Sidor som bilder

mainder of the Pandora's crew, the court-martial is to take place. I shall certainly attend, and we must have an able counsellor to assist, for I will not deceive you, my dear Nessy, however favourable circumstances may appear, our martial law is severe; by the tenor of it, the man who stands neuter is equally guilty with him who lifts his arm against his captain in such cases. His extreme youth and his delivering himself up are the strong points of his defence. Adieu! my dearest Nessy; present my love to your mother and sisters, and rest assured of my utmost exertions to extricate your brother.

"Your affectionate uncle,

This excellent man did not stop here: knowing that sea-officers have a great aversion from counsel, he writes to say, "A friend of mine, Mr. Graham, who has been secretary to the different admirals on the Newfoundland station for these twelve years, and consequently has acted as judge-advocate at courts-martial all that time, has offered me to attend you; he has a thorough knowledge of the service, uncommon abilities, and is a very good lawyer. He has already had most of the evidences with him. Adieu! my young friend; keep up your spirits, and rest assured I shall be watchful for your good. My heart will be more at ease if I can get my friend Graham to go down, than if you were attended by the first counsel in England."* Mr. Graham accordingly attended, and was of the greatest service at the trial.

Nessy Heywoodt having in one of her letters inquired of her brother how tall he was, and having

* The late Aaron Graham, Esq., the highly respected police magistrate in London.

Till the moment of the trial, it will readily be supposed that every thought of this amiable young lady was absorbed in her brother's fate. In this interval the following lines appear to have been written :

received information on this point, expressed some surprise that he was not taller. "And so," he re

On receiving information by a letter from my ever dearly loved brother Peter Heywood, that his trial was soon to take place.

[blocks in formation]

Watch him, sweet Pow'r, with looks benign,
Possession of his bosom keep;
While waking, make each moment shine,
With fancy gild his hours of sleep.
Protect him still, nor let him dread

The awful, the approaching hour,
When on his poor devoted head

Fell slander falls with cruel power.
Yet, gentle Hope, deceive me not,

Nor with deluding smiles betray;
Be honour's recompense his lot,

And glory crown each future day!
And oh! support this fainting heart

With courage till that hour is past,
When, freed from envy's fatal dart,

His innocence shines forth at last :
Then, my loved Lycidas, we'll meet,

Thy miseries and trials o'er;
With soft delight thy heart shall beat,

And hail with joy thy native shore!
Then will each hour with rapture fly,

Then sorrow's plaintive voice will cease;
No care shall cause the heaving sigh,

But all our days be crown'd with peace.
With love and fond affection bless'd,

No more shall grief our bliss destroy;
No pain disturb each faithful breast,
But rapture all and endless joy!
Isle of Man, August 22, 1792.


plies, "you are surprised I am not taller!—Ah, Nessy! let me ask you this-suppose the last two years of your growth had been retarded by close confinement,-nearly deprived of all kinds of necessary aliment-shut up from the all-cheering light of the sun for the space of five months, and never suffered to breathe the fresh air (an enjoyment which Providence denies to none of his creatures) during all that time-and without any kind of exercise to stretch and supple your limbs-besides many other inconveniences which I will not pain you by mentioning-how tall should you have been, my dear sister?-answer, four feet nothing; but enough of nonsense."

Nessy Heywood had expressed a strong desire to see her brother, but was told the rules of the service would not allow it; also, that it would agitate him, when he ought to be cool and collected, to meet his approaching trial. This was quite enough :-" But as for myself," she says, "no danger, no fatigue, no difficulties would deter me-I have youth, and health, and excellent natural spirits-these and the strength of my affection would support me through it all; if I were not allowed to see you, yet being in the same place which contains you would be joy inexpressible! I will not, however, any longer desire it, but will learn to imitate your fortitude and patience."

Mr. Heywood of Maristow, and his daughter, Mrs. Bertie, had intimated the same thing. These excellent people, from the moment of young Heywood's arrival, had shown him every kindness, supplied him with money, and, what was better, with friends, who could give him the best advice. To this worthy lady, Miss Nessy Heywood thus addresses herself.

"Overwhelmed with sensations of gratitude and pleasure, which she is too much agitated to express,

permit me, dearest madam, at my mamma's request, to offer you hers and our most sincere acknowledgments for your invaluable letter, which, from the detention of the packet, she did not receive till yesterday. By a letter from my beloved brother of the same date, we are informed that Mr. Larkham (who I suppose to be the gentleman you mention having sent to see him) has been on board the Hector, and has kindly offered him the most salutary advice relative to his present situation, for which allow me to request you will present him our best thanks. He also speaks with every expression a grateful heart can dictate of your excellent father's goodness in providing for all his wants, even before he could have received any letters from us to that purpose.

"Ah! my dear madam, how truly characteristic is this of the kind friendship with which he has ever honoured our family! But my beloved Peter does not know that Mr. Heywood has a daughter whose generosity is equal to his own, and whose amiable compassion for his sufferings it will be as impossible for us to forget, as it is to express the admiration and gratitude it has inspired. It would, I am convinced, be unnecessary, as well as a very bad compliment to you, madam, were I to presume to point out any thing particular to be done for our poor boy, as I have not the least doubt your goodness and kind intention have long ago rendered every care of that sort on our part unnecessary. I shall only add, that my mamma begs every wish he forms may be granted; and sure I am, he will not desire a single gratification that can be deemed in the smallest degree improper.

"In one of my brother's letters, dated the 23d, he hints that he shall not be permitted to see any of his relations till his trial is over, and that he therefore does not expect us. I have, however, written to Mr. Heywood (without whose approbation I would by

no means take any step) for permission to go to him. If it is absolutely impossible for me to see him (though in the presence of witnesses), yet even that prohibition, cruel as it is, I could bear with patience, provided I might be near him, to see the ship in which he at present exists—to behold those objects which, perhaps, at the same moment attract his notice to breathe the same air which he breathes. -Ah! my dearest madam, these are inestimable gratifications, and would convey sensations of rapture and delight to the fond bosom of a sister, which it is far, very far beyond my power to describe. Besides, the anxiety and impatience produced by the immense distance which now separates us from him, and the uncertainty attending the packet, render it difficult and sometimes impossible to hear of him so often as we would wish; and, may I not add (though Heaven in its mercy forbid it-for, alas! the bare idea is too dreadful, yet it is in the scale of possibility), that some accident might happen to deprive us of my dearest brother: how insupportably bitter would then be our reflections, for having omitted the opportunity when it was in our power of administering comfort and consolation to him in person. For these reasons I earnestly hope Mr. Heywood will not judge it improper to comply with my request, and shall wait with eager impatience the arrival of his next letter. Think not, my dear madam, that it is want of confidence in your care and attention which makes me solicitous to be with my beloved brother. Be assured we are all as perfectly easy in that respect as if we were on the spot; but I am convinced you will pardon the dictates of an affection which an absence of five years, rendered still more painful by his sufferings, has heightened almost to a degree of adoration. I shall with your permission take the liberty of enclosing a letter to my brother, which I leave open for perusal, and at the same time request your pardon for mentioning you to him

« FöregåendeFortsätt »