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   Chapter 12 MY BROTHER.

Autobiographic Sketches By Thomas de Quincey Characters: 65508

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

The reader who may have accompanied me in these wandering memorials of my own life and casual experiences, will be aware, that in many cases the neglect of chronological order is not merely permitted, but is in fact to some degree inevitable: there are cases, for instance, which, as a whole, connect themselves with my own life at so many different eras, that, upon any chronological principle of position, it would have been difficult to assign them a proper place; backwards or forwards they must have leaped, in whatever place they had been introduced; and in their entire compass, from first to last, never could have been represented as properly belonging to any one present time, whensoever that had been selected: belonging to every place alike, they would belong, according to the proverb, to no place at all; or, (reversing that proverb,) belonging to no place by preferable right, they would, in fact, belong to every place, and therefore to this place.

The incidents I am now going to relate come under this rule; for they form part of a story which fell in with my own life at many different points. It is a story taken from the life of my own brother; and I dwell on it with the more willingness, because it furnishes an indirect lesson upon a great principle of social life, now and for many years back struggling for its just supremacy-the principle that all corporal punishments whatsoever, and upon whomsoever inflicted, are hateful, and an indignity to our common nature, which (with or without our consent) is enshrined in the person of the sufferer. Degrading him, they degrade us. I will not here add one word upon the general thesis, but go on to the facts of this case; which, if all its incidents could now be recovered, was perhaps as romantic as any that ever yet has tried the spirit of fortitude and patience in a child. But its moral interest depends upon this-that, simply out of one brutal chastisement, arose naturally the entire series of events which so very nearly made shipwreck of all hope for one individual, and did in fact poison the tranquility of a whole family for seven years.

My next brother, younger by about four years than myself, (he, in fact, that caused so much affliction to the Sultan Amurath,) was a boy of exquisite and delicate beauty-delicate, that is, in respect to its feminine elegance and bloom; for else (as regards constitution) he turned out remarkably robust. In such excess did his beauty flourish during childhood, that those who remember him and myself at the public school at Bath will also remember the ludicrous molestation in the streets (for to him it was molestation) which it entailed upon him-ladies stopping constantly to kiss him. On first coming up to Bath from Greenhay, my mother occupied the very appartments on the North Parade just quitted by Edmund Burke, then in a decaying condition, though he did not die (I believe) till 1797. That state of Burkes's health, connected with the expectation of finding him still there, brought for some weeks crowds of inquirers, many of whom saw the childish Adonis, then scarcely seven years old, and inflicted upon him what he viewed as the martyrdom of their caresses. Thus began a persecution which continued as long as his years allowed it. The most brilliant complexion that could be imagined, the features of an Antinous, and perfect symmetry of figure at that period of his life, (afterwards he lost it,) made him the subject of never-ending admiration to the whole female population, gentle and simple, who passed him in the streets. In after days, he had the grace to regret his own perverse and scornful coyness. But, at that time, so foolishly insensible was he to the honor, that he used to kick and struggle with all his might to liberate himself from the gentle violence which was continually offered; and he renewed the scene (so elaborately painted by Shakspeare) of the conflicts between Venus and Adonis. For two years this continued a subject of irritation the keenest on the one side, and of laughter on the other, between my brother and his plainer school-fellows. Not that we had the slightest jealousy on the subject-far from it; it struck us all (as it generally does strike boys) in the light of an attaint upon the dignity of a male, that he should be subjected to the caresses of women, without leave asked; this was felt to be a badge of childhood, and a proof that the object of such caressing tenderness, so public and avowed, must be regarded in the light of a baby-not to mention that the very foundation of all this distinction, a beautiful face, is as a male distinction regarded in a very questionable light by multitudes, and often by those most who are the possessors of that distinction. Certainly that was the fact in my brother's case. Not one of us could feel so pointedly as himself the ridicule of his situation; nor did he cease, when increasing years had liberated him from that female expression of delight in his beauty, to regard the beauty itself as a degradation; nor could he bear to be flattered upon it; though, in reality, it did him service in after distresses, when no other endowment whatsoever would have been availing. Often, in fact, do men's natures sternly contradict the promise of their features; for no person would have believed that, under the blooming loveliness of a Narcissus, lay shrouded a most heroic nature; not merely an adventurous courage, but with a capacity of patient submission to hardship, and of wrestling with calamity, such as is rarely found amongst the endowments of youth. I have reason, also, to think that the state of degradation in which he believed himself to have passed his childish years, from the sort of public petting which I have described, and his strong recoil from it as an insult, went much deeper than was supposed, and had much to do in his subsequent conduct, and in nerving him to the strong resolutions he adopted. He seemed to resent, as an original insult of nature, the having given him a false index of character in his feminine beauty, and to take a pleasure in contradicting it. Had it been in his power, he would have spoiled it. Certain it is, that, from the time he reached his eleventh birthday, he had begun already to withdraw himself from the society of all other boys,-to fall into long fits of abstraction,-and to throw himself upon his own resources in a way neither usual nor necessary. Schoolfellows of his own age and standing-those, even, who were the most amiable-he shunned; and, many years after his disappearance, I found, in his handwriting, a collection of fragments, couched in a sort of wild lyrical verses, presenting, unquestionably, the most extraordinary evidences of a proud, self-sustained mind, consciously concentrating his own hopes in himself, and abjuring the rest of the world, that can ever have emanated from so young a person; since, upon the largest allowance, and supposing them to have been written on the eve of his quitting England, they must have been written at the age of twelve. I have often speculated on the subject of these mysterious compositions; they were of a nature to have proceeded rather from some mystical quietist, such as Madame Guyon, if with this rapt devotion one can suppose the union of a rebellious and murmuring ambition. Passionate apostrophes there were to nature and the powers of nature; and what seemed strangest of all was, that, in style, not only were they free from all tumor and inflation which might have been looked for in so young a writer, but were even wilfully childish and colloquial in a pathetic degree-in fact, in point of tone, allowing for the difference between a narrative poem and a lyrical, they somewhat resemble that beautiful poem [1] of George Herbert, entitled LOVE UNKNOWN, in which he describes symbolically to a friend, under the form of treacherous ill usage he had experienced, the religious processes by which his soul had been weaned from the world. The most obvious solution of the mystery would be, to suppose these fragments to have been copied from some obscure author; but, besides that no author could have remained obscure in this age of elaborate research, who had been capable of sighs (for such I may call them) drawn up from such well-like depths of feeling, and expressed with such fervor and simplicity of language, there was another testimony to their being the productions of him who owned the penmanship; which was, that some of the papers exhibited the whole process of creation and growth, such as erasures, substitutions, doubts expressed as to this and that form of expression, together with references backwards and forwards. Now, that the handwriting was my brother's, admitted of no doubt whatsoever. I go on with his story. In 1800, my visit to Ireland, and visits to other places subsequently, separated me from him for above a year. In 1801, we were at very different schools-I in the highest class of a great public school, he at a very sequestered parsonage on a wild moor (Horwich Moor) in Lancashire. This situation, probably, fed and cherished his melancholy habits; for he had no society except-that of a younger brother, who would give him no disturbance at all. The development of our national resources had not yet gone so far as absolutely to exterminate from the map of England everything like a heath, a breezy down, (such as gave so peculiar a character to the counties of Wilts, Somerset, Dorset, &c.,) or even a village common. Heaths were yet to be found in England, not so spacious, indeed, as the landes of France, but equally wild and romantic. In such a situation my brother lived, and under the tuition of a clergyman, retired in his habits, and even ascetic, but gentle in his manners. To that I can speak myself; for in the winter of 1801 I dined with him, and found that his yoke was, indeed, a mild one; since, even to my youngest brother H., a headstrong child of seven, he used no stronger remonstrance, in urging him to some essential point of duty, than "Do be persuaded, sir." On another occasion I, accompanied by a friend, slept at Mr. J.'s: we were accidentally detained there through the greater part of the following day by snow; and, to the inexpressible surprise of my companion, a mercantile man from Manchester, for a considerable time after breakfast the reverend gentleman persisted in pursuing my brother from room to room, and at last from the ground floor up to the attics, holding a book open, (which turned out to be a Latin grammar;) each of them (pursuer and pursued) moving at a tolerably slow pace, my brother H. silent; but Mr. J., with a voice of adjuration, solemn and even sad, yet kind and conciliatory, singing out at intervals, "Do be persuaded, sir!" "It is your welfare I seek!" "Let your own interest, sir, plead in this matter between us!" And so the chase continued, ascending and descending, up to the very garrets, down to the very cellars, then steadily revolving from front to rear of the house; but finally with no result at all. The spectacle reminded me of a groom attempting to catch a coy pony by holding out a sieve containing, or pretending to contain, a bribe of oats. Mrs. J., the reverend gentleman's wife, assured us that the same process went on at intervals throughout the week; and in any case it was clearly good as a mode of exercise. Now, such a master, though little adapted for the headstrong H., was the very person for the thoughtful and too sensitive R. Search the island through, there could not have been found another situation so suitable to my brother's wayward and haughty nature. The clergyman was learned, quiet, absorbed in his studies; humble and modest beyond the proprieties of his situation, and treating my brother in all points as a companion; whilst, on the other hand, my brother was not the person to forget the respect due, by a triple title, to a clergyman, a scholar, and his own preceptor-one, besides, who so little thought of exacting it. How happy might all parties have been- what suffering, what danger, what years of miserable anxiety might have been spared to all who were interested-had the guardians and executors of my father's will thought fit to "let well alone"! But, "per star meglio" [2] they chose to remove my brother from this gentle recluse to an active, bustling man of the world, the very anti-pole in character. What might be the pretensions of this gentleman to scholarship, I never had any means of judging; and, considering that he must now, (if living at all,) at a distance of thirty-six years, be gray headed, I shall respect his age so far as to suppress his name. He was of a class now annually declining (and I hope rapidly) to extinction. Thanks be to God, in this point at least, for the dignity of human nature, that, amongst the many, many cases of reform destined eventually to turn out chimerical, this one, at least, never can be defeated, injured, or eclipsed. As man grows more intellectual, the power of managing him by his intellect and his moral nature, in utter contempt of all appeals to his mere animal instincts of pain, must go on pari passu. And, if a "Te Deum," or an "O, Jubilate!" were to be celebrated by all nations and languages for any one advance and absolute conquest over wrong and error won by human nature in our times,-yes, not excepting

"The bloody writing by all nations torn"-

the abolition of the commerce in slaves,-to my thinking, that festival should be for the mighty progress made towards the suppression of brutal, bestial modes of punishment. Nay, I may call them worse than bestial; for a man of any goodness of nature does not willingly or needlessly resort to the spur or the lash with his horse or with his hound. But, with respect to man, if he will not be moved or won over by conciliatory means,-by means that presuppose him a reasonable creature,-then let him die, confounded in his own vileness; but let not me, let not the man (that is to say) who has him in his power, dishonor himself by inflicting punishments, violating that grandeur of human nature which, not in any vague rhetorical sense, but upon a religious principle of duty, (viz., the scriptural doctrine that the human person is "the temple of the Holy Ghost,") ought to be a consecrated thing in the eyes of all good men; and of this we may be assured,-this is more sure than day or night,-that, in proportion as man is honored, exalted, trusted, in that proportion will he become more worthy of honor, of exaltation, of trust.

This schoolmaster had very different views of man and his nature. He not only thought that physical coercion was the one sole engine by which man could be managed, but-on the principle of that common maxim which declares that, when two schoolboys meet, with powers at all near to a balance, no peace can be expected between them until it is fairly settled which is the master-on that same principle he fancied that no pupil could adequately or proportionably reverence his master until he had settled the precise proportion of superiority in animal powers by which his master was in advance of himself. Strength of blows only could ascertain that; and, as he was not very nice about creating his opportunities, as he plunged at once "in medias res," and more especially when he saw or suspected my rebellious tendencies, he soon picked a quarrel with my unfortunate brother. Not, be it observed, that he much cared for a well-looking or respectable quarrel. No. I have been assured that, even when the most fawning obsequiousness ad appealed to his clemency, in the person of some timorous new-comer, appalled by the reports he had heard, even in such cases, (deeming it wise to impress, from the beginning, a salutary awe of his Jovian thunders) he made a practice of doing thus: He would speak loud, utter some order, not very clearly, perhaps, as respected the sound, but with perfect perplexity as regarded the sense, to the timid, sensitive boy upon whom he intended to fix a charge of disobedience. "Sir, if you please, what was it that you said?" "What was it that I said? What! playing upon my words? Chopping logic? Strip, sir; strip this instant." Thenceforward this timid boy became a serviceable instrument in his equipage. Not only was he a proof, even without co?peration on the master's part, that extreme cases of submission could not insure mercy, but also he, this boy, in his own person, breathed forth, at intervals, a dim sense of awe and worship-the religion of fear-towards the grim Moloch of the scene. Hence, as by electrical conductors, was conveyed throughout every region of the establishment a tremulous sensibility that vibrated towards the centre. Different, O Rowland Hill! are the laws of thy establishment; far other are the echoes heard amid the ancient halls of Bruce. [3] There it is possible for the timid child to be happy-for the child destined to an early grave to reap his brief harvest in peace. Wherefore were there no such asylums in those days? Man flourished then, as now, in beauty and in power. Wherefore did he not put forth his power upon establishments that might cultivate happiness as well as knowledge? Wherefore did no man cry aloud, in the spirit of Wordsworth,-

"Ah, what avails heroic deed?

What liberty? if no defence

Be won for feeble innocence.

Father of all! though wilful manhood read

His punishment in soul distress

Grant to the morn of life its natural blessedness"?

Meantime, my brother R., in an evil hour, having been removed from that most quiet of human sanctuaries, having forfeited that peace which possibly he was never to retrieve, fell (as I have said) into the power of this Moloch. And this Moloch upon him illustrated the laws of his establishment; him also, the gentle, the beautiful, but, also the proud, the haughty, the beat, kicked, trampled on!

In two hours from that time, my brother was on the road to Liverpool. Painfully he made out his way, having not much money, and with a sense of total abandonment which made him feel that all he might have would prove little enough for his purposes.

My brother went to an inn, after his long, long journey to Liverpool, footsore-(for he had walked through four days, and, from ignorance of the world, combined with excessive shyness,-O, how shy do people become from pride!-had not profited by those well-known incidents upon English high roads-return post chaises, stage coaches, led horses, or wagons)-footsore, and eager for sleep. Sleep, supper, breakfast in the morning,-all these he had; so far his slender finances reached; and for these he paid the treacherous landlord; who then proposed to him that they should take a walk out together, by way of looking at the public buildings and the docks. It seems the man had noticed my brother's beauty, some circumstances about his dress inconsistent with his mode of travelling, and also his style of conversation. Accordingly, he wiled him along from street to street, until they reached the Town Hall. "Here seems to be a fine building," said this Jesuitical guide,-as if it had been some new Pompeii, some Luxor or Palmyra, that he had unexpectedly lit upon amongst the undiscovered parts of Liverpool,-"here seems to be a fine building; shall we go in and ask leave to look at it?" My brother, thinking less of the spectacle than the spectator, whom, in a wilderness of man, naturally he wished to make his friend, consented readily. In they went; and, by the merest accident, Mr. Mayor and the town council were then sitting. To them the insidious landlord communicated privately an account of his suspicions. He himself conducted my brother, under pretence of discovering the best station for picturesque purposes, to the particular box for prisoners at the bar. This was not suspected by the poor boy, not even when Mr. Mayor began to question him. He still thought it an accident, though doubtless he blushed excessively on being questioned, and questioned so impertinently, in public. The object of the mayor and of other Liverpool gentlemen then present was, to ascertain my brother's real rank and family; for he persisted in representing himself as a poor wandering boy. Various means were vainly tried to elicit this information; until at length-like the wily Ulysses, who mixed with his peddler's budget of female ornaments and attire a few arms, by way of tempting Achilles to a self-detection in the court of Lycomedes-one gentleman counselled the mayor to send for a Greek Testament. This was done; the Testament was presented open at St. John's Gospel to my brother, and he was requested to say whether he knew in what language that book was written; or whether, perhaps, he could furnish them with a translation from the page before him. R., in his confusion, did not read the meaning of this appeal, and fell into the snare; construed a few verses; and immediately was consigned to the care of a gentleman, who won from him by kindness what he had refused to importunities or menaces. His family he confessed at once, but not his school. An express was therefore forwarded from Liverpool to our nearest male relative-a military man, then by accident on leave of absence from India. He came over, took my brother back, (looking upon the whole as a boyish frolic of no permanent importance,) made some stipulations in his behalf for indemnity from punishment, and immediately returned home. Left to himself, the grim tyrant of the school easily evaded the stipulations, and repeated his brutalities more fiercely than before-now acting in the double spirit of tyranny and revenge.

In a few hours, my brother was again on the road to Liverpool. But not on this occasion did he resort to any inn, or visit any treacherous hunter of the picturesque. He offered himself to no temptations now, nor to any risks. Right onwards he went to the docks, addressed himself to a grave, elderly master of a trading vessel, bound upon a distant voyage, and instantly procured an engagement. The skipper was a good and sensible man, and (as it turned out) a sailor accomplished in all parts of his profession. The ship which he commanded was a South Sea whaler, belonging to Lord Grenville-whether lying at Liverpool or in the Thames at that moment, I am not sure. However, they soon afterwards sailed.

For somewhat less than three years my brother continued under the care of this good man, who was interested by his appearance, and by some resemblance which he fancied in his features to a son whom he had lost. Fortunate, indeed, for the poor boy was this interval of fatherly superintendence; for, under this captain, he was not only preserved from the perils which afterwards beseiged him, until his years had made him more capable of confronting them, but also he had thus an opportunity, which he improved to the utmost, of making himself acquainted with the two separate branches of his profession-navigation and seamanship, qualifications which are not very often united.

After the death of his captain, my brother ran through many wild adventures; until at length, after a severe action, fought off the coast of Peru, the armed merchant-man in which he then served was captured by pirates. Most of the crew were massacred. My brother, on account of the important services he could render, was spared; and with these pirates, cruising under a black flag, and perpetrating unnumbered atrocities, he was obliged to sail for the next two years; nor could he, in all that period, find any opportunity for effecting his escape.

During this long expatriation, let any thoughtful reader imagine the perils of every sort which beseiged one so young, so inexperienced, so sensitive, and so haughty; perils to his life; (but these it was the very expression of his unhappy situation, were the perils least to be mourned for;) perils to his good name, going the length of absolute infamy-since, if the piratical ship had been captured by a British man-of-war, he might have found it impossible to clear himself of a voluntary participation in the bloody actions of his shipmates; and, on the other hand, (a case equally probable in the regions which they frequented,) supposing him to have been captured by a Spanish guarda costa, he would scarcely have been able, from his ignorance of the Spanish language, to draw even a momentary attention to the special circumstances of his own situation; he would have been involved in the general presumptions of the case, and would have been executed in a summary way, upon the prima facie evidence against him, that he did not appear to be in the condition of a prisoner; and, if his name had ever again reached his country, it would have been in some sad list of ruffians, murderers, traitors to their country; and even these titles, as if not enough in themselves, aggravated by the name of pirate, which at once includes them all, and surpasses them all. These were perils sufficiently distressing at any rate; but last of all came others even more appalling-the perils of moral contamination, in that excess which might be looked for from such associates; not, be it recollected, a few wild notions or lawless principles adopted into his creed of practical ethics, but that brutal transfiguration of the entire character, which occurs, for instance, in the case of the young gypsy son of Effie Deans; a change making it impossible to rely upon the very holiest instincts of the moral nature, and consigning its victim to hopeless reprobation. Murder itself might have lost its horrors to one who must have been but too familiar with the spectacle of massacre by wholesale upon unresisting crews, upon passengers enfeebled by sickness, or upon sequestered villagers, roused from their slumbers by the glare of conflagration, reflected from gleaming cutlasses and from the faces of demons. This fear it was-a fear like this, as I have often thought-which must, amidst her other woes, have been the Aaron woe that swallowed up all the rest to the unhappy Marie Antoinette. This must have been the sting of death to her maternal heart, the grief paramount, the "crowning" grief-the prospect, namely, that her royal boy would not be dismissed from the horrors of royalty to peace and humble innocence; but that his fair cheek would be ravaged by vice as well as sorrow; that he would be tempted into brutal orgies, and every mode of moral pollution; until, like poor Constance with her young Arthur, but for a sadder reason, even if it were possible that the royal mother should see her son in "the courts of heaven," she would not know again one so fearfully transfigured. This prospect for the royal Constance of revolutionary France was but too painfully fulfilled, as we are taught to guess even from the faithful records of the Duchesse d'Angoulême. The young dauphin, (it has been said, 1837,) to the infamy of his keepers, was so trained as to become loathsome for coarse brutality, as well as for habits of uncleanliness, to all who approached him-one purpose of his guilty tutors being to render royalty and august descent contemptible in his person. And, in fact, they were so far likely to succeed in this purpose, for the moment, and to the extent of an individual case, that, upon that account alone, but still more for the sake of the poor child, the most welcome news with respect to him-him whose birth [4] had drawn anthems of exultation from twenty-five millions of men-was the news of his death. And what else can well be expected for children suddenly withdrawn from parental tenderness, and thrown upon their own guardianship at such an age as nine or ten, and under the wilful misleading of perfidious guides? But, in my brother's case, all the adverse chances, overwhelming as they seemed, were turned aside by some good angel; all had failed to harm him; and from the fiery furnace he came out unsinged.

I have said that he would not have appeared to any capturing ship as standing in the situation of prisoner amongst the pirates, nor was he such in the sense of being confined. He moved about, when on board ship, in freedom; but he was watched, never trusted on shore, unless under very peculiar circumstances; and tolerated at all only because one accomplishment made him indispensable to the prosperity of the ship. Amongst the various parts of nautical skill communicated to my brother by his first fatherly captain, was the management of chronometers. Several had been captured, some of the highest value, in the many prizes, European or American. My brother happened to be perfect in the skill of managing them; and, fortunately for him, no other person amongst them had that skill, even in its lowest degree. To this one qualification, therefore, (and ultimately to this only,) he was indebted for, both safety and freedom; since, though he might have been spared in the first moments of carnage from other considerations, there is little doubt that, in some one of the innumerable brawls which followed through the years of his captivity, he would have fallen a sacrifice to hasty impulses of anger or wantonness, had not his safety been made an object of interest and vigilance to those in command, and to all who assumed any care for the general welfare. Much, therefore, it was that he owed to this accomplishment. Still, there is no good thing without its alloy; and this great blessing brought along with it something worse than a dull duty-the necessity, in fact, of facing fears and trials to which the sailor's heart is preeminently sensible. All sailors, it is notorious, are superstitious; partly, I suppose, from looking out so much upon the wilderness of waves, empty of all human life; for mighty solitudes are generally fear-haunted and fear-peopled; such, for instance, as the solitudes of forests, where, in the absence of human forms and ordinary human sounds, are discerned forms more dusky and vague, not referred by the eye to any known type, and sounds imperfectly intelligible. And, therefore, are all German coal burners, woodcutters, &c., superstitious. Now, the sea is often peopled, amidst its ravings, with what seem innumerable human voices-such voices, or as ominous, as what were heard by Kubla Khan-"ancestral voices prophesying war;" oftentimes laughter mixes, from a distance, (seeming to come also from distant times, as well as distant places,) with the uproar of waters; and doubtless shapes of fear, or shapes of beauty not less awful, are at times seen upon the waves by the diseased eye of the sailor, in other cases besides the somewhat rare one of calenture. This vast solitude of the sea being taken, therefore, as one condition of the superstitious fear found so commonly among sailors, a second may be the perilous insecurity of their own lives, or (if the lives of sailors, after all, by means of large immunities from danger in other shapes are not so insecure as is supposed, though, by the way, it is enough for this result that to themselves they seem so) yet, at all events, the insecurity of the ships in which they sail. In such a case, in the case of battle, and in others where the empire of chance seems absolute, there the temptation is greatest to dally with supernatural oracles and supernatural means of consulting them. Finally, the interruption habitually of all ordinary avenues to information about the fate of their dearest relatives; the consequent agitation which must often possess those who are re?ntering upon home waters; and the sudden burst, upon stepping ashore, of heart-shaking news in long accumulated arrears,-these are circumstances which dispose the mind to look out for relief towards signs and omens as one way of breaking the shock by dim anticipations. Rats leaving a vessel destined to sink, although the political application of it as a name of reproach is purely modern, must be ranked among the oldest of omens; and perhaps the most sober-minded of men might have leave to be moved with any augury of an ancient traditional order, such as had won faith for centuries, applied to a fate so interesting as that of the ship to which he was on the point of committing himself. Other causes might be assigned, causative of nautical superstition, and tending to feed it. But enough. It is well known that the whole family of sailors is superstitious. My brother, poor Pink, (this was an old household name which he retained amongst us from an incident of his childhood,) was so in an immoderate degree. Being a great reader, (in fact, he had read every thing in his mother tongue that was of general interest,) he was pretty well aware how general was the ridicule attached in our times to the subject of

ghosts. But this-nor the reverence he yielded otherwise to some of those writers who had joined in that ridicule-any more had unsettled his faith in their existence than the submission of a sailor in a religious sense to his spiritual counsellor upon the false and fraudulent pleasures of luxury can ever disturb his remembrance of the virtues lodged in rum or tobacco. His own unconquerable, unanswerable experience, the blank realities of pleasure and pain, put to flight all arguments whatsoever that anchor only in his understanding. Pink used, in arguing the case with me, to admit that ghosts might be questionable realities in our hemisphere; but "it's a different thing to the suthard of the line." And then he would go on to tell me of his own fearful experience; in particular of one many times renewed, and investigated to no purpose by parties of men communicating from a distance upon a system of concerted signals, in one of the Gallapagos Islands. These islands, which were visited, and I think described, by Dampier, and therefore must have been an asylum to the buccaneers and flibustiers [5] in the latter part of the seventeenth century, were so still to their more desperate successors, the pirates, at the beginning of the nineteenth; and for the same reason-the facilities they offer (rare in those seas) for procuring wood and water. Hither, then, the black flag often resorted; and here, amidst these romantic solitudes,- islands untenanted by man,-oftentimes it lay furled up for weeks together; rapine and murder had rest for a season, and the bloody cutlass slept within its scabbard. When this happened, and when it became known beforehand that it would happen, a tent was pitched on shore for my brother, and the chronometers were transported thither for the period of their stay.

The island selected for this purpose, amongst the many equally open to their choice, might, according to circumstances, be that which offered the best anchorage, or that from which the re?mbarkation was easiest, or that which allowed the readiest access to wood and water. But for some, or all these advantages, the particular island most generally honored by the piratical custom and "good will" was one known to American navigators as "The Woodcutter's Island." There was some old tradition-and I know not but it was a tradition dating from the times of Dampier-that a Spaniard or an Indian settler in this island (relying, perhaps, too entirely upon the protection of perfect solitude) had been murdered in pure wantonness by some of the lawless rovers who frequented this solitary archipelago. Whether it were from some peculiar atrocity of bad faith in the act, or from the sanctity of the man, or the deep solitude of the island, or with a view to the peculiar edification of mariners in these semi-Christian seas, so, however, it was, and attested by generations of sea vagabonds, (for most of the armed roamers in these ocean Zaaras at one time were of a suspicious order,) that every night, duly as the sun went down and the twilight began to prevail, a sound arose-audible to other islands, and to every ship lying quietly at anchor in that neighborhood-of a woodcutter's axe. Sturdy were the blows, and steady the succession in which they followed: some even fancied they could hear that sort of groaning respiration which is made by men who use an axe, or by those who in towns ply the "three-man beetle" of Falstaff, as paviers; echoes they certainly heard of every blow, from the profound woods and the sylvan precipices on the margin of the shores; which, however, should rather indicate that the sounds were not supernatural, since, if a visual object, falling under hyper-physical or cata-physical laws, loses its shadow, by parity of argument, an audible object, in the same circumstances, should lose its echo. But this was the story; and amongst sailors there is as little variety of versions in telling any true sea story as there is in a log book, or in "The Flying Dutchman:" literatim fidelity is, with a sailor, a point at once of religious faith and worldly honor. The close of the story was-that after, suppose, ten or twelve minutes of hacking and hewing, a horrid crash was heard, announcing that the tree, if tree it were, that never yet was made visible to daylight search, had yielded to the old woodman's persecution. It was exactly the crash, so familiar to many ears on board the neighboring vessels, which expresses the harsh tearing asunder of the fibres, caused by the weight of the trunk in falling; beginning slowly, increasing rapidly, and terminating in one rush of rending. This over,-one tree felled "towards his winter store,"-there was an interval; man must have rest; and the old woodman, after working for more than a century, must want repose. Time enough to begin again after a quarter of an hour's relaxation. Sure enough, in that space of time, again began, in the words of Comus, "the wonted roar amid the woods." Again the blows became quicker, as the catastrophe drew nearer; again the final crash resounded; and again the mighty echoes travelled through the solitary forests, and were taken up by all the islands near and far, like Joanna's laugh amongst the Westmoreland hills, to the astonishment of the silent ocean. Yet, wherefore should the ocean be astonished?-he that had heard this nightly tumult, by all accounts, for more than a century. My brother, however, poor Pink, was astonished, in good earnest, being, in that respect, of the genus attonitorum; and as often as the gentlemen pirates steered their course for the Gallapagos, he would sink in spirit before the trials he might be summoned to face. No second person was ever put on shore with Pink, lest poor Pink and he might become jovial over the liquor, and the chronometers be broken or neglected; for a considerable quantity of spirits was necessarily landed, as well as of provisions, because sometimes a sudden change of weather, or the sudden appearance of a suspicious sail, might draw the ship off the island for a fortnight. My brother could have pleaded his fears without shame; but he had a character to maintain with the sailors: he was respected equally for his seamanship and his shipmanship. [6] By the way, when it is considered that one half of a sailor's professional science refers him to the stars, (though it is true the other half refers him to the sails and shrouds of a ship,) just as, in geodesical operations, one part is referred to heaven and one to earth, when this is considered, another argument arises for the superstition of sailors, so far as it is astrological. They who know (but know the oti without knowing the dia ti) that the stars have much to do in guiding their own movements, which are yet so far from the stars, and, to all appearance, so little connected with them, may be excused for supposing that the stars are connected astrologically with human destinies. But this by the way. The sailors, looking to Pink's double skill, and to his experience on shore, (more astonishing than all beside, being experience gathered amongst ghosts,) expressed an admiration which, to one who was also a sailor, had too genial a sound to be sacrificed, if it could be maintained at any price. Therefore it was that Pink still clung, in spite of his terrors, to his shore appointment. But hard was his trial; and many a time has he described to me one effect of it, when too long continued, or combined with darkness too intense. The woodcutter would begin his operations soon after the sun had set; but uniformly, at that time, his noise was less. Three hours after sunset it had increased; and generally at midnight it was greatest, but not always. Sometimes the case varied thus far: that it greatly increased towards three or four o'clock in the morning; and, as the sound grew louder, and thereby seemed to draw nearer, poor Pink's ghostly panic grew insupportable; and he absolutely crept from his pavilion, and its luxurious comforts, to a point of rock-a promontory-about half a mile off, from which he could see the ship. The mere sight of a human abode, though an abode of ruffians, comforted his panic. With the approach of daylight, the mysterious sounds ceased. Cockcrow there happened to be none, in those islands of the Gallapagos, or none in that particular island; though many cocks are heard crowing in the woods of America, and these, perhaps, might be caught by spiritual senses; or the woodcutter may be supposed, upon Hamlet's principle, either scenting the morning air, or catching the sounds of Christian matin bells, from some dim convent, in the depth of American forests. However, so it was; the woodcutter's axe began to intermit about the earliest approach of dawn; and, as light strengthened, it ceased entirely. At nine, ten, or eleven o'clock in the forenoon the whole appeared to have been a delusion; but towards sunset it revived in credit; during twilight it strengthened; and, very soon afterwards, superstitious panic was again seated on her throne. Such were the fluctuations of the case. Meantime, Pink, sitting on his promontory in early dawn, and consoling his terrors by looking away from the mighty woods to the tranquil ship, on board of which (in spite of her secret black flag) the whole crew, murderers and all, were sleeping peacefully-he, a beautiful English boy, chased away to the antipodes from one early home by his sense of wounded honor, and from his immediate home by superstitious fear, recalled to my mind an image and a situation that had been beautifully sketched by Miss Bannerman in "Basil," one of the striking (though, to rapid readers, somewhat unintelligible) metrical tales published early in this century, entitled "Tales of Superstition and Chivalry." Basil is a "rude sea boy," desolate and neglected from infancy, but with feelings profound from nature, and fed by solitude. He dwells alone in a rocky cave; but, in consequence of some supernatural terrors connected with a murder, arising in some way (not very clearly made out) to trouble the repose of his home, he leaves it in horror, and rushes in the gray dawn to the seaside rocks; seated on which, he draws a sort of consolation for his terrors, or of sympathy with his wounded heart, from that mimicry of life which goes on forever amongst the raving waves.

From the Gallapagos, Pink went often to Juan (or, as he chose to call it, after Dampier and others, John) Fernandez. Very lately, (December, 1837,) the newspapers of America informed us, and the story was current for full nine days, that this fair island had been swallowed up by an earthquake; or, at least, that in some way or other it had disappeared. Had that story proved true, one pleasant bower would have perished, raised by Pink as a memorial expression of his youthful feelings either towards De Foe, or his visionary creature, Robinson Crusoe-but rather, perhaps, towards the substantial Alexander Selkirk; for it was raised on some spot known or reputed by tradition to have been one of those most occupied as a home by Selkirk. I say, "rather towards Alexander Selkirk;" for there is a difficulty to the judgment in associating Robinson Crusoe with this lovely island of the Pacific, and a difficulty even to the fancy. Why, it is hard to guess, or through what perverse contradiction to the facts, De Foe chose to place the shipwreck of Robinson Crusoe upon the eastern side of the American continent. Now, not only was this in direct opposition to the realities of the case upon which he built, as first reported (I believe) by Woodes Rogers, from the log book of the Duke and Duchess,-(a privateer fitted out, to the best of my remembrance, by the Bristol merchants, two or three years before the peace of Utrecht,) and so far the mind of any man acquainted with these circumstances was staggered, in attempting to associate this eastern wreck of Crusoe with this western island,-but a worse obstacle than that, because a moral one, is this, that, by thus perversely transferring the scene from the Pacific to the Atlantic, De Foe has transferred it from a quiet and sequestered to a populous and troubled sea,-the Fleet Street or Cheapside of the navigating world, the great throughfare of nations,-and thus has prejudiced the moral sense and the fancy against his fiction still more inevitably than his judgment, and in a way that was perfectly needless; for the change brought along with it no shadow of compensation.

My brother's wild adventures amongst these desperate sea rovers were afterwards communicated in long letters to a female relative; and, even as letters, apart from the fearful burden of their contents, I can bear witness that they had very extraordinary merit. This, in fact, was the happy result of writing from his heart; feeling profoundly what he communicated, and anticipating the profoundest sympathy with all that he uttered from her whom he addressed. A man of business, who opened some of these letters, in his character of agent for my brother's five guardians, and who had not any special interest in the affair, assured me that, throughout the whole course of his life, he had never read any thing so affecting, from the facts they contained, and from the sentiments which they expressed; above all, the yearning for that England which he remembered as the land of his youthful pleasures, but also of his youthful degradations. Three of the guardians were present at the reading of these letters, and were all affected to tears, not-withstanding they had been irritated to the uttermost by the course which both myself and my brother had pursued-a course which seemed to argue some defect of judgment, or of reasonable kindness, in themselves. These letters, I hope, are still preserved, though they have been long removed from my control. Thinking of them, and their extraordinary merit, I have often been led to believe that every post town (and many times in the course of a month) carries out numbers of beautifully-written letters, and more from women than from men; not that men are to be supposed less capable of writing good letters,-and, in fact, amongst all the celebrated letter writers of past or present times, a large overbalance happens to have been men,-but that more frequently women write from their hearts; and the very same cause operates to make female letters good which operated at one period to make the diction of Roman ladies more pure than that of orators or professional cultivators of the Roman language-and which, at another period, in the Byzantine court, operated to preserve the purity of the mother idiom within the nurseries and the female drawing rooms of the palace, whilst it was corrupted in the forensic standards and the academic-in the standards of the pulpit and the throne.

With respect to Pink's yearning for England, that had been partially gratified in some part of his long exile: twice, as we learned long afterwards, he had landed in England; but such was his haughty adherence to his purpose, and such his consequent terror of being discovered and reclaimed by his guardians, that he never attempted to communicate with any of his brothers or sisters. There he was wrong; me they should have cut to pieces before I would have betrayed him. I, like him, had been an obstinate recusant to what I viewed as unjust pretensions of authority; and, having been the first to raise the standard of revolt, had been taxed by my guardians with having seduced Pink by my example. But that was untrue; Pink acted for himself. However, he could know little of all this; and he traversed England twice, without making an overture towards any communication with his friends. Two circumstances of these journeys he used to mention; both were from the port of London (for he never contemplated London but as a port) to Liverpool; or, thus far I may be wrong, that one of the two might be (in the return order) from Liverpool to London. On the first of these journeys, his route lay through Coventry; on the other, through Oxford and Birmingham. In neither case had he started with much money; and he was going to have retired from the coach at the place of supping on the first night, (the journey then occupying two entire days and two entire nights,) when the passengers insisted on paying for him: that was a tribute to his beauty-not yet extinct. He mentioned this part of his adventures somewhat shyly, whilst going over them with a sailor's literal accuracy; though, as a record belonging to what he viewed as childish years, he had ceased to care about it. On the other journey his experience was different, but equally testified to the spirit of kindness that is every where abroad. He had no money, on this occasion, that could purchase even a momentary lift by a stage coach: as a pedestrian, he had travelled down to Oxford, occupying two days in the fifty-four or fifty-six miles which then measured the road from London, and sleeping in a farmer's barn, without leave asked. Wearied and depressed in spirits, he had reached Oxford, hopeless of any aid, and with a deadly shame at the thought of asking it. But, somewhere in the High Street,-and, according to his very accurate sailor's description of that noble street, it must have been about the entrance of All Souls' College,-he met a gentleman, a gownsman, who (at the very moment of turning into the college gate) looked at Pink earnestly, and then gave him a guinea, saying at the time, "I know what it is to be in your situation. You are a schoolboy, and you have run away from your school. Well, I was once in your situation, and I pity you." The kind gownsman, who wore a velvet cap with a silk gown, and must, therefore, have been what in Oxford is called a gentleman commoner, gave him an address at some college or other, (Magdalen, he fancied, in after years,) where he instructed him to call before he quitted Oxford. Had Pink done this, and had he frankly communicated his whole story, very probably he would have received, not assistance merely, but the best advice for guiding his future motions. His reason for not keeping the appointment was simply that he was nervously shy, and, above all things, jealous of being entrapped by insidious kindness into revelations that might prove dangerously circumstantial. Oxford had a mayor; Oxford had a corporation; Oxford had Greek Testaments past all counting; and so, remembering past experiences, Pink held it to be the wisest counsel that he should pursue his route on foot to Liverpool. That guinea, however, he used to say, saved him from despair.

One circumstance affected me in this part of Pink's story. I was a student in Oxford at that time. By comparing dates, there was no doubt whatever that I, who held my guardians in abhorrence, and, above all things, admired my brother for his conduct, might have rescued him at this point of his youthful trials, four years before the fortunate catastrophe of his case, from the calamities which awaited him. This is felt generally to be the most distressing form of human blindness-the case when accident brings two fraternal hearts, yearning for reunion, into almost touching neighborhood, and then, in a moment after, by the difference, perhaps, of three inches in space, or three seconds in time, will separate them again, unconscious of their brief neighborhood, perhaps forever. In the present case, however, it may be doubted whether this unconscious rencontre and unconscious parting in Oxford ought to be viewed as a misfortune. Pink, it is true, endured years of suffering, four, at least, that might have been saved by this seasonable rencontre; but, on the other hand, by travelling through his misfortunes with unabated spirit, and to their natural end, he won experience and distinctions that else he would have missed. His further history was briefly this:-

Somewhere in the River of Plate he had effected his escape from the pirates; and a long time after, in 1807, I believe, (I write without books to consult,) he joined the storming party of the English at Monte Video. Here he happened fortunately to fall under the eye of Sir Home Popham; and Sir Home forthwith rated my brother as a midshipman on board his own ship, which was at that time, I think, a fifty-gun ship-the Diadem. Thus, by merits of the most appropriate kind, and without one particle of interest, my brother passed into the royal navy. His nautical accomplishments were now of the utmost importance to him; and, as often as he shifted his ship, which (to say the truth) was far too often,-for his temper was fickle and delighting in change,-so often these accomplishments were made the basis of very earnest eulogy. I have read a vast heap of certificates vouching for Pink's qualifications as a sailor in the highest terms, and from several of the most distinguished officers in the service. Early in his career as a midshipman, he suffered a mortifying interruption of the active life which had long since become essential to his comfort. He had contrived to get appointed on board a fire ship, the Prometheus, (chiefly with a wish to enlarge his experience by this variety of naval warfare,) at the time of the last Copenhagen expedition, and he obtained his wish; for the Prometheus had a very distinguished station assigned her on the great night of bombardment, and from her decks, I believe, was made almost the first effectual trial of the Congreve rockets. Soon after the Danish capital had fallen, and whilst the Prometheus was still cruising in the Baltic, Pink, in company with the purser of his ship, landed on the coast of Jutland, for the purpose of a morning's sporting. It seems strange that this should have been allowed upon a hostile shore; and perhaps it was not allowed, but might have been a thoughtless abuse of some other mission shorewards. So it was, unfortunately; and one at least of the two sailors had reason to rue the sporting of that day for eighteen long months of captivity. They were perfectly unacquainted with the localities, but conceived themselves able at any time to make good their retreat to the boat, by means of fleet heels, and arms sufficient to deal with any opposition of the sort they apprehended. Venturing, however, too far into the country, they became suddenly aware of certain sentinels, posted expressly for the benefit of chance English visitors. These men did not pursue, but they did worse, for they fired signal shots; and, by the time our two thoughtless Jack tars had reached the shore, they saw a detachment of Danish cavalry trotting their horses pretty coolly down in a direction for the boat. Feeling confident of their power to keep ahead of the pursuit, the sailors amused themselves with various sallies of nautical wit; and Pink, in particular, was just telling them to present his dutiful respects to the crown prince, and assure him that, but for this lubberly interruption, he trusted to have improved his royal dinner by a brace of birds, when-O sight of blank confusion!-all at once they became aware that between themselves and their boat lay a perfect network of streams, deep watery holes, requiring both time and local knowledge to unravel. The purser hit upon a course which enabled him to regain the boat; but I am not sure whether he also was not captured. Poor Pink was, at all events; and, through seventeen or eighteen months, bewailed this boyish imprudence. At the end of that time there was an exchange of prisoners, and he was again serving on board various and splendid frigates. Wyborg, in Jutland, was the seat of his Danish captivity; and such was the amiableness of the Danish character, that, except for the loss of his time, to one who was aspiring to distinction and professional honor, none of the prisoners who were on parole could have had much reason for complaint. The street mob, excusably irritated with England at that time, (for, without entering on the question of right or of expedience as regarded that war, it is notorious that such arguments as we had for our unannounced hostilities could not be pleaded openly by the English cabinet, for fear of compromising our private friend and informant, the King of Sweden,) the mob, therefore, were rough in their treatment of the British prisoners: at night, they would pelt them with stones; and here and there some honest burgher, who might have suffered grievously in his property, or in the person of his nearest friends, by the ruin inflicted upon the Danish commercial shipping, or by the dreadful havoc made in Zealand, would show something of the same bitter spirit. But the great body of the richer and more educated inhabitants showed the most hospitable attention to all who justified that sort of notice by their conduct. And their remembrance of these English friendships was not fugitive; for, through long years after my brother's death, I used to receive letters, written in the Danish, (a language which I had attained in the course of my studies, and which I have since endeavored to turn to account in a public journal, for some useful purposes of research,) from young men as well as women in Jutland-letters couched in the most friendly terms, and recalling to his remembrance scenes and incidents which sufficiently proved the terms of fraternal affection upon which he had lived amongst these public enemies; and some of them I have preserved to this day, as memorials that do honor, on different considerations, to both parties alike. [7]


[1] This poem, from great admiration of its mother English, and to illustrate some ideas upon style, Mr. Coleridge republished in his "Biographia Literaria."

