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the dark spots upon his disk being visible to the last, without a single ray of his wonted effulgence to inflict pain upon the fixed and open eye.
The moon was nearly at her full, and came forth under the same mantle which had covered the sun in the day. But over her face the veil was blue, and most dismally dark. The stars laboured to shine, and could scarcely peep out. The night was even more gloomy than the day—as all its lights seemed just ready to be extinguished.
Monday, the 15th, was very much the same, more especially in the afternoon; when, for a while, so far as I remember, it was even darker than the day before. And so again on Monday night; and it was not till the third or fourth day that the heavens began to wear their natural appearances.
I have since incidentally learned by American papers that the same phenomena, at the same time, were exhibited over all the American seas, and nearly, or quite, over the continent. I think that we were on the Banks of Newfoundland, or in the neighbourhood.
It will be remembered, that the terrible West India hurri. canes happened at this time, when Barbadoes was nearly made desolate. I have not the date of these calamities; but they occurred either on one of these days, or immediately afterward. The phenomena were owing no doubt to the state of the atmosphere; and it was natural to expect that nature, thus wrapped, and apparently constrained and distressed, would obtain relief by some violent effort. It is only remarkable that the violence was not more extensive, and more commensurate in its effects with the wide-spread suffering in the elements above us, than seemed to be experienced. The least that we expected was a share in such a consequence; but it did not overtake us.
On Sabbath morning, August 21st, the ship's bell rang at nine o'clock for a funeral, of which the passengers and crew had been previously apprized. The morning was pleasant, and the ship under easy sail. The corpse, being that of a tall man, having been suitably wrapped in a sack, was lashed to a plank so tightly as to develop the entire contour or profile of the human form, from head to foot, as it rested on supports a little superior to the railing of the ship, with feet towards the sea, ready to be plunged into the deep, after the appropriate rites of religion should be performed. All assembled on deck in presence of the dead, with heads uncovered; the clergyman read a portion of the Scriptures, spoke a few words on the oceasion, and offered a prayer to Heaven; immediately after which, the captain beckoned with his hand, and the body was caused to slide gently over the side of the vessel; and down it went into the sea, send
ing back to our ears the noise of a plunge, which, in the circumstances, seemed all funereal--a sound which, methinks, all who heard must hear a long, long time—a sound not to be forgotten. All stood motionless for a moment, in silence contemplating the scene, as if bound to the spectacle by thoughts higher than the earth and the sea. Then, one by one, each moved away to his post of duty or to his place of retirement. But the noise of that plunge, four years since, even now rings in my ears; I hear it when my thoughts turn that way–I cannot cease to hear it. To be buried in the ocean !-to sink down and lie on the bottom of the mighty deep, till “the sea” shall be bidden to “deliver up the dead that are in it!" Nature shrinks, though religion may whisper, 'tis all the same. Who would not prefer, if it might be the will of Heaven, to lie down with his
kindred, where he might be wept by his friends ?
The man we buried was one of the steerage-passengers, an Irishman, about forty years old, who came on board far gone with consumption, and friendless, hoping once more to see his native land and those he had left behind.
The common influence of a sea voyage, in aggravating the tendencies and hastening the termination of this insidious complaint, anticipated all his calculations, and imposed on us the solemn and affecting office of consigning his body to the ocean's bed, till the morning of the resurrection. A funeral at sea has in it a peculiar solemnity. The body of this man was dropped upon a bank, in the middle of the Atlantic, the name of which I forget, and of the existence of which I was not before apprized. These banks in the ocean, like those of Newfoundland, are always indicated by the colour of the water-it being rather turbid, and wanting the appropriate blue of the deep salt sea. As the body was weighed down by stone in a sack at the feet, and being deposited over such a bank, it soon found a place of rest, and in a few hours we had left it far behind.
At eleven o'clock this day there was again public worship on the deck of the ship, as on the previous Sabbath.
On Saturday, the 27th, we found ourselves becalmed in St. George's Channel, off Kinsale, in sight of land. But in the evening the wind sprung up, and by the help of tide we made rapid flight towards Liverpool. As if the bard of Avon had been a prophet, and we destined to certify the truth of his record by finding history in poetry, it is a curious fact that, at twelve at night, our shipboy Jack, about fifteen years of age, who had shown all the agility of a monkey during the voyage, in going aloft and running about the rigging, having been perched on the main-topsail yard to keep watch for a light, actually fell asleep in that high place, nearly opposite the mouth of the river associated with the
poet's name, as having been honoured by his birth upon its banks. The sea had risen, and the ship rolled and pitched, enough to demand wakefulness in those on duty.
“ Jack, do you see the light?” said the watch. Jack made no answer. The call was repeated, and with increased earnestness, a second and a third time; but Jack was still silent! The sailors sprang aloft, and found him snoring aloud, as an accompaniment of the winds !
Sleep! gentle sleep!
