« AnteriorContinuar »
sink into the water, and his sentence two of the links, it might not inend in a great coughing and splutter- aptly have been called, " Chaine des ing, until
, just as he was on the point Dames.” Oh, fie ! Benjie Brail. of being suffocated, out bisnob would However, the matter was now geta be dragged again by the pitching of ting serious. the vessel, so as to enable him to « Mr Peake, that boathook there, renew his shouts for succour. At -quick, bring the boathook."length the shark being a good deal Little Joe was no admirer of Weeexhausted, was brought close under vil's, and, as he made believe to hook the stern, when I sent two bullets, him by the waistband of the breechfrom my double-barrelled Manton, es, as he struggled in the water, he through his head, right between his contrived to dig the sharp point of eyes.
the instrument into his stern-frame Ab," quoth old Drainings the more than once; and at length, cook, " that has settled him, or the when he did catch him, it was by devil is in it; so lend a hand, Len- nothing that would hold, but by one nox,” (the marine had hold of one of of the pockets of his coat, which the purser's legs, and the artiste! the instantly gave, and out flew into other,) 80 lend a hand, Lennox, the water, his snuff box, pocketand, during the lull, let us bouse in bandkerchief, and a nondescript Mr Weevil. Ho, yo, yo, yo, oh!” pouch of seal-skin, rolled up.
The wounded sbark had borne the “ Lord save us, dinna drown the loss of his brains with great compo- spleuchan,” exclaimed Lennox, as it sure, but the instant he felt the re. dropped into the sea. newed pull at the pork in his maw, “Hook him again,” shouted I. as if he had been only stunned, he “ Oh Lord, captain, haul me in, started off at a tangent as strong haul me in, or I must let go Mr as ever, and, before you could say Weevil's leg," sung out cookey. Jack Robinson, the purser's star- “ Don't, for. Heaven's sake, do board leg was whipped out of Jack that thing, my dear Mr Drainings," Lennox's clutches; but the one to roared the purser. Here Joey caught port being in old Drainings” iron bim again with the boathook, by claws, was held fast by the cook, for the cape of his coat; and, with the he was a great ally of Weevil's. assistance of two men, he had got
"Don't, for Heaven's sake, let me him a foot or two out of the water, go, Mr Drainings,” roared Weevil, when,screed-the cloth, which was of
don't,”-splutter, splutter-oh- no kindred to that which composed cough, cough. The little vessel Bailie Jarvie's skirts,gave way, and at this moment sended heavily, giv. down he plumped again souse, and ing a strange sort of swinging lurch the splashing and struggling, and or wallop, and, as if shaking her sides cursing and cougbing, and blowing of with laughter, again dipped his head fish and men, were renewed with twoa foot under water.
fold extravagance, until by a fortuAs the poor purser rose with a nate dig the iron hook was finally jerk to the surface, the shark, having passed through the head-band of his had momentary scope to sink, kept nether garment, and the canvass forhis own so resolutely, that clip, as a tunately holding, we hauled him in, climax to the fun, the old cook was with Drainings still sticking to bim torn from his hold, and away he like grim Death, or a big sucker-fish; went, still clinging to the purser's then, by slipping down a bowling knot leg, and if his own had not been over the shark's head, and under his seized by Lennox and myself, he gills, we hoisted him in on deck, would have been overboard also. which he soon had all to himself I was now like to die with laughter. entirely ; I really expected he would I could scarcely keep my hold; as have stove it in with the lashing of for speaking, it was out of the ques- his tail. We hammered him on the tion, for the shark, and purser, and head until we had crushed it to mum. cook, like a string of Brobdingnag my, but, like many other strange fish, sausages, were foundering in the he appeared to get on as well withcalm water, close under our counter, out brains, as with. In fine, he would all linked together, not quite." ladies' have taken the ship from us out and chain," by the way, although, from out, had old Shavings not watched the balf-suffocated exclamations of his opportunity, and nicked him on
the tail with his hatchet, thereby a buttermilk down to leeward unsevering his spine, when a complete til this moment.' paralysis instantly took place, and “. All hands make sail,' instantly he lay still; but even an hour af- followed, and in five minutes we ter he was disembowelled, he writh- ran off the wind, with every rag set ed about the deck like an eel. , that we could spread. A stern chase
Speaking of sharks, I must taigle is proverbially a long chase, and al. you here with a story, which, how. though our friend a-bead set nothing ever lee-like, did actually occur, as as we neared him that he had not the records of the Jamaica_Admi- abroad before, the next morning ralty Court fully prove. But let broke, and we were still three miles Dennis Donovan tell it in his own astern of him, Jamaica being in sight words.
