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that very morning I had offered, and had been accepted by her rival; (since you must have an answer, Maria, although I think you very pretty, and am fond of you, I do not think you are fit to be my wife, and therefore I shall marry Miss L- Maria looked at me as I Inade tbis heartless reply, and for some ininutes appeared fixed as a statue ; then, as it her strength had been taken away by sudden paralysis, fell down upon the floor. I bastened to raise her, shocked at the event ; she was insensible, and the blood flowed in torrents from her nose and mouth. I called for assistance, and she was removed to her own bed. The surgeon who attended, immediately informed me that she had broken a blood-vessel, and inquired of me bow the accident had been occasioned.
As I was on terms of great intimacy, I candidly acknowledged the circumstances, and at the same time my prospect of union with Miss
Mr. Compton, you must allow me to offer you my advics ; that girl will be up and well in a fortnight. The rupture of a blood-vessel in this climate is not so serious an accident as in a colder country; but even if she were vot able to get up, your life is in jeopardy. Do you recollect the conversation you repeated to me that you had with her, relative to the Obeah poison ?'.
· Perfectly well; and also that when I asked what had become of what was in her mother's possession, she gave me po satisfactory reply.'
She has it in her possession, you inay depend upon it ; and what is inore, will make use of it. You must immediately ricquaint Mr. L_ with the whole particulars.'
Impossible, 'replied 1, how could I nake such a confession to the father of Miss L- ? I never could persuade myself to acknowledge my folly to him. ;
- Then to be candid with you, I must ; for not only your life, but that of Miss L- is in danger; and should any unfortunate result occur, I never could forgive myself. You must see, yourself, the propriety of the step, for the girl must be removed.'
After much persuasion on his part, I consented that he should make Mr. L acquainted with the whole transaction. Mr. Lwho was as much alarmed for the safety of his daughter and for mine, as the surgeon, had a careful watch upon Marja until she was well enough to be removed. He then sent her off to an estate on the other side of the island. Before she had proceeded a mile on her journey, she asked leave to dismount from the mule, and sitting on the side of the road, requested the inan who had her in charge to pluck her a banapa, from a tree which grew on the road side. He did so—she peeled, broke it, and ate it, and then laid down on the groupd. Her attendant requested her to rise and proceed, but she refused, saying, 'No-I die here. In a few minutes she expired, and the remains of that powder which she had stated to me to have been in the possession of her mother, was found in a small piece of paper, lying by her side.
I hardly need observe, that this tragic event was a source of deep regret, although it proved the wisdom of the surgeon's precautions. "My narrow escape at the time that I was about to close a wild career, and about to enter into a new and better life, was long the subject of serious reflection, and has I trust, assisted, with the example and affection of my wife, in reforming a character not naturally vicious, but too easily led into error and indiscretion.
BY THE AUTHOR OF NEWTON FOSTER.
Now that I have been on board about a month, I find that my life is not disagreeable. I don't smell the pitch and tar, and I can get into my hammock without tumbling out on the other side. My messmates are goodtempered, although they laugh at me very much; but I must say that they are not very nice in their ideas of honor. They appear to consider that to take you in, is a capital joke ; and that because they laugh at the time that they are cheating you, it then becomes no cheating at all. Now I cannot think otherwise than that cheating is cheating, and that a person is not a bit more honest, because he laughs at you in the bargain. A few days after I came on board, I purchased some tarts of the lumboat woman, as she is called; I wished to pay for them, but she had no change, and very civilly told me she would trust me. She opened a narrow book, and said that she would open an account with me, and I could pay her when I thought proper. To this arrangement I had no objection, and I sent up for different things until I thought that my account must have amounted to eleven or twelve shillings. As I promised my father that I never would run in debt, I considered that it was then time that it should be settled. When I asked for it, what was my surprise to find that it amounted to 21. 14s. 6d. I declared that it was impossible, and requested that she would allow me to look at the items, when I found that I was booked for at least three or four dozen tarts every day, ordered by the young gentlemen to be put down to Mr. Simple's account.' I was very much shocked, not only at the sum of money which I had to pay, but also at the want of honesty on the part of my messmates ; but when I complained of it in the berth, they all laughed at me.
At last one of them said, Peter, tell the truth ; did not your father caution you not to run in debt?'
• Yes, he did,' replied I.
'I know that very well,' replied he: “all fathers do the same when their sons leave them ; it's a matter of course. Now observe, Peter; it is out of regard to you, that your messmates have been eating tarts at your expense. You disobeyed your father's injunctions before you had been a month from home; and it is to give you a lesson that may be useful in after life, that they have considered it their duty to order the tarts. I trust that it will not be thrown away upon you. Go to the woman, pay your bill, and never run up another.'
That I certainly shall not,' replied I; and as I could not prove who ordered the tarts, and did not think it fair that the woman should lose her money, I went up and paid the bill, with a determination never to open an account with any body again.
