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daughter Emmeline Loveday, passengers to Madeira, on account of the failing health of the gallant officer. Amongst other persons of inferior rank mentioned as lost, was Damien Vere, the son, it was added of a respectable school master in the village of Beefield, in South Devon, who some time before, had run away from his father, and had been partly adopted by Captain Loveday.
As it has not suited the narrator, to explain how the information respecting the Living Rill was obtained, previously to the loss of the “ Arethusa,” neither will the means be explained, till the following and last number, by which things and scenes of which all the witnesses had been supposed to have perished years before, were brought to light.
It was on the afternoon of that day mentioned in the public prints, as marked by such a storm as uplifted the very depths of the sea, and dashed them above the rocks of our whole southern coast, that this narrative recommences. Captain Loveday, still enfeebled in limb, by a tremendous attack of acute rheumatism, the commencement of which is spoken of in the last number, was lying on a sofa in the state cahin of the doomed vessel ; Emmeline was seated on a low stool by his side, gently passing her hands over his arm, when he complained of lingering pain and numbness.
Damien Vere was the only person besides these in the cabin.
This youth, then about fifteen, had so won on the good will of Captain Loveday by his unwearied attention in his illness, and had at the same time exhibited so much of a mind and early education above what had been imagined, when he had come begging on the shore at Plymouth to be taken on board the «
Hebe”—that he was the only personal attendant, whom the Captain had brought to the “Arethusa," when he undertook
voyage to Madeira : neither was the privilege denied the boy of being in the state cabin, when not occupied in his master's business without.
Captain Loveday was speaking of a passage of Scripture, which had particularly and often recurred to his mind during the last few hours : it was the text commencing "He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.” Having remarked how it confirmed all that his beloved daughter had ever said to him, respecting the love of the Father for his creature, man, as
manifested through the Son, he added, “Oh! my Emmeline-my only one,—what through divine grace do I not owe to you, my precious child? What inestimable benefit did you confer on me, when you convinced me by the whole tenor of your sweet daughterly conduct, that you could love me independently of my deservings; nay, in very opposition to my harsh and cruel treatment of you, thus bringing to my apprehension, what hitherto had been wholly hidden from me, the very first idea I ever had of such love, as is revealed by the Divine Spirit in the records of eternal truth.” “Oh! my father,” said the gentle daughter, “ do not speak of my love to you: at best it can be but a shadow-a misty, passing image, of that which is divine.”
“Nay! nay, my child,” answered the captain, “say not, a misty shadow-say rather a beam, a ray of the Creator's love for did it not come with warmth which still glows; yes, and more cheeringly from hour to hour. But come, my beloved, read me the passage which I have pointed out, with its context ?"
The little bible, Horace's, Jocelyn's, and Barbara's bible, was lying on the couch. Miss Loveday raised it with her left hand, her right being still upon her father's arm, and extending it to Damien, she requested him to find and read the chapter.
The youth, to whom such services had been often before allotted, took the little volume, and placing himself on a chair near the cabin window, which was low and opened to the floor on the side of the vessel which was from the English coast, was turning to the place in the bible, rather stooping towards the light; for it was an extremely small copy of the Scriptures, with which he had to deal, when suddenly a lurid red glare flared on his book, and looking up towards the west, he saw the disk of the sun, deprived of its beams, just on the edge of a bank of very, very, dark and threatening clouds rising in that direction.
“What's this?" cried the Captain, whose practised eye was swift in discerning every change of weather, and every symptom of the atmosphere.
Damien mentioned what he saw, and said, “I fear, sir, we shall have an ugly night.”
After having asked several questions of the youth, the captain said, “If we had sea room, we should have nothing to fear, but we are too near those rocks;" and having made one ineffectual
and painful effort to rise upon his feet, he lay down again saying something about a disabled hulk, and sent the youth out on deck to observe what was going forward, and to bring the report to himself.
Whilst the captain was speaking, Damien almost unconsciously, and little anticipating the terrors which awaited him, thrust the little volume which he held in his hand into the breast pocket of his jacket, and though he obeyed his master with the utmost promptitude, he found the captain and crew of the vessel all in motion, having seen symptoms of an alarming nature in the sky above, and the waters beneath, and every head or hand was already engaged in preparing the vessel for any thing or every thing which might ensue.
The bank of clouds had risen so suddenly, that Damien's discovery of them in the cabin, had not been anticipated by the officers and sailors on watch many minutes before, nor was it many minutes afterwards, when other threatenings of what the sailors called a wild night, burst upon the senses.
