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"They are at it !--they are at it!' now for the first time shouted our skipper, who had served his time, and held a lieutenant's commission in the royal navy; 'I'll stake my life, some of our cruisers have taken the pirate in tow! Will she do nothing ?'-(to the man at the wheel, for we were still completely becalmed)—What would I not give, were it but to have a view of them ?'
"She minds the helm no more than if she were a brate beast !' responded the helmsman in a tone and key in happy sympathy with our captain's impatient query, while he kept rocking from foot to foot with the rapidity of a stop-watch mainspring.
It is impossible to describe the excitement which prevailed amongst the crew, most of whom were old manof-war's men. After some time, the sound of the large guns entirely ceased, while that of the smaller ones incessantly continued-implying, as was natural to suppose, that the latter had silenced the others, and that the crew of the supposed pirate were following up their advantage. At this crisis, a deputation of about twenty of our crew came aft, and entreated the captain's permission hoist ont a couple of boats, and allow them to pull to the scene of action. But the skipper understood his duty too well to give way to the enthusiasm of his men, although evidently gratified at their disinterested courage.
Morning at length dawned, and the nature of the conflict became distinctly visible, as also that the island of St Domingo was about two leagues to leeward of us. A British frigate lay about a mile ahead of us, with the national flay drooping from the mizen-peak, but without any other rag upon her spars. At about two miles' distance was the identical schooner that had alarmed us so much during the night, her long mainmast being entirely bare excepting her royals, which, however, were now entirely useless, as not a breath of air lifted them. But long sweeps had been put in requisition, and were every moment increasing the distance betwixt' her and her assailant. The latter, however, had got out the jolly-boat, which, with a couple of large swivels fixed on her bois, maintained a running-fight with the enemy, who might easily have destroyed her, had not the necessity of escape been so imminent. The shot of the gallant little boat's-crew, although obliged to maintain a cautious distance, was evidently telling, as appeared by the shattered rigging of the schooner, which was making desperate exertions to get within influence of the land-breeze.
There has seldom, if ever, been any situation so tantalising as was that of all parties on this exciting occasion. The pursuers could gain nothing on the fugitives; the latter could make but the most inefficacious efforts at escape; and we, the onlookers, were compelled to witness what passed in still more provoking inactivity. Fortune at last seemed to declare favour of the cause of humanity and justice. Cat's-paws, the forerunners of the trade-wind, began to creep in from the south-east, lifting the sails (which were now invitingly spread out) of the frigate and our own vessel, while the land-breeze proportionally retired; and shortly the former came on slowly and steadily, bearing us towards our prize-as we now regarded her. When this change of weather became perceptible to the crew of the schooner, a most extraordinary scene took place. In less time than I can take to describe the act, about half-a-dozen canoes, each capable of carrying not more than three persons, were lowered down from the schooner, and all began to pull towards the shore, although in many different directions; the latter being an expedient to distract any attempt to pursue them.
“Saw ever mortal eyes anything to match that ! cried our captain, after a long pause of astonishment. The cowardly villains, that would not stand one broadside for that trim piece of craft! But I am cheated if they have left her worth the trouble of boarding. Bear off from her --bear off from her!'-he continued to the helmsman; there's mischief in her yet, I tell you. And his words were fearfully verified almost as soon as spoken. First a thin blue smoke shot upwards from the hold of the schooner; next moment a fierce blood-red fire blazed through between every seam of her hull; tho tall mast seemed absolutely to shoot up into the air like an arrow, and an explosion followed so tremendous-so more terribly loud than anything I had ever listened to, that it seemed as if the ribs of nature herself were rending asunder. Our ship reeled with the shock, and was for a few seconds obstructed in her course, in a manner which I can liken only to what takes place in getting overa coral-reef. When the smoke cleared away, not a vestige of the late schooner was to be seen, excepting a few shattered and blackened planks. But the destruction, unfortunately, did not stop here. It was evident that the explosion had taken place sooner than the pirates themselves had expected. Three of the canoes were swamped by the force of the concussion; and the same thing, if not far worse, liad happened to the boat which carried the gallant little band of pursuers, who had incautiously pulled hard for the schooner as soon