her store-rooms or on her decks, which he thought
would administer to the comfort or the luxury of the passengers on board
of the neutral.

In two hours, they, who were in a state bordering upon famine, found
themselves revelling in plenty.  Before night, the English seamen had a
jury-mast up, and the sails set.  The Hollanders on board would have
given their assistance, but they were told to remain on deck and make up
for lost time, which they acquiesced in very readily, eating and
drinking as if they were determined to lay in a stock for the remainder
of the voyage.  Newton, who had returned on-board of the neutral to
superintend the repairs and enjoy the society of his old friends,
received from them a long account of what had occurred since their
separation.  At nightfall he took his leave, promising to continue under
easy sail and remain with them for a day or two, until they were
satisfied that all was right, and that they no longer required his
assistance.

The narrative obtained by Newton may be thus condensed for the
information of the reader.  The Marquis de Fontanges had been appointed
from the government of Guadaloupe, to that of the Island of Bourbon,
which was considered of more importance.  Monsieur and Madame de
Fontanges accompanied him to his new command; and they had remained
there for two years, when the ruling powers, without any ground, except
that the marquis had received his appointment from the former
government, thought proper to supersede him.  Frigates were not so
plentiful as to spare one for the return of an ex-governor; and the
marquis being permitted to find his way home how he could, had taken
advantage of the sailing of the Hamburgher, to return to Europe or to
France, or as he might find it advisable.

For two days, during which the weather was so fine that Madame de
Fontanges and the gentlemen went on board of the Windsor Castle, and
were introduced to the ladies, Newton continued under easy sail, each
day despatching to the neutral every thing which his gratitude could
suggest; but, as Newton was most anxious to proceed on his voyage, it
was agreed that the next morning they should part company.  At the close
of the evening a strange sail was observed on the weather-beam; but, as
she carried no foretop-gallant sail, and appeared to be steering the
same course as the Windsor Castle, she excited but a momentary
observation, supposing that she was some homeward-bound neutral, or a
merchant vessel which had separated from her convoy.  During the night,
which was dark, the moon being in her first quarter, the officer of the
middle-watch lost sight of their _protegee_; but this was to be
expected, as she did not carry a light.  Before morning the wind fell,
and when the sun arose it was a perfect calm.  The officer of the watch,
as the day dawned, went on the poop, surveying the horizon for their
companion, and discovered her six or seven miles astern, lying alongside
of the strange vessel which they had seen the day before.  Both vessels,
as well as the Windsor Castle, were becalmed.  He immediately went down
to Newton, acquainting him with the circumstance, which bore a very
suspicious appearance.  Newton hastened on deck; with his glass he could
plainly distinguish that the stranger was a vessel of a low, raking
description, evidently no merchant-man, but built for sailing fast, and
in all probability a privateer.  The man at the mast-head reported that
boats were constantly passing between the two vessels, Newton, who felt
very anxious for the safety of his friends, accepted the offer of the
second-mate to take the gig, and ascertain what was going on.  In little
more than an hour the gig was seen from the mast-head to arrive within
half a mile of the vessels, and shortly afterwards the smoke from a gun,
followed by a distant report.  The gig then winded, and pulled back
towards the Windsor Castle.  It was in a state of great excitement that
Newton waited for her return, when the second-mate informed him that on
his approach he discovered that she was a flush vessel, pierced for
fourteen guns, painted black, and apparently well manned; that she
evidently, to use a nautical term, was "gutting the neutral;" and that,
as they had witnessed, on their boat coming within range, the vessel had
fired a round of grape, which fortunately fell short of them.  She had
shown no colours; and, from her appearance and behaviour (as all
privateers respect neutrals), he had no doubt that she was the pirate
vessel, stated, when they were at St. Helena, to be cruising in these
latitudes.  Newton was of the same opinion; and it was with a heavy
heart that he returned to the cabin, to communicate the unpleasant
intelligence to Mrs Enderby and Isabel.

There is nothing more annoying in this world than the will without the
power.  At any time, a vessel becalmed is considered a very sufficing
reason for swearing by those who are on board of her.  What then must
have been the feelings of Newton, lying on the water in a state of
compelled inaction, while his friends were being plundered, and perhaps
murdered by a gang of miscreants before his eyes!  How eagerly and
repeatedly did he scan the horizon for the coming breeze!  How did Hope
raise her head at the slightest cat's paw that ruffled the surface of
the glassy waters!  Three successive gales of wind are bad enough; but
three gales blowing hard enough to blow the devil's horns off are
infinitely preferable to one idle, stagnant, motionless, confounded
calm, oppressing you with the blue devils, and maddening you with the
fidgets at one and the same time.

At last, as the sun descended, the breeze sprung up, first playing along
the waters in capricious and tantalising airs, as if uncertain and
indifferent in its infancy to which quarter of the compass it should
direct its course.  The ship again answered her helm; her head was put
the right way, and the sails were trimmed to every shift which it made,
to woo its utmost power.  In a quarter of an hour it settled, blowing
from a quarter which placed them to-windward of, and they carried it
down with them to within two miles of the stranger and the neutral, who
still remained becalmed.  But, as the wind freshened, it passed a-head
of them, sweeping along the surface, and darkening the colours of the
water, until it reached the vessels to leeward; one of which, the one
that Newton was so anxious to get along-side of, immediately took
advantage of it, and, spreading all her canvas, soon increased her
distance.  When the Windsor Castle arrived abreast of the neutral, the
stranger was more than two miles to leeward.  A little delay was then
necessary to ascertain what had occurred.  Newton, who perceived
Monsieur de Fontanges on the deck, shouting to them and wringing his
hands, rounded to, lowered down a boat, and pulled on board of the
neutral.  The intelligence communicated was distressing.  The strange
vessel was a pirate, who had plundered them of every thing, had taken
away Madame de Fontanges, Mimi and Charlotte, her two female attendants.
The captain of the pirates had wounded, and severely beaten Monsieur de
Fontanges, who had resisted the "_enlevement_" of his wife; and, after
having cut away all the standing rigging, and nearly chopped through the
masts with axes, they had finished their work by boring holes in the
counter of the vessel; so that, had not Newton been able to come up with
her, they must all have perished during the night.

There was no time to be lost; the Marquis de Fontanges, Monsieur de
Fontanges, and the crew, were hurried on board of the Windsor Castle
(the pirate had taken care that they should not be delayed in packing up
their baggage,) and Newton, as soon as he returned on board, and hoisted
up his boat, crowded every stitch of canvas in pursuit of the pirate,
who was now more than four miles distant.  But, although the wind
gradually increased, and was thus far in their favour, as they first
benefited by it, yet, as the sun went down, so did their hopes descend.
At night-fall the pirate had, increased her distance to seven miles.
Newton pursued, watching her with a night-glass until she could no
longer be distinguished.  Still, their anxiety was so great, that no one
went to bed on board of the Windsor Castle.  When the day broke, the
pirate was not to be discovered in any quarter of the horizon from the
mast-head of the Windsor Castle.



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER TWELVE.

