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were placed, without a murmur, in and the extreme difficulty in dropthe boat, which was immediately ping them at the instant the boat lowered into a sea so tempestuous, was underneath, many of the poor as to leave only a faint hope that creatures were unavoidably plunged it should live in it for a single mo- repeatedly under water; and much ment. Twice the cry was heard as humanity may rejoice that no from those on the chains that the woman was eventually lost by this boat was swamping. But He who process, yet it was as impossible to enabled the Apostle Peter to walk prevent, as it was deplorable to witon the face of the deep, and was ness, the great sacrifice it occasioned graciously attending to the silent of the younger children; the same but earnest aspirations of those violent means which only reduced on board, had decreed its safety. the parents to a state of exhaustion The tackle, after considerable dif- or insensibility, having entirely exficulty, was unhooked, the boat tinguished the vital spark in the was dexterously cleared from the feebler frames of the infants that ship, and after a while was seen were fastened to them. from the poop, battling with the Two or three soldiers, to relieve billows; now raised, in its progress their wives of a part of their famito the brig, like a speck on their lies, sprang into the water with summit, and then disappearing for their children, and perished in their several seconds, as if ingulfed “in endeavours to save them. One young the horrid vale” between them. The lady, who had resolutely refused to Cambria having prudently lain to quit her father, whose sense of duty at some distance from the Kent, kept him at his post, was near falling lest she should be involved in her a sacrifice to her filial devotion, not explosion, or exposed to the fire having been picked up by those in from our guns, which, being all the boats until she had sunk five shotted, afterwards went off as the or six times. Another individual, flames successively reached them, who was reduced to the frightful the men had a considerable way to alternative of losing his wife or his row; and the movements of this children, hastily decided in favour precious boat, incalculably precious, of his duty to the former. His wife without doubt, to the agonized hus- was accordingly saved, but his four bands and fathers immediately con- children, alas! were left to perish. nected with it, were watched with A fine fellow, a soldier, who had intense anxiety by all on board. In neither wife nor child of his own, the course of twenty minutes, it was but who evinced the greatest soli. seen alongside the “ ark of refuge;" citude for the safety of those of and the first human being that hap- others, insisted on having three pened to be admitted, out of the children lashed to him, with whom vast assemblage that ultimately he plunged into the water; not found shelter there, was the infant being able to reach the boat, he son of Major Macgregor, a child of was again drawn into the ship with only a few weeks old, who was his charge, but not before two of caught from his mother's arms, and the children had expired. One man lifted into the brig by Mr. Thomson, fell down the hatchway into the the fourth mate of the Kent. flames, and another had his back
It being impossible for the boats, so completely broken, as to have after the first trip, to come along been observed quite doubled falling side the Kent, a plan was adopted overboard. These numerous specfor lowering the women and chil- tacles of individual loss and sufferdren by ropes from the stern, by ing were not confined to the entying them two and two together. trance upon the perilous voyage But, from the heaving of the ship between the two ships. Ce man, ;
who fell between the boat and the blow up, I'll see if I can't get away brig, had his head literally crushed from her;" and, instantly jumping to pieces; and some others were' up, he made the best of his way to lost in their attempts to ascend the one of the boats, which he reached side of the Cambria.
in safety. Seeing that the tardy means em As the day was rapidly drawing to ployed for the escape of the women a close, and the flames were slowly, and children necessarily consumed but perceptibly extending, Colonel a great deal of time that might be Fearon and Captain Cobb evinced partly devoted to the general pre- an increasing anxiety to relieve the servation, orders were given, that, remainder of the gallant men under along with the females, each of the their charge. boats should also admit a certain To facilitate this object, a rope portion of the soldiers; several of was suspended from the extremity whom, in their impatience to take of the spanker boom, along which advantage of this permission, flung the men were recommended to prothemselves overboard, and sunk in ceed, and thence slide down by the their ill-judged and premature ef- rope into the boats.' But as, from. forts for deliverance.
the great swell of the sea, and the One poor fellow of this number, constant heaving of the ship, it was a very respectable man, had actually impossible for the boats to preserve reached the boat, and was raising their station for a moment; those . his hand to lay hold on the gunnel, who adopted this course, incurred when the bow of the boat, by a sud so great a risk of swinging for some den pitch, struck him on the head, time in the air, and of being reand he instantly went down. There peatedly plunged under water, or was a peculiarity attending this dashed against the sides of the boats man's case that deserves notice.- underneath, that many of the landsHis wife, to whom he was warmly men continued to throw themselves attached, not having been of the out of the stern windows on the allotted number of women to ac- upper deck, preferring what apcompany the regiment abroad, re- peared to be the more precarious solved, in her anxiety to follow her chance of reaching the boats by husband, to defeat this arrange- swimming. Rafts made of spars, ment, and accordingly repaired with hencoops, &c. were also ordered to the detachment to Gravesend, where be constructed, for the two-fold she ingeniously managed, by elud- purpose of forming an intermediate ing the vigilance of the sentries, to communication with the boats,--a get on board, and conceal herself purpose, by the bye, which they for several days; and although she very imperfectly answered, and of was discovered, and sent ashore at serving, as a last point of retreat, *Deal, she contrived, a second time, should the farther extension of with true feminine perseverance, to the flames compel us to desert the get between decks, where she con- vessel altogether. tinued to secret herself until the Captain Cobb, in his immoveable morning of the fatal disaster.