as she had been abandoned, instigated at once by the love of fame and prize-money. Boats were instantly lowered, both from our own ship and the war frigate, in order to save, if possible, the lives of the brave fellows; but the whole had probably been stunned, if not killed, by the explosion, and only two corpses out of the eight were found floating about. At this spectacle, as well as at the destruction of the prize, which was looked upon as a most unfair and unwarrantable proceeding, the fury of the men knew no bounds; and although few of them had arms, either offensive or defensive, the whole feet of boats began to pull after the fugitives with a speed that threatened more accidents than had yet befallen. But the surviving canoes, which skimmed along the ocean like flying-fish, were too speedy for their pursuers ; and the latter only succeeded in picking up three captives belonging to the canoes which sunk, including, as luck would have it, the commander of the late piratical vessel. It was with difficulty that the men were restrained from taking immediate vengeance on the persons of the captive wretches, but they were at length securely lodged on board the frigate, which, as well as ourselves (who were extremely glad of such a consort), stood away for PortRoyal with all sails set, whiere, on the second day there. after, we arrived about noon, the frigate there coming to anchor, while we beat up to Kingston. We afterwards learned that we had escaped the menaced attack of the pirates by their perceiving, through their night-glasses, the quantity of muskets and other small-arms handed up from our hold, as they bore down on us the second time, as before mentioned. In a few days after our arrival, the wretched captives were brought to trial, and hung at the yard-arm.
The glee and satisfaction diffused amongst us at the destruction of the pirate, was damped by a circumstance of a most melancholy nature, which took place almost as soon as we had cast anchor within the palisades. There was amongst the crew a mulatto boy, about sixteen years of age, a native of Kingston, where his only relative, a sister, resided. He had been absent from her for about three years, and in the impatience of his affection, he came aft and solicited permission to go ashore, were it but for half an hour, promising faithfully to return within that time. But the captain refused to permit him to leave the ship till next morning. The poor little fellow retired with a full heart and overflowing eyes, and I saw him station himself in a disconsolate manner in the forepart of the vessel, looking wistfully towards the town. In the meantime dozens of boats and canoes put off from the wharfs, the former filled with relatives of the passengers, or newsmongers seeking the latest intelligence' from the mother-country; and the latter with negroes, offering their cargoes of fruit and vegetables for sale. I was seemingly the only uninterested individual on deck, and could not help feeling a melancholy sense of desolation, as an entire stranger, and 5000 miles from home, amid the scenes of affectionate greetings between friends and relatives that were passing around. While indulgin. in this mood, I observed the boy I have spoken of suddenly strip off his cap and jacket, spring over the side, and begin to strike out for the shore. The splash attracted the notice of those on board, and two of the crew, by the captain's orders, jumped into a boat, and pulled after him ; but their purpose was anticipated by a more deadly pur, suer. The poor boy had scarcely got four fathoms from the vessel, when the huge fin of a shark was seen darting after him. A general shout was raised to warn him of his danger, and he wheeled round on his enemy, just as the latter made a rush at him. With the most astonishing courage and presence of mind, the little fellow struck out right and left with his clenched fists at the voracious animal, and with effect sufficient to drive it off, when he again began to make for the shore. A second and a third time the attack was made, and repulsed in a similar manner, and all began to hope his escape from the threatened danger, when, just as the boat got within oars-length of him, he disappeared below the surface with a loud shriek, which was responded to by all who witnessed the scene. He rose in the course of a few seconds, and was pulled into the boat with almost the whole fesh stripped from one of his thighs, and the blood streaming from him in torrents. The sailors pulled instantly for the wharf, bnt ere the boat reached it, the warm current of life was exhausted ; and the poor little fellow was carried to his sister's house a lifeless and mangled corpse !
A TALE OF ANCIENT GREECE.
CLISTHENES, Prince of Sicion, a small kingdom in ancient Greece, had an only child, a daughter, named Ada, fair and beautiful as the morn. As Athens, of all the cities of Greece, was the most renowned for elegance and politeness of manners, Clisthenes determined to intrust the education of his youthful heiress to a noble matron of that illustrious city. At an early age, therefore, she was sent, with befitting, attendants, to reside in Athens, and was received into the house of Tisander, a man