« PreviousContinue »
those amongst whom I now resided, my ideas of they, the French are the politest enemies in the Indian simplicity made me consider superfluous. world, and, till we are exchanged, will treat us
“ During this time I frequently attended with that civil demeanour, so peculiar to their him at his store, while he was receiving con- nation. We are not (addressing themselves to signments of goods, and assisted him and his me) among Savages, as you were.-How it faservants in the disposal and assortment of them. red with them, I know not; I and other infoAt first he received this assistance as a favour; rior members of the crew were thrust into a but I could observe, that he soon began to look dungeon, dark, damp, and loathsome; where, upon it as a matter of right, and called me to from the number confined in it, and the want bear a hand, as he termed it, in a manner ra- of proper circulation, the air became putrid to ther too peremptory for my pride to submit the most horrible degree; and the allowance to. At last, when he ventured to tax me with for our provision was not equal to twopence a some office of menial servility, I told him I did day. To hard living I could well enough subnot consider myself his dependant any farther mit, who had been frequently accustomed, than gratitude for his favours demanded, and among the Cherokecs, to subsist, three or four refused to perform it. Upon which he let me days, on a stalk of Indian corn, moistened in know, that he looked upon me as his servant, the first brook I lighted on; but the want of and that, if I did not immediately obey his air and exercise I could not so easily endure. I command, he would find a way to be revenged lost the use of my limbs, and lay motionless on of me. This declaration heightened my resent- my back, in a corner of the hole we were conment, and confirmed my refusal. I desired fined in, covered with vermin, and supported, him to give me an account of what money he in that wretched state, only by the infrequent had expended, in those articles with which he humanity of some sailor, who crammed my had supplied me, that I might pay him out of mouth with a bit of his brown bread softened the small sum I had in my possession, and, if in stinking water. The natural vigour of my that was not sufficient, I would rather sell my constitution, however, bore up against this comnew habiliments, and return to my rags, than plicated misery, till, upon the conclusion of the be indebted for a farthing to his generosity. peace, we regained our freedom. But when I He answered, that he would clear accounts with was set at liberty, I had not strength to enjoy me by and by. He did so, by making oath be- it; and after my companions were gone, was fore a magistrate, that I was a deserter from his obliged to crawl several weeks about the streets Majesty's service, and, according to my own of Brest, where the charity of some well-dispoconfession, had associated with the savages, sed Frenchmen bestowed now and then a trifle enemies of the province. As I could deny nei- upon the pauvre sauvage, as I was called, till I ther of those charges, I was thrown into prison, recovered the exercise of my limbs, and was where I should have been in danger of starving, able to work my passage in a Dutch merchant had not the curiosity of some of the townsfolks ship bound for England. The mate of this induced them to visit me, when they common- vessel happened to be a Scotchman, who hearly contributed some trifle towards my support; ing ine speak the language of Britain, and hatill at length, partly, I suppose, from the abate- ving inquired into the particulars of my story, ment of my accuser's anger, and partly from humanely attached himself to my service, and the flagrancy of detaining me in prison without made my situation much more comfortable than any provision for my maintenance, I was suf- any I had for some time experienced. We fered to be enlarged ; and a vessel being then sailed from Brest with a fair wind, but had not ready to sail for England, several of whose hands been long at sea till it shifted, and blew pretty had deserted her, the master agreed to take me fresh at east, so that we were kept for several on board for the consideration of my working days beating up the Channel ; at the end of the voyage. For this indeed I was not in the which it increased to so violent a degree, that least qualified as to skill ; but my strength and it was impossible for us to hold a course, and perseverance made up, in some operations, for the ship was suffered to scud before the storm. the want of it.