  She stood a moment as a Pythoness
  Stands on her tripod, agonised and full
  Of inspiration gather'd from distress,
  When all the heart-strings, like wild horses, pull
  The heart asunder; then, as more or less
  Their speed abated or their strength grew dull,
  She sunk down on her seat by slow degrees,
  And bow'd her throbbing head o'er trembling knees.
  BYRON.

It was with deep regret that Newton gave directions for the ship's head
to be again directed on her course to England; but the property under
his charge was of too great value to warrant risking it by cruising
after the pirates, the superior sailing of whose vessel afforded no
hopes of success.  The melancholy situation of Madame de Fontanges threw
a gloom over the party, which was communicated even to the seamen; while
the anguish of Monsieur de Fontanges, expressed with all the theatrical
violence characteristic of his nation, was a source of continual
reminiscence and regret.  They had been four days on their voyage,
making little progress with the light and baffling winds, when they were
shrouded in one of those thick fogs which prevail in the latitude of the
Cape de Verds, and which was rendered more disagreeable by a mizzling
rain.

On the sixth day, about twelve o'clock, the horizon cleared to the
northward, and the fog in that quarter was rolled away by a strong
breeze which rippled along the water.  Newton, who was on deck, observed
the direction of the wind to be precisely the reverse of the little
breeze to which their sails had been trimmed; and the yards of the
Windsor Castle were braced round to meet it.  The gust was strong, and
the ship, laden as she was, careened over to the sudden force of it, as
the top-gallant sheets and halyards were let fly by the directions of
the officer of the watch.  The fog, which had still continued thick to
leeward, now began to clear away; and, as the bank dispersed, the
Marquis de Fontanges, who was standing on the poop by the side of
Newton, cried out "_Voila un batiment_!"  Newton looked in the direction
pointed out, and discovered the hull of a vessel looming through the
fog, about a quarter of a mile to leeward of the Windsor Castle.  One
minute's scrutiny convinced him that it was the pirate, who, not having
been expeditious in trimming his sails, _laid in irons_, as seamen term
it, heeling over to the blast.  The Windsor Castle was then running
free, at the rate of four miles an hour.

"Starboard the helm--all hands to board--steady so.  Be smart, my lads--
it's the pirate--port a little.  Hurrah! my lads--be quick, and she's
all our own.  Quartermaster, my sword--quick!"

The crew, who were all on deck, snatched their cutlasses from the
capstern-head, in which they were inserted, and before three minutes
elapsed, during which the pirate had not time to extricate himself from
his difficulty, were all ready for the service.  They were joined by the
Flemish sailors belonging to the neutral vessel, who very deliberately
put their hands in their breeches-pockets and pulled out their knives,
about as long as a carpenter's two-foot rule, preferring this weapon to
any thing else.

Monsieur de Fontanges, bursting with impatience, stood with Newton at
the head of the men.  When the collision of the two vessels took place,
the Windsor Castle, conned so as not to run down the pirate, but to
sheer alongside, stove in the bulwarks of the other, and carried away
her top masts, which, drawn to windward by the pressure on the
back-stays, fell over towards the Windsor Castle, and, entangling with
her rigging, prevented the separation of the two vessels.

"No quarter, my friends!" cried Monsieur de Fontanges, who darted on
board of the pirate vessel at the head of some men near the
main-rigging, while Newton and the remainder, equally active, poured
down upon his quarter.

Such had been the rapidity of the junction, and such the impetuosity of
the attack, that most of the pirates had not had time to arm themselves,
which, considering the superiority of their numbers, rendered the
conquest more equal.  A desperate struggle was the result; the attacked
party neither expecting, demanding, nor receiving quarter.  It was blow
for blow, wound for wound, death to one or both.  Every inch of the deck
was disputed, and not an inch obtained until it reeked with blood.  The
voices of Newton and Monsieur de Fontanges, encouraging their men, were
answered by another voice--that of the captain of the pirates, which had
its due effect upon the other party, which rallied at its sound.
Newton, even in the hurry and excitement of battle, could not help
thinking to himself that he had heard that voice before.  The English
seamen gained but little ground, so obstinate was the resistance.  The
pirates fell; but, as they lay on the deck, they either raised their
exhausted arms to strike one last blow of vengeance before their life's
blood had been poured out, or seized upon their antagonists with their
teeth in their expiring agonies.  But a party, who, from the sedateness
of their carriage, had hitherto been almost neutral, now forced their
way into the conflict.  These were the Flemish seamen, with their long
snick-a-snee knives, which they used with as much imperturbability as a
butcher professionally employed.  They had gained the main rigging of
the vessel, and, ascending it, had passed over by the catharpins, and
descended with all the deliberation of hears on the other side, by which
tranquil manoeuvre the pirates were taken in the flank; and, huddled as
they were together, the knives of the Flemings proved much more
effective than the weapons opposed to them.  The assistance of the
Flemings was hailed with a shout from the English seamen, who rallied,
and increased their efforts.  Newton's sword had just been passed
through the body of a tall powerful man, who had remained uninjured in
the front of the opposing party since the commencement of the action,
when his fall discovered to Newton's view the captain of the vessel,
whose voice had been so often heard, but who had hitherto been concealed
from his sight by the athletic form which had just fallen by his hand.
What was his astonishment and his indignation when he found himself
confronted by one whom he had long imagined to have been summoned to
answer for his crimes--his former inveterate enemy, Jackson!

Jackson appeared to be no less astonished at the recognition of Newton,
whom he had supposed to have perished on the sand-bank.  Both
mechanically called each other by name, and both sprung forward.  The
blow of Newton's sword was warded off by the miscreant; but at the same
moment that of Monsieur de Fontanges was passed through his body to the
hilt.  Newton had just time to witness the fall of Jackson, when a
tomahawk descended on his head; his senses failed him, and he laid among
the dead upon the deck.

There was a shriek, a piercing shriek heard when Newton fell.  It passed
the lips of one who had watched, with an anxiety too intense to be
portrayed, the issue of the conflict;--it was from Isabel, who had
quitted the cabin at the crash occasioned by the collision of the two
vessels, and had remained upon the poop "spectatress of the fight."
Where were no fire arms used; no time for preparation had been allowed.
There had been no smoke to conceal--all had been fairly presented to her
aching sight.  Yes! there she had remained, her eye fixed upon Newton
Forster, as, at the head of his men, he slowly gained the deck of the
contested vessel.  Not one word did she utter; but, with her lips wide
apart from intensity of feeling, she watched his progress through the
strife, her eye fixed--immoveably fixed upon the spot where his form was
to be seen; hope buoyant, as she saw his arm raised and his victims
fall--heart sinking, as the pirate sword aimed at a life so dear.  There
she stood like a statue--as white as beautiful--as motionless as if
indeed she had been chiselled from the Parian marble; and, had it not
been from her bosom heaving with the agony of tumultuous feeling, you
might have imagined that all was as cold within.  Newton fell--all her
hopes were wrecked--she uttered one wild shriek, and felt no more.

