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STORY OF A DETROIT DIVER.
It is a strange business, this diving. The danger facinates some, but the peril is never lost sight of for a moment. I put on the helmet for the first time more than ten years ago, and yet I never resume it without a feeling that it may be the last time I shall ever go down. Of course one has more confidence after a while : but there is something in being shut up in an armour, weighed down with a hundred pounds, and knowing that a little leak in your life-pipe is your death, that no diver can get rid of. And I do not know that I should care to banish the feeling, for the sight of the clear, blue sky, the genial sun, and the face of a fellow-man, after long hours among the fishes, makes you feel like one who has suddenly been drawn away from the grasp of death. I have had some narrow escapes while pursuing my strange profession ; every diver bas, or has been unusually lucky to escape them.
I think the most dangerous place I ever got into was going down to examine the propeller Comet, sunk off Toledo. In working about her bottom, I got my air-pipe coiled over a large sliver from the stoven hole, and could not reach it with my hands. Every time I sprang up to remove the hose, my tender would give me the “slack” of the line, thus letting me fall back again. He did not understand his duties, and did not know what my signals on the life line meant. It was two hours and a half before I was relieved, and there wasn't a moment that I was not looking to see the hose cut by the ragged wood. It's a strange feeling you have down there. You go walking over a vessel, clambering up her sides, peering here and peering there, and the feeling that you are alone makes you nervous and uneasy.
Sometimes a vessel sinks down so fairly that she stands up on the bottom as trim and as neat as if she rode on the surface. Then | you go down into the cabin, up the shrouds, walk all over her, just
as easily as a sailor could if she were still dashing away before the breeze. Only it seems so quiet, so tomb-like; there are no waves down there, only a swaying back and forth of the waters, and a see-sawing of the ship. You hear nothing from above. The great fishes will come swimming about, rubbing their noses against your glass, and staring with a wondering look into your eyes. The very stillness sometimes gives life a chill. You hear just a moaning, wailing sound, like the last notes of an organ, and you cannot help but think of the dead men floating over and around you.
STORY OF A DETROIT DIVER.
I have been down especially to rescue the bodies of those drowned. About four years ago the propeller Buckeye, belonging to the Northern Transportation Company, went down in the river St. Lawrence, in seventy-eight feet of water, and it was known that a mother and child were asleep in their state-room at the time of her sinking. The father begged of me and offered me a good deal of money to take out the corpses, and though I dreaded the work, I at last consented. I had been all over the wreck two or three times and knew just where the state-room was. The door was fast locked, and I waited a good while before bursting it open.
Of course, a dead person couldn't harm you, but even in broad day, on shore, and with people around you, don't you know that the sight and presence of a dead person bring up solemn thoughts and nervous feelings? I knew how they would look, how they were floating around in the room, and if the father hadn't been looking so wretched above, there was no money to tempt me in there. But at last I got a crow-bar from forward, and, not letting myself think, gave the light door a blow that stove it in. The water came rushing out, the vessel just then lurched over toward my side, and out they came, the woman first, her eyes wide open and hair trailing behind, and in her left hand she held the hand of the child. I knew how they would look, but I screamed out and jumped back. Her face was fearfully distorted, showing how hard death had been made, and the eyes looked through the green waters at me in a way that made
The child had died easily, its little white face giving out no sign of terror.
It was a good while before I fastened the line to them and gave the signal to haul up, and I felt so uneasy that I was not long in following. This is one of the drawbacks to any feeling of curiosity a diver might otherwise have. I never go down the hatchway or the cabin steps without thinking of a dead man floating about there. When the Lac la Belle sank on St. Clair flats, the engineer was caught in the rushing waters, and no trace was ever found of his body. His wife came to me, hearing that I was to go down to the wreck, and asked me to find the body if possible. I remembered this when I went down, and I went groping through the engine room in momentary expectation of encountering the body. I looked so long without finding it that I got nervous, and had started for the ladder to go up, when I felt something strike my helmet and give way, and a chill went dancing over me as I thought the dead body was at hand. But on reaching up, I found that I
RISING OF THE NILE.
had run against the fire hose, the end of which was hanging down, and what I so dreaded was still hidden beyond my sight.
A diver does not like to go down more than a hundred and twenty feet; at that depth the pressure is painful, and there is danger of internal injury. I can stay down for five or six hours at a time at a hundred and fifteen or twenty feet, and do a good deal of hard work. In the waters of Lake Huron the diver can see thirty or forty feet away, but the other lakes will sereen a vessel not ten feet from you.
Up here you seldom think of accident or death, but a hundred feet of water washing over your head would set you thinking. A little stoppage of the air pump, a leak in your hose, a careless action on the part of your tender, and the weight of a mountain would press the life out of you before you could make a move. And you may “foul” your pipe or line yourself, and in your haste bring on what
you dread. I often got my hose around a stair or rail, and though I am not called cowardly, and generally release it without much trouble, the bare idea of what a slender thing holds back the clutch of death on my throat, makes a cold sweat start from every pore.
Of all the myriad moods of mind Longing is God's fresh heaven ward will That through the soul come throng- With our poor earth ward striving; ing,
We quench it that we may be still Which one was e'er so dear, so kind, Content with merely living ; So beautiful as longing ?
