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to me as if my being had travelled back to its very earliest unsinful childhood; it was an effort too much for me to stand, so I reclined upon one of the fore and aft seats in the stern-sheets of the boat. The silent stream of bliss came over my sense of existence so gently that my gratitude was vividly aroused, and I burst forth into unconscious hymnings: “ Glory to thee, Everlasting ;-I am here !" I exclaimed rapturously ; " dost thou call for thy servant ? Lo! I am ready: on the misty beam of thy sun will I ascend, and kiss the footstool of thy throne. Bountiful! I bless thee : my tongue is weak, and there are no words from my lips that are meet for thee. Who shall measure thy love, thou Illimitable in mercy ? The shining bosom of thy sea is glorious in the resplendency of thy heavens, but what is it? or the orbs that wheel everlastingly through thy firmament, what are they? But as a grain of sand on the sea-shore, as a drop in the vast ocean, compared to the vastness of the conception of thee, eyen in a worm like me. Unutterable ! Mysterious ! none can comprehend thee; even those about thy throne are lost in awe; we know thee only as an eternal and unfathomable, illimitable principle of love. Take me to thee; lap me in the shadow of thine all-embracing wings; teach me my song of praise, that I may sing it, and my heart be glad.”
I spoke rhapsodies like these, and my bosom dilated with unspoken aspirations too glowing for words ;-hour passed after hour, and then, when the beams of the sun came slantingly from the heavens, methought that misty spirits travelled down them fronı above as on an etherial road, and they came walking on the waters, and crowding around the boat, where I lay as on my death-bed. I know it was illusion all; but how vivid, how all-glorious did those beings appear. At first, I discerned them but faintly; I passed my hands over my eyes ; I attempted to rub out from them those heavenly appearances, as so many spectra that were the vain creations of a disordered organization. But they would not depart; they pressed round and smiled upon me. Some of these beautiful shadows fanned me into coolness with their ambrosial wings, raining down fragrance the while. Each moment, they became more palpable, more real, and then a symphony of many mingled voices stole gently along the surface of the waters, and though the words were in a language never heard by me before, yet I understood it intuitively and at once, and the chorus seemed to say to me, “ Brother spirit, come to thy mansion above.”
· And anon, the boat had changed to a cloudy car, and the figure of Jugurtha stood afar off in vast proportions on the waves, and seemed like some giant ascending into view over a far distant hill ; and gradually the space between the blue water and the blue heavens seemed to decrease, nor knew I whether the one descended or the other rose. At last, they fairly mingled together, and were as one, and then vast volumes of golden mists were slowly unfolding in the centre, like the ivory doors of a glorious temple, and, at one sudden burst, light the most transcendant flashed upon my brow, and entered into my very heart, which knew it at once to be the essence of the Eternal, whilst, from the four corners of the universe came reverberating thunders of harmony that syllabled out to my whirling brain the word A DORE!
and then, stunned by this excess of light and of melody, I fell down senseless even where I had stood.
At that moment, had my soul actually passed away, what a glorious euthanasia !
But we must now return to the severe, to the biting realities of life.
When I next became sensible to external objects, it was with a feeble, childish, and idiotic perception, but, at the same time, a truly comfortless one. Vague and indistinct visions of ship's beams, of tarry effluvia, and of strange and unfriendly faces, all dimly seen through a kind of suffocating twilight, were the first things upon which I employed my thoughts, and then memory began slowly to withdraw the dark veil between me and the past, and firstly the scene of what I thought my triumphant dying presented itself vividly, and afterwards all the sad occurrences of the foundered ship and my drowned companions marched in mournful array before my mental vision.
I now began to ascertain that I was in the hold of a large ship, and that I was recumbent upon a black and tattered blanket spread on the coiling of the cables. I looked upon myself, and felt disgust at the filthy rags with which I was covered, and I shuddered when I viewed my embrowned and skinny hands, and the shrunken sinews of my withered arm. I knew myself, and was wretched. I felt extremely hungry, and yet, at the same time, an irresistible disposition to sleep, to which I gave way, and was once more buried in oblivion. When I next awoke I found myself much renovated, and what added considerably to my happiness, on the one side of me there was the watchful Jugurtha, and, on the other, the faithful Bounder :-I embraced them both.
In a short time, preceded by several men bearing lanthorns, a party of gentlemen, accompanied by several ladies, were assisted into our dungeon, and they clustered round us with looks of as much commiseration as of curiosity. The surgeon, and who does not, when ill, know a surgeon instinctively ? approached me and felt my pulse, then the beatings of my heart, after which he turned to the company and said in very excellent Castilian,
“ After all, this hideous and loathsome skeleton may live."