But this left my pockets quite empty, so I wrote to my father, stating the whole transaction, and the consequent state of my finances. My father, in his answer, observed that whatever might have been their motives, my messmates had done me a friendly act; and that as I had lost my money by my own carelessness, I must not expect that he would allow yne any more pocket-money. But my mother, who added a postscript to his letter slipped in a five-pound note, and I do believe that it was with my father's sanction, although he pretended to be very angry at my forgetting his injunctions. This timely relief made me quite comfortable again. What
* Continued from p. 71.
a pleasure it is to receive a letter from one's friends wheu far away, especially when there is some money in it!
A few days before this, Mr. Falcon, the first lieutenant, ordered me to put on my side-arms to go away on duty. I replied, that I had neither dirk or cocked hat, although I had applied for them. He laughed at my story, and sent me on shore with the master, who bought them; and the first lieutenant sent up the bill to my father, who paid it, and wrote to thank him for his trouble. That morning, the first lieutenant said to me, • Now, Mr. Simple, we'll take the shine off that cocked hat and dirk of yours. You will go in the boat with Mr. O'Brien, and take care that none of the men slip away from it, and get drunk at the tap.'
This was the first time that I had ever been sent away on duty, and I was very proud of being an officer in charge. I put on my full uniform, and was ready at the gangway a quarter of an hour before the men were piped away. We were ordered to the dock-yard to draw sea stores. When we arrived there, I was quite astonished at the piles of timber, the ranges of storehouses, and the inmense anchors which lay on the wharf. There was such a bustle, every body appeared to be so busy, that I wanted to look every way at once. Close to where the boat landed, they were hauling a large frigate out of what they called the basin; and I was so interested with the sight, that I am sorry to say I quite forgot all about the boat's crew, and my orders to look after them. What surprised me most was, that although the men employed appeared to be sailors, their language was very different from what I had been lately accustomed to, on board of the frizate. Instead of damning and swearing, every body was so polite.
Oblige ine with a pull of the starboard bow hawser, Mr. Jones. '-. Ease off the larboard hawser, Mr. Jenkins, if you please.' - Side her over, gentlemen; side her over.'- My compliments to Mr. Tompkins, and request that he will cast off the quarter check. Side her over, gentlemen, side her over, if you please.'-"In the boat there, pull to Mr. Simmons, and beg he'll do met'ie favor to check her as she swings. What's the matter, Mr. Johnson?'
-Vy, there's one of them ere midshipmites has thrown a red hot tater out of the stern-port, and hit our officer in the eye. '- Report him to the commissioner, Mr. Wiggins; and oblige me by under-running the guess-warp. Tell Mr. Simkins, with my compliments, to coil away upon the jetty. Side her over, side her over, gentlemen, if you please.
I asked of a bystander who these people were, and he told me they were dock-yard mateys. I certainly thought that it appeared to be quite as easy to say, “If you please,' as · D-n your eyes,' and that it sounded much more agreeable.
During the time that I was looking at the frigate being hauled out, two of the men belonging to the boat slipped away, and on my return they were not to be seen. I was very much frightened, for I knew that I had neglected my duty, and that on the first occasion on which I had been entrusted with a responsible service. What to do I did not know. I ran up and down every part of the dock-yard, until I was quite out of breath, asking every body I met whether they had seen my two men. Many of them said that they had seen plenty of men, but did not exactly know mine; some laughed, and called me greenhorr.. At last I met a midshipman, who told me that he had seen two men answering to my description on the roof of the coach starting for London, and that I must be quick if I wished to catch them ; but he would not stop to answer any more questions. I continued walking about the yard until I met twenty or thirty men with grey jackets and breeches, to whom I applied for information ; they told me that
they had seen two sailors skulking behind the piles of timber. They crowded round me, and appeared very anxious to assist me, when they were summoned away to carry down a cable. I observed that they all had numbers on their jackets, and either one or two bright iron rings on their legs. I could not help inquiring, although I was in such a hurry, why the rings were worn. One of them replied that they were orders of merit, given to them for their good behavior.
I was proceeding on very disconsolate, when, as I turned a corner, to my great delight I met my two men, who touched their hats and said they had been looking for me. I did not believe that they told the truth, but I was so glad to recover them that I did not scold, but went with them down to the boat, which had been waiting some time for us. O'Brien, the master's mate, called me a young sculpin, a word I never heard before. When we arrived on board, the first lieutenant asked O'Brien why he had remained so long. He answered that two of the men had left the boat, but that I had found them. The first lieutenant appeared to be pleased with me, observing, as he said before, that I was no fool, and I went down below overjoyed at my good fortune, and very much obliged to O'Brien for not telling the whole truth. After I had taken off my dirk and cocked hat, I felt for my pocket handkerchief, and found it was not in my pockei, having in all probability been taken out by the men in grey jackets, who, in conversation with my messmates, I discovered to be convicts condemned to hard labor for stealing and picking pockets.