At the close of the second day, the wind sud" As this was before the end of the war, the denly chopped about into a westerly point, ship in which I sailed happened to be taken by though without any abatement of its violence; a French privateer, who carried her into Brest. and very soon after day-break of the third, we This, to me, who had already anticipated my were driving on the south-west coast of Engarrival at home, to comfort the declining age of land, right to the leeward. The consternation a parent, was the most mortifying accident of of the crew became now so great, that if any any I had hitherto met with ; but the captain, expedient had remained to save us, it would and some passengers who were aboard of us, have scarce allowed them to put it in practice. seemed to make light of their misfortune. The The mate, who seemed to be the ablest sailor ship was insured, so that in property the own- on board, exhorted them at least to endeavour ers could suffer little ; as for ourselves, said running the ship into a bay, which opened a
little on our starboard quarter, where the shore at me with a bludgeon, while another making was flat and sandy ; comforting them with the up to my fellow-sufferer, would have beat out reflection, that they should be cast on friendly his brains with a stone, if I had not run up ground, and not among Savages. His advice nimbly behind him, and dashed it from his upand encouragement had the desired effect ; and lifted hand. This man happened to be armed notwithstanding the perils with which I saw with a hanger, which he instantly drew, and myself surrounded, I looked with a gleam of made a furious stroke at my head. I parried satisfaction on the coast of my native land, his blow with my arm, and, at the same time, which for so many years I had not seen. Un- seizing his wrist, gave it so sudden a wrench, fortunately a ridge of rocks ran almost across that the weapon dropped to the ground. I inthe basin into which, with infinite labour, we stantly possessed myself of it, and stood astride were directing our course; and the ship struck my companion with the aspect of an angry lionupon them, about the distance of half a league ess guarding her young from the hunter. The from the shore. All was now uproar and con- appearance of strength and fierceness which my fusion. The long-boat was launched by some figure exhibited, kept my enemies a little at of the crew, who, with the captain, got imme- bay, when fortunately we saw advancing a body diately into her, and brandishing their long of soldiers, headed by an officer, whom a genknives, threatened with instant death any one tleman of humanity in the neighbourhood had who should attempt to follow them, as she was prevailed on to march to the place for the prealready loaded beyond her burden. Indeed servation of any of the crew whom the storm there remained at this time in the ship only might spare, or any part of the cargo that might two sailors, the mate and myself ; the first were chance to be thrown ashore. At sight of this washed overboard while they hung on the ship's detachment the crowd dispersed, and left me side attempting to leap into the boat, and we master of the field. The officer very humanely saw them no more ; nor had their hard-hearted took charge of my companion and me, brought companions a better fate; they had scarcely us to his quarters in the neighbourhood, and rowed a cable's length from the ship, when the accommodated me with these very clothes which boat overset, and every one on board her pe- I now have on. From him I learned, that those rished. There now remained only my friend Englishmen, who (as our mate, by way of comthe mate and I, who, consulting a moment to- fort observed) were not savages, had the idea gether, agreed to keep by the ship till she should transmitted them from their fathers, that all split, and endeavour to save ourselves on some wrecks became their property by the immediate broken plank which the storm might drive on hand of God; and as, in their apprehension, that shore. We had just time to come to this reso denomination belonged only to ships from which lution, when, by the violence of a wave that there landed no living thing, their hostile enbroke over the ship, her main-mast went by deavours against the Scotchman's life and mine, the board, and we were swept off the deck at proceeded from a desire of bringing our vessel the same instant. My companion could not into that supposed condition. swim ; but I had been taught that art by my “ After having weathered so many disasters, Indian friends to the greatest degree of expert. I am at last arrived near the place of my natiness. I was therefore more uneasy about the vity. Fain would I hope, that a parcnt and a honest Scotchman's fate than my own; and sister, whose tender remembrance, mingled with quitting the mast, of which I had caught hold that of happier days, now rushes on my soul, on its fall, swam to the place where he first are yet alive to pardon the wanderings of my rose to the surface, and catching him by the youth, and receive me after those hardships to hair, held his head tolerably above water, till which its ungoverned passions have subjected he was able so far to recollect himself as to me. Like the prodigal son, I bring no worldly cling by a part of the shrouds of our floating wealth along with me; but I return with a main-mast, to which I bore him. In our pas- mind conscious of its former errors, and seeksage to the shore on this slender float, he was ing that peace which they destroyed. To have several times obliged to quit his hold, from his used prosperity well, is the first favourite lot of strength being exhausted ; but I was always so Heaven; the next is his, whom adversity has fortunate as to be able to replace him in his not smitten in vain.” former situation, till at last we were thrown upon the beach near to the bottom of that bay at the mouth of which our ship had struck. I was