The still-far-off moaning and whistling of such a gale from the south-west, as does not often break in from the wider seas into the jaws of the channel; the sudden shutting out of day by the low black clouds, which, as if congregating from all directions, soon covered the heavens; the uneasy plunging movements of the ship caused by the back rolling of the waves up channel before the wind, together with low murmers of still distant thunder, and broad gleams of lightning towards the south and west, had all been marked and fully understood by Captain Loveday before Damien came back into the cabin, and the so lately intrepid seaman was sitting helplessly on the side of the sofa, on which he had lately been lying in so much contentment, with his gentle daughter standing by him.
A little farther advance of time, and the gale had come down with the utmost fury on the condemned vessel; the thunder rolled above her head; the lightnings played among her masts ; she refused to obey her helm ; she was driven headlong towards the rocky islands, the light-house on one of the foremost of which was distinctly seen, sometimes below the ship, as she was raised mountains high on the crest of a billow, and again as much raised above her, as she sank into a trough of the sea. From
one moment to another a boom of the ship's gun proclaiming her distress, seemed for an instant to overcome even the report of the thunders, but no boat could have lived through those wild waters: where then was the hope in any created thing?
Neither Captain Loveday nor the faithful seamen in that perilous hour, had one thought for their own safety, for could either of them have saved Emmeline, gladly would they have met their own deaths.
What human language would suffice to bring before the untravelled reader any idea of those wild and terrible hours which followed from the moments of first anticipation of the storm, till in the very deepest hour of the night, the strained and helpless vessel, was dashed upon a sunken rock, somewhere amid the Isles of Scilly.
Damien and Emmeline had aided the Captain to prepare for going upon deck, at least so far, that he might be at hand should any means of escape be presented. The hope was a forlorn one indeed; but as Emmeline refused to leave her parent for one moment, he could not, would not, but comply with this arrangement, though it cut off all probability of escape for his attendants.
But all other memories of those fearful hours seemed to have been absorbed in one scene of interest, with that person who alone survived that awful night; who of all the human beings who had seen the sun grow dim and lurid, on board the “Arethusa,” in the evening, ever saw it rise again in its unclouded glory. And what was this image, but that of Emmeline, who in all the freshest bloom of youth, stood there before his eyes like some bright victim ready to be sacrificed, to whom no means of avoidance presented itself in sky above, or earth beneath. They had found some support for Captain Loveday, his weakened limbs not being able to sustain him from one minute to another, and his daughter stood beside him, with one arm round his neck, with which she seemed to draw him closer to herself. She wore no head dress, the wild blast had scattered her bright hair, and deep as was the gloom shed over the condemned vessel, it was not such as at any moment wholly to conceal the outline of her figure, clad as she was in white-neither were the roar of the elements, the thunders of the heavens, nor the portentous cracklings of the parting timbers, powerful enough to prevent the low clear tones of that noble daughter from reaching the ears of their devoted attendant. At one time he heard those soft, yet solemn tones, addressed to her God; again they were directed to her father, or to Damien himself, as to one involved with themselves in the same present perils, and the same glorious promises for futurity. Her periods indeed were broken--they were all left unfinished, yet they were all perfect in the unity of their purpose. Love, that love which as divine is unchangeable, immortal, fresh and alive in every age-infinite in its operations, most animating, most powerful in its actings in this lower world ; in overcoming all natural fear in the hour of extremest peril—that love revealed in the Lord, the Saviour, and as declared by the inspired word, formed the only theme of every disjointed sentence.
“Oh! my father, oh! kind Damien,” once she said, “ had we been brought to this condition before the love which is in our Redeemer had been revealed to us! Had we come to this hour laden with sins! but by grace, through faith, we are saved—we are washed--we are sanctified, and in that blood which cleanseth from all sin, made white as the snows of the mountains of Judah."
“A little longer, one more plunge, and we shall be clothed with glory.-Father, dear, lift up your head, you are enabled to trust, you say ; God be praised, for I know it is so. Do not grieve for me, my own dear father, why do I feel your tears on
Are you sorry, because He who has counted us lovely in his eyes, because he sees us in his own beauty, should have willed, that in our deaths we should not be divided ? Remember, father-"
The crisis was arrived ; the tempest had reached its acme-the sea lashed to its utmost fury, made an unbroken sweep over the doomed vessel; with one continuous roar, thunders responded to thunders along the whole heavens, and lightnings flashed more quickly than the beatings of a fevered pulse, revealing at each flash, the sweet pale face of Emmeline, to the faithful youth who stood before her in such impressive view as time could never efface, the very fitfulness of the vision adding to its unearthly majesty, for somewhat of the glory of that bright world, which was opening to the pious daughter, seemed even then shed upon her countenance.
He saw the uplifted eyes of that young figure, standing in all
my arm ?