Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]


was she more an angel that morning than to ordinary tone, so as not to betray a sense of her father, who knew her best; not even to danger to any of the bystanders, knowing the poor woman to whom she gave her own what a panic the least suspicion of fire would bed and her most affectionate and nursing care. cause among the passengers. The man went

Well-skilled lapidaries have scientific tests down, and in less than a minute reappeared by which they give us the qualities and values with red eyes and face as pale as ashes. of precious stones. The Koh-i-noor itself is "Captain, the ship is on fire!” measured by these qualities, which, combined, That terrible word ran like lightning from make up its perfection. The deed of Grace deck to deck, and from cabin to cabin. In a Darling needs not to be submitted for estima- breath of time five hundred men, women, and tion to any professional connoisseur of the children were in agony of terror, some halfjewellery of human actions. It has gone to the paralysed and dumb with mortal fear, others judgment of the universal heart of Christendom, shrieking in the face of the awful death before and the award is uniform,—that it stands among them. “ Head her to the land!” shouted the the very first recorded in modern history, con- captain. “Ay, ay, sir!” came John's steady sidering all the circumstances that attended it. voice from the wheel. “Where away?” “Seven It was an act perfectly free from the alloy of miles south-east by east, sir." “What is the personal ambition. It was not performed to shortest you can do it?". "Three quarters of acquire fame or notoriety; to do soinething an hour, sir, at this rate.” Engineer, put on that no other woman ever attempted. There every ounce of steam she'll bear!” is not the slightest reason to believe that one All these quick questions and commands of these thoughts passed through the mind of were crowded into a minute's space. The Grace Darling as she pulled at the oar that burning steamer headed to the land. Every memorable morning.

man and boy, and every woman too, who could We will go next to America for another seed- lift a pail, worked as with life's last desperate action of the same genus and reproductive chance in the effort to keep down the flames. capacity.

And the bravest might well be appalled at the John Maynard was an honest, hardy pilot, impending fate. There were no boats slung to who plied his occupation on the lake steamers. the steamer's side by which a single soul He was an upright, straightforward man, a might escape. Not a life-preserver was on good father of happy children, and his wife board to aid a swimmer for life. They had loved and reverenced the heart that was in him, not yet been heard of. The wooden vessel was for she knew, and many knew, that it was as as dry as tinder, from the summer sun. Over tender as it was brave and manly. On Lake and above all, as if to make their destruction Erie he stood at the wheel of the great two- quick and sure, much of the lading between story steamers, and hundreds who had watched decks was resin and tar. This was reached in his careful eye and steady hand, and heard his a few minutes by the lapping tongues of flame; calm voice when the sudden storms came down, and now the whole ship aft from the forward felt that whatever any man could know or do deck was enveloped in pitchy smoke, flapped for the safety of a ship wrestling with the by the long red wings of the ascending fire. Faves, John Maynard knew and could do. Crowded at the bows the smoke-blinded multi. He had made his reputation as a pilot by tude crouched in utter despair. Near them many years of watch and ward at the wheel. stood the captain, feeling how many lives must Thousands who had made the voyage with him, go down to death in a few minutes if they when the storm was on in its quick.raised fury, could not reach the land in that space. And could tell, and did tell, how John bore himself at his post, invisible in the tar-smoke, stood in those hours of fear and danger.

John Maynard, with the very spokes of his But one summer day came after these years wheel on fire, and the tiller chain at black of sailorship, when he was to show the latent heat. At this awful moment the land apforces of his inner nature to the full. He was peared at less than half a mile away. “ John standing at his post that afternoon on the Maynard !” shouted the captain through his passage from Detroit to Buffalo, when a thin trumpet. “Ay, ay, sir!" came John's voice stream of smoke was seen ascending from thick and choked through the roar and smoke below. “Simpson, go down and see what that of the towering flames. smoke is,” said the captain, in a quiet voice, “Can you hold on five minutes longer, Johnp” to one of the deck-bands, He spoke in his “By God's help I will."




