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RIENDS, ahoy! Here I am once more ataunt-o, to thank you heartily for the unlooked for success which has attended the first launch of my JOLLY Boat. To the Public generally I am under great obligations for the many years of favour and patronage which has been bestowed upon me; to the gentlemen of the press, my gratitude is most sincerely given for the numerous aids which I have experienced through their friendly notices. Once more I have been indulged by all. Hurrah ! then,
for my “JOLLY BOAT !” and her crew. are, afloat for a second trip; and that it may be as fortunate as the preceding one, is the earnest desire of
THE OLD SAILOR.
Month of the merry face! mirth-loving June !
The king.cup, the poppy, the clover, the bean,
But where hast thou been since we parted last year ?
Thy suns are as bright, and thy skies are as clear!
Yet why should we pine though the seasons roll on,
INCARCERATED within the walls of the citadel, Pierre Durand passed the remainder of the night in excruciating pain of body from the torture he had undergone, but still greater agony of mind, when he reflected upon the unprotected state in which he had left Jeanette; nor were her mother or his own parents forgotten. A heavy pressure of affliction had coine suddenly upon him, and though he was a lad of great firmness and quick invention, yet the accumulation of so many misfortunes within such a short space of time alınost overpowered his faculties. The dungeon-like place in which he had been thrust was tenanted by many more unhappy creatures, destined for the same service as himself; the hardy, industrious canal-men, the crews of all the fishing-boats and schuyts, (a great portion of whom had fled from the coast to Ghent, under a vain hope that they should escape the general muster)—fathers of families, tenderly loving their children, husbands torn from fondly attached wives, sons who venerated their parents, brothers united in the firmest bonds of fraternal regard, each and all, with heavy hearts and bowed-down spirits, mourning over their calamity, and contemplating the dark future with sickly apprehension. Not a ray of light illumined the spacious apartment; a black gloom enveloped them, and loud were the groans and imprecations that burst forth from the assembled multitude.
When day-light came-oh! what a scene of misery was there! and yet the sun shone warmly and brightly—the face of the heavens was calm and clear, Nature was smiling and cheerful in her aspect, whilst those to whom the Creator had given understanding to love and enjoy His works, were crushed with a weight of wretchedness that rendered them incapable of noticing the glories by which they were surrounded. During the forenoon the incarcerated mariners—more than three hundred in number—were paraded in the grand square, preparatory to marching; other parties, of a similar description, were brought in to join them; they were encompassed by a strong escort, and soon after noon they commenced their march. On emerging from the citadel the wailings and lamentations of relatives, kindred and friends, were heart-piercing and terrible; nor could the bayonets of the guards, though unsparingly applied, enforce the continuance of silence-indignant anathemas and hootings from thousands of voices rose fearfully in the air as the mournful procession moved along through the streets, and had a less forbearing man commanded the troops, many lives would have been sacrificed to the fury of the escort, who were with difficulty restrained from firing upon the people. Numbers pressed forward to take one farewell look—to bid one last adieu to objects dear to their souls, and whom they never could expect to see again, and though thrust violently back, struck, and even wounded, they still persisted in their endeavours to obtain a parting, and as all believed, a final embrace. Thus they proceeded, and with them was the brave and resolute Pierre Durand.
In the solitary loneliness of her humble apartment, poor Jeanette recalled to her remembrance the melancholy occurrences that had so hurriedly succeeded each other during the few days that had recently passed; the destruction of her father's property; his flight; the breaking up of her home; the unprincipled conduct of Laisson—by turns occupied her agitated mind; and then her thoughts naturally reverted to the evident attachment and fervent devotion of Pierre, who now clung more fondly round the cherished feelings of her young heart—so closely allied is gratitude to love. As the night advanced, she became more and more uneasy at the protracted absence of Durand, and busy conjecture, with all its attendant tortures, deprived her of one moment's respite from keen distress. She was well aware that he had gone to try and save her mother, and at his departure hope prevailed that not many hours would elapse before they should be restored to each other; but the time passed on, the night wore away, and still no intelligence of Pierre or her injured and distracted mother. Oh! how trying to the mind, and how difficult to bear up against, are the agonies of suspense, when the heart, knowing its own bitterness and sorrow, can cling to nothing certain but misery; and the poor girl experienced this to its utmost extent.
The first faint light of early morning came streaming through the window of the room, and but too strongly enforced upon the conviction of Jeanette, the length of time that had elapsed since she had been left alone. Feverish and restless through the absence of sleep, and acutely alive to the situation in which she was placed, yet the poor girl did not want for firmness or intrepidity, and now that the occasion called for the free exercise of both, she endeavoured to nerve herself with courage and determination equal to the task she was about to undertake. The sun ascended the heavens in gorgeous majesty, Jeanette no longer hesitated as to what course she should pursue, and therefore, summoning the woman of the house, she requested that all her beautiful tresses should be cut off close to her head; the aged female at first declined, but the entreaties of the poor girl were so earnest, that at length her solicitations were complied with, and the hair that remained was stained by some liquid to a dark brown, her fair skin was changed in its colour by a similar process, and then arraying herself in a rough flannel shirt, jacket, and trousers, blue worsted stockings, heavy shoes, with large buckles in them, and a red woollen cap, no soul breathing could have detected under this disguise the interesting and lovely Jeanette Berghaume.
The splendid luminary of day ascended higher in the heavens, it reached its topmost altitude, and the agitated girl having received no information would not delay a moment longer; she quitted her place of shelter, and was proceeding towards her once happy home for the purpose of ascertaining the fate of her mother, when on turning the angle of a street, she suddenly met the coerced mariners, who, under a strong escort were quitting the city, and among the leading division, she in an instant recognised her attached lover Pierre Durand. To speak to him was impossible, as the guards rudely thurst every one away, but she inquired of a bystander the meaning of the spectacle, and being apprised of its intent, the struggles in her bosom were for a few minutes most acute and painful. Unacquainted with the real nature of her own sentiments towards Pierre, she had been accustomed to treat him as a brother, but recent events had shown her the true character of her regard, and now she loved him with a fervency that was quickly developed. The officer of the escort observed a stripling in a sailor's garb looking on, and fancying that he must belong to his detachment, rode up, and commanded him to join the prisoners. The intuitive quickness of her sex took advantage of the mistake.
“I am no slavish cur,” said she with boldness, “to be dragged into the service of the republic against my will. It is true my years are few, but that will be amended in the course of time. No, no, monsieur, if I go at all it must be as a volunteer, and that I am ready to do should you not consider me too young."
“Bravely spoken, my lad,” exclaimed the officer, “I like your humour, and will give it play, you have a stout heart in your little frame. Come then, young Samson, if you wish it, and according to your behaviour so shall you be free from restraint; they must want boys as well as men.”
For an instant Jeanette remained irresolute, the thoughts of her mother rushed upon her remembrance, but love prevailed, and springing forward with alacrity, the murmurs and disapprobation of the crowd never reached her ears. But as they proceeded forwards, and the city faded gradually from the view, often she turned with melancholy