After the fall of Jackson the pirates were disheartened, and their
resistance became more feeble.  Monsieur de Fontanges carved his way to
the taffrail, and then turned round to kill again.  In a few minutes the
most feeble-hearted escaped below, leaving the few remaining brave to be
hacked to pieces, and the deck of the pirate vessel was in possession of
the British crew.  Not waiting to recover his breath, Monsieur de
Fontanges rushed below to secure his wife.  The cabin-door was locked,
but yielded to his efforts, and he found her in the arms of her
attendants in a state of insensibility.  A scream of horror at the sight
of his bloody sword, and another of joy at the recognition of their
master, was followed up with the assurance that Madame had only fainted,
Monsieur de Fontanges took his wife in his arms, and carried her on
deck, where, with the assistance of the seamen, he removed her on board
of the Windsor Castle, and in a short time had the pleasure to witness
her recovery.  Their first endearments over, there was an awkward
question to put to a wife.  After responding to her caresses, Monsieur
de Fontanges inquired, with an air of anxiety very remarkable in a
Frenchman, how she had been treated.  "Il n'y a pas de mal, mon ami,"
replied Madame de Fontanges.  This was a jesuitical sort of answer, and
Monsieur de Fontanges required further particulars.  "Elle avoit
temporisee" with the ruffian, with the faint hope of that assistance
which had so opportunely and unexpectedly arrived.  Monsieur de
Fontanges was satisfied with his wife's explanation; and such being the
case, what passed between Jackson and Madame de Fontanges can be no
concern of the reader's.  As for Mimi and Charlotte, they made no such
assertion; but, when questioned, the poor girls burst into tears, and,
calling the captain and first-lieutenant of the pirate barbarians, and
every epithet they could think of, complained bitterly of the usage
which they had received.

We left Newton floored (as Captain Oughton would have said) on the deck
of the pirate vessel, and Isabel in a swoon on the poop of the Windsor
Castle.  They were both taken up, and then taken down, and recovered
according to the usual custom in romances and real life.  Isabel was the
first to _come to_, because, I presume, a blow on the heart is not quite
so serious as a blow on the head.  Fortunately for Newton, the tomahawk
had only glanced along the temple, not injuring the skull, although it
stunned him, and detached a very decent portion of his scalp, which had
to be replaced.  A lancet brought him to his senses, and the surgeon
pronounced his wound not to be dangerous, provided that he remained
quiet.

At first Newton acquiesced with the medical adviser, but an hour or two
afterwards a circumstance occurred, which had such a resuscitating
effect, that, weak as he was with the loss of blood, he would not resign
the command of the ship, but gave his orders relative to the captured
vessel, and the securing of the prisoners, as if nothing had occurred.
What had contributed so much to the recovery of Newton, was simply this,
that _somehow or another_ Mrs Enderby left him for a few minutes _tete
a tete_ with Isabel Revel; and, during those few minutes, _somehow or
another_, a very interesting scene occurred, which I have no time just
now to describe.  It ended, however, _somehow or another_, in the
parties plighting their troth.  As I said before, love and murder are
very good friends; and a chop from a tomahawk was but a prelude for the
descent of Love, with "healing on his wings."

The Windsor Castle lost five men killed and eleven wounded in this hard
contest.  Three of the Flemings were also wounded.  The pirate had
suffered more severely.  Out of a crew of seventy-five men, as no
quarter had been given, there remained but twenty-six, who had escaped
and secreted themselves below, in the hold of the vessel.  These were
put in irons under the half-deck of the Windsor Castle, to be tried upon
their arrival in England.  As I may as well dispose of them at once,
they were all sentenced to death by Sir William Scott, who made a very
impressive speech upon the occasion; and most of them were hanged on the
bank of the Thames.  The polite valet of the Marquis de Fontanges hired
a wherry, and escorted Mademoiselles Mimi and Charlotte to witness the
"_barbares_" dangling in their chains; and the sooty young ladies
returned, much gratified with their interesting excursion.

It will be necessary to account for the re-appearance of Jackson.  The
reader may recollect that he made sail in the boat, leaving Newton on
the island which they had gained after the brig had been run on shore
and wrecked.  When the boat came floating down with the tide, bottom up,
Newton made sure that Jackson had been upset and drowned; instead of
which, he had been picked up by a Providence schooner; and the boat
having been allowed to go adrift with the main-sheet belayed to the pin,
had been upset by a squall, and had floated down with the current to the
sand-bank where Newton was standing in the water.  Jackson did not
return to England, but had entered on board of a Portuguese
slave-vessel, and had continued some time employed in this notorious
traffic, which tends so much to demoralise and harden the heart.  After
several voyages, he headed a mutiny, murdered the captain and those who
were not a party to the scheme, and commenced a career of piracy, which
had been very successful, from the superior sailing of the vessel, and
the courage of the hardened villains he had collected under his command.



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER THIRTEEN.

  Hopes of all passions, most befriend us here;
  Joy has her tears and Transport has her death:
  Hope, like a cordial, innocent, tho' strong.
  Man's heart at once inspirits and serenes;
  Nor makes him pay his wisdom for his joys.
  'Tis all our present state can safely bear:
  Health to the frame and vigor to the mind,
  And to the modest eye, chastised delight,
  Like the fair summer evening, mild and sweet,
  'Tis man's full cup--his paradise below.
  YOUNG.

With what feelings of delight did Newton Forster walk the deck of the
Windsor Castle, as she scudded before a fine breeze across the Bay of
Biscay!  His happiness in anticipation was so great, that at times he
trembled lest the cup should be dashed from his lips; and at the same
time that he thanked God for blessings received, he offered up his
prayer that his prospects might not be blighted by disappointment.  How
happy did he feel when he escorted Isabel on deck, and walked with her
during the fine summer evenings, communicating those hopes and fears,
recurring to the past, or anticipating the future, till midnight warned
them of the rapidity with which time had flown away!  The pirate vessel,
which had been manned by the crew of the neutral and part of the ship's
company of the Windsor Castle, under charge of the fourth-mate, sailed
round and round them, until at last the Channel was entered, and,
favoured with a westerly breeze, the Windsor Castle and her prize
anchored in the Downs.  Here Mrs Enderby and Isabel quitted the ship,
and Newton received orders to proceed round to the river.  Before the
Windsor Castle had anchored, the newspapers were put into his hands
containing a report of the two actions, and he had the gratification of
acknowledging that his countrymen were not niggardly in the encomiums
upon his meritorious conduct.

Newton presented himself to the Court of Directors, who confirmed his
rank, and promised him the command of the first ship which was brought
forward, with flattering commendations for his gallantry in protecting
property of so much value.  Newton took his heave of the august
_Leaden-hall_ board, and hastened to his uncle's house.  The door was
opened by a servant who did not know him: Newton passed him, and ran up
to the drawing-room, where he found Amber in company with William
Aveleyn, who was reading to her the despatch containing the account of
the action with Surcoeuf.

Amber _sprung_ into his arms.  She had grown into a tall girl of nearly
fifteen, budding into womanhood and beauty; promising perfection,
although not yet attained to it.  William Aveleyn was also nearly half a
foot taller; and a blush which suffused his handsome face at being
surprised alone with Amber, intimated that the feelings of a man were
superseding those of boyhood.