His hair was scorched from the scalp. His of the brave miners to reach and rescue their eyelashes were burnt away, and his face began companions, sepulchered alive in the bowels of to blister against the waves of flame beating the earth ; of the almost superhuman efforts of against him. One hand was burnt to crisp. He men who laboured with bent backs for twenty had a home too, and wife and children he loved hours without a break, under a cataract of with a love as pure and strong as the richest black and grimy water, to make a pass-way man in the crowd at the bows felt for his. But down the almost endless fathoms of darkness with that one hand left him he held to the wheel. to their fellows breathing their lives out in the

“ Two minutes more, John!” One minute mephitic vapours of their horrible prison. more, God bless you, John!”

Read the few words pencilled by one of the At the end of that minute the blazing victims and found in his pocket, telling a little steamer struck its forefoot upon the beach, of the last hours of their lives, of the psalms and the whole multitude the next minute stood they sang, of the prayers they uttered, and upon it praising God and rejoicing with joy the words of farewell that passed one from the they could not utter at such deliverance from other, as they lay side by side waiting for a most terrible death. But before their feet death. Read how a widowed mother bore up alighted upon the beach, the burning wheel- under the blow, when they brought her whole house, with the blackened and blistered form of family back to her cottage in seven coffins ; John Maynard, fell with a crash through the and notice how the whole population of the charred decks into the hold of the red ruin. fatherless, childless, and husbandless, steadied

their souls, and possessed them in patience If the unwritten history of the rich thoughts under the sudden and sweeping calamity. of poor men, and their deeds of heroic philan. If the examples already given were not thropy could be gathered up from different sufficient for the illustration we need, hundreds countries, they would fill thousand precious of others of the same kind of teaching might volumes. Considering their reproductive ca- be superadded. There was the case of the pacity, they are among the very choicest | English ship of war, the Birkenhead, which contributions to the dignity and well-being of went down with nearly a whole regiment of humanity. They are seed-actions, bearing British soldiers and sailors on board. This their kind in quick and wide germination little army of veterans was drawn up on deck among the great masses of the people.

in well-dressed ranks, as if to parade and It is one of the most hopeful aspects of this present arms to death. There they stood, present day of hope, that those sections of the erect and unmoved as at a muster, and saw community called the labouring classes, and all the women and children rowed away in frequently the lower classes, show that the the last boat, and not a soldier broke line germination of these seed-actions in their lives save his life by a plunge after the little receding is becoming more and more prolific of beauti. craft. But there they stood, and went down ful sympathies, delicate sensibilities, unselfish together to the bottom of the sea in military interest, self-sacrificing devotion, and noble order, with their colour-sergeant in his place! heroism for the good of their fellow-men. The At the foundering of the American steam. last twenty years have been peculiarly marked ship, San Francisco, there was a noble illusby this moral education among the common tration of the same moral heroism, self-repeople, or this training of the heart to generous pression, and self-sacrifice to help a few to life impulses and acts towards their kind in danger, who would otherwise have perished with the distress, or want.

rest. The mission of this class of sufferings is It was a bluff and common sailor that arose palpable and precious to human society. It in the London's last boat, and shouted from enters into the moral training and heart-cul. the trough of the sea, —

ture of the people. It not only puts the beauty "There's room for one more; fetch a lady!” of human sympathy and generous deeds of

That was the first thought of his heart, as self-sacrifice for others' weal in most affectthe boat sailed away from the sinking ship | ing illustration, but it inspires in the hearts of into the boiling yeast of the wrathful waves, thousands an admiration and love for such which threatened to dash the little wooden deeds and dispositions, thus contributing one shell to pieces in a moment. Read the story of the most valuable forces to the agencies of the terrible catastrophe at the Hartley Providence has provided for the higher educa. Colliery, of the struggle, days and nights long, tion of mankind,



[graphic][merged small]

HROUGHOUT Captain Hall's narra- colonies, churches, schools, storehouses, and

tivemany deeply interesting incidents stores of every needful variety, are to be found are recorded, calculated to arrest the interspersed from Cape Farewell to Upernavik,

attention of the Christian philan- and the inhabitants comfortable and happy. thropist to the claims upon sympathy of this Clergy and catechists, schoolmasters and remarkable people. His own opinion of the schoolmistresses, are educated to their several steps which might and should be taken is thus posts, and are well paid for their services from expressed :