to leeward. As the sun rose, the “ We were cruising off Cape Ti. breeze freshened, and before noon buroon, to take our chance of any we had to hand the royals, and of the French outward-bound that stand by the studding-sail haulmight have preferred to make the yards. The fiery sea-breeze that passage to Port-au-Prince by the struck us, presently quelled the cousouthward of St Domingo. It might rage of the chase, for he had to have been five in the afternoon,- take in his kites also, with the loss I was a little middy then, and had of his foretopmast-studding-sail, and dined with the captain that day; a as we carried the breeze along with fine breezy forenoon we had had of it, us, we were presently alongside,
but the devil a thing was there and I was sent on board in the in sight, - not even a small white boat. speck of a sail slipping along shore, “I touched my hat to the master, apparently sailing in the white surf, • What brig, if you please ?' and standing off full and boldly, as ** The Stormy Peterel, of, and from the paintere say, from the dark back- St John's, New Brunswick.' ground of bushes on the beach.” “Whither bound ?'
“ But why take the pains to de- “. To Kingston, Jamaica, with a scribe so well what was not there, cargo of flour and notions, and conDennis ?”
signed to Macaa, Walker, and Co.,, “ Never you mind, but let me get “ All very pat, thought I-no healong; you can pocket the descrip- sitation here." "I will look at your tion, Benjie, and keep it for your papers, if you please,' and I un
ceremoniously stepped down the “ I had just swallowed what I had companion ladder, and entered the sense enough to know was consi. cabin. The master of the brig foldered as my last glass of wine, lowed me, and entering with a good and had come on deck, when looking deal of swagger in his bearing, slamout to leeward where the setting med himself down on the locker Bun was casting a blinding wake on with his hat on. I was a little net. the blue waters that blazed up in tled at this, and again took a steady our faces, roasting our skin into the look at my gentleman; but to make colour of scarlet, I thought I saw a evident the cause why my suspidark object on the very verge of the cions were excited, be it known, that horizon. From the afternoon having at the time I write of, the good old come on thick, this had not been navigation laws were in full operanoticed before; but just as I had tion, and no American, or other fomade the discovery, the look-out reign vessel, was allowed to trade man at the masthead hailed, 'a with our colonies ; every thing imstrange sail, abeam of us to lee- ported having to be carried in Briward."
tish bottoms, so that numberless “Thank you for nothing,' re- tricks were frequently, when the cooponded the crusty lieutenant; 'you lonial markets were favourable, put blind beetle you, is it now you see in practice by neutrals to cloak the it? Wby, we can see under her real character of their vessels, topsails from the deck here.' amongst others, that of simulating
May be, sir,' answered the man, English papers was very frequent. but the weather has been thick To return, I looked at our friend
again. He was tall, sallow, and being carefully enclosed in a tin box, Yankee-looking in hull, spars, and as customary in merchant vessels, rig, and his accent smelt of peach was wrapped up in brown paper. I brandy-strong of the Chesapeake. opened the manifest, and glanced at He was dressed in faded nankeen a bundle of copies of bills of lading, trowsers, rusty black coat and waist- called ship's blanks. The cargo ancoat, very threadbare, the coat swered his description, and the bills sleeves scarcely reaching below the of lading seemed to correspond with elbows, and wore a broad. brimmed the manifest. I then lifted the regiswhite hat, with a rumpled and spray- ter, and by it perceived that the washed black or rather brown crape vessel purported to be two years old, twisted round it. He wore no neck- yet the document, in place of becloth, his shirt collar, which was cut ing torn and chafed at the foldings, very high, being open in front, dis- and dirty, greasy, and defaced, was closing his long scraggy red neck, quite sound; and when I opened it, with a lump in his throat as if he after unfolding the brown paper in had swallowed a grape shot, that had which it was wrapped, and threw it stuck half way down. He wore a on the table, it absolutely and truly large ill-washed frill, that was also opened of itself, and lay flat on the open, shewing his sunburnt chest, table, as if unused to the rumples covered with a fell of shaggy red and creases, to the no small surprise hair, as thick as a fox cover. His face of Jonathan himself I could perwas burned red by exposure to the ceive, thus seeming to say, 'Take & sun, the skin peeling off in small look at me, Master Donovan, I am pieces like the film of an egg, here worth the perusal, perhaps.' — Ha, and there. His features were very ha,' thought I,‘my fine fellow, the strongly marked and coarse, one side creases in that register are very of his mouth drooping more than the fresh, I guess—it has not been quite other, and from this he kept