"Where is my mother?" inquired Newton.

"She is not at home, dear Newton," replied Amber; "she walked out with
your father.  They are both well."

"And my uncle?"

"Quite well, and most anxious to see you.  He talks of nobody but you,
and of nothing but your actions, which we were just reading about when
you came in.  Pray _Captain_ Newton, may I inquire after your French
friends?  What has become of them?"

"They are at Sablonniere's hotel.  Miss Amber; they have obtained their
parole at the Alien-office."

The conversation was interrupted by the return of Newton's father and
mother, and shortly afterward Mr John Forster made his appearance.
After the first greeting and congratulations were over--

"Well, Newton," observed Nicholas, "so you beat off a pirate, I hear."

"No, my dear father, we boarded one."

"Ah! very true; I recollect--and you killed Surcoeuf."

"No, father, only beat him off."

"So it was; I recollect now.--Brother John, isn't it almost
dinner-time?"

"Yes, brother Nicholas, it is; and I'm not sorry for it.  Mr William
Aveleyn, perhaps you'd like to wash your hands?  A lad's paws are never
the worse for a little clean water."

William Aveleyn blushed: his dignity was hurt: but he had lately been
very intimate at Mr Forster's, and he therefore walked out to comply
with the recommendation.

"Well, brother Nicholas, what have you been doing all day?"

"Doing all day, brother? really, I don't exactly know.  My dear," said
Nicholas, turning to his wife, "what have I been doing all day?"

"To the best of my recollection," replied Mrs Forster, smiling, "you
have been asking when dinner would be ready."

"Uncle Nicholas," said Amber, "you promised to buy me a skein of blue
silk."

"Did I, my dear?  Well, so I did, I declare.  I'm very sorry--dear me, I
forgot, I did buy it.  I passed by a shop where the windows were full of
it, and it brought it to my mind, and I did buy it.  It cost--what was
it, it cost?"

"Oh!  I know what it cost," replied Amber.  "I gave you three-pence to
pay for it.  Where is it?"

"If I recollect, it cost seven shillings and six-pence," replied
Nicholas, pulling out, not a skein of blue silk, but a yard of blue
sarsenet.

"Now, papa, do look here!  Uncle Nicholas, I never will give you a
commission again.  Is it not provoking?  I have seven shillings and
six-pence to pay for a yard of blue sarsenet, which I do not want.
Uncle Nicholas, you really are very stupid."

"Well, my dear, I suppose I am.  I heard William Aveleyn say the same,
when I came into the room this morning, because--let me see--"

"You heard him say nothing, uncle," interrupted Amber, colouring.

"Yes, I recollect now--how stupid I was to come in when I was not
wanted!"

"Humph!" said John Forster; and dinner was announced.

Since the recognition of Mrs Forster by her husband, she had presided
at her brother-in-law's table.  The dinner provided was excellent, and
was done ample justice to by all parties, especially Nicholas, whose
appetite appeared to increase from idleness.  Since Newton had left
England he had remained a pensioner upon his brother; and, by dint of
constant exertion on the part of Mrs Forster, had been drilled out of
his propensity of interfering with either the watch or the spectacles.
This was all that was required by Mr John Forster; and Nicholas walked
up and down the house, like a tame cat, minding nobody, and nobody
paying any attention to him.

After dinner the ladies retired, and shortly afterwards William Aveleyn
quitted the room.

Newton thought this to be a good opportunity to acquaint his uncle with
his attachment to Miss Revel, and the favourable result.  Mr John
Forster heard him without interruption.

"Very nice girl, I dare say, nephew, but you are too young to marry.
You can't marry and go to sea.  Follow your profession, Newton;
speculate in opium--I'll find the means."

"I trust, sir, that I never should speculate in marrying; but, had I
acted on that plan, this would prove the best speculation of the two.
Miss Revel has a very large fortune."

"So much the worse: a man should never be indebted to his wife for his
money--they never forget it.  I'd rather you had fallen in love with a
girl without a shilling."

"Well, sir, when I first fell in love she had not a six-pence."

"Humph!--well, nephew, that may be very true; but, as I said before,
follow your profession."

"Marriage will not prevent my so doing, uncle.  Most captains of
Indiamen are married, men."

"More fools they! leaving their wives at home, to be flattered and
fooled by the Lord knows who.  A wife, nephew--is a woman."

"I hope that mine will be one, sir," replied Newton,--laughing.

"Nephew, once for all, I don't approve of your marrying now--that's
understood.  It's my wish that you follow your profession.  I'll be
candid with you; I have left you the heir to most of my fortune; but--I
can alter my will.  If you marry this girl I shall do so."

"Alter your will, brother?" said Nicholas, who had been attentive to the
conversation.--"Why, who have you to leave your money to, except to
Newton?"

"To hospitals--to pay off the national debt--to any thing.  Perhaps I
may leave it all to that little girl, who already has come in for a
slice."

"But, brother," replied Nicholas, "will that be just, to leave all your
money away from the family?"

"Just, yes, brother Nicholas, quite just.  A man's will is his _will_.
If he makes it so as to satisfy the wishes or expectations of others, it
is no longer _his will_, but theirs.  Nephew, as I said before, if you
marry against my consent, I shall alter my will."

"I am sorry, sir, very sorry, that you should be displeased with me; but
I am affianced to this lady, and no worldly consideration will induce me
not to fulfil an engagement upon which, indeed, my future happiness
depends.  I have no claim upon you, sir; on the contrary, I have
incurred a large debt of gratitude, from your kind protection.  Any
thing else you would require of me--"

"Humph! that's always the case; any thing else except what is requested.
Brother Nicholas, do me the favour to go up stairs; I wish to speak
with my nephew alone."

"Well, brother John, certainly, if you wish it--if you and Newton have
secrets;" and Nicholas rose from his chair.

"Surely, sir," observed Newton, not pleased at the abrupt dismissal of
his father, "we can have no secrets to which my father may not be a
party."

"Yes, but I have, nephew.  Your father is my brother, and I take the
liberty with my brother, if you like that better--not with your father."

In the mean time Nicholas had stalked out of the room.

"Nephew," continued Mr John Forster, as the door closed, "I have stated
to you my wish that you should not marry this young woman; and I will
now explain my reasons.  The girl left in my charge by my brother Edward
has become the same to me as a daughter.  I intend that you shall make
three or four voyages as captain of an India-man; then you shall marry
her, and become the heir to my whole fortune.  Now you understand me.
May I ask, what are your objections?"

"None, sir, but what I have already stated--my attachment and engagement
to another person."

"Is that all?"

"Is it not enough?"

"It appears that this young woman has entered into an engagement on
board ship, without consulting her friends."

"She has no father, sir.  She is of age, and independent."

"You have done the same."

"I grant it, sir; but even were I inclined, could I, in honour or
honesty, retract?"

"Humph!"

"Perhaps, sir, if you were acquainted with the young lady you might not
be so averse to the match."

