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adventures and sufferings were so extraordinary as to excite, among many who heard them, a suspicion that they were fabuJous. Mr. Cock, however, the editor, was strongly impressed in fayour of his veracity; he took a few notes of what he related, relieved the poor man's immediate necessities, and desired him to attend again in the course of a few days.
It was a week before Adams (for that was the sailor's name) again made his appearance ; he was again questioned on the leading points of his story, and his answers were found uniformly to agree with those that had been noted on his first examination. This induced the editor to take down in writing (the man himself being unable either to write or read) a full account of his adventures ; and after some difficulty in persuading him to remain in England, (for he was anxious to get to his friends in America,) and by a few hours' examination daily for a fortnight or three weeks, he succeeded in drawing from him the narrative now presented to the public, of which we shall proceed to give a brief abstract.
Robert Adams, a native of Hudson, aged about 25, sailed in June, 1810, from New York, in the ship Charles, John Horton, Master, of the burthen of 280 tons, bound to Gibraltar; the crew consisting of nine persons, to whom a tenth was added at Gibraltar. From thence she proceeded down the coast of Africa on a trading voyage. On the 11th October, about three in the morning, the noise of breakers was heard, and, in an hour afterwards, the vessel struck on the rocks ; but the crew succeeded in getting safely on shore. The place, by the captain's account, was about 400 miles to the northward of Senegal, and its name, as they found on landing, was El Gazie. It was a low sandy beach, without trees or verdure, the country without the appearance of hill or mountain, or any thing but sand as far as the eye could reach.
Soon after break of day, the seamen were surrounded and made prisoners by thirty or forty Moors; they were quite black, had long lank hair, but neither shoes nor hats, their whole dress consisting of little more than a rug or a skin round their waist. Captain Horton and his crew were immediately stript naked; their skins, exposed to a scorching sun, became dreadfully blistered, and, for the sake of coolness, they were obliged to dig holes in the sand to sleep in. The Captain soon became ill, and was reduced to such a miserable condition that, in his impatience, he often declared he wished to die, and in this state of irritation was put to death by the Moors. The chief, indeed the only food of these people was fish, which they first dried in the sun, then cut into thin slices, and broiled on the hot sand. For three or four of the fourteen days they remained at El Gazie they were nearly in a starving state, owing to their being unable to catch fish; but having, from the wreck of the Charles, procured fishing tackle, and caught enough to load a camel, and buried in the sand all the articles which they had procured from the wreck, they prepared to depart for the interior : for this purpose they divided the prisoners ; Adams, the mate, and a seaman of the name of Newsham, were placed with about twenty Moors, (men, women, and children, having four camels, three of which were laden with water, the fourth with fish and baggage ; the average rate of travelling was about fifteen miles a day, the route easterly, inclining to the southward, accross a desart, sandy plain. At the end of thirty days, during which they had not seen a human being, they came to a place where there were several tents, and a pool of water surrounded by a few shrubs ; this was the first water they had met with since quitting the coast.
They remained here about a month, in the course of which John Stevens, a Portuguezę lad, arrived in charge of a Moor: the mate and Newsham were then sent away with a party to the northward; while Adams and Stevens were compelled to join a party of eighteen Moors on an expedition to a place called Soudenny, for the purpose of procuring negro slaves ; twelve other Moors joined them on the road ; their route was about S. S. E. the rate about 15 to 20 miles a day. The well where they expected to find water being quite dry, they mixed their small remaining stock with their camel's urine. In about fourteen days they came within two days' journey of Soudenny; here the surface of the country began to be hilly, and some stunted trees to appear.-—-(To be continued.).
ANECDOTES OF METASTASIO.
The celebrated Italian poet, Metastasio, was the son of a shopkeeper at Rome, and was intended for the same profession. The following circumstance led to his removal to that sphere in which he subsequently so much distinguished himself.
The Abbate Gravinna, one of the first scholars of his time at Rome, was on a fine summer evening walking out with a friend in one of the streets near the Porta del Popolo, in the ancient Campo Marzio. He perceived in front of a booth a large concourse of people listening to the singing of some person who was within. He enquired of the bystanders what was the matter, and was informed that it was the son of a shopkeeper, called Trapassi, who was singing extemporary verses.
This answer excited his curiosity: after stopping for some minutes at the door,
he pushed through the circle with his friend, and entered the booth. Here, in the midst of a great crowd of people, of the lower cláss, he found a boy about ten years old seated, pouring forth, in a most melodious voice, the effusions of his inspired imagination, and accompanying himself on the mandoline The entrance of the new auditors, whose appearance proclaimed them of the superior class, though it excited some embarrassment among the bystanders, produced not the least impression on the young singer. When he had finished his theme, the abbate, turning to him, said, “ Who taught you those veres, my little fellow"-"Nobody," replied he; “I composed them for my own amusement."-" Then you can make very pretty verses, rejoined the abbate: " you are of course an improvisatore; shall I give you a subjeet?"-The boy signified his compliance, and Gravinna proposed a description of the beauties of a summer evening. The youth tuned his instrument, and in a few moments commenced a song, which he extended to upwards of thirty stanzas, to the utmost astonishment of the
proposer. 'Tears trickled down the cheeks of the latter, and when the performance was finished, he clasped the bay. in his arms before the bystanders, exclaiming, “Rejoice, ye Romans ! here is a child that affords the promise of a great man!” He offered a scudo to the boy, who' refused it, observing that he was glad to have had an opportunity of gratifying a learned man. This was succeeded by a sccond embrace, and a request to the parents to call upon him the following day with their son. They accepted the invitation, and Gravinna declared, that from that moment he was ready to perform the part of a father to the child.
This duty he punctually fulfilled, as he had him educated at his expence till he attained to manhood, and when he died left him sole heir to all that he possessed. Metastasio, even at the most advanced period of his life, could not think without deep emotion of this circumstance, which threw him into the arms of a father and a friend, through whose support he acquired those talents for which he afterwards became so eminent. It is but seldom that a heart so excellent is united with such extraordinary abilities.
Metastasio, who changed his family name of Trapassi for the nearly synonimous Greek appellation of Metastasio, from Metastasis, made his debût as a writer of operas at Naples. Here he was once involved, in spite of all his efforts to adjust the difference, in a vexatious law-suit, which in the hands of the advocates, of whom there were at that time not fewer than 8000 in the city of Naples, seemed likely to be prolonged into a tedious process. At length he conceived, that the application of the Princess Belmonte to the judges in his behalf, would be the
best means of bringing the affair to a speedy issue. known to her family, and accordingly repaired one day to her house, The princess, previously informed of Metastasio's talent as an improvisatore, told him that she would not fail to exert all her influence for him, if he would sing her on the spot a poetical description of his case. Metastasio excused himself, partly on account of his distress of mind occasioned by the lawsuit, and partly his want of exercise in extempory versification ; but to no purpose : he was obliged to comply. He then began his
song, setting forth the affliction which this dispute occasioned him, and all the circumstances attending it ; how he could neither sleep nor attend to his occupations; how he was treated by the advocates ; together with an admirable delineation of the character of Neapolitan justice, at one time so affecting, and at another so extremely comic and sarcastic, that the princess now shed tears of sympathy, and now laughed till she wept. Upon the whole, she was so delighted with it, that she gave him her promise that the affair should be decided, without farther delay, and desired him to call upon her again in a few days at a particular hour. - Metastasio was punctual to this appointment; but how great was the embarrassment of the poet, who was naturally very shy, on being ushered into a room filled with the most distinguished persons of Naples, including the judges who had to decide his cause;—and on being told by the mistress of the house, that this company was assembled to hear him repeat his improviso on the subject of his law-suit! “ It is out of my power," was his reply.
- How so?"_“I forgot it immediately.”-“Well then, ' rejoined the lady, “let us have a fresh one. By this time he was completely hemmed in by the eager circle, and whatever reluctance he might have felt, was obliged to comply. He now sung for almost half an hour together a kind of Iliad, rich in episodes, but arising naturally out of the subject, with separate stanzas addressed to certain individuals of his auditors, so that when he had finished, all of them flew to him in the greatest ecstacy of delight and loaded him with caresses. The princess declared, that the latter improvisó was in every respect different from the former; and he himself, notwithstanding his natural modesty, observed, with great naïveté, “I do not like improvising, but perhaps I never was so successful as this time; if I am to surpass this attempt, I must be soundly beaten first."
On the following day his suit was decided to his satisfaction ; but from that time he gave up the practice of extempory composition.
The subsequent little Poem, though drawn from the fountains of
playful fancy, bears with it a moral that strongly intimates the evils which are certain to attend, when folly undertakes a task be. yond the powers of its ability.
Pursue the way thy steps have known
BEYOND the borders of the town,