What a lesson for the vanity of Ardent Troughton, who, but a few weeks before, thought himself so handsome!
“ Let me look at him-nay, nay--withhold me not;-I am proof against ugliness :-hold up the lanthorn to his face, my friend :-I have an interest in him. You all know, cruel men that you are, that you would have abandoned them as dead, had it not been for my whim; --the light higher-Jesus! what ghastliness—yet its eyes are monstrously large and fine, as I'm a Catholic! Can it speak, or is it dumb like the two others.
All this was uttered by a Spanish lady of radiant beauty, and, as I gazed into the sweet harmonies of her countenance, I drank in health and strength, as from a fountain of life.
“ Lady !" I replied in Spanish, “ the wretched merchant thanks you. Oh, give me but the air and the light of heaven : the life you have preserved shall be devoted to you."
“ There,” said she, with a glorious and triumphant smile, “there; when I picked up a riven and a sapless weed upon the ocean, I acquired a devoted—which of you all, gentlemen, Spaniards though you boast yourselves, have made me a speech so gallant? By all means, Captain Mantez, let him have better accommodations.” 1
“ Has he any civil or military rank ?" said the commander, tossing up his head, so as to give the crown of it, against the low beams, a smart admonitory rap.
I answered shortly in the negative, and the proud Spaniard turned round abruptly and disappeared.
My fair advocate next turned to a rough-looking man, “ Surely, you, who being second in command, have a cabin so spacious, can afford room in it for this poor man, and a decent change of raiment also.”
But the first mate did not appear to be much pleased with this appeal. However, he growled out to me as graciously as he could, “ Are you a seaman, signor?”
I shook my head.
“ You see, Donna Isidora, that my clothes would not suit him, and my cabin is but just painted; he will do very well here until we let go the anchor.”
So he departed to perform his duties, leaving like the Levite that passed by on the other side, the most important one unfulfilled.
Donna Isidora at these repulses smiled somewhat bitterly, and now seemed determined to try, in malice, how far this inhospitable spirit would be carried ; so she turned to a very effeminate and elaboratelydressed man, with two watches, or rather a watch, chain, and appendages hanging from each fob, and said to him, “Well, count, for the honour of the ancient Iberian hospitality, you ought to take him into that after-cabin of yours, which you have fitted out so luxuriously, and of which you are so proud.”
• Is he noble is he an hidalgo-has he never ridden upon an ass ?."
“I think that I heard him say that he was a merchant;" but, before the lady had finished her compassionate speech, the man with the old escutcheon was hobbling up the after-hatchway.
The three ladies who had accompanied Donna Isidora began to titter, and to show signs of being much amused. My champion now looked round with an amiable perplexity, in which there was, I could not help thinking, a great deal of malice, when she suddenly exclaimed, “ The Virgin be praised! here comes the padre. Take care, holy father, for this place is rather of the darkest-mind how you step-benedicite!--now you are safe, so you need hold and press my hand no longer. In good season have you come, holy father. My stray drift of the ocean turns out to be a Spaniard—Spanish, are you not, signor ? You see, he assents--a Spanish merchant, who has already devoted his life to me."
The ecclesiastic snuffled out a sigh that might have been construed by those around either as the plethoric or the amorous--for the priest was very fat, and, for a celebate, very inflammable.
“ And, in order to make the offering of some value to me," she continued, “ you must assist to prolong it, by yielding up to him a part of your excellent berth, and procuring him some sort of decent habiJiments."
“ Why, beautiful daughter, if you would sometimes step into my humble cell, and watch the amendment of your protegé – for you know that I am vowed to works of brotherly love and charity if you would step in "
“ Of course-of course.”
“ I have some excellent conserves—the nuns of Santa Margueritta are illustrious confectioners—may purgatory be short to them and there's some noyeau from Martinique-than which only one thing is more delicious that can meet the lips," and he moistened his own most significantly. “Yes, daughter bella, charity—but I have said fine things about charity after mass--we will take the poor publican in unto my cell. Son,” said he, addressing me through his nose, “ doubtless thou art a child of the holy mother church, and a devout Catholic ?”
“No, holy father," I replied, firmly, yet respectfully. “I am not. I was bred a Protestant.”