swab- two years folded, or I never saw the bing the stream of tobacco juice with Liffey; but I said never a word the back of his hand. He had little aloud, to the apparent great comfort fierce grey eyes, the white being of the skipper, who, I could see, sat much bloodshot, and his nose was on thorns, while I was overhauling long and sharp, as near as might be the papers-for, thinks I, if he sees of the shape and colour of a crab’s into me, he will haul his wind, and claw, with a blue peeled point. not come to an entry at Kingston at His forehead was very broad im- all, and on the high seas I cannot mediately above his eyes, which touch him; but then, again, as the were shaded by enormous shaggy devil would have it, were we even sandy white eyebrows, like pig's to decoy him into port, another manbristles, but it tapered away into of-war may nab him before us. My a cone at the crown of his head, game, said I to myself, is to lull his like the hat in vogue amongst the suspicions as well as I can; and haRoundheads in old Noll's time. He ving done so, I returned to the frie bad, in fine, nothing of the sailor gate, and we ran down to Port-Royal whatever in his appearance. He was together. more like a half-pay Methodist par- * I found that they had caught &
His red whiskers grew in two shark during my absence, and found tufts low down on bis jowls and all a tin case, loaded with a dozen muss under his chin, and he kept spit- ket balls, with a ship's manifest and ting most abominably, and twitch- register in it, in his maw. This bad ing the right cheek, and quivering been placed in the captain's cabio, the right eyelid, while he looked at and I took an immediate opportuniyou, in a nervous, and to me exceed- ty, unheard of any one, of communiingly disagreeable manner.
cating my suspicions that the brig There be my papers, sir,' said this was an American sailing under simuenticing person, tossing down a par- lated
papers, and recommended that cel of by no means dirty manuscripts. the frigate should stick close and The register especially, as well as seize bim whenever he reported at the manifest, seemed surprisingly the fort at Port Royal. He agreed clean and the former, instead of to all my suggestions, and after den
termining that I was to board and porting to be “the Stormy Peterel seize the vessel before others could of St John's, New Brunswick have an opportunity of doing so, he here Jonathan's jaw fell—is neither ordered in dinner, and laughing, more nor less'--the Yankee's eyes threw the bright white-iron case to seemed like to start from their sockme that had been cut out of the maw ets—than the American brig. Alof the shark.
conda, off and from New York “ I opened it, and, to my surprise, """Who the hell has 'peached ?' found that, according to the best of screamed the Yankee, looking round my recollection, the manuscript copy fiercely among his own men, and utof the manifest answered word for terly shoved off his balance. word, nail for nail, with the one I “ Silence,' sang out the crier. had seen, and the measurement of “! The hand of heaven is in this ini. the Yankee brig Alconda was iden- quitous matter, please your honour. tically the same, out and out, with Here he produced the rin box, and that of the Stormy Peterel of St took out ibe Alconda's manifest and John's, New Brunswick.'
register, and confronting them with “I immediately communicated the the simulated documents belonging coincidence to the captain, and he to the Stormy Peterel, the trick was desired me to keep my own council, instantly proved, and the vessel conwhich both of us did. The vessel demned-Jonathan, as he swung out was seized, and libelled in the Vice- of court, exclaiming, amidst showAdmiralty Court, to the great appa- ers of tobacco juice, Pretty conrent surprise of Captain Shad of the siderably damned and condemned, Stormy Peterel, I guess. The day and all by a bloody sharkfish. If of trial arrived; we were all in court, this ben't, by G-, the most active and so were the crew and captain of and unnatural piece of cruelty, may the detained vessel. Our counsel I be physicked all my natural days learned in the law made his speech, with hot oil and fish-hooks !'”. and produced his witnesses. He of So far, so true; but Dennis, hothe adverse faction replied and pro- nest man, superadded a few flouduced his, and cross-questioned ours, rishes of his own, one of which was, and pretty considerable perjuries that the spine of the shark was exwere flying about; and although the tracted, and preserved in the capsuspicion was strong against the tain's cabin, hung up to the root ; Stormy Peterel, still she was on the and that one of the quartermasters, point of flying away and weathering “a most religious charackter,” could us all, when the lawyer retained by notice certain vibrations and twistthe merchantman said sneeringly ings of the vertebræ, whenever any across the table to our advocate, vessel with simulated papers was in
Sorry must go for damages against the vicinity, even when she could your client; I hope you have your not be seen from the masthead. recogpisances and bail-bond ready.' Why it must have been a divi.
