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having neither observed nor heard anything to excite suspicion, I determined on shaping my course homewards, intending to paddle quietly alongshore, and in the event of reaching “Dartmouth Range" before daylight, to remain there on the look-out during the remainder of the night : for, as my information did not specify the exact "spotof the smuggler, my chance, for what I knew to the contrary, was as good at one place as the other. The weather, moreover, looked threatening, and I wished, in case it freshened, to be sufficiently near my vessel to insure my getting on board shortly after daylight. The galley was accordingly pulled towards “Berry Head;" on reaching which, my fears of a change of weather appeared about to be realized; for, although there was no wind to speak of at the time, yet a very heavy ground-swell seemed to announce that a gale was not far distant.

We had some difficulty in rounding the pitch of the “ Berry;" for (as is almost always the case with headlands) there was rather a heavy sea off it, occasioned by the tide; and we shipped several green seas over the stem head, before we unfortunately accomplished our purpose. On our clearing it the sea ran fairer, and the breeze, that had blown in puffs round the head, as if in pity to warn us not to proceed, died away, and left us to our fate. Our situation was, however, melancholy in the extreme, for all was silent around, save the roar of the breakers inside of us. A solitary star only occasionally gleamed between the heavy clouds that sailed past it. The galley rose slowly and mournfully over the mountain-swell, under her musiled oars ; and wet, cold, and weary as I was, it required but little stretch of the imagination to metamorphose the black profile of the flat-topped, elevated, and remarkably formed Berry,”-edged beneath with a broad belt of foam,-into the white-bordered, sable pall of a gigantic coffin. Indeed, I know not now exactly whether the melancholy catastrophe that shortly after took place gave birth to the idea or not, but it has ever since appeared to me that there was something particularly marked and ominous in our rounding the head. Would to God, for the sake of the unfortunate men then under my command, the warning had been taken!

Following the “ lay” of the coast, we continued pulling to the westward, with “death," as Jack would say, “on one side, and no mercy on the other;" for, on our larboard side we saw nothing but a dirty horizon, and in the opposite direction naught presented itself save breakers and an “iron-bound "shore ; and even these were occasionally lost sight of, as the boat slowly sank in the deep hollow of the swell that rolled from the south-west.

At about half-past one,-for my watch had stopped at that time,we reached the entrance of the Sound, that separates the “ Mewstone” from the Main ; and as I had never observed any danger from the vessel in our frequent visits to the harbour, nor had seen anything particularly dangerous in the passage a few hours before, I steered directly through it; taking the precaution to keep as nearly in midchannel as possible,-giving directions to the bowman to keep a good look out,—and, of couree; keeping my own eyes about me in all directions.

In this manner we half threaded the passage ; and the “Ay, ay, Sir!" of the bowman, to my oft-repeated order of “Keep a good look out forward !” was still sounding in my ears, when to my great surprise, the boat struck on something forward, and the bowman at the same moment hastily called out, “ There's a rock under the bows, Sir!" “ Back off all!"-" Jump out, bowman, and shove the boat astern !"were the orders instantly given. Neither, however, could be obeyed ; for the descending swell immediately left the boat suspended by the gripe ; and she being of that class appropriately called “DEATHS !" instantly fell on her broadside. The next sea, instead of bearing her up, which would in all probability have been the case had she had any bearings, rushed over the starboard quarter, and with the last words of the order—" Throw the ballast-bags overboard !”-on my lips, she sank under me ; while, for a second or two, the men forwards appeared high and dry out of the water. It was but for a second or two! She slipped off the rock-sank—and not a splinter of her was ever again seen, that I know of.

On first feeling the boat sink under me, I of course knew our case was a desperate one; and that (to make use of a sailor's expression) " it was every man for himself, and God for us all." Swim I could, ---much better, indeed, than the generality of people,—and I had, moreover, that confidence in the water, that very few have ; but benumbed as I was with cold, at such a distance from the land, -on such a coast,--and with such a sea on the shore,—it appeared that little short of a miracle could save me; and all thoughts of endeavouring to assist others were entirely out of the question. My first object was to avoid the grasp of my drowning crew; (more particularly that of the unfortunate marine, whom, but a few seconds before, I had observed comfortably nestled, and apparently fast asleep behind me ;) therefore, while the poor fellows sprang and clang, instinctively, to that part of the boat that was still above water,---probably with an idea of finding footing on the rock,-I seized the strokesman's oar that lay on the water near me, and giving myself what little impetus my sinking footing would admit of, I struck out over the starboard quarter of the boat, in quite the opposite direction. After a few hasty strokes, I ventured to look behind me to see whether the poor dreaded marine was near me, when a scene presented itself, that may have been the unfortunate lot of many to behold, but that few have lived to describe. The “ Deathwas gone! The treacherous cause of our misfortune had never shown itself above the water! But, as I rode on the crest of a long unbroken wave, the sparkling of the sea beneath me, and the wild shrieks that rose from the watery hollow, but too plainly pointed out the fatal spot, and announced that the poor fellows were sinking in each other's convulsive embrace. For a few seconds a sea rose between us and hid the spot from my view ; but, on my again getting a glimpse of it, the sparkling of the water was scarcely discernible, and a faint murmur only crept along the surface of the leaden wave. Another sea followed! As it rose between me and heaven, I saw on its black outline a hand clutching at the clouds above it,-a faint gurgle followed, the sea rolled sullenly by,—and all was dark and silent around me!