This indiscreet avowal had a sensible effect on all around, and even the tender-hearted ladies, with the generous Isidora, recoiled a step from my miserable lair. The priest affected to be horror-struck, lifted up his hands, and commenced muttering something in Latin, in which the words “ de hereticos-damnati sunt-in sæculis sæculorum,” were very audible. He then turned to the lady, and this imitator of the good Samaritan continued thus: “ You see, my daughter, how impossible is this thing. The wretch-the horror-the thing abhorred, is chained to Satan to all eternity. It would be sacrilegious to touch him-an impiety, a sin against Heaven to relieve him.” , aj
“ Unless he repent," said my gentle patroness.
“ Till then, he must be fed, and clothed, and tenderly administered to, to enable him to live, and do that same good work of repentance and conversion."
“I gainsay it not, my daughter; but ill would it become me, to take, as it were, into my bosom a heretic, and a contemner of truth. Now, lady, this poor dumb negro, who never heard, probably, of the name of the Saviour, is ten millions of times a superior being to this Lutheran monster-he is no Protestant, and I may therefore assist him."
“I beg your pardon, reverend sir, he is also a Protestant, for I baptised him myself, after the ritual of the reformed church, as well as I could remember it, when I thought him dying in the boat in which you found us."
At this bold disclosure, the priest actually fled as fast as his weight would permit, crying out, with horror, that I believe was unfeigned, “ Blasphemy! blasphemy! a sin against the Holy Ghost."
During all this there was an eager spectator of this curious scene. It was the surgeon, a sallow and a dark-browed man, who seemed to hold his thoughts in bonds, and that looked with contempt alternately upon both the priest and myself. However, whilst the divine was preaching charity, the silent surgeon was himself nourishing me with sago.
When I had finished this recruiting preparation, I thanked him warmly, and then added, “ Compassionate signor, though, as yet, you have not spoken to me, and your looks have not encouraged me, it is from you only that I have received substantial benefit ; all that 'I ask from the hospitality of this ship is the plainest food, fresh air, and a sail upon the half-deck, and when I reach my home, at Barcelona, for this trifling succour every party concerned shall be amply repaid."
* God forbid,” said Donna Isidora, “ that you should think so meanly of us. Speak, Julien,” said she, turning to a very young,, and a very handsome man, upon whose arm she was leaning, “speak to your unfortunate Christian countryman, and let your own nobleness and Castilian honour supply you with words."
The youth repaid her for this confiding speech with a look eloquent in affection, and then turning to me, said, with a slight tremulousness in his tone, that proved his heart was touched, “Stranger, and my friend—I welcome you to my board, to my wardrobe-to all I possess—tell me not who you are till you part with me in health and in peace-I will, till then, recognise in you only the dignity of misfortune." 1? * And your own," said I, grasping his extended hand. “ But, noble Spaniard, the wretch that thus lies degraded here before you, will presume to make terms with you, and without a compliance with them, he cannot avail himself of your generosity. From these associates," pointing to the negro and the dog, “ I have vowed never to depart-for know, illustrious signor, we were three days together, starving in the midst of the ocean, and did not eat each other.”
“ Do you hear, Isidora," said Julien, “ they did not eat each other ? The reason is good."
“ Oh!" said she smiling, “ the plea is unanswerable." 11. "We shall be somewhat crowded, signor, certainly ; but, as you did not eat each other, why, we must make room. O Isidora !” said he, as he was retiring with the lady, “ do not smile at the poor merchant's plea. It was something—it was much-that, in a situation so horrible, the white man spared the black; but, that both should have spared the dog—by heavens! it was magnanimous! That merchant shall be my friend.”
Sweetly did those words fall upon my crushed spirit. I was rewarded, yea, more than indemnified, for all my past sufferings. "In a very short space of time we three were removed into the ample and airy cabin of Julien, all our wants attended to, and nothing left undone that, under the circumstances, could add to our comforts. In fact, the whole berth was given up to us, the proprietor sleeping elsewhere. He visited me continually, and the Lady Isidora looked in most graciously sometimes. One thing, however, puzzled me a little ; each visit that they paid me, caused them to gaze with increasing astonishment upon me; but their astonishment was mingled with symptoms of genuine pleasure and triumph. 14. After I had been the inmate of this cabin for about a fortnight, during which I and my suite had eaten enormously, Julien and Isidora gave me the flattering intelligence, that myself and companions seemed to be totally forgotten by almost every one in the ship, and they begged me for the present, to deny myself the pleasure of walking the decks, at least, during the daylight, stating as one of the prin.