. CHAP. XXI. not so much spent by my fatigue, but that I was able to draw the mate safe out of the wa. Bolton and his Companion meet with an uncomter, and advancing to a crowd of people, whom
mon Adventure, I saw assembled near us, began to entreat their assistance for him in very pathetic terms; when, When the stranger had finished his narrato my utter astonishment, one of them struck tion, Bolton expressed, in very strong terms, his compassion for the hardships he had suffer. self!” Sindal started at the well-known voice, ed. “I do not wish," said he,“ to be the pro- and pulling out a pistol, fired it within a few phet of evil; but if it should happen, that your feet of the other's face; he missed, and Bolton expectations of the comfort your native country pushed forward to close with him; when one is to afford you be disappointed, it will give me of the servants, quitting Miss Sindall, threw the truest pleasure to shelter a head on which himself between him and his master, and made so many vicissitudes have beat, under that roof a blow at his head with the butt-end of a huntof which Providence has made me master.”— ing-whip; this Harry catched on his stick, and He was interrupted by the trampling of horses in return levelled the fellow with the ground. at a distance; his fears, wakeful at this time, His master now fired another pistol, which were immediately roused; the stranger observed would have probably taken more effect than the his confusion. “ You seem uneasy, sir," said former, had not Bolton's new acquaintance struck he;" but they are not the retreats of house- up the muzzle just as it went off, the ball going less poverty like this, that violence and rapine through a window at Harry's back. The Baare wont to attack.”-“You mistake," answer- ronet had his sword now drawn in the other ed Harry, who was now standing at the door of hand, and, changing the object of his attack, the chapel, “ the ground of my alarm ; at pre- he made a furious pass at the soldier, who parsent I have a particular reason for my fears, which ried it with his hanger. At the second lounge, is nearer to me than my own personal safety." Sir Thomas's violence threw him on the point of He listened the noise grew fainter ; but he his adversary's weapon, which entered his body marked, by the light of the moon, which now a little below the breast. He staggered a few shone out again, the direction whence it seem- paces backwards, and clapping one hand on the ed to proceed, which was over an open part of place, leaned with the other on a table that stood the common. “ They are gone this way,” he behind him, and cried out, that he was a dead cried, with an eagerness of look, grasping one man. “My God!" exclaimed the stranger, “ are of the knotty branches which the soldier's fire not you Sir Thomas Sindall?"_" Sir Thomas had spared. '“ If there is danger in your way," Sindall !" cried a woman, who now entered halfsaid his companion, “you shall not meet it alone.” dressed, with the mistress of the house. « It They sallied forth together.
is, it is Sir Thomas Sindall,” said the landlady; They had not proceeded above a quarter of a “for God's sake, do his honour no hurt."- “I mile, when they perceived, at a distance, the hope,"continued the other, with a look of earnest twinkling of lights in motion : their pace was wildness, “ you have not been a-bed with that quickened at the sight; but in a few minutes young lady!”—She waited not a reply " for, those were extinguished, the moon was darken- as sure as there is a God in heaven, she is your ed by another cloud, and the wind began to own daughter !"-Her hearers stood aghast as howl again. They advanced, however, on the she spoke.—Sindall stared wildly for a moment, line in which they imagined the lights to have then, giving a deep groan, fell 'senseless at the appeared, when, in one of the pauses of the feet of the soldier, who had sprung forward to storm, they heard shrieks, in a female voice, support him. What assistance the amazement that seemed to issue from some place but a little of those about him could allow, he received, way off. They rushed forward in the direction and, in a short time, began to recover ; but as of the sound, till they were stopped by a pretty. he revived, his wound bled with more violence high wall. Having made shift to scramble than before. A servant was instantly dispatchover this, they found themselves in the garden ed for a surgeon ; in the mean time, the soldier belonging to a low-built house, from one of the procured some lint, and gave it a temporary windows of which they saw the glimmer of a dressing. He was now raised from the ground, candle through the openings of the shutters; and supported in an elbow chair; he bent his but the voice had ceased, and all was silent eyes fixedly on the woman : “ Speak," said he, within. Bolton knocked at the door, but re- " while I have life to hear thee.” On the faces ceived no answer ; when, suddenly, the scream- of her audience sat astonishment, suspense, and ing was repeated with more violence than be- expectation ; and a chilly silence prevailed, fore. He and his companion now threw them- while she delivered the following recital. selves with so much force against the door, as to burst it open. They rushed into the room whence the noise proceeded; when the first ob
CHAP. XXII. ject that presented itself to Bolton was Miss Sindall on her knees, her clothes torn, and her A prosecution of the Discovery mentioned in the hair dishevelled, with two servants holding her
last Chapter. arms, imploring mercy of Sir Thomas, who was calling out in a furious tone,“ Damn your pity, “I have been a wicked woman; may God rascals ; carry her to bed by force."--" Turn, and this lady forgive me! but heaven is my villain,” cried Harry, “ turn and defend your witness, that I was thus far on my way to confess all to your honour, (turning to Sir Thomas to be a fortune-telling in this gentleman's house Sindall,) that I might have peace in my mind when this informer came to make the discovery; before I died.