"Perhaps, if I saw with your eyes, I might not; but that is not likely
to be the case.  Old men are a little blind and a little obstinate.
After toiling through life to amass a fortune, they wish to have their
own way of disposing of it.  It is the only return they can receive for
their labour.  However, nephew, you will act as you please.  As I said
before, if you marry against my consent, I shall alter my will.  Now,
empty the bottle, and we'll go up stairs."



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER FOURTEEN.

  And, Betty, give this cheek a little red.
  POPE.

The departure of Isabel in the Windsor Castle, so immediately after the
death of Colonel Revel, prevented her communicating to her mother the
alteration which had taken place in her circumstances, and her intended
return to England.  The first intimation received by Mrs Revel was from
a hurried note sent on shore by a pilot-boat off Falmouth, stating
Isabel's arrival in the Channel, and her anticipation of soon embracing
her mother, Isabel did not enter into any particulars, as she neither
had time, nor did she feel assured that the letter would ever reach its
destination.

The letter did however come to hand two days before Isabel and Mrs
Enderby arrived at the metropolis, much to the chagrin of Mrs Revel,
who imagined that her daughter had returned pennyless, to be a sharer of
her limited income.  She complained to Mr Heaviside, who as usual
stepped in, not so much from any regard for Mrs Revel, but to while
away the time of a _far niente_ old bachelor.

"Only think, Mr Heaviside," said the lady, who was stretched on a sofa,
supported on pillows, "Isabel has returned from India.  Here is a letter
I have just received, signed by her maiden name!  Her sisters so well
married too!  Surely she might have stayed out with one of them!  I
wonder how she got the money to pay her passage home!  Dear me! what
shall I do with her?"

"If I may be allowed to see the letter, Mrs Revel," said the old
gentleman--

"Oh, certainly, it's nothing but a note."

Mr Heaviside read the contents.

"There is very little in it indeed, Mrs Revel; not a word about the
colonel, or why she left India.  Perhaps the colonel may be dead."

"Then she might have gone to live with one of her sisters, Mr
Heaviside!"

"But perhaps he may have left her some property."

"And do you, a sensible man, think that if such was the case, my
daughter would not have mentioned it in her note?  Impossible, Mr
Heaviside!"

"She may intend to surprise you, Mrs Revel."

"She has surprised me," replied the lady, falling back upon the pillows.

"Well, Mrs Revel, you will soon ascertain the facts.  I wish you a good
morning, and will pay my devoirs in a day or two to inquire after your
health, and hear what has taken place."

To defray the expenses attending the "consignment" of the three Miss
Revel's to India, Mrs Revel had consented to borrow money, insuring her
life as a security to the parties who provided it.  Her unprincipled
husband took this opportunity of obtaining a sum which amounted to more
than half her marriage settlement, as Mrs Revel signed the papers laid
before her without examining their purport.  When her dividends were
become due this treachery was discovered, and Mrs Revel found herself
reduced to a very narrow income, and wholly deserted by her husband, who
knew that he had no chance of obtaining further means of carrying on his
profligate career.  His death in a duel, which we have before mentioned,
took place a few months after the transaction, and Mrs Revel was
attacked with that painful disease, a cancer, so deeply seated as to be
incurable.  Still she was the same frivolous, heartless being; still she
sighed for pleasure, and to move in those circles in which she had been
received at the time of her marriage.  But, as her income diminished, so
did her acquaintances fall off, and at the period of Isabel's return,
with the exception of Mr Heaviside, and one or two others, she was
suffered to pine away in seclusion.

Isabel was greeted with querulous indifference until the explanation of
the first ten minutes; then, as an heiress, with the means as well as
the desire of contributing to her mother's comforts, all was joy and
congratulation.  Her incurable disease was for the time forgotten, and
although pain would occasionally draw down the muscles of her face, as
soon as the pang was over, so was the remembrance of her precarious
situation.  Wan and wasted as a spectre, she indulged in anticipation of
again mixing with the fashionable world, and talked of _chaperoning_
Isabel to private parties and public amusements, when she was standing
at the brink of eternity.  Isabel sighed as she listened to her mother,
and observed her attenuated frame; occasionally she would refer to her
mother's state of health, and attempt to bring her to that serious state
of mind which her awful situation demanded; but in vain: Mrs Revel
would evade the subject.  Before a week had passed she had set up an
equipage, and called upon many of her quondam friends to announce the
important intelligence of her daughter's wealth.  Most of them had long
before given orders not to be "at home to Mrs Revel."  The few to whom,
from the remissness of their porters, she obtained admittance, were
satisfied at their servants' negligence when they heard the intelligence
which Mrs Revel had to communicate.  They were so delighted; Isabel was
always such a sweet girl; hoped that Mrs Revel would not be such a
recluse as she had been, and that they should prevail upon her to come
to their parties!  An heiress is of no little consequence when there are
so many younger brothers to provide for; and, before a short month had
flown away, Mrs Revel, to her delight, found that the cards and
invitations of no inconsiderable portion of the _beau monde_ covered the
table of her confined drawing-room.  To Isabel, who perceived that her
mother was sinking every day under the exertion she went through, all
this was a source of deep regret.  It occurred to her that to state her
engagements with Newton Forster would have some effect in preventing
this indirect suicide.  She took an opportunity of confiding it to her
mother, who listened to her with astonishment.

"Isabel! what do I hear?  What! that young man who calls here so often?
You, that can command a title, rank, and fashion, engage yourself to a
captain of an Indiaman!  Recollect, Isabel, that now your poor father is
dead, I am your legal protector; and without my permission I trust you
have too much sense of filial duty to think of marrying.  How you could
venture to form an engagement without consulting me is quite
astonishing!  Depend upon it, I shall not give my consent; therefore,
think no more about it."

How often do we thus see people, who make no scruples of neglecting
their duties, as eagerly assert their responsibility, when it suits
their convenience.

Isabel might have retorted, but she did not.  In few words, she gave her
mother to understand that she was decided, and then retired to dress for
a splendid ball, at which, more to please her mother than herself, she
had consented to be present.

It was the first party of any consequence to which Mrs Revel had been
invited.  She considered it as her _re-entree_ into the fashionable
world, and the presentation of her daughter; she would not have missed
it for any consideration.  That morning she had felt more pain than
usual, and had been obliged to have recourse to restoratives; but once
more to join the gay and fashionable throng--the very idea braced her
nerves, rendered her callous to suffering, and indifferent to disease.

"I think," said Mrs Revel to her maid--"I think," said she, panting,
"you may lace me a little closer, Martyn."

"Indeed, madam, the holes nearly meet; it will hurt your side."

"No, no, I feel no pain this evening--there, that will do."

The lady's maid finished her task, and left the room.  Mrs Revel rouged
her wan cheeks, and, exhausted with fatigue and pain, tottered to an
easy chair, that she might recover herself a little before she went down
stairs.

In a quarter of an hour Isabel, who had waited for the services of
Martyn, entered her mother's room, to announce that she was ready.  Her
mother, who was sitting in the chair, leaning backwards, answered her
not.  Isabel went up to her, and looked her in the face--she was _dead_!



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER FIFTEEN.

  My dearest wife was like this maid,
  And such my daughter might have been.
  SHAKESPEARE.