I had just beheld within a few yards of me the dying struggle of as I then thought-my whole crew; and everything seemed to announce that my own life was prolonged for only a few short minutes ; for, allowing I succeeded in reaching the shore, the surf threatened my destruction on the rocks. And, should a miracle enable me to weather that danger, the precipitous coast promised only a more lingering death

at a cliff's foot. Notwithstanding all this, however,-thanks to the Almighty!-my presence of mind never for a moment forsook me. I felt grateful for my escape from the death-grapple of the poor marine, which appeared a presage of my further escape: a ray of hope flashed across my mind, in spite of the apparent hopelessness of my situation ; and I as calmly weighed all the chances against my reaching the shore, and prepared for the attempt, as if I had been a looker-on, instead of an actor in the dreadful scene.

I have already stated, that at my leaving the vessel I had a suit of

Flushing" over my ordinary dress of a jacket and trousers, in addition to which, at the time the boat struck, I was enveloped in a large boat-cloak; the latter I had thrown off my shoulders the instant the danger was apparent; and now that I no longer feared being grappled, my first object was to get rid of the former. I accordingly, with the assistance of the oar, (that supported me while doing so,) stripped off my two jackets and waistcoat; and my two pair of trousers would have followed also, had I not dreaded the probability of the heavy “ Flushing” getting entangled round my ankles in the first place,--and in the second, considered that both them and my shoes would preserve me from being cut by the rocks, should I succeed in reaching them. Thus lightened, and with the oar held fore-and-aft-wise under my left arm, I struck out boldly for the shore ; and after remaining-God only knows how long, in the water-for to me it appeared an age,-I got into the wash of the breakers; and after receiving several heavy blows, and experiencing the good effects of my "Flushing fenders," I eventually secured a footing, and scrambled up above the break of the



As I lay on the rock panting, breathless, and nearly insensible, the words—"Save me, save me, I'm sinking !" appeared to rise with the spray that flew over me. At first, stupified with exertion and fatigue as I was, I fancied that the wild shriek that had accompanied the sinking “ death" still rang in my ears; till the repeated cry, with the addition of my own name, aroused me from my state of insensibility, and on glancing my eyes towards the surf, I beheld a man struggling hard to gain the shore. Never shall I forget the sensation of that moment ! I can compare it to nothing but the effects of the most dreadful night

I would have run any risk to endeavour to save the unfortunate man ; but, if the simple lifting of a finger could have gained me the Indies—the Indies would have been lost to me, so completely was I rivetted to the spot. At this moment, the oar that had saved my life fortunately floated into the exhausted man's hands; and after a hard struggle he appeared to gain a footing ;-he lost it-Again he grasped the rock! The next moment saw him floating at some distance in the foam !-once more he approached, and clung to the shore! My anxiety was dreadful !--till rising slowly from the water, and scrambling towards me, the poor fellow's cold embrace informed me I was not the only survivor ; while his faltering exclamation of—" The poor fellows are all drowned, sir !” too plainly assured me that we alone were

"* Misfortune,” 'tis said, “ makes a man acquainted with strange bedfellows;" and just then I had every reason to acknowledge the truth of the expression : for, whether my shivering comrade thought my com

saved !

mission had gone down with the boat, and, that having been so nearly brought to an equality, we had every right to continue on one ;-or whether, which is more likely, he wished to subtract any little animal heat I might have had yet remaining in my body, I know not; certain I am, however, that no miss in her teens ever got a closer, or a longer embrace; and expecting to profit by it, I must confess I was not at all coy on the occasion; although, in the state we were in, I believe neither of us derived any great advantage from the experiment. After a time, we recovered sufficiently to gain the use of our legs; and then, what with stamping on the rock, and flapping our arms across our chests, we contrived to knock a little warmth into ourselves; and that point gained, we commenced our attempt to scale the face of the cliff that hung lowering over our heads. By mutual assistance, and with some difficulty, we succeeded in mounting between twenty or thirty feet; and I had just begun to solace myself with the idea, that the undertaking was not altogether so difficult as from appearances I had been led to suppose it was, when, on reaching out my arms, to catch a fresh hold of the rock before me, I found my eyes had deceived me as to its distance, and falling forwards, I with great difficulty saved myself from pitching headlong into a chasm that yawned beneath me, and through which the sea was dashing violently. In fact, the high land had deceived us. We were only on a rock !!!