resolution to be the last, if possible, While the men were thus bent in to quit his ship, and in his generous various ways on self-preservation, anxiety for the preservation of every one of the sailors, who had taken life entrusted to his charge, refused his post with many others over the to seek the boat, until he again enmagazine, awaiting with great pa- deavoured to urge onward the very tience the dreaded explosion, at last few still around him, who seemed cried out, as if in ill humour that struck dumb and powerless with dishis expectation was likely to be may. But finding all his entreaties disappointed, “ Well! if she won't fruitless, and hearing the guns, whose JULY 1825.
tackle was burst asunder by the confused, though probably not a advancing flames, successively ex. wilfully false, account of themselves, ploding in the hold, into which they that shortly after the departure of had fallen, this gallant officer, after the last boat, they were driven by having nobly pursued, for the pre- the flames to seek shelter on the servation of others, a course of ex- chains, where they stood until the ertion that has been rarely equalled masts fell overboard, to which they either in its duration or difficulty, then clung for some hours, in a state at last felt it right to provide for his of horror that no language can deown safety, by laying hold on the scribe; until they were most provitopping-lift, or rope that connects dentially, I may say miraculously, the driver boom with the mizen-top, discovered and picked up, by the and thereby getting over the heads humane master (Bibbey) of the “ Caof the infatuated men who occupied roline," a vessel on its passage from the boom, unable to go either back- Egypt to Liverpool, who happened ward or forward, and ultimately to see the explosion at a great disdropping himself into the water tance, and instantly made all sail in
The means of escape, however, the direction whence it proceeded. did not cease to be presented to Along with the fourteen men thus the unfortunate individuals above miraculously preserved, were three referred to, long after Captain Cobb others, who had expired before the artook his departure: since one of rival of the Caroline for their rescue. the boats persevered in keeping its After the arrival of the last boat, station under the Kent's stern, not the flames, which had spread along only after all expostulation and én- the upper deck and poop, ascended treaty with those on board had with the rapidity of lightning to the failed, but until the flames, bursting masts and rigging, forming one geforth from the cabin windows, ren- neral conflagration, that illumined dered it impossible to remain, with the heavens to an immense distance, out inflicting the greatest cruelty and was strongly reflected on seon the individuals that manned it. veral objects on board the brig. The But even on the return of the boat flags of distress, hoisted in the mornin question to the Cambria, with the ing, were seen for a considerable single soldier who availed himself of time waving amid the flames, until it, did Captain Cobb, with charac- the masts to which they were sus-' teristic jealously, refuse to allow it pended successively fell, like stately to come alongside, until he learned steeples, over the ship's side. At that it was commanded by the spi- last about half-past one o'clock in rited young officer, Mr. Thomson, the morning, the devouring element whose indefatigable exertions during having communicated to the magathe whole day, were to him a suffi- zine, the long-threatened explosion cient proof, that all had been done was seen, and the blazing fragments that could be done for the deliver- of the once magnificent Kent were ance of those infatuated men. But instantly hurried, like so many the same beneficent Providence rockets, high into the air ; leaving, which had been so wonderfully ex. in the comparative darkness that erted for the preservation of hyn. succeeded, the deathful scene of dreds, was pleased, by a still more that disastrous day floating before striking and unquestionable display the mind like some feverish dream*. of power and goodness, to avert the Shortly afterwards, the brig, which fate of a portion f those few who, had been gradually making sail, was we had all too much reason to fear, running at the rate of nine or ten were doomed to destruction.
** The brig was about three miles disIt would appear, for the poor tant from the Kent at the period of its men themselves gave an extremely explosion.
miles an hour towards the nearest, and accumulating miseries, was, port.