[2] From the well-known Italian epitaph-"Stava bene; ma per star meglio, sto qui"-I was well; but, because I would be better than well, I am-where you see.

[3] This was not meant assuredly as any advertisement of an establishment, which could not by all reports need any man's praise, but was written under a very natural impulse derived from a recent visit to the place, and under an unaffected sympathy with the spirit of freedom and enjoyment that seemed to reign amongst the young people.

[4] To those who are open to the impression of omens, there is a most striking one on record with respect to the birth of this ill-fated prince, not less so than the falling off of the head from the cane of Charles I. at his trial, or the same king's striking a medal, bearing an oak tress, (prefiguring the oak of Boscobel,) with this prophetic inscription, "Seris nepotibus umbram." At the very moment when (according to immemorial usage) the birth of a child was in the act of annunciation to the great officers of state assembled in the queen's bed chamber, and when a private signal from a lady had made known the glad tidings that it was a dauphin, (the first child having been a princess, to the signal disappointment of the nation; and the second, who was a boy, having died,) the whole frame of carved woodwork at the back of the queen's bed, representing the crown and other regalia of France, with the Bourbon lilies, came rattling down in ruins. There is another and more direct ill omen connected, apparently, with the birth of this prince; in fact, a distinct prophecy of his ruin,-a prophecy that he should survive his father, and yet no reign,-which is so obscurely told, that one knows not in what light to view it; and especially since Louis XVIII., who is the original authority for it, obviously confounds the first dauphin, who died before the calamities of his family commenced, with the second. As to this second, who is of course the prince concerned in the references of the text, a new and most extraordinary interest has begun to invest his tragical story in this very month of April, 1853; at least, it is now first brought before universal Christendom. In the monthly journal of Putnam, (published in New York,) the No. for April contains a most interesting memoir upon the subject, signed T. H. Hanson. Naturally, it indisposed most readers to put faith in any fresh pretensions of this nature, that at least one false dauphin had been pronounced such by so undeniable a judge of the Duchesse d'Angoulême. Meantime, it is made probably enough by Mr Hanson that the true dauphin did not die in the year 1795 at the Temple, but was personated by a boy unknown; that two separate parties had an equal interest in sustaining the fraud, and did sustain it; but one would hesitate to believe whether at the price of murdering a celebrated physician; that they had the prince conveyed secretly to an Indian settlement in Lower Canada, as a situation in which French, being the prevailing language, would attract no attention, as it must have done in most other parts of North America; that the boy was educated and trained as a missionary clergyman; and finally, that he is now acting in that capacity under the name of Eleazar Williams- perfectly aware of the royal pretensions put forward on his behalf, but equally, through age (being about 69) and through absorption in spiritual views, indifferent to these pretensions. It is admitted on all hands that the Prince de Joinville had an interview with Eleazar Williams a dozen years since-the prince alleges through mere accident; but this seems improbable; and Mr Hanson is likely to be right in supposing this visit to have been a pre-concerted one, growing out of some anxiety to test the reports current, so far as they were grounded upon resemblances in Mr. Williams's features to those of the Bourbon and Austrian families. The most pathetic fact is that of the idiocy common to the dauphin and Mr. Eleazar Williams. It is clear from all the most authentic accounts of the young prince that idiocy was in reality stealing over him-due, doubtless, to the stunning nature of the calamities that overwhelmed his family; to the removal from him by tragical deaths, in so rapid a succession, of the Princesse de Lamballe, of his aunt, of his father, of his mother, and others whom most he had loved; to his cruel separation from his sister; and to the astounding (for him naturally incomprehensible) change that had come over the demeanor and the language of nearly all the people placed about the persons of himself and his family. An idiocy resulting from what must have seemed a causeless and demoniac conspiracy would be more likely to melt away under the sudden transfer to kindness and the gayety of forest life than any idiocy belonging to original organic imbecility. Mr. Williams describes his own confusion of mind as continuing up to his fourteenth year, and all things which had happened in earlier years as gleaming through clouds of oblivion, and as painfully perplexing; but otherwise he shows no desire to strengthen the pretensions made for himself by any reminiscences piercing these clouds that could point specially to France or to royal experiences.

[5] "Flibustiers."-This word, which is just now revolving upon us in connection with the attempts on Cuba, &c., is constantly spelt by our own and the American journals as fillibustiers and fillibusteros. But the true word of nearly two centuries back amongst the old original race of sea robbers (French and English) that made irregular war upon the Spanish shipping and maritime towns was that which I have here retained.

[6] "Seamanship and shipmanship"-These are two functions of a sailor seldom, separated in the mind of a landsman. The conducting a ship (causing her to choose a right path) through the ocean; that is one thing. Then there is the management of the ship within herself, the trimming of her sails, &c., (causing her to keep the line chosen;) that is another thing. The first is called seamanship; the second might be called shipmanship, but is, I believe, called navigation. They are perfectly distinct; one man rarely has both in perfection. Both may be illustrated from the rudder. The question is, suppose at the Cape of Good Hope, to steer for India: trust the rudder to him, as a seaman, who knows the passage whether within or without Madagascar. The question is to avoid a sunk rock: trust the rudder to him, as a navigator, who understands the art of steering to a nicety.

[7] For this little parenthetical record of my brother's early history the exact chronology of the several items in the case may possible be now irrecoverable; but any error must be of trivial importance. His two pedestrian journeys between London and Liverpool occurred, I believe, in the same year-viz., after the death of the friendly captain, and during the last visit of his ship to England. The capture of Pink by the pirates took place after the ship's return to the Pacific.

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