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middle of the stream, in one of its wide bends, and the first impulse was to run the vessel on shore, without a moment's delay. “Shove her in to shore !' 'Shove her in to shore !' was shouted on all sides; but the strokes of the engine died away suddenly, and it was thought that the water, which was pouring in, had reached the fires, or that some injury had disabled the machinery. No doubt remained that the case was a desperate one, and many a strong man there would have thrown himself into the river, and sought immediate safety by swimming to shore; but the intense darkness, the danger of the unknown currents ! Oh, it was like plunging into the grave !
There was but one chance left the small boat : it was lashed up at the stern, and thither rushed the panic-stricken crowd. wild impulse had been anticipated ; to explain in what manner, I must go back in my story a few minutes, or rather seconds — a few brief seconds of agony and suspense.
When the vessel struck, Mrs. Hartwell was among the first who felt the fatal shock. She had been quieting little Anna, who was ill and fretful, and was awake, therefore, and had her full senses about her at the moment. From the violence of the concussion, and the crash and confusion that immediately followed, she felt sure that something dreadful had happened ; and fear came upon her, but with it came the spirit and the power to rise above it. She darted from the state-room with the child in her arms, and gave her in charge of the chambermaid, whom she discovered by the light of the lamp in the ladies' cabin. The woman was wailing and wringing her hands; and after silencing her with earnest gestures, Mrs. Hartwell leading the way, dragged her after her through the door, which she locked on the outside ; then turning to the chambermaid, she spoke quietly and distinctly, though her voice trembled, and when she laid her hand on the woman's arm, it was as cold as marble.
• Mrs. Tompkins,' she said, ' we must secure the boat, before any of the people take possession of it. It may be the means of saving all our lives. Do you stand close by me, and take care of my little girl; do not scream, nor cry, to frighten her, and shall be among the very first to go on shore.'
Theirs was an upper cabin, and within a few feet of the outer door hung the boat with its lashings. Unfastening the rope, so that a yard or two hung loose, she wound it tightly round her arm, and clasping it with her delicate hand, resolved to hold it, if possible, against all odds, until her husband came to take the command. This was done before the passengers became aware of the extremity of their danger; but the captain saw at a glance that all was lost, but the lives of those committed to his care; and to preserve them, by every effort in his power, was now his only object. On his first mate he could entirely depend; and on him he called to go with him aft, and take command of the small boat. Handing him a pistol, he desired him to use it, if necessary, to intimidate any who offered violence to his orders. More than a hundred lives,' he continued, . depend upon our exertions : in God's name, let us endeavor to save every one!'
The cook, too, had been ordered to run aft with a torch; and as Hartwell and his mate reached the stern, the light appeared casting a fitful glare over the water, and glancing faintly against the woods
on shore, to reach which was now the sole desire of every breast. It shone over the waters, and threw an uncertain light round the sinking vessel, and over the groups clustering on her deck, and crowding the guards, and revealed to Captain Hartwell's eyes a sight that almost unmanned him.
His wife was literally defending the boat against two or three cowardly ruffians, from the deck, who, by alternate threats and persuasions, endeavored to make her quit her hold. She had run out in her night-dress, and her hair, which had escaped from her head-gear, was waving in long tresses round her shoulders; and as she dared her assailants to use violence, one small white foot was advanced with an air of firm resolve, and she looked as one might fancy the Lady of Douglas did, when she desperately barred the door with her arm against the assassins of her king, as though she would rather it were severed from her body, than give up her trust.
'My brave girl! replied the captain, keep the command a moment longer, till I heave these villains overboard !'
I can settle them, Sir; jist leave them to me, if you please, Sir, said Big Steven, as he disposed of his torch in a place of safety; and seizing one with the gripe of a Hercules, he dexterously dealt another a blow on the temple, which the sufferer ever after believed to have come from the heavy knob of an oaken stick, or the butt-end of a pistol.
Need it be stated how the captain, pistol in hand, held the panicstricken passengers in awe, while the boat, under command of the mate, was seen, crowded with ladies, shooting toward the shore ; how it returned, and returned again, until all were saved ?
'I shall never remember that affair, without mortification,' said Mrs. Hartwell to her husband, as they were afterward talking the matter over. With some surprise, he inquired why.
To think,' said she, holding down her head, while her eyes filled with tears, “to think how I stood, bare-foot and exposed in my nightclothes, before all those people!'
• My dear girl !' cried her husband, catching her in his arms, 'I never saw you look so beautiful !
When we behold this tiny creature sail,
Upborne and flowing on the buoyant tiden
And pump the waters from its leaky side;
And spread its pearly shell across the wave,
Or the deep caverns of the ocean brave;
Yet far more strange, when in this fact we find,
To stretch the canvass, and invoke the wind :
BEAUTY: OR, A LOVER'S JOURNAL.
"Oh who can tell what cause had that fair maid
MINE is no tale of venture bold,
By sweet rose-buttons all adorned,
As morning clouds of chilly gray,
Now roses blush, and violets' eyes,
But queen of flowers, of gems, of skies,
But Heaven, to other creatures free,
All this with nerves so finely strung,
But clouds grown mad I loved the best,
, [grief : Tear-drenched, yet sweet with passing So like the placid, dewy rest (breast
: That soothes th' exhausted maniac's While rays the shattered gloom that
If soulless forms thus swayed my will,
Too long enjoying noon so sweet,
Dear Woman! none that ever knelt,
It was my lot for months to dwell 'Neath the same roof with one so fair It matters not whom, when, or where,
'Tis what I felt, that I would tell :
Ere curst from boybood's Eden driven, Ere thirst for tempting fruits of earth
Unhoused me of my early heaven!
How swam her dewy eyes of blue !
How lowly drooped the silken lash! Her pearly cheek no blushes knew,
Or only such as sea-shells flash.
How light her slender form, and weak !
How glittering soft her sunny hair ! How, when her lips awoke to speak,
The startled dimples fluttered there!
The tears lay near her tender eyes,
But most when I confessed my wrong.
Even now her form from misty years
0! she was gentle as the moon,
As mild, as soft, as sweet, as calm; And mellowed was her brightest noon,
As even's stilly hour of balm.
No frown, no flash, her eye could stain,
For when a cloud began to form, It broke in tears of gentlest rain,
Ere it could gather to a storm.
0! happy day! - earth, sky is fair,