that the same compassionate ProAlthough, after the first burst of vidence, which had already so marniutual gratulation, and of becom- vellously interposed in their behalf, ing acknowledgment of the Divine would not permit the wind to abate mercy, on account of their unlooked or change, until the vessel reached for deliverance, each felt inclined to some friendly port; for all were wrap himself up in his own reflec- convinced that a delay of a very tions; yet during this first night, few days longer at sea, must inevia full idea was not entertained of tably involve them in famine, pestithe extreme misery and danger to lence, and a complication of the which they were still exposed, by most dreadful evils. These hopes being crowded together, in a gale were not disappointed. The gale of wind, with upwards of 600 hu- continued with even increasing vioman beings, in a small-brig of 200 lence; and Captain Cook, crowding tons, at a distance, too, of several all sail at the risk of carrying away hundred miles from any accessible his masts, so nobly urged his vessel port. The little cabin, which was onward, that in the afternoon of only calculated, under ordinary cir. Thursday the 3d, the delightful cumstances, for the accommodation exclamation from aloft was heard, of eight or ten persons, was now “ Land a-head!" In the evening made to contain nearly eighty in- they descried the Scilly lights; and dividuals, many of whom had 'no running rapidly along the Cornish sitting room, and even some of the coast, the Cambria cast anchor in ladies no room to lie down. Owing Falmouth harbour, about half-past to the continued violence of the twelve o'clock in the following gale, and to the bulwarks on one morning. side of the brig having been driven On reviewing the various proxiin, the sea beat so incessantly over mate causes to which so many huthe deck, as to render it necessary man beings owed their deliverance that the hatches should only be from a combination of dangers, as lifted up between the returning remarkable for their duration, as waves, to prevent absolute suffoca- they were appalling in their aspect, tion below, where the men were so it is impossible not to discover closely packed together that the and gratefully acknowledge, in the steam arising from their respiration beneficence of their arrangement, excited at one time an apprehension the over-ruling providence of that that the vessel was on fire; while blessed Being, who is sometimes the impurity of the air they were pleased, in his mysterious operainhaling became so marked, that tions, to produce the same effects the lights occasionally carried down from causes apparently different ; amongst them were almost instantly and, on the other hand, as in this extinguished. Nor was the con- case, to bring forth results the most dition of the hundreds who covered opposite, from one and the same the deck, less wretched than that of cause. For there is no doubt that their comrades below; since they the heavy rolling of the Kent, occawere obliged, night and day, to sioned by the violent gale, which stand shivering, in their wet and was the real origin of all these disnearly naked state, anolo deep in asters, contributed also most essenwater. Some of the older children tially to the subsequent preservaand females were thrown into fits, tion; since, had not Captain Cobb while the infants were pitifully cry- been enabled, by the greatness of ing for that nourishment which their the swell, to introduce speedily, nursing mothers were no longer through the gun ports, the immense able to give them.
quantity of water that inundated the ; The only hope, amid these great hold, and thereby checked for se
long a time the fury of the flames, which was performed in a period, the Kent must unquestionably have most unusually short, the wind had been consumed before many, perhaps either veered round a few points, or before any, of those on board could even partially subsided, which must have found shelter in the Cambria, have produced a scene of horror on
The Cambria, which had been, board, more terrible if possible than it seems, unaccountably detained that from which we had escaped ; in port nearly a month after the and, above all, when the extraordiperiod assigned for her departure, nary fact is remarked, that the was, early on the morning of the Cambria had not been above an fatal calamity, pursuing at a great hour in Falmouth harbour when the distance a-head of us, the same wind, which had all along been course with ourselves; but her bul- blowing from the south-west, sudwarks on the weather side having denly chopped round to the opposite been suddenly driven in, by a heavy quarter of the compass, and contisea breaking over her quarter, Cap- nued uninterruptedly for several tain Cook, in his anxiety to give days afterwards to blow strongly ease to his labouring vessel, was from the north-east; one cannot induced to go completely out of his help concluding, that he who sees course, by throwing the brig on nothing of a Divine Providence in the opposite tack, by which means our preservation must be lamentalone he was brought in sight of the ably and wilfully 'blind “ to the Kent. Not to dwell on the unex- majesty of the Lord.” pected, but not unimportant facts, As little time as possible was of the flames having been mercifully lost, after their arrival at Falmouth, prevented, for eleven hours, from in reporting to Colonel Fenwick, the either communicating with the ma- Lieutenant-Governor of Pendennis gazine forward, or the great spirit- Castle, the deplorable circumstances room abaft, or even coming into under which the Cambria had recontact with the tiller ropes, any turned to port; and with the tender of which circumstances would evi sympathy which characterises that dently have been fatal; it was old and distinguished officer, he remarked, that until the Cambrią hastened, long before day-light, to hove in sight, the Kent had not take steps for the disembarkation discovered any vessel whatever for and comfort of the troops and sailors. several days previous. It is to be Captain King, R. N. called into remembered too, that had the Cam- immediate requisition the numerous bria, with her small crew, been boats at his disposal; and in the homeward instead of outward course of the morning the sufferers bound, her scanty remainder of prepared, with thankful and joyful provisions, under such circum- hearts, to replace their feet on the stances, would hardly have sufficed, shores of old England. to form a single meal for the vast The ladies, always destined to assemblage; or if, instead of hav, form the van-guard, were the first to ing her lower deck completely disembark, and were met on the clear, she had been carrying out a beach by immense crowds of the full cargo, there would not have inhabitants who appeared to have been time, under the pressure of been attracted thither less by idle the danger and the violence of the curiosity, than from the sincerest gale, to throw the cargo overboard, desire to alleviate in every possible and certainly, with it, not sufficient manner their manifest sufferings. spaco in the brig to contain one. The sailors and soldiers, cold, half of the number of sufferers. . wet, and almost naked, quickly fol
When the disastrous consequences lowed; the whole forming, in their that must have followed are consi, haggard looks and the endless variety dered ; if, during the passage home, of their costume, an assemblage at