But, would we learn the heart's full The thing we long for, that we are,
scope, For one transcendent moment; Which we are hourly wronging, Before the present, poor and bare, Vurlives must climb from hope to hope, Can make its sneering comment.
And realize our longing. Still, through our paltry stir and strife, Ah ! let us hope that to our praise Grows down our wished ideal;
Good God but only reckons And longing molds in clay what life The moments when we tread His ways, Carves in the marble real;
But when the spirit beckons; To let the new life in, we know, That some slight good is also wrought Desire must ope the portal ;
Beyond self-satisfaction, Perhaps the longing to be so,
When we are simply good in thought, Helps make the soul immortal. Howe'er we fail in action.
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Anecdotes and Selections.
THE FIRMAMENT.-Is it not amid the rigours of winter that the celestial vault impresses us most deeply as the region of the immutable and the eternal! Type of the world of souls |-- there is no trace of time in that kingdom of space. There is beauty without spot or wrinkle,-immortal youth. Like the soul, the sky has dates, but not age. Like the soul, it has no night, but changes its lights as the soul varies in brightness. The successions of the seasons cause the vicissitudes of the earth, its burning heats and boary frosts, its long and sad intervals of desolation. But, by a sublime inmunity, the heaven, although created, knows neither change nor decay. In the day-time, waves of light burst from its glowing central fire; in the night its dark depths sparkle with indumerable suns. The mighty immobility of its planets, or their triumphal march beneath the watchful gaze of the Most High, seems to image the impassibility of the saints or their swift and irresistible zeal. Thus, while nature-bound beneath the yoke of the winter solstice, desolate, mute, hiding her nakedness in a shroud-seems to accuse man of sin and its fatal consequences, the sky remains blue, the sun keeps the gold of his beams, the moon her silver clearness, the stars the blaze of their many-coloured diamonds; in a word, the vault of heaven, resplendent and gloriously arrayed, seems like the heart of the good man to celebrate a perpetual feast, the feast of the promised restoration. Kindly mother, though she be, the earth sometimes allows her breast to dry; but the fount of light never fails,—the world could not live else. Again and again the day dawns and the shadows flee away, that we may be lured to the sweetness of a hope in the future. Nothing is irrevocable, within or without us.
TH cloud parts, the mist rises, the vapour disappears; and the trustful, hopeful, watchful observer is comforted. Power is watching over him, under the form of imperishable beauty.
A PROTESTANT Dog.—Henry VIII. desired that his representatives should appear with great pomp, and accordingly the Ambassador and his colleagues went to great expense with that intent. Wiltshire entered first into the audience-hall; being father of Anne Boleyn, he had been appointed by the king as the man in all England most interested in the success of his plans. But Henry had calculated badly, the personal interest which the Earl felt in the divorce made him odions both to Clement and Charles. The Pope, wearing his pontificial robes, was seated on the throne, surrounded by his Cardinals. The Ambassadors approached and made the customary salutations, and stood before him. The Pontiff
, wishing to show his kindly feelings toward the envoys of the “Defender of the Faith," put out his slipper according to custom, presenting it graciously to the kisses of those proud
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Englisbmen. The Earl, remaining motionless, refused to kiss his Holiness's slipper. But that was not all; a fine spaniel, with long, silky hair, which Wiltshire bad brought from England, had followed him to the Episcopal Palace. When the Bishop of Rome put out his foot, the dog did what other dogs would have done under similar circumstances-he flew at the foot and caught the Pope by the great toe. Clement hastily drew it back. The sublime borders on the ridiculous; the Ambassadors, bursting with laughter, raised their arms and bid their faces behind their long rich sleeves. “ That dog was a Protestant," said a reverend father. “Whatever he was," said an Englishman, “he taught us that a Pope's foot was more meet to be bitten by dogs than kissed by Christian men.
MEDICAL ANECDOTE.—The late Dr. Jenner, having discontinued his professional visits to a patient on account of her improved condition, sent a couple of ducks to the mother of the convalescent lady, accompanying the present with the following note :
"I've despatched, my dear madam, this scrap of a letter,
And therefore I've sent her a couple of quacks."
* Yes, 'twas polite, truly, my very good friend,
COURAGE AT LAST.
The excellent Sir William Forbes, the biographer of Beattie, uttered this : “Tell those,” said he, “that are drawing down to the bed of death, from my experience, that it has no terrors ; that in the hour when it is most wanted, there is mercy with the Most High; and that some change takes place which fits the soul to meet its God."
When the loyal Earl of Derby came to his execution, although he had said, in previous times, that he could die in fight, but knew not how it might be on the scaffold, he now said that he could lay bis head on the block as cheerfully as on his pillow.
“Let my people know," said the pious Archdeacon_Aylmer, “ that their pastor died undaunted, and not afraid of death. I bless my God that I have no fear, no doubt, no reluctation, but an assured confidence in the sin-overcoming merits of Jesus Christ."
Thus said Peter Finley : “Give my love to the people of Princeton; tell them that I am going to die, and that I am not afraid of death.”.
“O, do not fear to die,” said Mrs. East, in dying; "you will find the word of God sure; all will be fulfilled, and you will find it so.".
These were the words of Haliburton : "1, a poor, weak, timorous man, once as much afraid of death as any–I, that have been many