and, being closetted with one of the maid ser“ You will remember, sir, that this young vants, overheard him inquiring for the justice, lady's mother was delivered of her at the house and desiring to have some conversation with of one of your tenants, where Mr Camplin (I him in private. I immediately suspected his think that was his name) brought her for that design, and having got out of the house, eluded purpose. I was intrusted with the charge of pursuit by my knowledge in the bye-paths and her as her nurse, along with some trinkets, such private roads of the country. It immediately as young children are in use to have, and a con- occurred to me to disburden myself of the child, siderable sum of money, to provide any other as she not only retarded my flight, but was a necessaries she should want. At that very time I mark by which I might be discovered: but, had been drawn in to associate with a gang of abandoned as I had then become, I found mypilfering vagrants, whose stolen goods I had of- self attached to her by that sort of affection ten received into my house, and helped to dis- which women conceive for the infants they pose of. Fearing therefore that I might one day suckle. I would not, therefore, expose her in be brought to an account for my past offences, if any of these unfrequented places through which I remained where I was, and having at the same I passed in my flight, where her death must time the temptation of such a booty before me, I have been the certain consequence; and, two formed a scheme for making off with the money or three times, when I would have dropped her and trinkets I had got from Mr Camplin: it was, at some farmer's door, I was prevented by the to make things appear as if my charge and I had fear of discovery. At last I happened to meet been lost in crossing the river, which then hap- with your honour. You may recollect, sir, pened to be in flood. For this purpose, I daubed that the same night on which this lady, then my own cloak, and the infant's wrapper, with an infant, was found, a beggar asked alms of mud and sleech, and left them close to the over- you at a farrier's door, where you stopped to flow of the stream, a little below the common have one of your horse's shoes fastened. I was ford. With shame I confess it, as I have often that beggar; and hearing from a boy who held since thought on it with horror, I was more than your horse, that your name was Sir Thomas once tempted to drown the child, that she might Sindall, and that you were returning to a huntnot be a burden to me in my flight; but she ing-seat you had in the neighbourhood, I left looked so innocent and sweet, while she clasped the infant on a narrow part of the road a little my fingers in her little hand, that I had not the way before you, where it was impossible you heart to execute my purpose.
should miss of finding her, and stood at the “ Having endeavoured in this manner to ac- back of a hedge to observe your behaviour when count for my disappearing, so as to prevent all you came up. I saw you make your servant further inquiry, I joined a party of those wretch-' pick up the child, and place her on the saddle es, whose associate I had some time been, and before him. Then having, as I thought, suffileft that part of the country altogether. By ciently provided for her, by thus throwing her their assistance, too, I was put on a method of under the protection of her father, I made off disguising my face so much, that had any of as fast as I could, and continued my Aight, till my acquaintance met me, of which there was I imagined I was out of the reach of detection. very little chance, it would have been scarce But, being some time after apprehended on suspossible for them to recollect it. My booty was picion, and not able to give a good account of put into the common stock, and the child was myself, I was advertised in the papers, and disfound useful to raise compassion when we went covered to have been an accomplice in commita-begging, which was one part of the occupa- ting that robbery I mentioned, for which some tion we followed.
of the gang had been already condemned and “ After I had continued in this society the executed. I was tried for the crime, and was best part of a year, during which time we met cast for transportation. Before I was put on with various turns of fortune, a scheme was board the ship that was to carry me and several formed by the remaining part of us (for several others abroad, I wrote a few lines to your hoof my companions had been banished, or con- nour, acquainting you with the circumstances fined to hard labour in the interval) to break of my behaviour towards your daughter ; but into the house of a wealthy farmer, who, we this, I suppose, as it was entrusted to a boy who understood, had a few days before received a used to go on errands for the prisoners, has nelarge sum of money on a bargain for the lease ver come to your hands. Not long ago I returnof an estate, which the proprietor had redeem- ed from transportation, and betook myself to my ed. Our project was executed with success; old course of life again. But I happened to be but a quarrel arising about the distribution of seized with the small-pox, that raged in a vilthe spoil, one of the gang deserted, and inform- lage I passed through; and partly from the vioed a neighbouring justice of the whole transac- lence of the distemper, partly from the want of tion, and the places of our retreat. I happened proper care in the first stages of it, was brought so low, that a physician, whose humanity induced him to visit me, gave me over for lost. I found that the terrors of death on a sick-bed,
CHAP. XXIII. had more effect on my conscience than all the hardships I had formerly undergone, and I be Miss Sindall discovers another Relation. gan to look back with the keenest remorse on a life so spent as mine had been. It pleased God, It is not easy to describe the sensations of however, that I should recover; and I have since Sindall or Lucy, when the secret of her birth endeavoured to make some reparation for my past was unfolded. In the countenance of the last offences by my penitence.
