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11. “Let us tack again!” exclaimed the lieutenant. The pilot shook his head, as he replied
“There is no more tacking or box-hauling to be done to-night. We have barely room to pass out of the shoals on this course; and, if we can weather the Devil's Grip,' we clear their outermost point; but if not, as I said before, there is but an alternative.”
“If we had beaten out the way we entered,” exclaimed Griffith, . we should have done well.”
12. “Say, alsc, if the tide would have let us do so," returned the pilot, calmly. “Gentlemen, we must be prompt; we have but a mile to go, and the ship appears to fly. That topsail is not enough to keep her up to the wind; we want both jib and mainsail.”
“ 'Tis a perilous thing to loosen canvas in such a tempest!” observed the doubtful captain.
“It must be done,” returned the collected stranger; “we perish without it-see! the light already touches the edge of the hommock; the sea casts us to leeward !".
“It shall be done !" cried Griffith, seizing the trumpet from the hands of the pilot.
13. The orders of the lieutenant were executed almost as soon as issued ; and, everything being ready, the enormous folds of the mainsail were trusted loose to the blast. There was an instant when the result was doubtful; the tremendous threshing of the heavy sail seemed to bid defiance to all restraint, shaking the ship to her center; but art and strength prevailed, and gradually the canvas was distended, and bellying as it filled, was drawn down to its usual place by the power of a hundred men. The vessel yielded to this immense addition of force, and bowed before it like a reed bending to a breeze. But the success of the measure was announced by a joyful cry from the stranger, that seemed to burst from his inmost soul.
14. “She feels it! she springs her luff! observe,” he said, "the light opens from the hommock already; if she will only bear her canvas, we shall go clear!” A report, like that of a cannon, interrupted his exclamation, and something resembling a white cloud was seen drifting befors the wind f.om the head of the ship, till it was driven into the gloom far to leeward.
“'Tis the jib blown from the bolt-ropes,” said the commander of the frigate. “This is no time to spread light duck-but the mainsail may stand it yet.”
“The sail would laugh at a tornado,” returned the lieutenant; " but the mast springs like a piece of steel.”
“Silence all !” cried the pilot. “Now, gentleman, we shall soon know our fate. Let her luff-luff you can !”
15. This warning effectually closed all discourse; and the hardy mariners, knowing that they had already done all in the power of man to insure their safety, stood in breathless anxiety, awaiting the result. At a short distance ahead of them, the whole ocean was white with foam, and the waves, instead of rolling on in regular succession, appeared to be tossing about in mad gambols.
16. A single streak of dark billow, not half a cable's length in width, could be discerned running into this chaos of water; but it was soon lost to the eye amid the confusion of the disturbed element. Along this narrow path the vessel moved more heavily than before, being brought so near the wind as to keep her sails touching. The pilot silently proceeded to the wheel, and, with his own hands, he undertook the steerage of the ship. No noise proceeded from the frigate to interrupt the horrid tumult of the ocean; and she entered the channel among the breakers, with the silence of a desperate calmness.
17. Twenty times, as the foam rolled away to leeward, the crew were on the eve of uttering their joy, as they supposed the Vessel past the danger; but breaker after breaker would still heave up before them, following each other into the general mass to check their exultation.
Occasionally, the fluttering of the sails would be heard ; and when the looks of the startled seamen were turned to the wheel, they beheld the stranger grasping at the spokes, with his quick eye glancing from the water to the canvas. At length, the ship rrached a point where she appeared to be rushing directly into
the jaws of destruction, when suddenly her course was changed, and her head receded rapidly from the wind. At the same instant, the voice of the pilot was heard shouting
“ Square away the yards ! in mainsail !”
18. A general burst from the crew echoed, “square away the yards !” and, quick as thought, the frigate was seen gliding along the channel before the wind. The eye had hardly time to dwell on the foam, which seemed like clouds driving in the heavens, and directly the gallant vessel issued from her perils, and rose and fell on the heavy waves of the sea.
19. The seamen were yet drawing long breaths, and gazing about like men recovered from a trance, when Griffith approached the man who had so successfully conducted them through their perils. The lieutenant grasped the hand of the other, as he said
“ You have this night proved yourself a faithful pilot, and such a seaman as the world can not equal !"
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, the distinguished American poet, was born in Hampshire county, Massachusetts, November 3d, 1794. Under the training of a father, devoted to the culture and development of his children, and capable, both by education and natural advantage, of giving a right direction to the mind of such a son, he showed, at an age extraordinarily early, remarkable powers of thought and expression. To say nothing of still earlier efforts, it is sufficient to remark that “THANATOPSIS," which is confessedly one of the finest poetical compositions in the English language, was written in his nineteenth year. Mr. Bryant has traveled much both in Europe and America, is a close and thoughtful observer, and a writer rich in whaterer denotes a fine, fertile imagination, calm, comprehensive thought, and masterly skill in the use of language. In 1826 he became one of the editors of the “New York Evening Post,” which connection he has maintained ever since.
THAN A TOP' sis, the title of the following piece, is a Greek compound (THANAT, death, and OPSis, a view) meaning a view of death.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
To him who in the love of Nature holds
Yet a few days, and thee
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Yet not to thine eternal resting-place Shalt thou retire alone-nor couldst thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings, The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers, of ages past, All in one mighty sepulcher. The hills Rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun,—the vales Stretching in pensive quietness between; The venerable woods—rivers that move In majesty, and the complaining brooks That make the meadows green; and, poured round all, Old ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man.
The golden sun,