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light. Their course was directed towards the coast of Epirus; and running along by the various indentations of the shore, they had an opportunity of enjoying a thousand picturesque objects, which presented themselves in their passage.
For more than three hours the loveliness of the day, the beauty of the scenery, and long dreamy conversations about their future happiness, so far beguiled the time to Charles and Mary, that it seemed scarcely to have passed, till Corfu, lessening in the dim distance, shewed them the progress they had made, and told them it was time to return. Setting out at seven in the morning, (in that climate far the most lovely time of day,) they had not seen lady Anne, who the night before had been evidently unwell, and in consequence Mary was the more anxious that they should steer their way back; but the wind was not complacent enough to meet her wishes exactly, and they were obliged to pursue their voyage towards home more
slowly than they had left it; and at the same time, a heavy cloud that began to spring up made their Greek boatmen often turn their looks towards the sky. At length it appeared plain that a thunder storm was going to overtake them. The heaven, which had before been of the clearest blue, was now changed to one dark threatening expanse of lurid heavy cloud.
The boatmen, who knew well what the storm's of that climate are, immediately began to steer for the coast of Epirus, which was not above a mile off; and Mary was not a little glad of the prospect of any shelter from the fury of the storm, which now began to rage in a manner to which the atmosphere of England is never subject. The sky seemed actually rent by the lightning, and the thunder followed so rapidly, that scárcely an interval was to be discerned between the flash and the report; while sudden gusts of wind, which seldom accompany a thunder storm,
frequently threw the bow of the boat under water.
Mary was exceedingly frightened; but the boatmen appeared to be more so; and on approaching the shore, instead of landing them calmly and safely on a plain smooth beach, which seemed to invite the boat to its security, they ran it in amongst some low rocks, against several of which it was dashed with great violence, and began to fill with water; but they luckily reached the shore without being swamped, of which Charles entertained some appréhensions.
Once on land, the strangers met with every kindness from the inhabitants of a village in the neighbourhood, who, though they could not comprehend a word of their language, seemed at no difficulty to understand their wishes for shelter and refreshment; their quick, intelligent, dark eyes seeming at once to read the thoughts of their foreign guests, and to express their own comprehension. Several of
them seeing the boat at sea, had come down to the shore; and no sooner were Charles and Mary landed, than they hastened to conduct them to the village, making them understand by signs their wish to be of service. But before they had proceeded far, they were met by a young Greek, who could boast a little mongrel Italian, which he did not fail to exercise upon the strangers, taking the charge of guiding them himself, with no little pride expressed in his countenance at his own ciceroniship.
Soon after they had gained a shelter the storm ceased, and lady Mary was again all anxiety to return to her aunt, whose fears for their safety she naturally supposed would be excited to a great degree. But going back immediately they soon found to be quite impossible, on account of the state of the boat, which had received cons siderable damage amongst the rocks...
Nothing therefore could be done, but to wait patiently for an hour or two, while
some repairs were carried on, which were actually necessary ; nor did Charles feel at all certain, that when these were accomplished, the vesssel would be trust. worthy.
In the mean while the clouds passed away, and left the sky blue as before, the sún shone forth as bright as ever, and Na. ture, as if she had been frightened into tears, smiled through the drops that the storm had left, and rejoiced in its departure. The gay Greeks too soon began to celebrate the return of sunshine, and commenced dancing under the shadow of some tall trees, while an old man played to them on a simple kind of guitar; and the picturesque spectators, waiting for their turn to join the dance, fell into groups far beyond the imagination of painter or statuary.
Immediately that the dancers paused, one of the others came forward, and to a wild, plaintive air, which ran much into the minor, began singing, while the old