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a fall from the mainyard disabled him from hard duty and going aloft; but still he had been brought up to sea, and was fit for nothing on shore. So, as he was & clean likely fellow, he obtained the situation of purser's steward in an Indiaman. After that, he was captain's steward on board of several ships. He sailed originally from Yarmouth; and, going home, after a voyage, to see his relations, he fell in with my mother, and they were spliced. He was very fond of his wife; and I believe she was a very true and good woman, equally fond of him. He went to sea again, and I was born. He made another voyage to India ; and, when he came back, I was two years old. I do not recollect him or my mother. My father had agreed to sail to the West Indies as captain's steward, and the captain, with whom he had sailed before, consented that he should take his wife with him, to attend upon the lady passengers ; so I was left at Yarmouth, and put out to nurse till they come back—but they never came back, Jack; and, as soon as I can recollect, I found myself in the workhouse, and, when old enough, was sent to sea. I had been told that my father and mother had been lost at sea, but no one could tell me how-and I thought little more about it, for I had never known them; and those we don't know we do not love or care for, be they father or mother.
“Well, I had sailed four or five voyages to the north, in the whalers, and was then about twenty-five years old, when I thought I would go back to Yarmouth and show myself, for I was 'harpooner and steersman'at that early age, and not a little proud. I thought I would go and look at the old workhousc—for it was tho only thing I could recollect-and see if the master and mistress were still alive, for they were kind to me when I was living with them. I went to Yarmouth, as I said : there was the workhouse; and the master and mistress both alive; and I made myself known to them, and the old people looked at me through their spectacles, and could not believe that I could possibly be the little Ben who used to run to the pump for water. I had money in my pocket; and I liked the old people, who offered me all they could give, without hopes of receiving anything in return; and, as I knew nobody else, I used to live much with them, and pay them handsomely; I gave the old man some curiosities, and the old woman a teapot, and so on; and I remained with them till it was time for me to sail again. Now you sec, Jack, among the old folk in the workhouse was a man who had been at sca; and I often had long talks with him, and gave him tobacco, which he couldn't afford to buy, for they don't allow it in a workhouse, which is a great hardship; and I have often thought that I should not like to go into a workhouse, because I never could have a bit of tobacco. This man's hair was as white as snow, much too white for his age, for he was more decrepid and worn out than, perhaps, he was old. He had come home to his parish, and, being unable to gain his living, they had sent him to the workhouse. I can't understand why a place should be called a workhouse where they do nothing at all.---Well, Charley, as they called him, got very ill ; and they thought he would not last long-and when the old people were busy I used to talk a great deal with him, he was generally very quiet and composed, and said he was comfortable, but that he knew he was going fast.
“ But,' says he, here's my comfort ;' and he pointed to a Bible that he had on his knees. If it had not been for this book,' said he, 'I do think, at times, I should have made away with myself.'
“Why,' says I, 'what have you done? Have you been very wicked ?'
“We are all very wicked,' said he; but that's not exactly it-I have been haunted for so many years, that I have been almost driven mad.'
Why,' said I, 'what can you have done that you should have been haunted ?-You hav'n't committed murder, have you ?'
“Well, I don't know what to say,' replied he; 'if a man looks on and don't prevent murder, is it not the same? I hav'n't long to live, and I feel as if I should be happier if I made a clean breast of it, for I have kept the secret a long while; and I think that you, as a sailor, and knowing what sailors suffer, may have a fellow-feeling; and perhaps you will tell me (for I'm somewhat uneasy about it) whether you think that I am so very much to blame in the business? I've suffered enough for it these many ycars; and I trust that it will not be forgotten that I have so, when I'm called up to be judged—as we all shall, if this book is true,—as I fully believe it to be.'
“Here he appeared to be a good deal upset; but he took a drink of water, and then he told me as follows:
« « About twenty-three years ago, I was board of the William and Caroline, West Indiaman bound to Jamaica. We had two or three passengers on board, and the steward's wife attended
them. She was a handsome, tall young woman; and when sho and her husband came on board, they told me they had one child, which they had left at home. Now Yarmouth, you see, is my native place; and, although I did not know her husband, I knew her family very well; so we were very intimate, and used to talk about the people we knew, and so on. I mention this, in consequence of what occurred afterwards. We arrived very safe at Jamaica, and remained, as usual, some time at the island before the drogers brought round our cargo, and then we again sailed for England.
"Well, we got clear of the islands, and were getting well north, when there came on a terrible gale of wind, which dismasted us; and for three weeks we were rolling about gunnel under, for we were very heavily laden ; and we lost our reckoning. At last we found out that we had been blown down among the reefs to the southward of the Bahama Isles. We had at one time rigged jury-masts, but unfortunately the gale had blown up again, and carried them also over the side ; and we had no moans of doing anything, for we had no more small spars or sails, and all our hopes were of falling in with some vessel which might assist us.
«« But we had no such good fortune; and one morning, when a heavy sea was running, we discovered that it was bearing us down upon a reef of rocks, from which there was no chance of escape. We had no resource but to get the boats out, and take our chance in them. The captain was very cool and collected; he ordered everything in which might be requisite, called up the men, and explained to them his intentions. All the water and provisions were put into the launch, for the sea ran so high that the small boats could not carry them; and it was intended that all the boats should keep company till it moderated, and then each boat should have its own supply. When all was ready, we were told off to our respective boats. The steward and his wife were to be in the same boat with me, and I had put her carefully in the stern-sheets, for I was her great friend. Now the steward was called out by the captain to go for something which had been forgotten; and while he was away the ship was struck by a heavy sea, which occasioned such a breach over her that all was in confusion, and, to prevent the small boats from swamping, they were pushed off. The launch still held on for the captain, who hastened in with the mate and the steward, for they were the only three left on board; and away we all went. I mention this as the cause why the steward was separated (only for a time, as we supposed) from his wife. We had not been clear of the ship more than five minutes before we found that we, in our boat, could hardly make head 'gainst the wind and swell, which bore down on the reef close to us; the launch, which was a heavy-pulling boat and deeply laden, could not; and in a quarter of an hour we had the misery to see her in the breakers, swallowed up with all hands, together with all the provisions and water for our sustenance. I will not attempt to describe the agony of the steward's wife, who saw her husband perish before her eyes. She fainted; and it was a long time before she came to again; for no one could leave his oar for a minute to assist her, as we pulled for our