were mingled the indications of fear and pity, “ Among other things, I often reflected on joy and wonder, while her father turned upon what I had done with regard to your child; and her an eye of tenderness, chastened with shame. being some days ago accidentally near Sindall- « 0, thou injured innocence !” said he, 6 for I park, I went thither, and tried to learn some- know not how to call thee child, canst thou forthing of what had befallen her. I understood, give those-Good God! Bolton, from what hast from some of the neighbours, that a young lady thou saved me!” Lucy was now kneeling at had been brought up from her infancy with his feet.-“ Talk not, sir," said she, “ of the eryour aunt, and was said to be the daughter of rors of the past; methinks I look on it as some a friend of yours, who had committed her to horrid dream, which it dizzies my head to reyour care at his death. But, upon inquiring collect. My father?-Gracious God! have I a fainto the time of her being brought to your ther?-I cannot speak; but there are a thousand house, I was persuaded that she must be the things that beat here. Is there another parent same I had conjectured ; imputing the story of to whom I should also kneel?” Sir Thomas her being another's, to your desire of concealing cast up a look to heaven, and his groans stopthat she was yours, which I imagined you had ped, for a while, his utterance ;-“0, Harriet! learned from the letter I wrote before my trans- if thou art now an angel of mercy, look down portation ; till meeting, at a house of enter- and forgive the wretch that murdered thee!"tainment, with a servant of your honour's, he “ Harriet !” exclaimed the soldier, starting at informed me, in the course of our conversation, the sound, “what Harriet ?-what Harriet "_ that it was reported you were going to be mar- Sindall looked earnestly in his face " 0, bearied to the young lady who had lived so long in vens !” he cried, “art thou—sure thou art ! your family. On hearing this I was confound. Annesly?-look not, look not on me-thy sised, and did not know what to think; but when ter-but I shall not live for thy upbraidingsI began to fear that my letter had never reach- thy sister was the mother of my child !Thy ed you, I trembled at the thought of what my father-to what does this moment of reflection wickedness might occasion, and could have no reduce me !-Thy father fell with his daughease in my mind, till I should set out for Bils- ter, the victims of that villainy which overcame wood to confess the whole affair to your honour. her innocence !” Annesly looked sternly upon I was to-night overtaken by the storm near this him, and anger for a moment inflained his cheeks; house, and prevailed on the landlady, though it but it gave way to softer feelings.-“ What, seemed much against her inclination, to permit both! both !”-and he burst into tears. me to take up my quarters here. About half Bolton now stepped up to this new-acquired an hour ago, I was waked with the shrieks of friend. “ I am,” said he, “ comparatively but some person in distress ; and upon asking the a spectator of this fateful scene; let me endea. landlady, who lay in the same room with me, vour to comfort the distress of the innocent, and what was the matter ? she bid me be quiet, and alleviate the pangs of the guilty. In Sir Thomas say nothing ; for it was only a worthy gentle. Sindall's present condition, resentment would be man of her acquaintance, who had overtaken a injustice. See here, my friend," pointing to young girl, a foundling he had bred up, that Lucy, “a mediatrix, who forgets the man in the had stolen a sum of money from his house, and father.” Annesly gazed upon her." She is, run away with one of his footmen. At the word she is," he cried, “ the daughter of my Harfoundling, I felt a kind of something I cannot riet !--that eye, that lip, that look of sorrow!" describe ; and I was terrified when I overheard -He flung himself on her neck; Bolton looked some part of your discourse, and guessed what on them enraptured ; and even the languor of your intentions were: I rose, therefore, in spite Sindall's face was crossed with a gleam of moof the landlady, and had got thus far dressed, mentary pleasure. when we heard the door burst open, and pre- Sir Thomas's servant now arrived, accompasently a noise of fighting above stairs. Upon nied by a surgeon, who, upon examining and this we ran up together; and to what has hap dressing his wound, was of opinion, that in itpened since, this company has been witness." self it had not the appearance of imminent dan
ger, but that, from the state of his pulse, he was apprehensive of a supervening fever. He ordered him to be put to bed, and his room to be kept