His Majesty's coffers. Danes emigrate to the " Plant among them a colony of men and land, marry and intermarry with the Esquiwomen having right-minded principles, and, maux. Knowledge and virtue, industry and after some patient toil, glorious fruits must prosperity, are the results. And, notwithfollow. I cannot realise the fact that here is a standing the expenses for the support of all people, having much of nobleness and even this, including the salaries of inspectors, govergreatness in their composition, yet unvisited nors, and several scores of employés, yet the and apparently uncared for by the missionary net proceeds of this apparently desolate land world. Nothing, however, could be done to- exceed ten thousand dollars, federal money, wards their good until a course is adopted per annum! This is well for Greenland. Paysimilar to that pursued by the King of Den- | ing for all her imports; paying the expenses mark with Greenland. It is a painful, but too of some ten ships annually from and to Copenevident fact, that the Esquimaux on the west hagen; paying all the other expenses named, of Davis's Straits are woefully debased, and including missionaries, and yet realising an fallen from their original virtues—though pos- annual return of net profit for the King of sessing many still-owing to the visits of Denmark of ten thousand dollars! How many reckless white men on their coasts. In nations of this modern day do better? And, Greenland the case is different. There, with this fact before us, why shall not the under the Danish king's control, Christian same occur (adopting the same plan) in the

[ocr errors]

land of the Esquimaux on the west side of “In all the trials made on one occasion in Davis's Straits ? Let my countrymen look to the cabin, by both male and female-by old it whenever the first opportunity arrives.” and young-by all, I found none but could

Captain Hall states that there are reckoned read, and read well. to be 1,700 Esquimaux sealers in Greenland, “I was surprised to see the rapidity-the 400 fishers, and one Esquimaux officer (a full, clear enunciation of every syllable—with clerk), whose father was a Dane and the which they read; and one little Esquimaus Governor of Lieveley-Goodhavn. In addition, boy seemed to exceed the rest, though all did there are of Esquimaux 17 foremen and boats- well. men ;

22 coopers and blacksmiths; 87 sailors ; “Perhaps I cannot give my readers a better 15 pensioners, whose business is to look after idea of this than by reprinting a small portion goats, and who get half-rations of beer, pork, of a child's First Primer, beginning at the al. meat, and butter, &c., but full rations of peas, phabet, and giving the sound of each letter. barley, &c.

“The Greenland Esquimaux alphabet conThere are also 20 native catechists or mis. sists of twenty-four letters, as follows :sionaries.

“A, B, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, K', L, M, The European missionaries number 13 Ger- N, O, P, R, S, T, U, V, Y, Æ, O. man and 11 Danish.

The sound of each letter only varies from Of first and second governors there are 31. what we give to the same in the following:

Three doctors visit each place one year. “G is ke; H, ho; I, e; J, yoge; K, qu; K’, There are 36 European clerks; 7 boat-steerers; qu; R, er ; U, 00; Y, ce-i. 28 coopers, carpenters, and blacksmiths; 19 "The following is the Lord's Prayer in Essailors and cooks; and 8 pensioners.

quimaux :The whole body of missionaries are paid per “. Atâtarput k'illangmêtottina! Ak’kit usannum, in Danish money, 16,360 dollars; of fornarfille! Nâlægâvêt tikkiudle! Pekkosfæt which amount Government House gives 14,650 k'illangmifut nunnamisāak taimāikille! Tun. dollars, and the East India Missions, at the nisfigut udlome pikfavtinnik! Pisfaräunatta outside, 2,000 dollars. For schools and school. akketforavta, pisfængillavuttaak akketfortivut! books the sum of 6,500 dollars is appropriated. Usfernartomut pisfitfarāunatta, ajortomidle

