Imágenes de páginas

Dey send de boats away, a Frenchman for to board,
We climb the side with one hand, de oder hold de sword.

Such a getting up stairs, &c.

Now here I sent to Greenwich because I lost a leg,
And ab to climb up to de ward upon my wooden peg.

Such a getting up stairs, &c.

“Dere now - I ask you, Mister Tom, and de young lady, which sing best, dat fellow, or your humble servant Bill dat's me."

“You sing very well, Bill," said Virginia, laughing, “but I'm not able to decide such a difficult point."

“Nor more can I; it is impossible to say which I like best,” continued I. “We must go home now so good-bye.”

“ Thanky you, Mister Tom, thanky you, Missy. I see you wish to spare him feelings; but I know what

tink in


heart." Virginia and I now left the Hospital. There was one subject which was often discussed between my sister and me, which was, my situation with regard to Bramble and Bessy. I had no secrets from her, and she earnestly advised me to try if I could not make up my mind to an union with a person of whom I could not possibly speak but with the highest encomiums.

“Depend upon it, my dear Tom," said she, “she will make you a good wife; and with her as a companion, you will soon forget the unhappy attachment which has made you so miserable. I am not qualified from experience to advise you on this point; but I have a conviction in my own mind that Bessy is really just the sort of partner for life who will make you happy. And then you owe much to Bramble, and you are aware how happy it would make him: and as her partiality for you is already proved, I do wish that you would think seriously upon what I now say. I long to see and make her acquaintance, but I really long much more to embrace her as a sister."

I could not help acknowledging that Bessy was as perfect as I could expect any one to be, where none are perfect. I admitted the truth and good sense of my sister's reasoning, and the death of Janet contributed not a little to assist her arguments; but she was not the only one who appeared to take an interest in this point: my father would hint at it jocosely, and Mrs. St. Felix did once compliment me on my good fortune in having the chance of success with a person whom every one admired and praised. The party, however, who had most weight with me was Old Anderson, who spoke to me unreservedly and seriously. “Tom," said he, “you must be aware that Bramble and I are great friends, and have been so for many years. He has no secrets from me, and I have no hesitation in telling you that his regards and affections are so equally bestowed between you and his adopted child, that it is difficult for himself to say to which he is the most attached; further, as he has told me, his fervent and his dearest wish, - the one thing which will make him happy, and the only one without which he will not be happy, although he may be resigned, is that an union should take place between you and Bessy. I am not one of those who would persuade you to marry her out of gratitude to Bramble. Gratitude may be carried too far. But she is, by all accounts, amiable and beautiful - devoted to excess, and capable of any exertion and any sacrifice for those she loves, — and, Tom, she loves you. With her I consider that you have every prospect of being happy in the most important step in life. You may say that you do not love her, although you respect, and admire, and esteem her: granted; but on such feelings towards a woman is the firmest love based, and must eventually grow. Depend upon it, Tom, that that hasty and violent attachment which is usually termed love, and which so blinds both parties that they cannot, before marriage, perceive each other's faults — those matches which are called love-matches, seldom or ever turn out happily. I do not mean to say but that they sometimes do ; but, like a lottery, there are many blanks for one prize. Believe me, Tom, there is no one who has your interest and welfare at heart more than I have. I have known you since you were a child, and have watched you with as much solicitude as any parent. Do you think, then, that I would persuade you to what I thought would not contribute to your happiness ? Do, my dear boy, make Bramble, Bessy, yourself, and all of us happy, by weaning yourself from the memory of one who was undeserving of you, and

fixing your affections upon her who will be as stedfast and as true to you as the other was false and capricious.” I promised Anderson that I would think seriously of what he said ; and I kept my word, using all my endeavours to drive the image of Janet from my memory, and substitute that of Bessy; I often recalled the latter to my mind, as she lay beautiful and motionless, after her having rescued her father from the waves, and at last dwelt upon the image with something more than interest. The great point when you wish to bring yourself to do any thing is, to make up your mind to it. I did so; and soon found that Bessy was rapidly gaining possession of my heart.

I remained several days at Greenwich. My mother was still as busy as ever, attempting to obtain lodgers in her house who were people of family, and this unwearied system was a source of great vexation to my sister. “Oh, Tom,” she would sometimes say, “ I almost wish sometimes, selfish as it is, that you were married to Bessy; for then I should be able to live with

and escape

from this persecution."

“ Better marry yourself, dear," replied I.

“ There is but little chance of that, Tom,” replied Virginia, shaking her head.

On my return to Deal, I found Bramble had remained at the cottage ever since my departure. Our greeting was warm, and when I went over to Bessy, for the first time since she had returned from school, I kissed her. She coloured up, poor girl, burst into tears, and hastened to her own room.

I hope that was in earnest, Tom,” said Bramble, fixing his eye upon me inquiringly -- “ otherwise it was cruel."

“ It was, indeed, father,” replied I, taking him by the hand.

“ Then all's right, and God bless you, my dear good boy. You don't know how happy you have made me

yes, and now I will say it — poor Bessy also.”





[ocr errors]

“ A FRIGATE bas anchored in the Downs, Tom, and makes the signal for a pilot,” said Bramble, coming into the cottage, with my telescope in his hand. “ There is but you and I here — what do you say ? — will you venture to take her up to the Medway ? "

“ To be sure I will, father; I would not refuse a line-of-battle ship. Why should I ? the tides are the same, and the sands have not shifted. Would you not trust me ?”

“Ay, that I would, Tom, and perhaps better than myself; for my eyes are not so good as they were. Well, then, you had better be off.”

I got my bundle ready, and was about to start, when I perceived my telescope lying down where Bramble had placed it on the table. They are not very fond of letting pilots have their glasses on board of a king's ship,” said I, “ so I will take mine this time.”

“ You're right, Tom you can't take the spy glass out of the captain's hand, as you do in a merchant vessel.”

“ Well, good-bye, father; I shall come down again as soon as I can—there's another gun, the captain of the frigate is in a hurry."

They always are on board of a man-of-war, if no attention is paid to their orders or their signals. Come, start away.”

I went down to the beach, the men launched the galley, and I was soon on board. As I gained the quarter-deck, I was met by the captain and first lieutenant, who were standing there.

“Well,” said the captain," where's the pilot ?"
" I am, sir,” replied I, taking off my hat.
“ Where's your warrant ?”

“ There, sir," replied I, offering him the tin case in which I carried it.

Well, all is right, my good fellow; but you seem but a young hand.”

[ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »