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defied all law but their own turbulent and misguided wills-pirates, in short-you would have been fainting or dying all this day. Fortitude, and self-command, my dear lady, should be your aim; with your learning and amiable qualities, they might be well combined.”
“ Your ladyship is perfectly right, I am weak in mind, very, ” said the governess; “ but you will allow me to remark, that that weakness is in a great degree constitutional, and therefore never to be wholly overcome; it is a disease deeply rooted in my whole system, and perhaps you, who are naturally so firm-minded, can hardly appreciate the great difficulty with which the least portion of it is dislodged.”
Perhaps I cannot,” said Lady Hester, ingenuously; “I acknowledge that constitution solves many riddles, and this among the number. Many of my own vices, (I will not say foibles, or faults, though these words please one better when speaking of self) I trace to the
It will be well for us both, however, if we can refrain from becoming contented with our blemishes, after we have ascribed them to human nature.
When we have discovered a bodily disease in ourselves, we are not satisfied with saying “it is constitutional,” but we send for a physician, and take all the remedies with which science can furnish us; so should we act with regard to our moral diseases. There is a Physician, Miss Gresham, and there are remedies, I believe safe and sure ones,' to be had, if we choose to make use of them.”
Speaking of this Captain Anderson," said the governess, presently, “ he is a remarkable figure—a perfect Hercules—does not your ladyship think so ?”
Just then the door opened, and the individual of whom
she spoke, entered, bowing to Lady Cleveland with the lofty dignity peculiar to him; and the latter, as she returned the courteous movement, could not refrain from scanping, with a critical eye, the remarkable proportions to which the governess had referred so admiringly.
“ I hope you have not felt much inconvenience, lady, from the swell this afternoon,” said he; and Lady Hester remarked to herself that his voice, though it had more volume, was almost as rich and flexible as his son's.
“ Not much, Captain,” said she, very agreeably smiling; “ the Earl has complained a little, but we, of the weaker sex, have proved stronger than he on this occasion. But I understood that you retired to bed, Captain Anderson, ill, with the wound you received last night.”
“ I did, Madam, and have just risen. I should have remained in my hammock, I believe, for the next dozen hours without stirring, had I not been anxious for your landing.”
“I thank you, Captain, on behalf of myself and friends, most sincerely; and you cannot wonder if, under existing circumstances,” (she laid a stress on the words that convinced the Pirate she was acquainted with his profession) “we are anxious to land.”
“ In a quarter of an hour you will do so,” said the Pirate ; " it is to tell you this that I am now here. Our proposed place of anchorage is already in sight. There has been a strong wind rising lately in the right direction, and now we give our sails fair play, we shall see the beach shingles presently."
The tremors of the distinguished party were quite re
lieved by this announcement, and with renewed spirits, under the prospect of safety, they tied on their bonnets and mantillas, in preparation for the welcome change.
The Fearless now flew like a winged thing over the rough and boisterous waves, worked by the steady skill of old Toby, who guided the helm. The decks were clear and clean, except where skins or barrels were displayed, in order to make a deceptive appearance; the guns had been removed, and the sides of the ship appeared of no more than the common height; the striped American pennant, with a small square in one corner, stamped with a merchantman's device, floated from the mast's head.
Before the Pirate had entered the cabin to acquaint Lady Hester with the welcome fact that the harbour was in sight, he had held a private conversation with Jane, Clinton, and Deborah. It appeared that the Irish girl had been in the larder putting away the remnant of the salted mutton, when she overheard several of the privateers conferring together; one said that the Captain was a fool to think of letting the Earl and his daughters go out of the ship without paying a heavy ransom; another said that he had hinted to the master what he ought to do, but the skipper was as obstinate as ever, and threatened to hang up the fellow that should dare to demand a single dollar from them—there was no end to his whims; a third observed, that he was determined not to help to run the vessel into harbour until he had part of the cash which the gentleman and ladies carried about their persons; the same villain then proceeded to propose that the party should be compelled to pay the crew for their release.
When the Pirate had reflected a little on this important information, he called the privateers together, and, resigning his post as their Captain, gave them, in consideration of their renouncing their plans against the strangers, all which belonged to him in the vessel, as well as the vessel itself; binding himself by a voluntary oath to betray none of them, at any time, or under any circumstances, and stating that it was for his children's sake he left.
Again we part-again we bid farewell!
The harbour was now close at hand; the appearance of the ship was not at all likely to excite suspicion; all the crew were off the decks excepting Haverstraw, who was at the helm, Merry, who, in a clean flannel jacket, was turning over a heap of undressed skins of different wild animals, and Clinton, who was walking to and fro on the gangway.
Again ! again, to lose sight of her!” muttered the latter, moving quicker. “ When I parted from her in England—when I parted from her at Toronto–I did not suffer what I suffer now! Matchless! glorious woman! It is not her fortune that attracts me-no! would to heaven she were poor as I am, she should then know, and all should know, what a passion I have for her! But she is rich—titled-of an ancient and proud family -and I must be mute!"
He listened ; it was her voice he heard below the hatches; she was speaking in lively accents to her young