One Sunday morning, Captain Hall tells us, annāutigut! Nâlægāunerogavit pirfarfõune. he visited the church at Holsteinborg. He rudluttidlo usfornarnerudluttidlo isfok'angitthus refers to this visit, introducing other in- tomut. Amen.' formation bearing upon the educational pros. The minister Kjer had been at work transpects of the Esquimaux :

lating ‘Robinson Crusoe' into Esquimaus, “The school teacher-a native Esquimaux- that copies might be printed and distributed preached exceedingly well; and I must say among his people in Greenland. In his library that the general attention given would do there is an Esquimaux Bible, and everything credit to people anywhere. The preacher is done to make the natives of Holsteinborg played an organ, and went through the whole

good and happy. Dr. Rink, so well known by service in a most praiseworthy manner. In- repute among scientific men, has also issued deed, I was much struck with the great advance some useful story-books in Esquimaux, one of made by the native inhabitants of Holstein. which books, and also a copy of the doctor's borg in Christian and general educational famous work, the governor kindly gave me." knowledge. Their school is well attended, and In another part of Captain Hall's work, we reading and writing are carried on admirably. meet with a passage, which we quote on ac

Very few persons here at home have any count of the practical testimony it yields to true conception of the great advance made in the success of missionary labours, and also education by these Greenland Esquimaux. It because at the same time it conveys a reproof has often astonished me when listening to the which can scarcely fail to reach the conscience apt and ready way in which even children and touch the heart of every English reader:would pronounce some of their extraordinarily "By the bye, Tookoolito said to me during long words, some of those words consisting of the entertainment just described, 'I feel very no less than fifty letters !

sorry to say that many of the whaling people “The following is one of their long words, are very bad, making the Innuits bad too; but not the longest:

they swear very much, and make our people " Piniagagssakardluarungnaerângat. swear. I wish they would not do so. Ameri

[ocr errors]


cans swear a great deal—more and worse than bounds of civilization, planting philanthropic the English. I wish no one would swear. It and Christian institutions where darkness and is a very bad practice, I believe.'

ignorance had before reigned universal." “How think you, beloved Americans, I felt We can only express the earnest hope that with these hot coals on my head ? Oh that such men may be multiplied; and that Chrisevery swearing man, and every saint, could tian missionary enterprise may be stimulated have seen and heard that Esquimaux woman to increased and increasing efforts for the as she spoke thus! I had just returned from evangelization of the Esquimaux. a hard encounter with deep snow-falling snow, driven by almost a hurricane; but, O God,

ARCTIC SCENES. give me a thousand storms—worse, if they The following account of the pursuit of could be-rather than have the like thundering | Musk Oxen in the Arctic Regions is from the in my ears again! Her words, her looks, her journal of “The Resolute Expedition ":voice, her tears, are in my very soul still. “During the forenoon, no fewer than thirtyHere, one of the iron daughters of the rocky, five musk-oxen, in different herds, were obice-ribbed North, standing like an angel, served at one time. At noon, a party, making

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

pleading the cause of the true God, weeping in all twelve barrels, landed in the cutter to go for the sad havoc made and making among in pursuit of the nearest herd of seven oxen, her people by those of my countrymen who quietly grazing abreast of the ship. should have been, and ever should be, the "On landing, word was given to the boat's glorious representatives of freedom, civiliza- crew to follow, but to keep well in the rear, to tion, and Christianity! It was too much; I avoid frightening the animals. On our apwas a child. I confess I blushed for this stain proach, the herd congregated closely together upon my country's honour-not only this, but in line, with their heads towards us, the for the wickedness diffused almost throughout calves being in the centre. We now spread the unenlightened world by the instrumentality out our little force into the form of a crescent, of whalers hailing from civilized lands. and advanced in open order to within about

" This I am ready to admit, that some com- twenty yards of our prey. A little shuffling manders, some officers, and some crews of was the only movement we observed on closing, whaling ships are as they should be, exemplary but, with heads lowered, they awaited the atmen-men who take pleasure in doing good tack in silence. wherever they are—who seek to extend the “They really appeared very formidable,


в в

« AnteriorContinuar »