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dreadful resolution. Having terminated his disputes with every enemy and every rival, who buried their mutual animosities in their common detestation against the creditors of the Nabob of Arcot, he drew from every quarter whatever a savage ferocity could add to his new rudiments in the art of destruction; and compounding all the materials of fury, havoc, and desolation into one black cloud, he hung for a while on the declivities of the mountains. Whilst the authors of all these evils were idly and stupidly gazing on this menacing meteor, which blackened all their horizon, it suddenly burst, and poured down the whole of its contents upon the plains of the Carnatic.
3. Then ensued a scene of woe, the like of which no eye had seen, no heart conceived, and of which no tongue can adequately tell. All the horrors of war before known or heard of were mercy to that new havoc. A storm of universal fire blasted every field, consumed every house, destroyed every temple. The miserable inhabitants flying from their flaming villages, in part were slaughtered ; others, without regard to sex, to age, to the respect of rank or sacredness of function, fathers torn from children, husbands from wives, enveloped in a whirlwind of cavalry, and amidst the goading spears of drivers, and the trampling of pursuing horses, were swept into captivity in an unknown and hostile land. Those who were able to evade this tempest fled to the walled cities; but escaping from fire, sword, and exile, they fell into the jaws of famine.
4. For eighteen months, without intermission, this destruction raged from the gates of Madras to the gates of l'anjore; and so completely did these masters of their art, IIyder Ali and his more ferocious son, absolve themselves of their impious vow, that, when the British armies traversed, as they did, the Carnatic for hundreds of miles in all directions, through the whole line of their march they did not see one man, not one woman, not one child, not one four-footed beast of any description whatever. One dead, uniform silence reigned over the whole region.
N flickering light and shade the broad stream goes,
Through reedy fens its sluggish current flows,
Where lilies grow and purple-blossomed mallows.
The aster-blooms above its eddies shine,
With pollened bees about them humming slowly, And in the meadow-lands the drowsy kine
Make music with their sweet bells, tinkling lowly.
The shrill cicala,* on the hillside tree,
warning; And turtle doves re-echo, plaintively,
From upland fields, a soft, melodious mourning.
A golden haze conceals the horizon,
A golden sunshine slants across the meadows; The pride and prime of summer-time is gone,
But beauty lingers in these autumn shadows.
The wild-hawk's shadow fleets across the grass,
Its softened gray the softened green outvying; And fair scenes fairer grow while yet they pass,
As breezes freshen when the day is dying.
O sweet September! thy first breezes bring
The dry leaf's rustle and the squirrel's laughter, The cool, fresh air, whence health and vigor spring, And promise of exceeding joy hereafter
GEORGE ARNOLD. * Cicala (sy-cá-la), the locust, or harvest-fly.
CXXIII.--AMONG THE SHOALS.
HE confident assurances which Griffith had given to
the pilot, respecting the qualities of his vessel and his own ability to manage her, were fully realized by the result. The helm was no sooner put a-lee than the huge ship bore up gallantly against the wind, and, dashing directly through the waves, threw the foam high into the air, as she looked boldly into the very eye of the wind; and then, yielding gracefully to its power, she fell off on the other tack, with her head pointed from those dangerous shoals that she had so recently approached with such terrifying velocity. The heavy yards swung round, as if they had been vanes to indicate the currents of the air, and in a few moments the frigate again moved with stately progress through the water, leaving the rocks and shoals behind her on one side of the bay, but advancing towards those that offered equal danger on the other.
2. During this time the sea was becoming more agitated, and the violence of the wind was gradually increasing. The latter no longer whistled amid the cordage of the vessel, but it seemed to howl surlily as it passed the complicated machinery that the frigate obtruded on its path. An endless succession of white surges rose above the heavy billows, and the very air was glittering with the light that was disengaged from the ocean.
3. The ship yielded each moment more and more before the storm, and, in less than half an hour from the time that she had lifted her anchor, she was driven along with tremendous fury, by the full power of a gale of wind. Still the hardy and experienced mariners, who directed her movements, held her to the course that was necessary to their preservation; and still Griffith gave forth, when directed by their unknown pilot, those orders that turned her in the narrow channel where safety was alone to be found.
4. So far the performance of his duty appeared easy to the stranger, and he gave the required directions in those still, calm tones that formed so remarkable a contrast to the responsibility of his situation. But when the land was becoming dim in distance as well as darkness, and the agitated sea was only to be discovered as it swept by them in foam, he broke in upon the monotonous roaring of the tempest with the sounds of his voice, seeming to shake off his apathy and rouse himself to the occasion.
5. "Now is the time to watch her closely, Mr. Griffith," he cried; "here we get the true tide and the real danger. Place the best quartermaster of your ship in those chains, and let an officer stand by him, and see that he gives us the right water."
6. “I will take that office on myself,” said the captain; "pass a light into the weather main chains."
7. “Stand by your braces!” exclaimed the pilot, with startling quickness. “Heave away that lead.”
8. These preparations taught the crew to expect the crisis, and every officer and man stood in fearful silence at his assigned station, awaiting the issue of the trial. Even the quartermaster gave out his orders to the men at the wheel in deeper and hoarser tones than usual, as if anxious not to disturb the quiet and order of the vessel.
9. While this deep expectation pervaded the frigate, the piercing cry of the leadsman, as he called, “By the mark seven!” rose above the tempest, crossed over the decks, and seemed to pass away to leeward, borne on the blast like the warnings of some water spirit.
10. “ 'Tis well,” returned the pilot, calmly; "try it again.”
The short pause was succeeded by another cry: “And a half-five!”
"She shoals! she shoals!" exclaimed Griffith; "keep her a good full."
11. “Ay! you must hold the vessel in command now,” said the pilot, with those cool tones that are most appall
ing in critical moments, because they seem to denote most preparation and care.
12. The third call of "By the deep four!” was followed by a prompt direction from the stranger to tack.
Griffith seemed to emulate the coolness of the pilot in issuing the necessary orders to execute this maneuver.
13. The vessel rose slowly from the inclined position into which she had been forced by the tempest, and the sails were shaking violently, as if to release themselves from confinement, while the ship stemmed the billows, when the well-known voice of the sailing master was heard shouting from the forecastle, “ Breakers ! breakers, dead ahead !”
14. This appalling sound seemed yet to be lingering about the ship, when a second voice cried, “Breakers on our lee-bow!"
15. "We are in a bight of the shoals, Mr. Gray," said the commander. “She loses her way; perhaps an anchor might hold her.”
16. “Clear away that best bower," shouted Griffith through his trumpet.
"Hold on!” cried the pilot, in a voice that reached the very hearts of all who heard him; "hold on everything."
17. The young man turned fiercely to the daring stranger who thus defied the discipline of his vessel, and at once demanded, “Who is this that dares countermand my orders ? Is it not enough that you run the ship into danger, but you must interfere to keep her there? If another word
18. “Peace, Mr. Griffith," interrupted the captain, bending from the rigging, his gray locks blowing about in the wind, and adding a look of wildness to the haggard care that he exhibited by the light of his lantern; “ yield the trumpet to Mr. Gray; he alone can save us.”
19. Griffith threw his speaking-trumpet on the deck, and as he walked proudly away, muttered, in bitterness of feeling, “Then all is lost indeed; and among the rest, the foolish hopes with which I visited this coast."