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29TH JULY.-BEAUTIFUL DAY.—LAT. 49, 27.
In the evening Captain Maxwell related to us the particulars of his shipwreck in 1812, in the American schooner, Phæton, nine guns, fifty men, upon a reef of rocks near the Bahamas; twenty-two of the crew got upon a part of the wreck, surrounded by sharks. In four days, ten only of them remained, the others having perished through fatigue, fright, and famine. One man died raving mad, drinking salt water out of his shoes. When they had been upon the wreck two days, a proposal was made that they should cast lots who should die, to furnish food for the rest, bụt it was negatived by the majority; soon after which, one of them died, whom they cut up, and eat, Captain Maxwell taking a part of the liver, which was all the food he had for ten days. Afterwards a shark snatched one of the few survivors off the wreck; Captain M. counting not fewer than fifty of those ravenous monsters alongside them; he and his fellow sufferers being all the while mid leg deep in water, to which, however, as a sort of sustenance, he attributed his ultimate safety, the climate being very sultry. On the 10th day, their numbers being reduced to three, none of whom had had any sleep for ten days and nights, they caught a shark, by noosing him with a rope, and holding him to the wreck, until he died. On opening him, horrid to relate, they found the head of the dead man they had devoured, very little disfigured. Captain M. had the first drink of the shark's blood, and thought it delicious. On that day they reached a small desert island, where they subsisted for a few days upon shark's flesh and red berries, which they found there, until they were rescued from their perilous situation by an American vessel, which ran in close to the shore, to avoid the English cruisers, and which carried them to Cuba. That island was their original destination, in order to purchase a cargo of sugar, to dispose of in France, that being a good speculation, owing to the war, and to Bonaparte's continental system. Captain M. was then second mate. Of the remainder of the crew nine reached Cuba in the long boat; the other nineteen were never heard of more.
The year preceding that, he was wrecked off the coast of Norway; crew saved, ship and cargo lost. On each of those unfortunate voyages he left America on a Friday, the sailor's unlucky day.
Becalmed upon the great bank of Newfoundland, in thirty fathoms. Crew, cod fishing all day, caught only two; Mr. Guy and others, firing at marks all the morning; the Quaker the best shot.
After dinner, the captain ordered out the long boat; he and others sailed for upwards of an hour round the ship, rowed by a couple of the crew, Mr. Guy firing his gun into the air occasionally, by way of frolic.
In the evening had a dance upon deck, to the inspiring tune of paddy's fiddle. The captain gives him his passage in consideration of his playing the fiddle and feeding the fowls. In fact, as has often been observed at pic-nic and other parties in old England, “What a funny day this has been.” Besides it is reported on board, that the sea-serpent has been seen with Mr. Guy's white castor upon its head; but that fact wants confirmation: is important, if true, &c.
upon deck, during the day, under a canvass awning, to conceal the sun's rays, “The Tempest," “ The two Gentlemen of Verona,” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor," written by one William Shakspere, Esq., the prince of poets and of men. Also finished the perusal of “ Cyril Thornton,” just published; the author knows what writing is, and can wield the magic wand at pleasure, that is evident.
Had a conversation with Mr. Guy about the present state and future prospects of Quakerism, from which it appears that the Society of Friends, from having been the most fraternal of all sects, has become infected with the demon of discord, to a much greater extent than is usual; that their disputes, like those of relations, are all the more bitter for their previous cordiality, “acerrima proximorum odia,” as Tacitus
says; and that zeal, in this, as in most other religious disputes, has swallowed up both discretion and charity.
The majority of Friends in England, it appears, have appropriated to themselves the name of Orthodox, and have affixed that of Heterodox upon the American brethren, who have returned the compliment in kind and in degree, by turning the tables upon the English, and by voting themselves just the reverse; the pivot of all which bickering, as I at length succeeded in eliciting from Mr. Guy, being, that the great majority of the English Quakers are Trinitarians, whilst the majority of the Americans, including himself, have recently become Unitarians.
The English Quakers have dispatched to the Friends in America, Mrs. Amy Brothwaite, of Kendal, Ann and George Jones (the grey mare being the better horse), and Elizabeth Robson, from Westmorland (leaving there a large family to shift for themselves), to point out to them the error of their ways, but as appears much more likely to be the case, to add fuel to the flame, for which I should apprehend, the glibness of so many female tongues, to be particularly well adapted; and alas ! like stones in a gutter, their only effect has been to give momentum to the current, headed by the veteran Elias Hicks, Edward Stables, the Alexandrian philosopher, and Thomas Wetherall, the Washington divine. This last, who is a butcher by trade, and was originally a Yorkshire Quaker, also, tall and thin, appears to be a man of great natural abilities, a sort of Oldfieldlane-doctor-in-divinity; whose discourses most of the members of congress and heads of departments, when at Washington city, are in the habit of atten