A day or two afterwards, we all had leave from the first lieutenant to go to Portdown fair, but he would only allow the oldsters to sleep on shore. We anticipated so much pleasure from our excursion, that some of us were up, and went away in the boat sent for fresh beef. This was very foolish. There were no carriages to take us to the fair, nor indecd any fair so early in the morning; the shops were all shut, and the Blue Posts, where we always rendezvoused was hardly opened. We waited there in the coffeeroom, until we were driven out by the maid sweeping away the dirt, and were forced to walk about until she had finished, and lighted the fire, when we ordered our breakfast; but how much better would it have been to have taken our breakfast comfortably on board, and then to have come on shore, especially as we had no money to spare. Next to being too late, being too soon is the worst plan in the world. However, we had our breakfast, and paid the bill; then we sallied forth, and went up George Street, where we found all sorts of vehicles ready to take us to the fair. We got into one which they called a dilly. I asked the man who drove us why it was so called, and he replied, because he only charged a shilling. O'Brien, who had joined us after breakfasting on board, said that this answer reminded him of one given to him by a man who attended the hackney-coach stands in London. • Pray, 'said lie, why are you called Waterman?' 'Waterman,' replied the man, vy, sir, 'cause ve opens the hackney-coach doors.' At last, with plenty of whipping, and plenty of swearing, and a great deal of laughing, the old horse, whose back curved upwards like a bow, from the difficulty of dragging so many, arrived at the bottom of Portdown hill, where we got out, and walked up to the fair. It really was a most beautiful sight. The bright blue sky, and the colored flags flapping about in all directions, the grass so green, and the white tents and booths, the sun shining so bright, and the shining gilt gingerbread, the variety of toys and variety of noise, the quantity of people and the quantity of sweetmeats ; little boys so happy, and shop people so polite, the music at the booths, and the bustle and eagerness of the people outside, made my heart quite jump. There was Richardson, with a ciown and harlequin, and such beautiful women, dressed in clothes all over gold spangles, dancing reels and waitzes, and looking so happy! There was Flint and Gyngell, with fello:83 tumbling over head ard heels, playing such tricks-eating fire, and drawing yards of tape out of their mouths. Then there was the Royal Circus, ali the horses standing in a line, with men and women standing on their backs, waving flags, while thc trumpeters blew their trumpets. And the largest giant in the world, and Mr. Paap, the smallest dwarf in the world, and a female dwarf, who was smaller still, and Miss Bitfin, who did everything without legs or arms. There was also the learned pig, and the Herefordshire ox, and a hundred other siyhts which I cannot now remember. We walked about for an hour or two secing the outside of everything: we determined to go and see the inside. First we went into Richardson's, where we saw a bloody tragedy, with a ghost and thunder, and afterwards a pantomime, full of tricks, and tumbling over one another. Then we saw one or two other things, I forget whicii, but this I know, that ger.erally speaking, the outside was better than the inside. After this, feeling very hungry, we agreed to go into a booth and have something to eat. The tables were ranged all around, and in the contre there was a boarded platforin for dancing. The ladies were there all ready dressed for partners; and the music was so lively, that I felt very much inclined to dance, but we had agreed to go and see the wild beasts fed at Mr. Polito's menagerie, and as it was now almost cight o'clock, wc paid our bill and set oft. It was a very curious sight, and better worth seeing than anything in the fair: I never had an idea that there was so many strange animals in existence. They were all secured in iron caves, and a large chandelier, with twenty lights, bung in the centre of the booth, and lighted them up, while the keeper went round and stirred them up with his long pole; at the same time he gave us their histories, which were very interesting. I recollect a few of them. There was the tapir, a great pig with a long nose, a variety of the hiptostomass, which the keeper said was an amphibilious animal, as couldn't live on land, and dies in the water-however, it seemed to live very well in a cage. Then there was a kangaroo with its young ones peeping out of it-a most astonishing animal. The keeper said that it brought forth two young ones at a birth, and then took them into its stomach again, until they arrived at years of discretion. Then there was the pelican of the wilderness, (I shall not forget him,) with a large bag under bis throat, which the man put on his head as a night-cap; this bird feeds its young with its own blood-when fish are scarce. And there was the laughing hyæna, who cries in the wood like a human being in distress, and devours those who come to his assistance-a sad instance of the deprayity of human nature, as the keeper observed. There was a beautiful creature, the royal Bengal tiger, only three years old, what growed ten inches every year, and never arrived at its full growth. The one we saw, measured, as the keeper told us, sixtcen feet from the snout to the tail, and seventeen feet from the tail to the snout; but there must have been some toistake there. There was a young elephant and three lions, and several other animals, which I forget now, so I shall go on to describe the tragical scene which occurred. The kecper had poked up all the animals, and had commenced feeding them. The great lion was growling and snarling over the shin bone of an ox, cracking it like a nut, when by sone mismanagement, one end of the pole upon which the chandelier was suspended fell down, striking the door of the cage in which the lioness was at suppor, and bursting it open. It was all done in a second; the chandelier