The reader may be surprised at the positive and dictatorial language of
Mr John Forster, relative to Newton's marriage, as detailed in a former
chapter; but, as Mr John Forster truly observed, all the recompense
which he had to expect for a life of exertion was to dispose of the
fruits of his labour according to his own will.  This he felt, and he
considered it unreasonable that what he supposed a boyish attachment on
the part of Newton was to overthrow all his preconcerted arrangements.
Had Mr Forster been able to duly appreciate the feelings of his nephew,
he probably would not have been so decided; but Love had never been able
to establish himself as an inmate of his breast.  His life had been a
life of toil.  Love associates with idleness and ease.  Mr Forster was
kind and cordial to his nephew as before, and the subject was not again
renewed; nevertheless, he had made up his mind, and having stated that
he would alter his will, such was his intention, provided that his
nephew did not upon mature reflection accede to his wishes.  Newton once
more enjoyed the society of Isabel, to whom he imparted all that had
occurred.  "I do not wish to play the prude," answered Isabel, "by
denying that I am distressed at your uncle's decision; to say that I
will never enter into his family without having received his consent, is
saying more than my feelings will bear out; but I must and will say,
that I shall be most unwilling so to do.  We must, therefore, as Madame
de Fontanges did with the pirate captain, temporise, and I trust we
shall be as successful."  Newton, more rational than most young men in
love, agreed with Isabel on the propriety of the measure, and, satisfied
with each other's attachment, they were by no means in a hurry to
precipitate their marriage.

It may be recollected that Newton Forster felt convinced that the
contents of the trunk which he picked up at sea, when mate of the
coasting vessel, was the property of the Marquis de Fontanges, during
their passage home in the Windsor Castle, he had renewed the subject to
Monsieur de Fontanges, and from the description which he gave from
memory, the latter appeared to be of the same opinion.  The conversation
had not been revived until some time after their arrival in England,
when Newton, anxious to restore the articles, desired Monsieur de
Fontanges to communicate with the marquis, and request that he would
appoint a day upon which he would call at his uncle's and identify the
property.  The marquis, who had never been informed by Monsieur de
Fontanges, that any supposed relics of his lost wife remained, sighed at
the memory of his buried happiness--buried in that vast grave, which
defrauds the earth of its inherent rights--and consented to call upon
the ensuing day.  When the marquis arrived, accompanied by Monsieur and
Madame de Fontanges, he was received in the drawing-room by Mr John
Forster, who had brought from his chamber the packet in question, which
had remained locked up in the iron safe ever since Newton had first
committed it to his charge.  After their introduction to each other, the
marquis observed, in English--

"I am giving you a great deal of trouble; unavailing indeed; for,
allowing that the articles should prove to be mine, the sight of them
must be a source of renewed misery."

"Sir," replied Mr John Forster, "the property does not belong to my
nephew, and he has very properly reserved it until he could find out the
legal owner.  If the property is yours, we are bound to deliver it into
your hands.  There is an inventory attached to it," continued the old
lawyer, putting on his spectacles, and reading, "one diamond ring--but
perhaps it would be better that I should open the packet."

"Will you permit me to look at the diamond ring, sir?" observed Monsieur
de Fontanges.  "The sight of that will identify the whole."

"There it is, sir," replied Mr John Forster.

"It is, indeed, that of my poor sister-in-law!" said Monsieur de
Fontanges, taking it up to the marquis.  "My brother, it is Louise's
ring!"

"It is," cried the marquis, passionately, "the ring that I placed in the
centre of her _corbeille de mariage_.  Alas! where is the hand which
graced it?" and the marquis retreated to the sofa, and covered his face.

"We have no occasion then to proceed further," observed Mr John
Forster, with emotion.  "The other articles you of course recognise?"

"I do," replied Monsieur de Fontanges.  "My brother had taken his
passage in the same vessel, but was countermanded.  Before he had time
to select all his own baggage, which was mixed with that of his wife,
the ship was blown out to sea, and proceeded on her voyage.  These
orders of merit were left with her jewels."

"I observe," said the old lawyer, "which I did not when Newton entrusted
the packet to my charge, that the linen has not all the same marks; that
of the adult is marked L de M, while that which belonged to the child is
marked J de F.  Was it the marquis's child?"

"It was; the linen of the in other was some belonging to her previous to
her marriage.  The maiden name was Louise de Montmorenci; that of the
child has the initials of its name, Julie de Fontanges."

"Humph!  I have my reasons for asking that question," replied the old
lawyer.  "Newton, do me the favour to step to my chambers and open the
safe.  You will find in it, on the right hand side, another small bundle
of linen: bring it here.  Stop, Newton, blow the dust out of the pipe of
the key before you put it in, and be careful that it is well inserted
before you turn it, or you may strain the wards.  In all other points,
you may be as quick as you please.  My Lord Marquis, will you allow me
to offer you some refreshment?--a glass of wine will be of service.
Brother Nicholas, do me the favour to call Amber."  Newton and Nicholas
both departed on their respective missions.  Amber made her appearance.

"Papa," said Amber, "do you want me?"

"Yes, my dear," said Mr Forster, handing her the keys, "go down to the
cellaret and bring up some wine.  I do not wish the servants to come in
just now."

Amber reappeared with a small tray.  She first handed it to the marquis,
who roused at her voice.

"Papa requests that you will take some wine, sir.  It will be of service
to you."

The marquis, who had looked earnestly in her face when she had spoken,
took the wine, and drinking it off, bowed as he replaced the glass.  He
then sunk back on the sofa.

When the rap at the door announced the return of Newton, Mr John
Forster requested Monsieur de Fontanges, in a low voice, to follow him,
and directing Newton, whom they met on the stairs, to return, they
proceeded to the dining-parlour.

"I have requested you to come down, sir," said Mr John Forster, "that I
might not, without being certain, raise hopes in your brother the
marquis, which, if not realised, would create bitter feelings of
disappointment; but I remarked the initials on the linen of the child;
and if my memory, which is not very bad, fails me not, we shall find
corresponding ones in the packet now before us;" and the old lawyer
opened the bundle and displayed the contents, which proved to be marked
as he had surmised.

"Most true," replied Monsieur de Fontanges.  "They are the same, and of
course part of the property which was picked up."

"Yes; but not picked up at the same time, or at the same spot, or by the
same person.  Those above stairs were, as you know, picked up by my
nephew; these by a brother, who is since dead; and in these clothes an
infant was also washed upon the beach."

"His child!" exclaimed Monsieur de Fontanges.  "Where was it buried?"

"The child was restored to life, and is still living."

"If it is," replied Monsieur de Fontanges, "it can be no other than the
young lady who just now called you father.  The likeness to Madame la
Marquise is most astonishing."