Whoever may take the trouble to read this narrative can form but a very faint idea of the state of my feelings at that moment; for I can safely say that this unexpected discovery—made, too, at the very instant I had begun to entertain hopes of deliverance,--affected me more acutely than anything that had yet taken place. Nature had formed me to wrestle with—not “ grin and bear”-my misfortunes; and now that I saw no alternative but to remain where I was till chance sent a boat to my relief, or death took that office on itself, my heart sank within me. For a few minutes I gazed eagerly around me from the peak of the rock, in hopes of seeing some possible way of extricating myself; when observing nothing but a circle of foam, I descended to the nearest ledge in the deepest despondency, and casting myself alongside my now blubbering companion, sat in silent despair.

I remained in this miserable state only a short time before I discovered that a six years' drilling between the tropics (for I had only recently returned from abroad) had rendered me a very unfit person to remain drying on a rock half a winter's night, near the " Chops of the Channel ;" for my shirt clung with icy coldness to my body, and notwithstanding we huddled together as close as possible, my shivering frame plainly told me I was rapidly losing the little warmth I had acquired through my late exertion,-in fact, I felt assured that, if I remained where I was, daylight would find me a corpse. What, therefore, was to be done? To remain was certain death!— Death appeared equally certain should I attempt to leave the rock! still, however, by adopting the latter course, there was a chance in my favour; and drowning I knew from experience on one or two occasions (for when a man has lost his senses I presume he has known the worst) could not be worse than dying by inches where I was.

I therefore resolved to gain the main, or sink in the attempt; but on making my determination known to my fellow-sufferer, and on asking him whether he would accompany me, the poor fellow appeared so thunderstruck at the proposal, so earnestly pointed out the danger of the attempt and his own weakness, and, clinging to me, so pathetically entreated that I would remain where I was, that we might at least have the consolation of dying together, that I not only ceased from urging him, but appeared to give up the idea of leaving the rock myself. This, however, was only done to elude his grasp; for a few minutes after, under the pretence of looking for a more sheltered place, I left him, and descending the rock, reached the edge of the channel that separated me from the main.

There a scene presented itself that plainly pointed out the desperation of the undertaking. The distance across, indeed, was not very great ; but the whole channel was one sheet of yeasty foam, along the edges of which appeared the long black tangle that adhered to the rocks, except when a heavy black sea, rolling through the passage, drove the one before it, and flowed over the other; an apparently perpendicular cliff hung lowering over the whole. It was an awful sight! For a moment my heart failed me. There was, however, no alternative; for my own fate and the fate of the poor man above me depended on my reaching the opposite side ; so, watching a "smooth," and commending my spirit to the Almighty, should it part company with my body on the passage, I sprang forward, and found myself nearly in the middle of the channel. A few strokes brought me to the cliff's foot; but neither holding nor footing could I gain, except what the tangle afforded. Again, and again, did I seize the pendant slippery weeds, and as often did the drawback of the sea and my own weight drag me with a giant's force from my hold, and rolling down the face of the rock, I sank several feet under water.

Bruised, battered, and nearly exhausted, with the sea whizzing in my ears and rattling in my throat, I thought my last moment had at length arrived. Once more I rose to the surface, and digging my nails into the rock, I seized the sea-weed with my teeth, and clung in the agonies of death. The sea left me, and my death-grasp kept me suspended above it. Another sea rose, it was a tremendous one, and as it vio. lently rushed over me, I was forced to quit my hold, and I rose on its surface along the face of the rock. It reached its greatest height; and in the act of descending, I caught a projecting point above the weeds, and at the same instant my left leg was thrown over another. The sea again left me, and, gasping for life, I now hung over the sparkling abyss once more. Successive seas followed, but only lashed the rock beneath me, as if enraged at having lost their prey. I once more breathed free ; hope revived; the dread of being again torn away stimulated me to make an almost superhuman effort.

I gained a footing; and, climbing upwards, in a short time even the spray fell short of me. God be praised ! I was safe.

Having ascended about thirty or forty feet-(for then only—and, indeed, hardly then—did I consider myself beyond the reach of the waves, so dreadful was the impression of what I had just undergone in my mind,) I ventured to stop and rest. There I remained a short time, and between the roar of the breakers, occasionally distinctly heard the shrill shrieks of the poor isolated wretch beneath me; and the frantic, and oft-repeated exclamation of—“ Mr. for the love of God, don't leave me!" I endeavoured to console him, by telling him, that

U. S. JOURN. No.58, SEPT. 1833,


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