"You are very obliging, brother ning rod-a second rod of Moses,” Grab,' said our friend calmly-then said I, laughing. to the bench, may it please your “And you have said it with your honour, I am now in a position to own beautiful mug, Benjie Brail," save the bench farther trouble, by quoth Dennis Donovan. proving, on the most undeniable evi- “ GAMMON," quoth I Benjie. dence, that the vessel in court, pur
THE CONDE DE ILDEFONZO.
A TALE OF THE SPANISH REVOLUTION.
SPAIN was in a state of efferves- plunged into a suit of obscure på8cence. Every man was a partisan, sages, and traversed half-a-dozen and thought himself a politician. dilapidated balls, where every wind Every woman was a philosophe, and of heaven was at liberty to wander thought herself a patriot. The land at will, and now, after winding up was glowing with all kinds of en- a long spiral of stairs, that seemed thusiasms-every lip was the source the steps to some mouldering tower of spontaneous eloquence, and every of romance, or no unlikely avenue breast the throne of regenerated to the cells of some feudal prison, virtue. How should I, in the midst the touch of a finger, and the turn of of this universal blaze, alone remain a spring, had opened to me a palace chill ? Was the cap of prudence to of enchantment. We stood in what sit upon my head, in the midst of seemed the private box of a small the millions who had flung away the salle d'opéra. The salle was exquilast fragment of the old covering, sitely decorated; yet with such simand denuded the native brains ? plicity, that I might have imagined As I stood in rear of the curtain, it built at the moment by a fairy whose rising was to develope the architect. To this hour I cannot new light and life of the land of define the source of its singular monks and monarchy, I employed beauty-rich without heaviness, and myself in conjecturing what was to luxurious without profusion: all the be seen in the developement of the common ornaments of gilding and wonders at the other side-whether rose-wreaths were excluded. No a puppet show, or a Legislative gaudy colour, no glaring attempt assembly-whether a band of con- at the superb, oppressed the eyespirators, cloaked and daggered to all was elegance; and if we might the teeth, or a gay bal paré-whether attach the idea to such things, all the roasting of a cardinal, or the pit was feeling. But the figure in the of a theatre. Still a consciousness centre was worthy of the shrine. of unnecessary hazard, a slight re- A crowd of persons, habited in the buke of mind, for the folly or the costumes of a fancy ball, sat in guilt of venturing into scenes so lit- niches, or on rows of seats, round ile congenial with the temperature this delicious saloon. They had been of my mind—a recollection of the dancing in some other of the apartgardens of the Conde, the frightful ments; but on the signal of the catastrophe which I had witnessed harp touched by the enchantress, there, and through all, and more than who now let her light bands flutter all, the beauty of Catalina, so touch- over the strings, every sound of the ing yet so animated, so tender yet dance had been hushed, and all the so bewitching, came with a succes
dancers had crowded to hear the sion of lights and shades across my señora's sequidilla. She was appamental vision, that singularly dis- rently young, with the brilliant turbed me.
I was on the point of complexion, which is so much more yielding to the impression, and lea- rare than the brilliant eye, in the ving my gallant capitan to make his land of the South. She was eviway, and make my apologies to the dently a very fine performer on the fair lady of the mansion, when, as if noble instrument with which she he had watched my countenance, he accompanied her song; but all consuddenly touched a cord, and the sideration of mere instrumental skill - curtain flew up. All was astonish- was lost in the effect of her thrilling ment.
and delicious voice. I had heard ali I had come through the dark and the masters and mistresses of the half-ruined streets of the most ruin. art during the years of my Contious quarter of Madrid - I had nental sojourn, but, for the first