"It is as you suppose, sir," replied Mr John Forster.  "At my brother's
death, he bequeathed the little girl to my protection; and I trust I
have done justice to the deposit.  Indeed, although an alien by blood,
she is as dear to me as if she were my own daughter; and," continued the
old lawyer, hesitating a little, "although I have the satisfaction of
restoring her to her father's arms, it will be a heavy blow to part with
her!  When my brother spoke to me on the subject, I told him it was
trouble and expense enough to bring up a child of one's own begetting.
I little thought at the time how much more I should be vexed at parting
with one of another's.  However, with the bundle she must be returned to
the lawful owner.  I have one more remark to make, sir.  Do me the
favour to look at that drawing of my poor brother's, which hangs over
the sideboard.  Do you recognise the portrait?"

"Triton!" cried Monsieur de Fontanges; "the dog which I gave my poor
sister-in-law!"

"You are indebted to that dog for the life of your niece.  He brought
her on shore, and laid her at my brother's feet; but I have all the
documents, which I will send for your perusal.  The facts I consider so
well established as to warrant a verdict in any court of justice; and
now, sir, I must leave you to make the communication as soon, and, at
the same time, as cautiously as you please.  Newton, send Amber down to
me."

We will pass over the scenes which followed in the dining-parlour and
drawing-room.  The Marquis de Fontanges discovered that he was blessed
with a daughter, at the same time that Amber learnt her own history.  In
a few minutes Amber was led up stairs to the arms of her father, whose
tears of sorrow at the loss of his wife were now mingled with those of
delight, as he clasped his daughter to his heart.

"What obligations do I owe to your whole family, my dear friend!" said
the marquis to Newton.

"I will not deny it, sir," replied Newton; "but allow me to observe,
that for the recovery of your daughter you are equally indebted to the
generosity of your own relatives and your own feeling disposition.  Had
not Monsieur and Madame de Fontanges protected and assisted me in my
distress; had not you, instead of throwing me into prison, set me at
liberty, you never would have known where your daughter was to be found.
Had not one of my uncles hastened to the relief of the vessel in
distress, and the other protected your little girl after his death, she
would not have been now in existence.  My gratitude for your kindness
induced me to remain by your ship, and subsequently to rescue you from
the pirate, or you would not have now been a prisoner in this country--
an evil which, under divine Providence, has been changed to a blessing,
by restoring to you your daughter.  We have all, I trust, done our duty,
and this happy issue is our full reward."

"Humph!" observed the old lawyer.



VOLUME THREE, CHAPTER SIXTEEN.

  Thus far our chronicle--and now we pause,
  Though not for want of matter, but 'tis time.
  BYRON.

Amber, or Julie de Fontanges, as we must now call her, quitted the abode
of her kind protector, in such distress, that it was evident she
regretted the discovery which had been made.  She was too young to be
aware of the advantages of high birth, and her removal was for some time
a source of unfeigned regret.  It appeared to her that nothing could
compensate for the separation from her supposed father, who doated on
her, from Mrs Forster, who had watched over her, from Nicholas, who
amused her, and from Newton, whom she loved as a brother.  But the idea
of going to a foreign country, and never seeing them or William Aveleyn
again, and, though last, not least, to find that she was not an
Englishwoman, and in future must not rejoice at their victories over her
own nation, occasioned many a burst of tears when left alone to her own
meditations.  It was long before the devotion of her father, and the
fascinating attentions of Monsieur and Madame de Fontanges, could induce
her to be resigned to her new condition.  Mr John Forster felt his
bereavement more deeply than could have been supposed.  For many days
after the departure of Julie, he seldom spoke, never made his
appearance, except at dinner-time, and as soon as the meal was finished
hastened to his chambers, where he remained very late.  Intense
application was the remedy which he had selected to dispel his care, and
fill up the vacuum created by the absence of his darling child.

"Newton," said he, one evening, as they discussed a bottle of port,
"have you considered what I proposed?  I confess to you that I am more
than ever anxious for the match; I cannot part with that dear child, and
you can bring her back to me."

"I have reflected, sir; but the case must be viewed in a very different
light.  You might affiance your adopted daughter at her early age, but
the Marquis de Fontanges may not be so inclined; nay, further, sir, it
is not impossible that he may dislike the proposed match.  He is of a
very noble family."

"I have thought on that subject," replied Mr John Forster; "but our
family is as well descended, and quite well enough for any Frenchman,
let him be a marquis, or even a duke.  Is that the only obstacle you
intend to raise--or, if this is removed, will you again plead your
attachment to another?"

"It is the only one which I mean to raise at present, sir.  I
acknowledge Julie de Fontanges to be a sweet girl, and, as a relation, I
have long been much attached to her."

"Humph!" replied the old lawyer, "I always thought you a sensible lad--
we shall see."

Now, be it observed, that there was a certain degree of the jesuitical
on the part of our friend Newton on this occasion, excusable only from
his wish that the mortification of his uncle at the disappointment of
his hopes should not be occasioned by any further resistance on his
part.

To Monsieur de Fontanges, who was aware of Newton's attachment to
Isabel, he had, previous to the discovery which had taken place,
communicated the obstacle to his union, raised by the pertinacity of his
uncle.  After the removal of Julie, Monsieur de Fontanges acquainted his
brother with the wishes of Mr John Forster, and explained to him how
much they were at variance with those of Newton.

The first time that Newton called upon the marquis, the latter shaking
him warmly by the hand, said,--"I have been informed, my dear Newton, by
my brother, of the awkward predicament in which you are placed by the
wish of your uncle that you should marry my Julie when she grows up.
Believe me, when I say it, there is no man to whom I would sooner
confide the happiness of my daughter, and that no consideration would
induce me to refuse you, if you really sought her hand; but I know your
wishes, and your attachment to Miss Revel, therefore be quite easy on
the subject.  Your uncle made his proposition when Julie had no father
to be consulted; the case is now different, and, for your sake, I
intend, for a time, to injure myself in the opinion of your good
relation.  I shall assume, I trust, what, if ever I had it, would be
immediately sacrificed to gratitude--I mean high aristocratical pride;
and should your uncle make the proposal, refuse it upon the grounds that
you are not noble by _descent_.  No one will deny your nobility on any
other point.  Do you understand me, Newton? and will my so doing be
conformable to your wishes?"

"It will, Monsieur le Marquis, and I thank you most sincerely."

"Then make no objection when he proposes the match a second time; leave
all the obloquy on my shoulders," said the marquis, smiling.

This arrangement having been made, it was not surprising that Newton
heard his uncle's renewal of the proposition with such calmness and
apparent acquiescence.

"We dine with the marquis to-morrow, Newton," observed Mr John Forster;
"I shall take an opportunity after dinner of requesting a few minutes'
interview, when I shall put the question to him."

"Certainly, sir, if you think right," replied Newton.

"Well, I'm glad the dear girl has changed that foolish name of Amber.
What could possess my brother!  Julie is very fine, nevertheless; but
then she was christened by French people."

The next day the parties met at dinner.  Isabel Revel had been asked;
and, having heard from Madame de Fontanges of the plan agreed upon, and
anxious to see the old lawyer, she had consented to join the party.  The
dinner passed off as most dinners do when the viands and wines are good,
and every body is inclined to be happy.  Isabel was placed next to Mr
Forster, who, without knowing who she was, felt much pleased with the
deference and attention of so beautiful a young woman.

