Sidor som bilder

tears of my mother, and the intreaties of my friends. One morning, my father expostulated very warmly with me. What reason, says he, have you to leave your native country, where there must be a more certain prospect of content and happiness, to enter into a wandering condition of uneasiness and uncertainty? He recommended to me Agur's wish, Neither to desire poverty, nor riches; that a middle state of life was the most happy; and that the high towering thoughts of raising our condition by wandering abroad, were surrounded with misery and danger, and often ended with confusion and disappointment. I entreat you, nay, I command you, (says he,) to desist from these intentions. If you will go, (added he) my prayers shall however be offered for your pre-· servation; but a time nay come, when deso. late, oppressed, or forsaken, you may wish you had taken your poor despised father's counsel. He pronounced those words with such a moving and paternal eloquence, while floods of tears ran down his aged cheeks, that it seemed to stem the torrent of my resolutions. But this soon wore off, and a little after, I informed my mother that I could not settle at any business, my resolution was so strong to see the world, and begged she would gain my father's consent only to go one voyage; which if it did not prove prosperous, I would never attempt a second. But my desire was às vain as my folly in asking. My mother passionately expressed her dislike of this proposal, telling.

mae, That as she saw I was bent on my own destruction, contrary to their will and my duty, she would say no more, but leave me to myself, to do whatsoever I pleased.

I was then, I think, nineteen years old, when one time being at Hull, I met a schoolfellow of nrine going along with his father, who was master of a ship, to London, and acquainting him with my wandering desires, he assured me of a free passage, and a plentiful share of what was necessary. Thus, without imploring a blessing, or taking a farewel of my parents, I took shipping on the first of September 1651....

Upon the sixth day we came to an anchor in Harwich road, where we lay wind-bound with some Newcastle ships; and there being a good anchorage, and our cables sound, the seamen forgot their late toil and danger, and spent the time as merrily as if they had been on shore. But on the eighth day, there arose a brisk gale of wind, which prevented our tiding it up the river; and it still increasing, our ship rode forecastle in, and shipped, several large seas.

It was not long before horror seized the seamen themselves, and I heard the master express this melancholy ejaculation, Lord have mercy upon us, we shall be all lost and undone!: For my part, sick unto death, I kept my cabin, till the universal and terribly dreadful apprehensions of our speedy fate made me get upon deck, and there I was affrighted indeed. The sea went mountains high: I could see nothing

but distress around us; two ships had cut away their masts, and another had foundered: two more that had lost their anchors, were forced out to the mercy of the ocean: and, to save ⚫our lives, we were forced to cut our foremast and mainmast quite away.

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Who is there so ignorant as not to judge of my dreadful condition? I was but a fresh water sailor, and therefore seemed more ter rified. Our ship was very good, but overloaded; which made the sailors often cry out, She will founder: words I then was ignorant of. All this while, the storm continuing, and rather increasing, the master and the more sober part of the men went to prayers, expecting death every moment. In the middle of the night, one cried out, We had sprung a leak: another, That there was four feet water in the hold. I was just ready to expire with fear, when immediately all hands were called to the pump and the men forced me also in that extremity to share with them in their la. bour. While thus employed, the master espying some colliers, fired a gun as a signal of distress; and I not understanding what it meant, and thinking that either the ship was wrecked, or some dreadful thing had happened, fell into a swoon. Even in that condition of wo, nobody minded me, excepting to thrust me aside with their feet, thinking me dead; and I was a great while before I recovered.

Happy it was for us, when, upon the signal given, they ventured out their boat to save our


lives. All our pumping had been in vain, and vain had all our other efforts been, had they not come to our ship's side, and our men cast them a rope over the stern with a buoy to it, which after great difficulty they caught hold of, and we hauling them to us got into their boat, and left our ship, which we perceived sink within less than a quarter of an hour and thus I learned what was meant by foundering at sea, And now the men incessantly laboured to recover their own ship; but the sea ran so high, and the wind blew so hard, that they thought it convenient to haul in shore, which with great difficulty and danger at last we happily effected, landing at a place called Cromer, not far from Winterton lighthouse; from whence we all walked to Yarmouth, where, as objects of pity, many good people furnished us with the necessaries to carry us either to Hull or London.

Strange! that after all this, I did not, like the prodigal son, return to my father: who, hearing of the ship's calamity, for a long time thought me entombed in the deep. No doubt but I should have shared in his fatted calf, as the Scripture expresseth it; but my wayward disp osition still pushed me on, in spite of the powerful convictions of reason and conscience.

When we had been at Yarmouth three days, I met my old companion who had given me the invitation to go on board along with his father His behaviour and speech were altered,

and, in a melancholy manner he asked me how I did? telling his father who I was, and how I had made this voyage for a trial only before I should proceed farther abroad. Upon which the old gentleman turning to me, said, Young man, I recommend you to chuse another line of life; the sea is an uncertain element to trust to, and you have lately experienced some of the hardships to which sailors are exposed. Sir, answered I, will you take the same resolution? It is a different case, said he, it is my calling, and, consequently my duty to remain contented with it; but as you have made this voyage for a trial merely, and have every other line open to you, Ithink you might chuse one less liable to hardship and reverses. But pray what are you, and on what account did you goto sea. Upon which I very freely declared my whole story; at the end of which he said, in a tone of seriousness. which I shall never forget, Young man, you ought to thank God, that you did not perish whilst you were committing this act of disobedi ence to your Father; had I known these circumstances, you may be assured I never should have suffered you to sail along with us; thank God, however, that you may still atone for the past. Return to your Parents, they will forgive you, but if you do not, recollect your Fa ther's words, and beware lest his warning should be realized;-and so we parted.

I thought at first to return home; but shame opposed that good notion, as thinking I should

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