Deny it to a king ?” Sabbath morning, the 28th, at sunrise, we nearly brushed the naked and rocky bluffs of Holyhead, shooting by them like a vision of enchantment, on the wings of a stiff northwest breeze; seeming to turn a corner there, as was indeed the fact, buffeting with lusty endeavour a mad and foaming tide, as it rushed from the northern to the southern seas between England and Ireland. And every mile we gained in such a conflict laid before the eye some new aspects of rock, and shore, and landscape, and hill and mountain profile. Nothing can be more beautiful, or bolder and more formidable, than the front of Holyhead. Then came the Skerry rocks, one group of which is like a range of battle. ments, the central one resembling a church, and the lighthouse perched upon it, a steeple in perfection; then the opening harbour of Holyhead, and its beautiful little town; then the highly-cultivated hills and plains of Anglesea, with numberless fields of grain, just cut and gathered into heaps, and resting for the Sabbath before it was gathered in; the hedges, distinctly defining every separate enclosure, greater and smaller, regular and irregular; the lanes of access; the little white cottages and more imposing farmhouses; the windmills; small villages and hamlets here and there; churches; now a copse of wood, and now another; and beyond this checkered vision the irregular and fantastic profiles of mountains, the loftier points merged in the clouds ;-all, land and sea, lighted up with one of the brightest mornings that ever shone, and the entire and variegated scene rapidly changing appearances, as we were borne along the sixty miles from Holyhead to Liverpool. The day before, as we lay in St. George's Channel, we saw, but indistinctly, through the mist and smoke, and low in the distant horizon, some of the elevated portions of the Emerald Isle. But this morning, the shores, plains, hills, and mountains of England and Wales burst upon us in their loveliest features, and under the hues imparted by the brightest sun, after a shoreless vision of eighteen days. We often sailed so near the shore as to be able to trace with the naked eye the fissures and crude prominences of the rocks.
A little from Holyhead we took a pilot. And then the news! what news? Great events were expected from the new Parliament and from Poland. But Poland and Parliament were soon lost sight of, in the announcement of the mournful wreck of the Rothsay Castle, which went to pieces some ten-days before, at twelve o'clock at night, directly in sight of where we were then sailing, and about ninety souls of one hundred were supposed to have perished ! Nothing of the kind, since the destruction of the Albion, had produced so great a sensation. And there was a peculiar aggravation attending the wreck of the Rothsay Castle which can never be healed. We bow in submission to the awful providence of God, when his hand is single and alone in afflicting us; but when the recklessness of man is seen to have bereaved us of our friends and dear ones, and in the most awful manner, the heart will bleed, and bleed while memory lasts, and never be comforted. And so will it be in the present instance. That ruthless pushing of opposition in the running of stagecoaches and steamers, which rages equally in England and in the United States, is burdened with no small share of the responsibility of this never-to-beforgotten calamity. And, more aggravating still, that fiend, and fitter tenant of a darker world, the unpitying soul of brutal intoxication, comes in here to perfect the anguish of the recollections of that dreadful night. To lie upon the ocean, lashed to fury by the pitiless and maddened winds of heaven, under the guidance of the most accomplished and best-directed skill of man, in the best craft, is terrible enough. But to be obliged to ask mercy of a drunkard in that hour—to beseech him to do his duty, and he shall growl, and curse, and refuse to act—0! who can depict the anxieties of the innocent souls that lie at his feet! When I think of this, I thank God, and I love and respect the man who guided our bark across the Atlantic, not only for his personal virtues and nautical skill, but that he had reduced his whole crew to a total abstinence from ardent spirits, and resolved never to allow its use again.
We came to anchor in the Mersey, before Liverpool, at two o'clock P. M., just nineteen days from port to port; and found lodgings in town before four o'clock.
Dr. Raffles and the Rothsay Castle—The sombre Aspect of English Towns-Comparison of English and American Shipping, Steamers,
&c. -Comparative Commercial Importance of London and Liverpool-A Paradox in English Character-The Liverpool Slave-trade--DocksCustom-house Duties and Shipping of London and Liverpool-Also of the United Kingdom.
ARRIVED at Liverpool; my foot planted on the soil once dear to our fathers, and associated with a thousand recollections, scarcely less full of romance than grave and eventful in history ; an ocean passed without a storm, or an anxious moment, excepting only as occasioned by the extraordinary celestial phenomena which hung over us for a day or two; lodged comfortably in an English hotel; and the Sabbath bell summoning a dense population to the worship of God; my mind was easily composed to a state not unlike the hallowed peace of a quiet domestic scene.
The leaving of one's native country is full of interest, and touching to a thousand of the better feelings of our nature. The friends we love are behind us; and a sublime and fitful ocean rolls before. The first sight of a foreign shore, after many days of exposure on the deep, with the prospect of soon gaining the shelter of a port, repays in part the sacrifice experienced by the recession of the last line of one's own hills. But England to an American is not foreign; it is the land of his ancestry; the institutions, the virtue, and the piety which have made his country dear were transplanted from this soil. Landing upon these shores, he comes to salute that which it would be unnatural not to esteem-not to revere. Here he finds the same language, the same religion, the same modes and customs of society, and like sympathies, operating in a like manner, in all the kindlier relations of life. He cannot feel that he is abroad; he is at home.
We had landed on the Sabbath; the dawn of the morning had espied us from over the rocks of Holyhead; a brisk wind, bearing us swiftly into port, admonished the sailors of the preparations required for coming to anchor at the end of a voyage, and the passengers to collect and arrange their scattered luggage for debarkation. All was confusion and expectation. The quiet retirement of an inn, in a wellordered town, on the evening of the Christian Sabbath, after the active and bustling scene of such a morning, was sufficiently grateful.
I remembered THOMAS SPENCER. The impression of his untimely and lamented death was scarcely less in America