"Newton," said his uncle, when the ladies retired, and the gentlemen
packed up their chairs, "who was that young lady who sat next to me?"

"The young lady, my dear uncle, whom I did wish to introduce to you as
my intended wife--Miss Isabel Revel."

"Humph!--why, you never spoke to her before dinner, or paid her any
common civility!"

"You forget, sir, your injunctions, and--"

"That's no reason, nephew, why you should forget common civility.  I
requested that you would not marry the young lady; but I never desired
you to commit an act of rudeness.  She is a very nice young person; and
politeness is but a trifle, although marriage is a very serious thing."

In pursuance of his plans, when the gentlemen rose, Mr John Forster
requested a few minutes' conversation with the marquis, who, bowing
politely, showed the way to a small study on the same floor.

Mr Forster immediately stated his wish that an engagement should be
formed between his nephew and Julie de Fontanges.

"Mr Forster," replied the marquis, drawing up proudly, the obligations
I am under to your family are so great, that there are but few points in
which I could refuse you; and I therefore am quite distressed that, of
this proposal, I am obliged to decline the honour.  You may be ignorant,
Mr Forster, that the family of the de Fontanges is one of the oldest in
France; and, with every respect for you and your nephew, and all
gratitude for your kindness, I cannot permit my daughter to form a
_mesalliance_.

"A _mesalliance_!--humph!  I presume, sir, in plain English, it means
marrying beneath her rank in life?"

The marquis bowed.

"I beg to observe, sir," said Mr John Forster, "that our family is a
very old one.  I can show you our pedigree.  It has lain for some years
by the side of your daughter's bundle in the iron safe."

"I have no doubt of the excellence of your family, Mr Forster.  I can
only express my deep regret that it is not _noble_.  Excuse me, Mr
Forster; except you can prove that--"

"Why, I could prove it by purchasing a dozen marquisates, if I thought
proper!"

"Granted, Mr Forster.  In our country they are to be purchased; but we
make a great difference between the _parvenus_ of the present day and
the _ancienne noblesse_."

"Well, Mr Marquis, just as you please; but I consider myself quite as
good as a French marquis," replied Mr Forster, in a tone of irritation.

"Better than many, I have no doubt; but still, we draw the line.  Noble
blood, Mr Forster."

"Noble fiddlestick!  Monsieur le Marquis, in this country, and the
inhabitants are not fools, we allow money to weigh against rank.  It
purchases that as it does everything else, except heaven.  Now, Monsieur
le Marquis--"

"Excuse me, sir; no money will purchase the hand of Julie de Fontanges,"
replied the marquis.

"Well, then, Monsieur le Marquis, I should think that the obligations
you are under in restoring your daughter to your arms--"

"Warrants your asking for her back again, Mr Forster?" replied the
marquis, haughtily; "a labourer might find this diamond _solitaire_
that's now upon my finger.  Does it therefore follow that I am to make
him a present of it?"

"Humph!" ejaculated Mr Forster, much affronted with the comparison.

"In short, my dear sir, any thing which you or your family can think of;
which it is in our power to grant, will make us most happy; but to
_sully_ the blood of the most ancient--"

John Forster would hear no more; he quitted the room and walked up
stairs before the marquis had completed his speech.  When he entered the
drawing-room, his countenance plainly expressed his disappointment.
Like all men who have toiled for riches, he had formed plans in which he
considered his wealth was to command success, and had overlooked every
obstacle which might present itself against the completion of his
wishes.

"Newton," said he, as they stood apart near the window, "you have been a
good lad in not persisting to thwart my views, but that French marquis,
with his folly and his `ancienne noblesse,' has overthrown all my plans.
Now, I shall not interfere with yours.  Introduce me to Miss what's her
name; she is a very fine girl, and from what I saw of her during dinner,
I like her very much."

Isabel exerted herself to please, and succeeded.  Satisfied with his
nephew's choice, flattered by his previous apparent submission, and
disgusted with the marquis, Mr John Forster thought no more of
Mademoiselle de Fontanges.  His consent was voluntary, and in a short
time Isabel Revel changed her name.

It was about five months after Newton's marriage that he received a
letter from the Board, appointing him to the command of a ship.  Newton
handed the letter over to Mr Forster.

"I presume, sir, it is your wish that I should accept the offer?"

"What offer?" said the old lawyer, who was reading through a case for
counsel's opinions.  "Melville--for Madras and China.--Why, Newton, I
really do not see any occasion for your going afloat again.  There is an
old proverb--`The pitcher that goes often to the well is broken at
last.'  You're not tired of your wife already?"

"I hope not, sir; but I thought it might be your wish."

"It's my wish that you should stay at home.  A poor man may go to sea,
because he stands a chance to come home rich; but a man who has money in
hand and in prospect, if he goes to sea, he is a fool.  Follow your
profession as long as you require it, but no longer."

"Why then do you work so hard, my dear sir," said Isabel, leaning over
the old gentleman, and kissing him, in gratitude for his decision.
"Surely you can afford to relax a little now?"

"Why do I work so hard, Isabel?" replied Mr Forster, looking up at her
through his spectacles.  "Why you expect to have a family, do you not?"

Isabel blushed; the expectation was undeniable.

"Well, then, I presume the children will have no objection to find a few
thousands more to be divided among them by-and-bye--will they,
daughter?"

The conversation was interrupted by the entry of a servant with a
letter; Mr Forster broke the seal, and looked at the signature.

"Humph! from the proud old marquis.  `Very sorry, for a short period, to
have fallen in your good opinion--should have rejoiced to have called
Newton my son-in-law!'--Humph!  `Family pride all assumed--Newton's
happiness at stake--trust the deceit will be pardoned, and a renewal of
former intimacy.'  Why, Newton, is all this true?"

"Ask Isabel, sir," replied, Newton, smiling.

"Well, then, Isabel, is all this true?"

"Ask Newton, sir," replied Isabel, kissing him.  "The fact is, my dear
sir, I could not afford to part with Newton, even to please you, so we
made up a little plot."

"Humph!--made up a little plot--well--I shan't alter my will,
nevertheless;" and Mr Forster recommenced the reading of his brief.

Such is the history of Newton Forster, which, like most novels or plays,
has been wound up with marriage.  The last time that I appeared before
my readers, they were dissatisfied with the termination of my story;
they considered I had deprived them of a happy marriage, to which, as an
undoubted right, they were entitled, after wading through three tedious
volumes.  As I am anxious to keep on good terms with the public, I
hasten to repair the injury which it has sustained, by stating that
about three years after the marriage of Newton Forster, the following
paragraph appeared in the several papers of the metropolis.

"Yesterday, by special license, the Right Honourable William Lord
Aveleyn to Mademoiselle Julie de Fontanges, only daughter of the Marquis
de Fontanges, late governor of the Island of Bourbon.  The marriage was
to have been solemnised in December last, but was postponed, in
consequence of the death of the late Lord Aveleyn.  After the ceremony,
the happy couple," etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

And now, most arbitrary public, I consider that I have made the _amende
honorable_, and that we are quits; for, if you were minus a happy
marriage in the last work, you have a couple to indemnify you in the
present.

THE END.





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